Bhimbetka Rock Shelters for Surreal Prehistoric Art


Bhimbetka rock shelters of Madhya Pradesh form a significant archeological site and is World Heritage Site. They are located around 45 kilometers away from Bhopal in the southern part of the Vindhyachal Hills on the Bhopal-Nagpur highway.

bhimbetka rock shelters
Image source – Wikipedia/Bhimbetka Rock Shelter Bhimbetka

They represent a group of seven small hills with 754 rock shelters with cave paintings. Bhimbetka shelters portray the most ancient evidences of life in India. According to some studies, it is assumed that some of the shelters were occupied by humans before 1000 centuries. The stone-age rock paintings are around 3000 decades old at Bhimbetka Rock Shelters. The rocks are so smooth that it is assumed that they must be under water once upon a time.

bhimbetka rock shelters
Image source – Wikipedia/Cave auditorium of the early humans

Rock Art and Paintings

If you wish to take a tour of the bygone era that , visit Bhimbetka Rock shelters. There are enchanting rock paintings that dates back to the Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic periods. Nuances of human life millions of years ago are represented by these paintings. Activities like hunting, communal dancing, childbirth, religious ceremonies, burials, animal fighting and pictures of household chores are painted over here.
The paintings are primarily in red and white with few strokes of green and yellow. Bisons, tigers, lions, elephants, dogs, lizards, crocodiles, antelopes and wild boars are the animals that can be seen in the pictures. Man in those days was involved in horse and elephant riding as well as honey collection and all this is very much clear from the beautiful paintings that would leave you with goosebumps. Exploring the 500+ rock caves and the paintings at Bhimbetka is surely an offbeat activity that would surely fill you with bliss.

bhimbetka rock shelters
Image source – Flickr/anupammukherjee
These caves can be visited throughout the year, except April to July

Timings: 6:30 AM to 5:30 PM everyday
Entry Fees per person: Indians – Rs. 10/- and Rs. 100/- per mini bus
Foreigners – Rs. 400/- per mini bus

Stay and Food

MPTDC has acomfortable guest house very close to Bhimbetka site. Make sure you get your booking done well in advance. Bhopal offers many stay options with resorts, guest houses and hotels in all bugdets. Whenever you happen to visit Bhimbetka, make sure you taste jalebi-poha and other delicious dishes of Madhya Pradesh. Madhya Pradesh Tourism has  a restaurant and hotel at Bhimbetka and there are a few other roadside Dhabas too.

Reaching Bhimbetka Rock Shelters

Bhopal is the nearest airport and railhead to Bhimbetka. It is around 40 to 45 kilometers from Bhimbetka. From Bhopal, several buses and private cabs run to the rock shelters. You can reach the destination from Hoshangabad too if you are traveling by train. Sanchi is around 62 kilometers from Bhimbetka and you can visit it for Sanchi Stupa when you happen to be in Bhimbetka.

The heart of India surely has many hill stations, historical monuments and national parks. However, Bhimbetka is a place not many people are aware of. If you wish to try out a lesser known place in the coming vacation, you can surely add Bhimbetka Rock Shelters to your wish list.