The Petroglyphs of Konkan region, spread across Maharashtra and Goa have been added to the Tentative List of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) World Heritage Sites along with three other sites.
The other two Indian sites are Jingkieng Jri, the living root bridge in Meghalaya, and Sri Veerabhadra Temple in Andhra Pradeshâ€™s Lepakshi.
The Petroglyphs or Geoglyphs are a form of rock art, and comprise images drawn by removing part of a rock surface on the ground by incising, picking, carving or abrading.
The petroglyphs in Ratnagiri region are also known as katal shilpa and believed to be nearly 20,000 years old.
Ratnagiri district is believed to have more than 1,500 petroglyphs spread across over 70 sites. The carvings are in the shape of human figures, birds, animals and geometric forms, though they vary in shape and size from site to site.
The Tentative List in UNESCO mentions seven sites with petroglyphs in Ratnagiri district â€” Ukshi, Jambharun, Kasheli, Rundhe Tali, Devihsol, Barsu and Devache Gothane, one in Sindhudurg district Kudopi village, and nine sites at Pansaimol in Goa.
The Maharashtra government, through its Tourism and Cultural affairs Department, has now started the process of preparing a final dossier of these prehistoric rock art sites. The dossier will be sent the Archaeological Survey of India, which will then present it to UNESCO in a bid to secure the tag of a World Heritage Site.