Bhimbetka – rock caves of Madhya Pradesh

Bhimbetka, a natural art gallery and an architectural treasure in Madhya Pradesh is a recognized UNESCO World Heritage site and is one such destination that offers a trip down the history with a slice of natural beauty. With more than 600 rock caves, Bhimbetka spells awe and wonder in the heart and mind of every traveler. This place of historical importance has become one of the most visited places of Madhya Pradesh.

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Front view of one of the rock-caves of Bhimbetka

Where is Bhimbetka?

Bhimbetka lie in the Raisen District of Madhya Pradesh and is just 47 Km south of the capital city of Bhopal.

About Bhimbetka Rock Caves

Hidden in the midst of thick vegetation and dense forest, these rock caves were accidentally discovered and revealed by an archeologist, Mr. V.S Wakankar (considered as the father of rock art in India) of the Vikram University, Ujjain in 1957.

The word Bhimbetka is said to derive from Bhimbaithka, meaning sitting place of Bhima, a hero-deity of Mahabharata, renowned for his immense strength.

The site of Bhimbetka rock caves spreads over a length of 10 Km and a width of about 3 Km.

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One of the rock paintings of Bhimbetka

There are more than 600 rock caves, of which over 400 have paintings yet only 12 are open for tourists at the moment, but they shows the best paintings that are there in all other caves. The walls of these caves are literally the unspoken story of our ancestors who once walked on this land. Its Stone Age rock paintings are approximately 9000 year old; making them among the world’s oldest. Of particular interest to the tourist are the Auditorium Rock Shelter, Zoo Rock and Boar Rock in Bhimbetka Cluster. It is a virtual pre-historic panorama of India, filled with hunting and battle scenes and all kinds of animals such as deer, buffaloes, rhinoceros, bears, tigers along with vivid depiction of daily routine activities.

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Naturally formed stone tortoise at Bhimbetka

Besides the cave paintings, various stone tools and many other historic structures have also been discovered. The superimposition of paintings shows that the same canvas was used by different people at different times. The drawing and paintings is classified under seven different periods :-

Period 1 (Upper Paleolithic), Period 2 (Mesolithic), Period 3 (Chaleolithic), Period 4 and 5 (Earlier history) and period 6 and 7 (Medieval).

How to Reach Bhimbetka?

By Air

The nearest airport is Bhopal (45Km). From the airport one can hire private cars to reach the site of Bhimbetka rock caves.

By Rail

The closest rail head is Bhopal, located on the Delhi-Chennai and Delhi-Mumbai
mainline. Bhimbetka is connected with Bhopal by bus. One can also opt for taxi or private cars.

By Road

Regular bus services connect Bhimbetka with Bhopal.

Where to Stay?

Though there are quite a number of hotels in Bhimbetka, yet it is ideal to stay at Bhopal and visit Bhimbetka on a day-long excursion trip. Some of the most well known hotels where you can stay during Bhimbetka tour are :-

Highway Treat

This is the best staying option near Bhimbetka rock caves. The contact number of Highway Treat is: 07480-281558

Hotel Lake Prince (9826396986)

Hotel Amar Palace (07553918110)

Hotel Arch Manoor (07552577771)

G.K.Palace Hotel (07552577713)

Hotel Amber (07554259701)

Hotel Lake View Ashoka (07552660096)

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About the Author: Hi! friends, travelling is my passion and my only hobby. High mountains to deep seas, lush green forests to barren deserts, holy places to sites of historical importance, - every beautiful place attracts me the same way. I want everyone to feel the same and so through my writing I intend to take you all to a virtual trip to all those lovely places that I have visited.

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  1. Hey, awesome site! Keep it up! I will be difinatley be coming back in the near future =)

  2. Marren says:

    Informative write up, saved the blog in interest to see more information!

  3. raj says:

    a nice site as well as great pictures

  4. […] Next visit Bhimbetka, a UNESCO recognized world heritage site that exhibit the earliest traces of human life in India. With more than 600 rock caves having Stone Age rock paintings that are approximately 9,000 years old, Bhimbetka spells awe and wonder in the heart and mind of every traveler. For all the more information on Bhimbetka, just click HERE […]

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