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Prehistoric Limestone Cave Dating Back More Than 11,000 Years Found in Telangana

Locally known as Arjun Loddi cave, it is one of nature's treasures in the Tiryani Mandal of Asifabad district, (Representative Image, Credits: Shutterstock)

Locally known as Arjun Loddi cave, it is one of nature's treasures in the Tiryani Mandal of Asifabad district, (Representative Image, Credits: Shutterstock)

According to archaeologists, the cave dates back thousands of years and evolved into its current shape over a lengthy period of time.

A hitherto undiscovered prehistoric limestone cave has been discovered in the woodlands of Asifabad. An independent organisation named PRIHAH (The Public Research Institute for History, Archaeology, and Heritage) is behind this discovery. According to these archaeologists, the cave dates back thousands of years and evolved into its current shape over a lengthy period of time. The Telangana woods, as per the archaeologists, are a treasure trove of hidden and precious geological riches. They surveyed the cave with the assistance of the forest department.

Locally known as Arjun Loddi cave, it is one of nature’s treasures in the Tiryani Mandal of Asifabad district, according to M.A. Srinivasan, general secretary of PRIHAH, who led this expedition.

He described the structure as a limestone cave created by a geological process that took millions of years. Though the outside world is unaware, local tribals, Gonds, and Pardhans revere a stone creation within the cave known as the ‘Arjun pen,’ he added. On certain occasions like harvest and other festivals, the stalagmite inside the cave is worshipped by these local tribes.

The cave is located deep within the Kawal Tiger Reserve and can only be reached by a mud trail that can be travelled by a four-wheeled vehicle from Tiryani’s Mandal office.

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Chakilam Venugopal Rao, retired Deputy Director-General of the Geological Survey of India, who confirmed geological evidence obtained by PRIHAH, stated the cave may have developed as a result of geological processes that occurred between 1,25,000 and 11,000 years ago. During the Neoproterozoic epoch, groundwater eroded limestone existing in the earth’s bulk, giving rise to caves. According to the general secretary, a comprehensive examination of the Kurnool caverns can be used to estimate the antiquity of this picturesque location.

While the Kurnool caverns have been dated using fossil material such as rhinoceroses’ skeletons, no fossils have yet been identified in the Arjun Loddi caves, according to experts. “The cave is deep, and only a small fraction of it has been excavated. We had to crawl in some spots. We expect to make additional discoveries and contribute to our knowledge of Telangana,” Mr Srinivas added.

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first published:July 26, 2021, 18:59 IST