In Pictures: Bhimbetka

In Pictures: Bhimbetka
The cultural traditions of the inhabitants of the twenty-one villages adjacent to the site bear a strong resemblance to those represented in the rock paintings, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Bhimbetka Rock Shelters are known to be one of the oldest archaeological sites in the world

Trinetra Paul
September 03 , 2020
02 Min Read

You can clearly see the passage of history and time in the caves and natural shelters in Bhimbetka. Located in the Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh, there are about 750 rock shelters spanning an area of 10 kms. 

Situated at the foothills of the Vindhya range in central India, the rock caves are believed to be the oldest petroglyphs in the world, dating back to the Paleolithic and Mesolithic periods when humans had a hunter-gatherer life. The rock art and relicts depict these traditions, some of which are still practiced by the local adivasi people of the region.This UNESCO World Heritage Site was accidentally discovered by archaeologist Dr. Vishnu Wakankar in 1957.

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Bhimbetka roughly translates into ‘Bhim’s Resting Place’ or ‘Bhim’s Lounge’. The name comes from the mythological character of Bhim from the Mahabharat. Local lore says that he rested here after being exiled along with his other Pandava brothers. 

The place feels like you are in one of the world's oldest and most beautiful art galleries. The paintings offer a window into the minds of our forebears, and reiterate a critical role that art has played in our evolution. 

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The caves make up an interesting pattern as they intertwine and form a full network amidst nature

Most of the paintings are done in red and white on the cave walls

The paintings have been divided into various periods like Upper Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Chalcolithic, Early History and Medieval history. They are present in 500 caves out of the total of 750.

A number of cave paintings show inscriptions of horses, buffaloes and other animals which might be domesticated or used for hunting

Just a few kilometres from Bhopal, Bhimbetka is a feast for the eyes


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