Kazan Cathedral, Saint Petersburg

Friday, 14 August 2015

Rock Shelters, Bhimbetka

Google Maps: Bhimbetka rock shelters, Madhya Pradesh, India
Trip: Bhopal > Sanchi > Bhimbetka > Bhopal

  • Nestled in the deep forests, this place is a true jewel. Plan at least a half day excursion through the whole area. It takes time to cover and more time to appreciate.
  • The road is not in a good condition and there are not many road-side restaurants. Visit  after the monsoons if you like greenary. The month of August is ideal.
  • Read about the place before you go. You will appreciate the rich heritage more. It is one of the 32 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India for a reason.

We reached Bhimbetka at noon from Sanchi. A slight detour on way to Hoshangabad from Bhopal and nestled in the Vindhyas is this ancient home to humankind that most of us are unaware. I guess most of those including me realized the special position this place holds in world history is when it was a declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Domestication of animals, Bhimbetka

The entrance to Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka is through thick forest. The first two caves are massive but less important. Once we moved inside, we found series of caves where early humans dwelled and left markings which have made Bhimbetka so famous. Cave walls have been drawn with simple sketches, some of them hundreds of thousands years old, that depict hunting or riding animals.

Well preserved sketches, Bhimbetka

The most famous is the simplest - a band of men in arms celebrating that is supposed to be among the first evidence of herd behaviour among humans. The preservation is natural as the caves have saved these paintings from rain and sun. We were mesmerised, having seen some of these sketches in our history textbooks.

Band of men, Bhimbetka

It takes an hour to complete a guided tour of this place. Guides are a must not just for information but also to keep a track of route and covering  the whole area. There is a viewpoint also from where a tortoise shaped rock is visible in the background of lush green mountains.

Rock tortoise, Bhimbetka

We wanted to cover Bhojpur same day and hence decided to move. Back at the entrance we took some more pictures and then settled into the car that we had rented from our staying Hotel Jehan Numa Palace.