COIMBATORE: Villagers of Kumittipathi, near Madukkarai, urged the district administration to restore ancient cave paintings at Pathimalai as visitors and tourists have reportedly vandalised a few of them beyond recognition.
The paintings that depict temple cars, elephants, and human movement during the early historic period, that withstood the force of nature for some 2,000 years, have been scribbled upon by a few while others have used the place to drink alcohol as proven by the presence of empty bottles in the vicinity.
The villagers also demanded that Pathimalai be promoted into a tourism spot that would improve the livelihood of locals.
K Marimuthu (78) from Kumittipathi, said, "The ancient rock paintings are priceless and we should preserve them for our future generation to see and cherish. However, a few have scribbled on the paintings. The place has also been used to consume alcohol."
S Guna Sekaran, also from the same village, opined Pathimalai could be made into a major tourist attraction as it is situated on the city outskirts. He added that people residing nearby could generate income by setting up shops.
Sources claimed that the officials from the Department of Archaeology in Coimbatore had recently submitted a report on the present condition of Pathimalai cave paintings with the State Archaeology Department. The report also suggested that the place could be made into a memorial to increase tourism activity.