Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka

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State : Madhya Pradesh

Number of analyses suggests that at least some of these shelters were inhabited more than 100,000 years back in human history as some of the Stone Age rock paintings found are approximately 30,000 years old from (Paleolithic Age). The name of site is believed to be associated with Bhima, a hero-deity renowned for his immense strength, from age of Mahabharata. The word Bhimbetka is said to derive, meaning “sitting place of Bhima”.

The Rock Shelters of Bhimbetaka, which is also known as Bhim Baithaka lies in the Raisen District, 45 km south to Bhopal. At the southern edge of the Vindhyachal hills, south of these rock shelters are successive ranges of the Satpura hills. The entire site is covered by thick vegetation, with abundant natural resources like rich forest flora and fauna, and bears a significant resemblance to similar rock art sites such as Kakadu National Park in Australia, and the Upper Paleolithic Lascaux cave paintings in France. With UNESCO’s declaration, Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka joined league of World Heritage Site.

Since then more than 700 such shelters have been identified, Archeological studies revealed a continuous sequence of Stone Age cultures with oldest stonewalls and floors of World. Smooth rocks have led some scientists to believe that the discovered region was once under water. Nearby is the Bhopal Airport, which is also known as Raja Bhoj Airport, just 45 km away from group of Bhimbetka rock shelters. Bhopal airport is connected to leading cities of India through domestic and International flights. Those, who want to reach Bhimteka by train, can board a train from Bhopal Railway Station.

Map of Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka