Ratnagiri Prehistoric Geoglyphs

Experts and environmentalists have expressed concern about the proposed location of a mega oil refinery in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district’s Barsu village.


  • Geoglyphs are a form of prehistoric rock art, created on the surface of laterite plateaus.
  • They are made by removing a part of the rock surface through an incision, picking, carving or abrading.
  • They can be in the form of rock paintings, etchings, cup marks and ring marks.

Ratnagiri’s geoglyphs

  • Geoglyph clusters cover approximately 900 kilometers of the Konkan coastline in Maharashtra and Goa.
  • Porous laterite rock, which lends itself to such carving, can be found in abundance throughout the region.
  • The Ratnagiri district has over 1,500 pieces of this art, also known as “Katal Shilpa,” spread across 70 sites.
  • Humans and animals such as deer, elephants, tigers, monkeys, wild boars, rhinoceros, hippopotami, cattle, pigs, rabbits, and monkeys are depicted in the geoglyphs.
  • They also include a large number of reptilian and amphibian creatures like tortoises and alligators, as well as aquatic animals like sharks and sting rays and birds like peacocks.

Why are they significant?

  • Ratnagiri’s prehistoric sites are one of three Indian attractions that could soon become World Heritage Sites. Jingkieng Jri, a living root bridge in Meghalaya, and Sri Veerabhadra Temple in Andhra Pradesh’s Lepakshi are the other two.
  • The geoglyph clusters are also examples of advanced artistic skills, demonstrating the evolution of etching and scooping techniques in rock art.
And get notified everytime we publish a new blog post.