Save Rola megaliths from destruction is the first in a series of features from the Megaliths of India website hosted by Subhashis Das.
Subhashis Das at Rola. The fascinating megaliths that once were
A boundary wall adjacent to the north of the Rola megaliths has been built. Apart from the wall, new buildings have also appeared in the vicinity. As a consequence of these new structures many of the precise alignments of the stones in the complex, which once pointed towards major sunrises, sunsets and the cardinal points, and which had elevated this crude megalithic burial into a major calendar and an observatory built during primitive times, has now ceased to function as such. Although the megaliths themselves remain unscathed in their physical form (as yet) the buildings so close to this primitive monument have now become a serious threat to them.
Rola is a primitive burial site of the erstwhile tribals, with many stone slabs functioning as covers for the burial – known to the austric tribes as sasandiri. The site, sacred to the tribals even a few years ago, is a neglected temple today after the tribals migration elsewhere. Besides the sepulchral connotations, Rola demonstrates distinct astronomical features as well. Sadly, the landscape which forms the outer periphery of such temples, having now been obstructed due to the new buildings in the vicinity, has rendered these megaliths of Rola dysfunctional.
The present state of Rola. The boundary wall and the houses have cropped up in the vicinity obstructing the orientations. Sheer Government indifference towards megaliths and heritages
Rola is one such site which needs to be seen to be believed. The megalithic complex demonstrates brilliant positioning of the stones within the megalithic complex vide ratios and hex sectioning. How the north-south and the east-west axis was once obtained within the megaliths by the positioning of the stones, and how they were also made to intersect inside the site by the ancient megalithic astronomers, is a feat which must be seen to be believed.
The  alignments towards the hills in the landscape are vividly demonstrated. The site is also comprised of stones oriented towards the sunrises and sunsets of the summer and winter solstices. Sadly, most of these have now become things of the past with the mushrooming of buildings in the vicinity – buildings which pose a great threat to their very existence.
The pointed menhir can be seen here positioned in alignment to the phallus in the middle, and to the hill on the horizon
Rola has the potential to change the course of India’s ancient history as it clearly revealed that observational astronomy and mathematics was known to the tribals (who built the megaliths) thousands of years prior to the Brahmin mathematicians and astronomers.
The pointed menhir is made to point towards the Kanhari Hill on the horizon
This is one of the saddest events of archaeology, not only for India but for the world at large
Rola was discovered by the author around 2002 and it still is one of his study sites. He has been successful in bringing the following governmental authorities to the megaliths in the hope of having the primitive site preserved under governmental protection.
Here I am explaining the orientations of the stones in Rola to Mr V. S. Dubey, the Principal Adviser, Governor of Jharkhand State. Mr.Pandey, the Commissioner of North Chotanagpur Div (in checked shirt) and Mr. Chaubey, the Dy. Commisioner of Hazaribagh district (in blue shirt) look on.
a) Mr. Vinay Chaubey, the Deputy Commissioner of Hazaribagh in 2010
b) Mr. Pandey, The Commissioner, North Chotanagpur Division in 2010.
c) Mr. V. S. Dubey, Chief Secretary of Governor Jharkhand State in 2010.
d) Mr. Chauhan. Superintending Archaeologist Archaeological Survey of India, Ranchi Circle.
e) Mr T. J. Vaidya, Superintending Archaeologist Survey of India. Ranchi Circle.
f) Mr. Harendra Sinha, Dy Director Jharkhand State Archaeological Dept. Ranchi.
g) Mr. A .K. Sharma, ex-Director State Archaeological Dept, Chattisgarh. Raipur.
h) Numerous other officials of the state, archaeological depts.
The site has also been visited by students of numerous schools, universities, and by scholars and tourists both from this country and abroad. Almost all have expressed surprise in witnessing such stunning, primitive sciences at work in such a tiny and insignificant megalith, something which many had not known or seen earlier. Governmental officials had promised protection of the site, but despite their promises the government, as expected, did nothing, nothing at all for the protection of the site. The government ought to have acquired the land around the megalith and should have granted protection to the site but, due to their inactivity, the land around the site was sold and the situation is now out of their hands.
Heritages in India are lost nearly every day due to the negligence of the government. As for megaliths, they have the least regard for them – perhaps because of their tribal origin. If megaliths are protected and are studied in perspective then a new, unknown history of India is bound to surface.
Subhashis Das.

In subsequent features on the Megaliths of India by Subhashis Das we hope to look more closely at the archaeology, history and spread of these astonishing structures, the people who made them, and what might be done to protect the structures from further development and destruction.