There are a number of places in and around Islamabad and Kallar Syedan where one finds natural symbols on rocks and stones made by nature. These natural contours resemble with human footprints. Not humans but nature has made these footprints. However, these were the objects of worship among the ancient people. Such nature?s sculptures are located in Margalla Hills of Islamabad, Gumbat near Luni and Arzai Sahal in Kallar Syedan.
There are two natural footprints located on Gumbat ridge near Luni in Kallar Syedan. There are many other signs, notably triangles and square, which exist near the footprints. These geometric designs were created by ancient people to magnify the natural symbols.The existence of triangles and squares rectangles and mandalas (circles) near the natural footprints are testimony to the fact that these played a significant role in the ancient cosmology and were the sacred symbols venerated by ancient people.
Ancient people used the water which accumulated after rain into the niches of natural contours resembling human footprint for rituals. One finds into niches traces of colour which they might have added to water to either sprinkle over or paint their bodies with colours. This might have been done to ward off the evil spirits.
There are two natural footprints and numerous niches into rocks at Gumbat near Luni in Kallar Syedan. Besides, natural footprints there are geometric designs made by ancient people to magnify the natural symbols.
Simultaneously, they reflected their belief system as well. The existence of numerous niches close to the natural symbols indicates that these were also used by ancient people for ritual purposes.
Gumbat might have been Buddhist site because the word indicates a domed structure possibly of Buddhist period. This Gumbat might have been either monastery or stupa. Buddhist site with same name can also be found in Swat. One finds a large number of painted potteries, cooking pots and other artefacts on a ridge, called by local people a Gumbat. This ridge runs north-south and rises 300 feet above the ground overlooking agricultural fields. One finds the remains of foundation walls around the top of the Gumbat. The remains of the walls are still exposed.This ancient settlement was fortified. To the northern side of the ridge are painted rock shelter and natural symbols which were worshipped by ancient people while to the southern side of the ridge are the remains of the ancient fortification walls. Rock shelter hosts both natural or human paints and some natural symbols. One also finds a modern Eidgah on the top of the southern ridge. Unfortunately, most of the areas on the southern ridge where fortification walls are located have been brought under cultivations.To northern side apart from Gumbat, one finds natural symbols resembling footprints northeast of Arzi Sahal in Kallar Syedan. There are ancient graves located at this site.There is a stone slab depicting similar motif of natural footprint, lying close to another slab which is decorated with the cross motif which are created by humans possibly for strengthening the one carrying the natural symbol of natural footprint. These slabs were possibly objects of worship among ancient people. Interestingly, one finds remains of ancient fortified walls similar to Gumbat. The remains of the fortified walls are located southwest of the ancient cemetery.
Similar natural foot print can also be found near Loi Dandi, a sacred space having been used by prehistoric people to different ascetics belonging to different faiths.
The writer is Staff Anthropologist at PIDE and PhD Scholar at Taxila Institute of Asian Civilization, Quaid-iAzam University, Islamabad. He may be contacted at or email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org,