Bhimbetka Caves (Bhimbetka Rock Shelter or Bhimbethka) is an archaeological site in Raisen District of Madhya Pradesh state, India. Bhimbetka caves are located about 46 km southeast of Bhopal, the capital city of Madhya Pradesh. In 2003, Bhimbetka has declared a World Heritage Site. More than 750 rock shelters (rock caves) have been found on the hill of Bhimbetka, one of the seven hills of this type and spread over an area of about 10 kilometers.
History of Bhimbetka Caves
The history of Bhimbetka caves is very old and the first place was described by a British officer W. Kinkaid during 1888 through a scholar's letter. He named this place named Bhimbetka as a Buddhist site based on the information received from the tribals of the Bhojpur region. The first archaeologist to discover these caves was VS Vaavankar. After visiting the rock formations here, he made a team and toured the region. They felt that this rock shelter was similar to that seen in France and Spain. He reported several prehistoric rock shelters existing at this place during the year 1957.
The Bhimbetka Cave paintings were made deep on the inner walls. To the south of these caves are the gradual ranges of the Satpura hills. It is inside the Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary, embedded in sandstone rocks, in the foothills of the Vindhya Range. The Bhimbetka site consists of seven hills: Vinayaka, Bhonravali, Bhimbetka, Lakha Juar (East and West), Jhandra and Muni Babaki Hills.
The name Bhimbetka is associated with Bhima, the hero-god of the epic Mahabharata. The word Bhimbetka means "Bhima's seating area".
Bhimbetka describes the beginning of the origin of human life in the Indian subcontinent. The oldest paintings present at this place are believed to be around 30,000 years old from today. The color used in these paintings is believed to have been vegetative which became foggy over time.
The Bhimbetka caves are famous for the sculptures and rock formations made by ancient Humans. The paintings made here are the oldest signs of human life in the Indian subcontinent. Other archaeological remains have also been found here, including ancient fort walls, Sung-Gupt carpet inscriptions, miniature stupas, buildings built in the Stone Age, conch inscriptions and the remains of the Parmar Kaalin temple.
There is evidence of Bhimbetka being the oldest stone wall and floor in the world. Here is a rock which is also known as bird rock. Deer, Bison, Elephant and Barha Singha are depicted on this rock. Apart from this, another rock portrays a picture of peacock, snake, sun, and deer. While hunters are also depicted with arrows, bows, drums, ropes, and a boar. Many more such rocks and caves exist here. The presence of which gives evidence of many mysteries thousands of years old.
Among the many caves, the Auditorium Cave is one of the important features of the Bhimbetka caves. It is visible from a distance of several kilometers surrounded by quartzite towers; the Auditorium Rock is the largest shelter in Bhimbetka. Robert Bednaric describes the prehistoric auditorium cave with a "cathedral-like" atmosphere, including "its Gothic arches and large spaces". Its composition resembles a "right cross" with its four branches connected by four cardinal directions. The main entrance is to the east. At the end of this eastern passageway, at the entrance to the cave, is a boulder with a pass-vertical panel that is conspicuous, visible from all directions. In archaeological literature, this boulder is described as "Chief Rock" or "King's Rock". Boulder, along with the Auditorium Cave, is the central feature of Bhimbetka, with its 754 number shelters spread over a few kilometers on either side or about 500 places where rock paintings can be found.
How to reach Bhimbetka
If you choose a flight to Bhimbetka caves then let us tell you that the nearest airport for this is Raja Bhoj Airport of Bhopal which is about 60 kilometers from Bhimbetka. From the airport, you will easily reach Bhimbetka via taxi or local means.
If you want to travel by train to visit Bhimbetka Rock Shelter, then you can get down at Habibganj railway station. The distance of Bhimbetka from here is about 38 kilometers. You can also get down at Bhopal Junction, the distance of your tourist place Bhimbetka is about 53 kilometers. From here you will reach Bhimbetka at your destination via local means or city bus plying in Bhopal city. Apart from this, there is also Mandideep and Abdullaganj railway station but most of the trains do not stop here.
If you want to go to Bhimbetka via bus or by your means then you can reach it very easily by road. Bhimbetka is a tourist place 3 kilometers away from Hoshangabad Road.
Best time to visit Bhimbetka caves.
The best and ideal time to visit Bhimbetka Caves are from October to March because the climate is favorable during this time and tourists can conveniently make their trip to Bhimbetka successful. However, the rainy season is also considered good for walking here. If you want, you can also go out on a trip to Bhimbetka without any hesitation during the rainy season. But if you refrain from going here during the summer season, the same will be true. Because being a rocky place, you will have to face heat here.
Places to visit near Bhimbetka Caves
Bhimbetka Caves are located inside the Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary and in the proximity of several other famous tourist attractions. The places to visit near Bhimbetka Caves are Hoshangabad, Bhopal, Bhojpal, Van Vihar, Gohar Mahal, and other popular places of Bhopal.
Bhimbekta Caves Timings:7 A.M to 6 P.M
Bhimbekta Caves Entry Fees: INR 10 for Indian nationals and INR 100 for foreign nationals