Dolmen Circles & Honnammana Kere

When I was researching about the attractions around Somwarpet, I chanced upon an article on Dolmen circles. This was something I had never heard of before and it almost immediately got me exited. The place therefore made its entry into my trip plan. 

Dolmen circles and Honnamankere are located at a distance of 6kms from Somwarpet. Just as you reach Honnammana Kere, before taking the slope down, you will find a road on your left. If you are using google maps, then look for Dolmen circle road. However, for us, finding this place turned out to be an adventure. 

We followed this road hoping to find the Dolmen circles. As we struggled to locate the place, we stopped to check with a lady walking by. She did not understand what I was talking about. I mentioned to her about the rocks and she understood bricks and we were asked to head back. I drove back and just as we approached a left turn, the lady who was now in an Auto rickshaw, pointed towards an alley. The auto rickshaw driver also pointed in the same direction.

I parked my car and took the alley only to find a brick factory at the end of it. Understanding that she had misunderstood my description, we drove further on the same road. At one point,  what seemed like a jungle, the google maps instructed us to turn left on an unpaved road. As the road was narrow and deserted, I wondered if we were on the right track. 

At this junction, is a small mangalore-tiled house. On that day, there was a wedding celebration in progress at this house. I tried to enquire with people gathered there. They asked me to head back to the lake and check there. I headed back to the lake. I wasn't going to give up so easily. So I asked a few others by the lake. This time, I showed them some images of Dolmen circles on Google search. They immediately recognised it and guided us back to the same junction. More people had gathered around the house now. On showing the picture, it was confirmed that these structures were on top of a small hill located down the mud road that google maps was referring to as Dolmen cir road

I drove about a kilometre or so and then had to park the car as the road conditions were bad. You could drive upto a small pond. As it was getting dark, only Varun, Deeku and I decided to explore the hill while Preethi and Akki stayed near the pond. 

There is a huge rock next to the pond. As we climbed up the side of the rock, we got to a fenced area. We were disappointed to have reached, what we thought, was a private property.  But just before heading back, through the bushes, we caught a glimpse of the Dolmen circles. The fence was easily crossed and we reached a flat summit. The summit was filled with Dolmen circles.

Dolmen circles of Neolithic period or New Stone Age dates back to 4000 to 3000 BC. There are about 64 tombs here and is one of the three such places in India. One does not know for sure if they are shelters, shrines or something else. 

This discovery of a sorts got me excited. My nephew, niece and I stayed there for a while watching the sky turn orange and then, slowly grey. After which, we headed back to the pond and drove to Honnammana kere. The Honnamma temple was gracefully lit with some incandescent light bulbs and oil lamps. It was a picturesque sight. 

The setting at the lake was idylic. It indeed was a perfect way to end this eventful day.  There are two hills beside the lake - Gavi Betta and Pandavara Betta. A flight of stairs lead up to the summit of the two hills. As it was dark, we decided not to explore the hill and instead sat by the lake.  

We returned to Somwarpet and had dinner at Ganesh Darshan; one of the few Vegetarian restaurants in the town of Somwarpet. After dinner, we walked to Someshwara Temple, located in town. There is also a Vidya Ganapathi temple opposite Hotel Ganesh Darshan that is worth a quick stop.


  1. In Russia, in the Caucasus there are a lot of dolmens. Many people worship them as shrines, but do not at all understand who built them for what. They know neither life nor death.


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