Sunday, May 24, 2009

Bhimbetka Rock Shelters



A Sunday morning spent in bed, is hardly as refreshing as a trek up a hill. That too, not a hill of less importance in history, than one which would lead me to the Rock Shelters here close to Bhopal, called Bhimbetka Rock Shelters.

As we, a few of us from the office and their friends and family arrived at the entry point we realized the Gateman was more asleep than us. The gate would open at 8 am but we were in a hurry to trek up. Leaving the vehicle behind we began our trek up to the rock shelters.









Seeing is believing I have heard. Yes, it truly is! Take a look!

Surrounded by the northern fringe of the Vindhyan ranges, Bhimbetka lies 46 km south of Bhopal. In this rocky terrain of dense forest and craggy cliffs, over 600 rock shelters belonging to the Neolithic age were recently discovered. Here, in vivid, panoramic detail, paintings in over 500 caves depict the life of the prehistoric cave-dwellers, making the Bhimbetka group an archaeological treasure, an invaluable chronicle in the history of man.

Executed mainly in red and white with the occasional use of green and yellow, with themes taken from the everyday event in their daily lives, be it scenes of hunting, dancing, music, horse and elephant riders, animals fighting, honey collection, decoration of bodies, disguises, masking and household scenes. Animals such as bisons, tigers, lions, wild boar, elephants, antelopes, dogs, lizards – you see them all if you have the patience to look carefully and patiently at the rocks.

These drawings they say are from different periods – ranging from Upper Paleolithic, to Mesolithic, to Chaleolithic, Early Historic, to Medieval. Bhimbetka is a UNESCO world heritage site.




It is noteworthy to mention that as we entered, there was hue and cry among the real inhabitants of the place, hoots and war-calls, warnings from lizards, birds and monkeys that there are possible invaders around. However, at the end of our visit, they hoarded around us at the Entrance/Exit gate staring at us.

Perhaps from over generation, they have been the original inhibitors of these beautiful stone shelters. We stared at them as they looked us up and down, got bored and even lay down. A fascinating round of primates not too far away from how we look ourselves.

They say, child is the father of man. So is the primate.



Getting There:

By Air: Bhopal (28 km from Bhojpur, and 40 km from Bhimbetka) is the nearest airport. It is connected with Mumbai, Delhi, Indore and Gwalior.

By Rail: Bhopal, on the Delhi-Madras and Delhi-Mumbai mainline is the most convenient rail-head.

By Bus: Both Bhojpur and Bhimbetka are connected by bus with Bhopal.Bhopal is also the most convenient base for visiting Sanchi.

By Car: Bhimbetka is well connected by road with Bhopal. Bhopal is connected to Mumbai (781 km); Ahmedabad (571 km); Delhi (728 km); Gwalior (422 km); Indore (187 km)Drive straight out from Bhopal


To view more pictures of Bhimbetka Rock Shelters
http://picasaweb.google.co.in/juliadutta/Bhimbetka#


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