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Man converts garden into 'archaeological site' to draw attention towards ancient remains in Madurai

'Gemini' K Ramesh had seen the potsherds among the outgrowth of thickets on a parcel of government land 500 metres from his home.

Published: 06th November 2019 11:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th November 2019 11:35 AM   |  A+A-

'Gemini' K Ramesh converted the courtyard of his 10-cent land into a garden with borders made of carefully arranged potsherds.

'Gemini' K Ramesh converted the courtyard of his 10-cent land into a garden with borders made of carefully arranged potsherds. (Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

SIVAGANGA: Several months ago a 50-year-old man from Elanthaikarai visited the Keezhadi archaeological site, which by that time was drawing visitors in thousands from across the State. Even as he, an ardent archaeology enthusiast, marvelled at the remains of that bygone civilization, his eyes kept darting back to the potsherds littering the area. Had he not seen them before? He had. Not in Keezhadi but among the outgrowth of thickets on a parcel of government land 500 metres from his home.

Home after the visit, 'Gemini' K Ramesh's mind was not at peace. He first heard about the place two years ago when a number of locals stumbled upon what appeared to be terracotta potsherds; several burial urns followed. He was alarmed when he heard that treasure hunters were digging up the site, and somehow convinced the locals that the site should not be disturbed. However, Ramesh felt that it was high time he put in extra efforts to bring the attention of the government to the matter.

Tholpulam.

In a three-pronged move, he first sent several artefacts to local museums in the district and had them examined by curators who concurred with his belief that they are of ancient origin. "I wrote to the State Archeology Department next. The site is located on government land, making it much easier for the government, if it so wishes, to carry out an excavation," he said, adding that he has not received any response from the archaeology department yet.

Doing his bit

What with the department giving a wide berth to a request from a common man, Ramesh thought he needed to spread awareness about the 'site'; at least among his own townsfolk. The idea he came up with several months ago is unique. He converted the courtyard of his 10-cent land into a garden with borders made of carefully arranged potsherds. He brought home many old CDs from his internet cafe and decorated the fence around the garden, tentatively named 'Tholpulam'.

Now, passersby get a glimpse of history that his little 'Tholpulam' captures; Ramesh is always ready to explain to curious passersby about the terracotta potsherds and their possible origin. "The garden is two months old now," he said. Ramesh appealed to the government to protect the site before it is disturbed by anti-social elements.



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