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Vikramkhol also spelled Bikramkhol (Odia: ବିକ୍ରମଖୋଲ) is a prehistoric archaeological site located near Jharsuguda, Odisha state, India and lies in Reserved Forest of Belpahar range, at a distance of 12 km from Belpahar. The place is known for prehistoric rock art and rock inscriptions dated around 3000 BCE.


The Vikramkhol rock shelter, where the inscriptions found, is dated between 3000 BCE to 4000 BCE. Details about the caves were first published in Indian Antiquary in 1935 by the efforts of historian K.P.Jayaswal.[1] The inscriptions were studied in 1955. The size of the inscriptions is 37 meters in lengths, 5.65 meters in breadth and 8 meters in height.[2] The inscriptions are yet to be studied in detail and some historians link this script to Mohenjedaro script.[3] It is observed that some of inscriptions are painted and then cut in the rock.[4] A replica of the inscription is exhibited in State Museum which helped Odia language to get Classical Status.[5]


Some historians have felt that, due to negligence and apathy by Government agencies, the inscriptions are fading out and damaged by vandals. Activities of coal mines in surrounding hills, industries like sponge iron are putting environmental pressure on this prehistoric archeological site.[1] The rock shelter, where the inscriptions are found, is not fully protected and kept open to atmosphere,[6] giving scope for vandals and visitors to deface the inscriptions.[7] As it is located inside Reserve Forest of Belpahar range, the remote access to the place has also contributed to neglect by Government Agencies.<telegraph2/>


  1. ^ a b Mohanty, Subrat (28 December 2011). "Ancient rock art starts to fade out - Engravings in Vikramkhol cave under threat". The Telegraph. Kolkotta. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  2. ^ "Vikramkhol". Puratatva Indian Archeological Society (26): 35. 1996. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  3. ^ Danino, Michel (2010). The Lost River: On The Trail of Saraswati. London: Penguin. ISBN 978-9351187745. Retrieved 4 November 2014. (Subscription required (help)).
  4. ^ "Vikramkhol (Bikramkhol)". Archived from the original on July 20, 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  5. ^ Panda, Namita; MohantyY, Subrat (4 September 2015). "Scripts fade into oblivion - Vikramkhol inscriptions cited to claim classical tag for Odia". The Telegraph. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  6. ^ "Rock Art Shelter of Vikramkhol - Vikramkhol - Jharsuguda". Indira Gandhi National Center for Archeology. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  7. ^ "Inscriptions on the Vikramkhol rock shelter in Jharsuguda". The Telegraph. 29 December 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2014.