(Megalith of India is indebted to Abhisek Mishra of Srinagar, Kashmir as without his assistance this post would not have been possible)
Boys play a game of cricket next to the megaliths.
The ruined megalithic site of Burzhaom is situated near a village of the same name about 16 kms from Srinagar in Kashmir.
About the time of Gordon there were five “massive” stones which were standing as written in his “The Prehistory of India”. That would be in the late 50s or in the early 60s. Today only two menhirs stand leaning. However it is difficult to articulate whether they were intended to be inclined (if not this much) or planted erect.
Research has shown me that quite a few leaning menhirs in India were deliberately positioned like wise with a purpose.
The panaromic view of the Burzhaom megaliths
The megalith is so baldy damaged more by humans and lesser by nature that it is very difficult to ascertain its original arrangement. But that the monument formed a semi-circle and the opening was intended to be oriented towards the Due East is yet somewhat apparent to this day. Many menhirs seem to have been broken up and towed away for possible domestic purposes.
Pic showing one fallen menhir with a deep hole and two broken menhirs with their remaining parts which have disappeared.
Many menhirs have holes dug into them...such holed stones found in megaliths all over the world is still a mystery. One recumbent black stone comprise few cupules which are quite deep and large in comparison to the normal cupmarks in Indian megaliths .
The enormous size of the stones can be ascertained with Abhisek standing in the megalithic complex.
Excavation of the site have shown that the site has been raised on stone rubbles. Excavation has yielded no graves what so whatsoever confirming the megalithic complex to be a non-sepulchral monument. Many scholars have rated the megaliths to be memorials. But the site may possess astronomical inclinations too.
Excavations have also revealed traces of Birch trees locally known as Burza. This confirms that Birch or Burza trees once grew here. Hence the term Burzhaom stems from the confluence of two words; "Burza" meaning Birch trees and "hom" meaning place.
The exposed rubble of stones
Excavation has confirmed the site having Neolithic occupation and has been dated to the first half of the second millennium BC.
Pottery finds from the site confirm the possible prevalence of “satbharwan” like bone burying rituals of later times in here. Black and Red Ware, Gritty red wares too have been found from the megalithic site.
The site also houses dwelling and burial pits. These pits square and rectangular in shape have yielded a few human skeletons and even the remains of a dog. The dwelling pits are oval and circular shaped with narrow tops and wide bases. It is yet not confirmed whether the underground pits were used for habitation purposes by the hunter gatherer folks of the place or for preservation of produce of their rude cultivation. Both the pits were dug into the compact natural soil.
Pre megalithic (Neolithic) pottery of all sorts ranging from gritty red ware, black polished ware to dark buffed coloured ones have been found from the graves. Sadly there is no museum to display the finds from the excavations.
Potsherds from the megaliths
The Burzhaom megaliths is a tribal creation and as it falls on the migratory route of the Mundas venturing into mainland India, chances are that the primitive monument could have been created by some proto-Mundari tribes. Raj Tarangini too confirms this hypothesis expressing that the original populace of the place were the Pisachas and Nagas who were a constant bother for the later arrived Brahmins.
The Mundaric tribes who created numerous megaliths on their journey to Jharkhand are still known as Nagabanshis…