Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka: An Art Gallery Dating Back To The Prehistoric Times

There isn’t any exaggeration in the title. This is an art gallery depicting life during stone age. Surprisingly, the humans who lived in that era have created the paintings here. Their canvas was rocks and the ink was extracts from vegetables, minerals, and rocks. What they’ve painted are the scenes of wars, celebrations, hunting, pictures of animals and various routine activities. While the paintings aren’t artistic but they do give us insights into their life and surroundings.

Things To Know

Set in the foothills of Vindhya range, these rock shelters overlook the dense forests and are part of Ratapani Wildlife sanctuary. The place is just about 28 km from the city of Bhopal.

Discovered in 1957, Bhimbetka (a UNESCO world heritage site) has five clusters of natural rock shelters which are like a gallery of ancient rock art.

The complex consists of some 700 shelters and is one of the largest repositories of prehistoric art in India. However, not all the shelters are accessible to the visitors. The authorities have created a pathway that takes visitors through a selection of rock shelters.

The paintings here appear to date from the Mesolithic Period right through to the historical period. The cultural traditions of the inhabitants of the twenty-one villages adjacent to the site bear a strong resemblance to those represented in the rock paintings. (source:

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