Overview for Rock Art in Kumaon Himalaya
This is the third book on rock art published by the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts under the Adi Drsya programme. This book brings into focus facets of pre-historic Rock Art of Kumaon Himalaya--an area comparatively un-known. An attempt has been made in this work to document and record various sites of roc art and rock shelters hitherto unidentified. The materials incorporated in this volume are quite distinctive and definitely new. The rock paintings as noticed in this area show as usual man and nature relationship in a simplistic representation. The most interesting paintings found in Kumaon region are the dancing scenes, which are in large varieties followed by drumbeating figures, hunters and others. In this book the author discusses the subject matter, the technique, the style and the state of preservation of rock art of the region alongwith artistic merit and motivation of the artist of pre-historic time in a simple language. Illustrations incorporated in this volume are the water colour reproductions done by the author in the field itself. Illustrations are quite interesting and give an accurate impression of rock art of central Himalaya. In addition to the paintings, engravings and petroglyphs found in the Kumaon region show a very unusual forms and content which are distinctive from the ones found in neighbouring Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh region in upper Himalayas. This book gives an overview of rock art research as a whole and its present state in India and abroad. The material incorporated in this monograph will be of great help to the scholars pursuing rock art research.
Yashodhar Mathpal (Author)
Yashodhar Mathpal (b. 1939) is an archaeologist and has specialized in rock art. He has discovered rock sites and made comprehensive studies of the paintings at Bhimbetka and of Shamla Hills in Madhya Pradesh. He also participated in excavation of rock art sites in Bhimbetka. Himself an artist, he reproduced a large number of rock art samples from Bhimbetka at the initial stage. Later on, having spent several years studying and surveying rock art of Central Himalayas specially in the around Bhimtal he documented amazing varieties of rock art samples. He also traveled in Kerala and with his usual knack copied rock art paintings and brushings. Dr. Mathpal, a first class Masters Degree holder in Art and a Ph.D., published several scientific papers and monographs on rock art specially concerning his work in Bhimbetka. He also participated in Rock Art Congress held in Australia in 1991 and presented a paper and later on in New Delhi in 1993. He is a district convenor of INTACH at Bhimtal and is closely associated with the Rock Art Programme of Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts. He has also established a museum of Folk Culture at Bhimtal in Kumaon region.