Bhimbetka Caves - Glimpsing Into the Past

The City of Lakes, Bhopal is celebrated for its historical richness and cultural significance. Its alluring history can still be felt through the architectural brilliance of temples, caves and palaces. Bhimbetka Caves, consisting of seven hills, are a UNESCO world heritage site located in the Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh. It is located 45km south of Bhopal. Bhimbetka Rock Shelters are the largest depository of prehistoric art in India. The seven hills cover over 75 rock shelters distributed over 10 km that was inhabited more than 100,000 years ago. Bhimbetka Caves, located in India, span the prehistoric Mesolithic, Paleolithic, and historic periods.


The caves and rock shelters of Bhimbetka have multiple paintings that depict pivotal scenes describing the period in which they were carved. The recurring themes of animals, paintings of hunting and dancing are seen painted and carved on these walls. The superimposition and overlapping of many of the paintings show that the rock shelters were used as canvases to paint. According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, Bhimbetka Caves provide a rare glimpse of human settlement and cultural evolution from hunter-gatherers through the agricultural period, right up until the expressions of prehistoric spirituality.

One of the most significant features of Bhimbetka Caves is Auditorium Cave. It is the largest shelter in Bhimbetka that depicts classical beauty, which has remained timeless in our appreciation of its magnificence. This cave is surrounded by quartzite towers that are visible from a distance of 7 km.

Bhimbetka Caves

The rock painting of Bhimbetka indicates the social life that exists during that period. There are paintings of dancers performing various dance forms. Moreover, the respect and reverence shown to animals, both tamed and hunted, can be seen on the cave walls. Some have found drawings of men being hunted by wild boars as well as paintings of Natraj showing Lord Shiva with the triple role as Preserver, Creator, and Destroyer found in Hindu mythology holding a trident. The Bhimbetka cave paintings show that colours were extracted from vegetables to be used for the paintings. The paintings were drawn on the cave's inner walls, away from the changing outside environment and harsh climatic conditions.

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The artwork of Bhimbetka Rock Shelters tells stories about the lives of prehistoric people, their hunting, royal processions, and dancing style. The paintings on the rocks in Bhimbetka Cave are thought-provoking and spellbinding. Bhimbetka Cave is one such wonder that needs to be visited when coming to Bhopal.

On your visit to Bhopal, make sure to pamper yourself to a splendid stay at one of the best hotels in the city - Bori Safari Lodge. Located amidst green nature, guests can embrace the serenity that engulfs them. The rustic accommodations offer a restful sojourn. The hotel is located about 102 km from the mesmerising rock shelters and cave paintings in Bhimbetka.