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Chaturbhujnath Nala: A Magnificent Rock Art Gallery in India

Giriraj Kumar (Author)

Chaturbhujnath Nala (CBN) is a magnificent and richly painted rock art gallery in India. It is located in Gandhisagar Wildlife Sanctuary in Chambal valley in Madhya Pradesh. The site is very sacred to the people of the region, and is protected by Archaeological Survey of India.


The rock art of Chaturbhujnath Nala is still in its pristine condition. It presents varied aspects of life and cognitive development of hunter-foragers of pre-cattle domestication Stone Age (Period-I, Mesolithic) and early pastorals of the Neolithic-Chalcolithic and Historic Age (Period-II) in Holocene Period. The figures vividly depict their understanding of the nature, challenges faced, inventions made and varied devices they developed to meet them, and above all their spirit to live a happy life in harmony with nature. However, the most important feature of the rock art of CBN is the presentation of a distinct picture of transition from hunting-food-gathering mode of life to cattle domestication, which started with humpless cattle (bull) in the late Mesolithic Age, sometimes in the mid Holocene period or a little bit early. The miniature form of figures, sometimes less than 10 mm in length and height, is one of the unique features of the early pastoral rock art of CBN. The artists efficiently picked up specific moments of the episode of life and nature which were capable of creating the entire incident in the mind of an observer. The legacy of the creative traditions of CBN continues in the present pastorals and tribes of the region.


The book presents the rock art of Chaturbhujnath Nalas as a reflection of the celebration of life in perfect harmony with nature through time. It is the secret of achieving both the worlds of development and enjoying the meaningful and blissful life in its totality.

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About the author

Giriraj Kumar

Professor Giriraj Kumar (b. 1953) is a leading Rock Art scientist, having a long experience of research in various fields of the rock art, prehistory and Indian culture since 1997. For him rock art is a medium to understand the truth of life. Prof. Kumar was honoured as the President of IFRAO from 2004 to 2006 and invited to share his research experiences by IFRAO, UNESCO and other international organisations. He has organised many national and international conferences on rock art and chaired several symposia in many countries. He is one of the members of the editorial board of the international refereed journal and founding editor of Purakala, the journal of Rock Art Society of India since 1990.

He has been the Indian Director of the high profile EIP Project (since 2000), a joint venture by Indo-Australian scientists to establish the antiquity of early Indian petroglyphs to Lower Palaeolithic. He along with Ram Krishna has carried out the extensive replication work, a form of scientific study, currently gaining prominence in several other countries as well. His work is the most advanced in the world, the only instance of international Indian leadership in the field of Rock Art Science. He has discovered many rock art sites, Stone Age, Chalcolithic and ostrich eggshell sites in Central India. He has 80 research papers published in different national and international journals to his credit.

Prof. Kumar, founding Secretary General of Rock Art Society of India (RASI), is presently (since 1985) serving as a Professor in the Faculty of Arts, Dayalbagh Educational Institute in Agra.

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Bibliographic information

Title Chaturbhujnath Nala: A Magnificent Rock Art Gallery in India
Author Giriraj Kumar
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2022
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9789383221370
length xxxvi+224p., 133 Colour & Black & White Illustrations, Graphs, Tables, Appendix, Bibliography, Index; 29cm.