A Hero Stone. ‘Veracull of Sassanum. Ancient Sculpture and Inscription at Sravangoody near Madagasee October 1801.’
Medium: Watercolour with pen and ink
Pen-and-ink and watercolour drawing dated October 1801, of a memorial stone from Sravanagudi in the Tumkur District of 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 from the MacKenzie Collection. 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 and generally depict the hero in combat with the enemy.