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Exploring Geoglyphs


A geoglyph in the form of a circle said to be 3,000 years old has been recently unearthed on the outskirts of Mudichu Thalapalli in the Medchal-Malkajgiri district of Telangana.


GS I: History

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Exploring Geoglyphs
  2. Telangana Geoglyph
  3. Nazca Lines

Exploring Geoglyphs

  • A geoglyph is a large design or motif, typically longer than 4 meters, created on the ground using durable elements of the landscape, such as stones, gravel, or earth.
  • Formed by arranging or moving objects within the landscape.
Types of Geoglyphs:
  • Positive Geoglyph:
    • Formed by arranging and aligning materials on the ground.
    • Similar to petroforms, which are outlines created using boulders.
  • Negative Geoglyph:
    • Formed by removing part of the natural ground surface, creating differently colored or textured ground.
    • Similar to petroglyphs.
  • Arbour Glyph:
    • Involves seeding plants in a special design.
    • Takes years to form as it depends on plant growth.
  • Chalk Giants:
    • Carved into hillsides, exposing the bedrock beneath.
Geoglyphs in History:
  • Nazca Lines (Peru): Ancient and mysterious geoglyphs.
  • Other Examples: Megaliths in the Urals, Uffington White Horse, Long Man of Wilmington.

Telangana Geoglyph:


  • Etched on a low-lying granitoid hillock.
  • Spans 5 meters in diameter with a perfect circular shape.
  • 30-centimeter-wide rim surrounds the circle, and two triangles are within.
  • Dated to the Iron Age (around 1000 BCE).
  • Suggested to have served as a model for megalithic communities in planning circular burial sites.

Nazca Lines

  • Location: Group of massive geoglyphs in southern Peru’s Nazca Desert.
  • Timeline: Estimated to have been designed between 500 BCE and 500 CE.
  • Some lines are straight, while others depict intricate designs of animals and plants.
  • Combined length of all lines exceeds 808 miles, covering an area of around 19 square miles.
  • Individual design width ranges from 0.2 to 0.7 miles.
  • Created by removing the top layer of soil, with a depth between four and six inches.
  • Certain shapes are visible from heights of up to 1,500 feet.
  • The dry and windless climate of the region has contributed to the preservation of the lines over the years.

-Source: The Hindu

December 2023