Drive through the Nagara-Nittur road was quite a pleasure and went on smoothly until a sign board of a village name Byse, caught our attention. We stopped at the crossing to check our travel dairy for any information related to this place as we vaguely remembered reading about it and its connection with pre history. Well, we were right! Byse has numerous standing stones/ Menhirs / Nilskal / Rakshashkal. Our excitement only grew as we knew the name of the place matched and we decided to explore this place. When we inquired about the exact location of such stones to an elderly person, he shooed us away saying that, nothing of such a kind exists there. Assuming that this person may be ignorant or misleading, my wife insisted on having a second opinion and so we did! A little further we met a few people who on enquiring about the stones responded positively, saying that ‘Aane Nilskal’ (Stone used to tie Elephants) is located over an elevated piece of land close by, and for this we had to walk a short distance as the roads were not in a proper condition. Thanking them, we moved further. Final enquiries ahead lead us to the location of Menhirs. This place is called as “Nilaskal Byana”, meaning the field of standing stones. We could easily spot 6 Menhirs standing tall and a few fallen, here and there. It is believed that these structures are aligned in such way that they fall in line following the solar solstices. The reason behind their placement and their laying still remains a big mystery, just as the stone henge!
1. A mountain sunrise by Srikumar M Menon, researching on pre-historic sites, especially Byse.
Happy Ganesha Festival to All !