A group of amateur historians has unearthed a small cluster of hero stones in the village of Kalvarala in Wanaparthy district. While memorial stones with men are common, the three sculptures show the men with a drawn sword and the women holding handcrafted fan in the right hand.
“We have dated these sculptures to the 14-15th century based on the hairstyle, dress, jewellery and appearance. The sculpture of women with bangles is to indicate that they died as wife and not as widow,” said S. Haragopal who led the team of historians based on local information.
Hero stones are commonly found in many parts of Telangana but have not been documented, and there has been no attempt at preserving them. These hero stones throw light on social practices as well as social conditions. “These men were warriors and guards. They would protect women, children, and cows and go to war to fight for their village,” says Mr. Haragopal.
Some of them have disappeared as the land under farming in the State has increased over the past few years. Only sculptures that are part of temple complexes have survived.