Tharia Cave Paintings at Valley of Pallimas, Wadh Balochistan, Pakistan

Tharia cave paintings in valley of Pallimas, Balochistan
By: Aziz Kingrani
When some one will enter in Balochistan, a western province of Pakistan, from any part of its boundaries, its eye catching and magnetically natural beauty will beautify his senses. Because it’s every corner looks like resort and has unique natural attractiveness. Its vast coastal area, wonderful mountainous valleys, arresting waterfalls, undefeatable high mountainous ranges and hillocks, stunning springs and climates make feeble to stay there for ever. Thus, from most ancient times, the remains of life and civilization can be found herein Balochistan. Where, the water, being a basic necessity of life existed in vales and mountains, the remains of archaeological sites and cave paintings have been recorded in this province of Pakistan. Several sites of cave paintings on rocks have been recorded in upper Balochistan but the sites of cave paintings of lower Balochistan are still unexplored like cave paintings of Tharia cave in Pabu Mountain near Qili (village) Chatoka Bhit (mound) in the valley of Pallimas, Tahseel Wadh, Khuzdar District which have been discovered by me on 12th of march 2015.
In ancient times, the areas of Lasbelo, Khuzdar and Kech Makran of lower Balochistan were part of ancient Sindh. The first map of Sindh in the world, drawn by Arab visitor Ibn Haukal of Iraq in 342 H (950 AD), appeared in book on history of Sindh, “Janat-ul-Sindh” by Raheemdad Molai Sheedai, also shows that the borders of ancient Sindh were up to Kerman and Sestan of Persia. The area of Kech Makran, Lasbelo and Khuzdar were in the boundaries of earlier Sindh. There are many ancient sites or mounds having Sindhi names in the vicinity of Tahseel Wadh, District Khuzdar Balochistan. Frequently, Sindhi language is use to speak in the area of Wadh tahseel of Khuzdar district.
The cave of Tharia is located at a distance of 15 kilometers from Wadh town towards east. The hilly torrents Kunj, Chatoka and others flow from Pubu Mountain towards Pallimas valley. This stream of rainy water flows beyond towards the Tuk and Wadh rainy streams. About six historical and archaeological sites are situated in the surroundings of Wadh town and valley of Pallimas which are probably related to neighboring civilization of Nal hilly torrent near Khuzdar city towards west. The treasure hunters have destroyed the remains of these sites.
The Tharia Cave is located along a hill torrent and an ancient route which leads to passes of Khirthar Mountain range near Tahseel Johi, District Dadu, Sindh, after crossing Pub Mountain range from Qilli Chatoka Bhit. The Tharia cave paintings are illustrated on rock in five separate panels. In one panel, a dancing group is depicted in circle. Probably, the group is performing traditional “Hamarcho Dance” (Fig-1). This dance is still prevalent in Sindh, a southern province of Pakistan.
While dancing, the men have caught their hands and their waists and hands look like a moving picture or animation. Almost certainly, one man is drumming a drum, depicted at left corner of upper part of the panel. In second panel, the men are dancing in a row (Fig-2). In third panel, probably three men are dancing and their hands are raised (Fig-3). In forth panel, deer like animal is demonstrated (Fig-4). In fifth panel, two humped bulls are festooned (Fig-5). Beside the humped bulls, the colour of portrayed men is wiped out. The horns of humped bulls are as large as the horns of bulls of Thar Desert of Sindh. Consequently, the cave is named Tharia by local people. In Brohvi language, Tharia denotes “of Thar”. It can be assumed that the earlier name of site would not be the same. Later, it was called Tharia by local people who might have recognized the bulls of Thar Desert of Sindh, a southern province of Pakistan due to depiction humped bulls having corns as the corns of bulls of Thar Desert.
The red and black colours are used in the representations. The art of painting and usage of colours in pictures show the expertness of artisans. Most probably, the colours have been extracted from the coloured stones. The pigment might have been made by artists mixing water with grinded coloured stones. Still, such soft stones of different colours can be found nearby the cave.
As for the ancientness of these cave paintings, it can be believed that these had been painted in Paleolithic period. For the reason that, the history of discovered this type of cave paintings of the world have been mostly shown from 40,000 BC to 25,000 BC and later on. However, this prehistoric site of cave paintings needs attention of expert archaeologists for preserving and presumption of its accurate date back period.


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