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Bhimbetka Caves- The pre-historic entity of ancient India

paintings on Rock cut caves of Bhimbetka made by man

Bhopal, June 03 (UITV): Madhya Pradesh has a abundant history which dates back to the pre-historic era. In the bosom of profuse green forest covers, at the southern edge of the Vindhya Hills, there lies a shield adjacent to 500 pre-historic rock caves called the Bhimbetka Rock Shelter. Discovered in 1957, these paintings were predominantly designed by ancient man, as a way to transfer messages with each other and have offered kind of documentation of their lives for generations to come.

The name ‘Bhimbetka’ is obtained from the historic tale of Mahabharata. Legends have it that Bhim, one of the Pandavas sat (‘baitha’ in Hindi) in this place during their exile, and thus, the place got its name ‘Bhimbetka’, the sitting place of Bhim.



An excavation by Dr. Vishnu Wakankar in 1957-58 introduced him to this historic masterpiece. In an incidental trip to the sanctuary of Ratapani, he came across these caves, and hence, Bhimbetka was discovered. Dr. Wakankar contrasted these caves to those he saw in Spain and France.

These caves are an indispensable chronicle of history. Made in several periods of history, some paintings are around 30,000 years old. The paintings are an insight into the first traces of pre-historic mankind like lifestyle, festivals, hunting and agriculture. Out of the many, however only 12 caves are open for public viewing, and have been a subject matter of interest for various archaeologists since its discovery.



Proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2003, it is home to more than 500 caves and rock shelters, all of them decorated with paintings.

The use of natural colors has safeguarded that the paintings have encountered better over time.

Once in Bhimbetka, the affluent grass-covered and picturesque belle around the area will leave you enthralled.

Hoshangabad

This is a renowned town near Bhimbetka.  Popular attractions in Hoshangabad include the Salkanpur temple Bijasan Mata which is at a distance of 35 km from the city. It is a sacred shrine with more than 1000 steps. Another site remarkable to visit is The Hoshang Shah Fort. It is an ancient fort, built by the Malwa ruler Hoshang Shah, near to the river Narmada.

Bhojpur

The temple of Bhojpur is an early Hindu temple in the village of Bhojpur, near Bhimbetka. The temple is devoted to Lord Shiva and houses a 7.5 feet high lingam in its sanctorum. It is held that the construction of the temple started in the 11th century during the reign of King Bhoja, but the composition and its construction was forsaken for reasons still undisclosed.