Enclosed by the northern fringe of the majestic Vindhyans, Bhimbetka in Bhopal is characterized by rock-strewn topography with thick woods and wrinkled precipices. The biggest depository of antediluvian knacks in India, Bhimbetka is a retreat of serenity and harmony for the picnickers. One of the most primitive dwellings of human race, Bhimbetka boasts of a history of 35000 years old.
In fact, the place has witnessed a cultural sequence right from the late stone age to the early historic period. The flamboyant paintings that depict the living styles of primeval mankind are definitely a treasure house of information and a precious narrative in the history of man. As the name itself suggests, this historic place is closely related to the legendary figure Bhim, the second in the Pandavas. The popular belief is that, it was here that Bhim took a brief rest during his exile. The word Bimbetka literally means Bim’s lounge.
A marvel in the archaeological perspective, Bimbetka is adorned with the accolade of being the richest depository of prehistoric paintings, in South Asia. It is the twenty second place in India, which is declared as a World heritage site by UNESCO.The Rock shelters at Bhimbetka exhibit the earliest traces of human life in India. Archeologists are of the opinion that these caves might have been occupied over 10,000 years ago.
These paintings portray the transition of primitive man to a cultured human being. These paintings, which unearths the expectations and qualms of the inhabitants of the caves enthralls every visitor with its liveliness. It is quite amazing to note that the artists had shown great skill in portraying the sequence of events in his artwork. A wide spectrum of activities is being illustrated on the walls, which ranges from frescos of animals to the portraits of woman.
Bordered by impenetrable forests and wobbly crags, the site also offers spectacular sceneries and poses a treasure trove for bird lovers. The magnificient paintings in the rock shelters are the gateway to the primordial colonnade of Bhimbetka. If truth were told, each stone and every pendant rock in Bhimbetka would verbalize the miraculous history of human civilization. This unique archaeological location is a recommended spot for those who are really interested to acquaint with the primordial society.
A rare facility to go back to the roots of mankind makes touring in Bimbetka an unusual experience. Bimbekta paintings are not only finest artistic works but also it gives valuable tips about the earliest inhabitants.
The name Bhimbetka caves is on the name of Bhima, the hero of great Hindu epic called Mahabharata. The name Bhim-bet-ka means Bhim sat down. These caves were found by the famous Indian archaeologist, Dr. V.S. Wakankar of the Vikram University, Ujjain, in the year 1958. It took more the 17 years to fully excavate these caves.
Bhimbetka is a huge archaeological treasure, that boosts of ancient paintings. More than 600 rock shelters, belonging to the Neolithic age were recently discovered in the rocky terrain of the Vindhyan range. The paintings of the caves shows that the same canvas were used by the different people at different times. And on that basis these paintings can be classified into seven major periods. Period I Upper Paleolithic, Period II Mesolithic, Period III Chaleolithic, Period IV and V Early historic, Period VI and VII Medieval. The caves are mainly executed in red and white with the little bite use of green and yellow. The themes used in these caves include the scenes from the everyday life, depicting household scenes, lingering, dancing, animal fighting, elephant riders, honey collections, body tattooing, music. In some of the caves you may also find images of some of the animals such as bison’s, tigers, wild boar, lions, crocodiles, lizards, dogs and antelope. According to the sources and as the paintings portray, these caves must have been used as shelter by the larger number of people in the pre historic times (300 BC). The oldest painting inside the Bhimbetka cave is more than 12,000 years old.
The Bhimbetaka Rock Shelters
The Bhimbetaka Rock Shelters are a credible source of information about the pre-historic life of Indian civilization. These paintings boasts of the communal life of the people lived in that era. These rock shelters are amongst the prestigious world heritage site lists of the UNESCO.
Formerly found its talk about as the Buddhist centers, this rock shelters are recognized as the dwellings of the pre-historic man during the year 1957. The entire area is covered by extensive vegetation, has abundant natural resources, natural shelters, with perennial water supplies.
Bimbetka Rock shelters are classified as Lakha Juar group and Bhimbetka group, which depict an incessant progression of Stone Age cultures. These shelters are acclaimed as the oldest stone floors and wall in the entire world itself. The outstanding feature of this rock shelters are its downy nature with implausible contour, stunning tinges and feels.
The rock shelters and caves of Bhimbetka have a number of interesting paintings which depict the lives and times of the people who lived in the caves, including scenes of childbirth, communal dancing and drinking, religious rites and burials, as well as the natural environment around them. Besides the hub of aboriginal information, these stunning rock formations are excellent study materials for a geologist.
Bhimbetka Caves One among the most desired tourist destinations, Bhimbetka Caves, in the state of Madhya Pradesh are bounded by the Vindhya mountain ranges. These caves were the dwellings of the aborigines of pre-historic times, which encompass marvelous paintings from Paleolithic to Medieval era. These paintings act as a glittering edifice that showcases the progression of human race in the course of time.
These caves, which range up to a maximum of 600 caves, are famed for the exquisite cave paintings. Out of the 600 caves, only 12 are accessible to the public, which presents some of the oldest paintings in the world. The paintings presents a close proximity towards the indigenous rock paintings of Australia, cave paintings of Lascaux in France, Bushmen cave paintings of the Kalahari Desert.
Concealed in the midst of teak and sal forests in the weathered crags, these caves were discovered by, Mr V S Wakankar in 1957 and they have gained much accolades with in this short span of time. The sand stonewalls of Bhimbetka caves are ornamented with primeval native paintings and symbols that portray the daily life and ethnicity of the Stone Age people.
All the paintings and ciphers are classified into seven categories and the paintings exhibits a skillful presentation of events in the day-to-day life of the people lived in the caverns. The modish of the paintings of different periods is so diverse that one can easily distinguish between them. Huge linear figures of animals like bears, tigers and rhinoceroses belonged to the Paleolithic age. By the passing of time, the paintings befell smaller, and the artistic quality has shown little more creative. This fabulous portrayal of events boasts of paintings that date back to 12000 years old. Natural red and white pigments used in the frescos managed to keep its vibrancy in its original charm.
The stockades of these caverns are the silent testimonials of the history of our ancestors who once toddled on this land. Bhimbetka caves are a perfect day-long jaunt, which allures the onlooker with its mesmerizing frescos.
A 20km drive from Bhimbetka takes a visitor to Bhojpur,the home to the great shaivite Bhojpureshwar temple constructed by the legendary Raja Bhoj.
Also Hoshangabad about 40 km away from Bhimbetka a city based on the banks of river Narmada is worth visiting.The city is famous for the Sethani Ghat along the banks of River Narmada and the Hoshangabad Fort.
To Reach Bhimbetika
Bhopal Airport, also known as Raja Bhoj Airport, is the nearest airport, which is 45 km away from Bhimbetka. Taxi Cab will charge about Rs 600, one way. Bhopal airport is connected to Mumbai, Indore, Gwalior and Delhi. International flights to Gulf cities like Sharjah and Dubai are operated from Bhopal.
Bhopal Railway Station is the nearest railhead to Bhimbetka. It has connection trains to all major cities in India. Daily Shatabdi expresses shuttle between Bhopal and Delhi.
Madhya Pradesh road transport services are available in Bhimbetka connecting to near by cities. From Bhopal to Bhimbetka it costs about Rs 40. Luxury buses are available overnight from Delhi to Bhopal. Distance between Bhimbetka and Delhi is about 790 km.
Longitude 77036’41” E
Latitude 22° 56’05″N
Area 12172 ha
Submit your review