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Bhimbetka : Mysteries in Stone


Tripoto.com
Duration: 1 Day

This year, when I went to Bhopal to attend a wedding, I decided to do a little Bhopal familiarisation. On asking about interesting places to visit, the first name that came up was, of course, Sanchi Stupa. As I had done Sanchi Stupa, on an earlier visit, I asked for some other recommendations. Then I was told about Bheembetkar Caves.

Bheem What ker? was my immediate response.

Oh, haven’t you heard of it? They are enlisted as a World Heritage site. The Bhimbetkar caves. There are about 12 to 15 caves with colored paintings.

Oh wow.

Immediately the vision of 12 structured caves came to my mind. And people looking at them, as in a museum, awestruck with colourful paintings. Little did I know it was far from it.

When we reached the place, after a tortuous approach road, the most fascinating feature was that it was so unstructured. Had to be. After all, they were the dwelling caves of the inhabitants of Paleolithic and Mesolithic age.

Yes, you heard me correct. These are caves of the stone age men and women. There are two other such places in the world, one in France and one in Spain. It is unimaginable how such a historically awe inspiring place is hardly known about India, who is known only by the Taj Mahal heritage.


Photos of Bhimbetka rock shelters, Amchha Khurd, Madhya Pradesh, India 1/1 by Soma Majumdar

A world heritage site...!!

Photos of Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India 1/1 by Soma Majumdar

...in anticipation....only 3 places in the world...in France, Spain and here...have these stona age paintings in rock shelters been found

Photos of Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka, Amchha Khurd, Madhya Pradesh, Barato 1/1 by Soma Majumdar

the first rock shelter....awe inspiring........up and close...

Photos of  1/1 by Soma Majumdar

....a reconstruction of the stone age lifestyle included later on...

Photos of  1/1 by Soma Majumdar

...ochre colored paintings....made from vegetable dye?....cannot be of rusted iron ....intact through the years as its found in niches protected by these caves from the elements of nature...

Photos of  1/1 by Soma Majumdar

....in and out of the mysterious spaces....

Photos of  1/1 by Soma Majumdar

....paintings of animals....endemic to the place...

Photos of  1/1 by Soma Majumdar

....of raw nature and rocks....

Photos of  1/1 by Soma Majumdar

mesolithic tools.....write up

Photos of  1/1 by Soma Majumdar

skeletal remains of a stone age man....

Photos of  1/1 by Soma Majumdar

.....of fascinating stories by the guides....

Photos of  1/1 by Soma Majumdar

....a zoo of animals....painted...

Photos of  1/1 by Soma Majumdar

...of the stories behind the finds...

Photos of  1/1 by Soma Majumdar

....of trees and rocks and roots...magic...

Photos of  1/1 by Soma Majumdar

....vantage points....

Photos of  1/1 by Soma Majumdar

.....the sheer size and shape of the spaces....totally fascinating...

Photos of  1/1 by Soma Majumdar

....the Y fork which had us fooled ... we thought we would take a shorter detour ....and..... we got lost....did three pheras....round and round... :)

Photos of  1/1 by Soma Majumdar

....a cosy bedroom.....??

Photos of  1/1 by Soma Majumdar

.....open doors and windows....

Photos of  1/1 by Soma Majumdar

....through the gaps....hide n seek for the children, perhaps...?

Photos of  1/1 by Soma Majumdar

......up and down , in and out...

Photos of  1/1 by Soma Majumdar

....stone tiled floors.....a must have in interiors today..... :)

Photos of  1/1 by Soma Majumdar

....the fifteenth rock shelter that had this mersmerizing painting of a huge wild boar chasing a man....albeit not in the right proportions....or is it a mythical animal??

The journey into this time capsule had us totally fascinated. That such a thing has been discovered in India should be publicized nationally, internationally. A French student tourist we met said the French rock shelter paintings were being recreated and the originals would not be open to public due to fear of being spoilt. She was amazed that these paintings and rock shelters were so well kept and yet the openness of nature and paintings preserved by bamboo barricades...enough to preserve these historical finds and yet not taking away the wonder of the onlooker as he feels he is part of history. Hail Bhimbetkar!

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