About 45 kms from Bhopal is a very special place known as Bhimbetka. In 2003, UNESCO declared this place as a World Heritage Site as this is the only such place in Asia and among the few in the world.
Lying within the dense forests of Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary are these huge sandstone caves and shelters. Cut off from civilization except for the aborigines of the forest, Bhimbetka lay under nature’s preservation for thousands or maybe lakhs of years. The caves of Bhimbetka are covered with paintings since time immemorial.
Since the discovery, more than 400 cave paintings have been found in Bhimbetka. You can explore around 400 caves spread over ten kilometers. The good news for visitors is that they are allowed to walk through and see the prehistoric art very closely.
The paintings made on the rock are believed to be 30,000 to 1, 00,000 years old if not older. It is your chance to see your ancestors’ work!
It is quite surprising to see how amazingly these paintings are. It is difficult to believe that prehistoric men and women felt the urge to create art and thinking beyond food and shelter.
The importance of this place is paramount. However if you are a true traveler, you will never miss it. One feels the thrill of seeing something in reality that one has only seen on TV. Plus, Bhimbetka is a very singular place to visit and only a few such spots are there in the world which are open to tourists.
It is actually quite chilling and adventurous to be in the middle of a deep forest and walking in caves. Wandering through these ancient caves feels somewhat like time travelling.
Do not forget to get a guide in this place. He has many tales to tell including how the Bhimbetka means the seat of Bhim. One may wonder how the aborigines of the forest know about the epic Mahabharata and its heroes.
How to go
The best way to go to Bhimbetka is to reach Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh. Bhopal is well connected by air and train from all over the country. Bhimbetka is a few hours ride from there and you can hire a car from Bhopal. Tourist bus is also available.
When to go
Bhimbetka is open throughout the year but the best time to visit is October to March. The Bhimbetka spot remains open for tourist from sunrise to sunset.
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