Two Hero Stones. ‘Veera Cull. Sculptured stones at [ ] near Baswapatam July 30th 1800
Wash drawing of two memorial stones in Karnataka, from an album of 56 sheets of drawings (60 folios) mainly of miscellaneous architecture and sculpture in the Deccan and S. India, dated 1793-1806. Some drawings are by MacKenzie himself, others by his draftsmen, including C. Ignatio.
India has a very ancient tradition of erection of memorial stones. These have various local names, viragals, hero-stones, being one of them. The establishment of memorial stones normally followed the death of a hero in a battle and was related to political, social, economic and religious casues. Hero-stones consist of stone upright slabs with carved panels and inscriptions. Two panels generally depict the hero in combat with the enemy, a panel depicts the wounded hero attended by his wife and the top panel represents the hero worshipping the Shiva-lingam.