There are two ways to get to the rock art of Sado Mazo in Nain Nali. Either one can go from Odrilaki via Pahilaki (pass) to reach the site or from Bodho village. The former route is enchanting and one encounters many caves on the way to the rock art site. The first cave is located some three kilomtres from Wahi Pandi. This cave is just above the Gaji Kumb. (A kumb is a natural pond in the bed of the perennial river.) One finds some graffiti here. After Gaji Kumb, there are two routes, one that goes to Bodho village and the other to Pahilak. Just short of Pahilak there are two caves. When one climbs up to Pahilak, one gets a panoramic view of the Nain Nali. As one descends one notices a large Pahi Kumb with a cave overlooking it. Locally, these caves are called Jhudo. This camel path goes up to Chakar Gat where there are ruins of a fortification wall from the medieval period and a few Muslim graves. From this place, the rock art site of Sado Mazo is hardly 300 metres. As one descends from Chakar Gat to Sado, one notices a cliff running from north to south. On this cliff one finds rock carvings and inscriptions. The cliff or rock wall is 6 feet from the ground and the highest image of the bull is about 15 feet from the ground. The length of this rock wall, locally called 'ban', is 20 feet. The lower part of the ban or mountain wall collapsed in the 2001 earthquake while the upper part is in good condition. This sandstone rock wall contains extraordinary petroglyphs and inscription.
The most impressive images are of the bulls. There are at least 11 magnificent petroglyphs of humped bulls or zebus. On the northern panel are images of two bulls, one large and one small. The large bull has straight horns, joined legs and a hump and is standing in a looking-down position. Before it is the figure of another small bull with hump and short straight horns. However, this bull has separated legs. It is possible this was engraved later. There are hundreds of bull images on the Indus seals and terracotta figurines which have separate legs. According to Kenoyer some bull figurines from the Ravi-Hakra phase (3700-3200 B.C) have joined legs. Bull figurines with legs joined are found in Chaunho Jo Daro and Harappa. Kenoyer believes that bull figurines of the early Indus or Kot Dijian period have joined legs. I believe these bulls of Sado Mazo predate the Ravi-Hakra phase and belong to the Neolithic period (6500-4500 BC). At some rock art sites in Nali and Gaj valleys joined-leg bulls do not have the belts which I think are much older than the ones with belts. They may belong to the Mesolithic period. I have documented more than 400 magnificent bull carvings in Nain Nali of which only 11 are with legs separated. This indicates the earliest bull carvings were those with joined legs, and bulls with separated legs were possibly done in a later period.
The discovery of petroglyphs n Sindh is mark a watershed for the history of the land. There are many rock art sites in the Kirthar mountains and its subsidiary ranges, including caves and rock shelters. But the rock art site of Sado Mazo is different from other rock art sites in different nains of Kirthar and its subsidiary ranges in that the Sado Mazo petroglyphs belong to far more ancient religions of Sindh.
The images of the humped bulls provide a link to an ancient religion in which this animal was perhaps widely worshiped as it played an important role in the economy (like it did in the Indus Valley). The images of the bull on Indus seals and pottery are also numerous. But their style is different from these ones found at Sado Mazo. The Indus bulls have separated legs whereas the Sado Mazo bulls have joined legs. I believe that the joined-leg bulls predate the bulls with separated legs.
The writer is Research Anthropologist at PIDE, Islamabad. He may be contacted at:email@example.com