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17 December 2014
Dolmens under threat in India

Thrissur is currently the third largest populated city in Kerala (India) and is known as the Cultural Capital of the region. Megalithic dolmens were quite prevalent in the area, dating from between 1,000 BCE and 500 CE. These ranged in size and type from menhirs to Mushroom stones and Umbrella stones. Despite being declared as protected monuments they have been under severe threat due to quarrying permits being granted in the forested areas where they are found. These Forest 'pattayam' (title deeds) are increasingly being used to allow widespread indiscriminate quarrying and these activities have resulted in only one of the eleven dolmens in the area remaining intact. A group called the Muniyattukunnu Protection Forum are lobbying the Kerala authorities to put a stop to what it is referring to as violations of the protected monument status of the area.

Edited from The Hindu (10 December 2014)

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