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A Trip to Bhimbetka: UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India

India's Cultural Heritage for World
Rocks sure do have a way of their own. Whether carved or painted, they acquire a potency of their own and communicate a thousand words and emotions. Narrating a story of a bygone era and popular mythological beliefs translated into folk lore. India too has its fair share of rock structures. Bhimbetka Rock Shelters situated in the foothills of the Vindhyachal hills in the Raisen District of Madhya Pradesh in India are one such example of ancient heritage.

Bhimbetka Rock Shelter by Indian Luxury Trains
Bhimbetka Temple: A UNESCO World Heritage SIte
These rock shelters showcase the ancient traces of the human race in India which depicts a heritage nearly 1, 00,000 year old. Many paintings found in the Bhimbetka rocks can be signified as the remains of Stone Age. It is also being said that these rock shelters are associated with the great epic hero Bhima in “Mahabharata” known for his immense body strength and the name Bhimbetka has been derived from the name of Bhima itself.

The Bhimbetka Rock Shelters, located in the Raisen District of Madhya Pradesh are only 46 kms away from the city of Bhopal. The entire area of Bhimbetka rock shelters is surrounded by rich and dense forests of flora and fauna.

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The paintings found at Bhimbetka Caves, MP are about 10000 years old. A five or six thousand years old skeleton was also unearthed during the excavation of this site.
Major Attractions for Tourists
Bhimbetka Rock Shelters and caves are full of attractions for tourists consisting of various paintings that signify the culture of different people of different times. Created mainly in red and white with the casual use of yellow and green, the cave and rock paintings usually depicts the everyday events of the life of the people living in caves such as dancing, singing, hunting, horse and elephant riders, animal fighting, honey collection, decoration of bodies, disguises and masking and household scenes. Some of the cave paintings often depict the race of animal species of that time, religious rituals etc. The cave and rock paintings are categorized under 7 different periods:

1. Upper Paleolithic
The First period known as “Upper Paleolithic” was mainly consists of linear images made in green and dark red color. It shows huge figures of animals such as bison, tigers and rhinoceros.

2. Mesolithic
The second Period known as “Mesolithic” depicts the figures having linear decoration but smaller in size. It consists of both human and animal figures and majorly their hunting scenes which give an idea of the kind of weapons being used at that time.

3. Chalcolithic
This period was a transitory phase between the Stone Age to the Bronze Age characterized by the interaction between the cave dwellers and agricultural communities to fulfill each other requirements.

4-5. Early History
The fourth and fifth period known as “Early History” shows the religious symbols such as figures of gods, tree gods and sky chariots. Also the scriptures of different were painted on the rock caves.

6-7. Medieval
The sixth and seventh period mainly known as “Medieval” were mainly consists of geometric, linear and schematic paintings.

Attractions in India - UNESCO World Heritage Sites

The white colour(bottom) was made from grinding limestone with vegetable oil. The rock shelters have preserved the paintings from rain water.

How to reach Bhimbetka

Travel By Bus: Since the destination of Bhimbetka rock shelters is about 46 kms away from Bhopal, it is easily accessible by Bus.

Travel by Train: The Bhopal route during Delhi- Madras and Delhi-Mumbai mainline is the easiest and most convenient route.

Travel by Airlines:  The cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Indore and Gwalior are connected with the Bhopal Airport which is about 40km away from the caves.

For more information about attractions and heritage sites in India or any other assistance and queries regarding tours to India, please feel free to contact me.


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