Bhimbetka Rock Shelters


The Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka are in the foothills of the Vindhyan Mountains on the southern edge of the central Indian plateau. Within massive sandstone outcrops, above comparatively dense forest, are five clusters of natural rock shelters, displaying paintings that 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.


  • Legend says Bhimbetka is derived from ‘bhimbaithka’ meaning ‘the sitting place of Bhima’, from Mahabharata
  • Out of the 760 rock shelters, 500 are adorned with paintings
  • Some of these paintings are reported to be as old as 15,000 years. But new research hints that there are paintings which are 30,000 years old!
  • Thousands years old art gallery hides amongst the massive, black boulders of Bhimbetka
  • The painting of an enormous red bison attacking a man is visible only when the sun is just right
  • Just 25 km from Bhimbetka situated Bhojpur, a town that houses one of the biggest shivlings in the country in its beautiful Shiva temple.

Why Visit Bhimbetka? 

Caves spread across Bhimbetka’s vast expanse have paintings that reveal secrets of some of our earliest ancestors. In fact, Bhimbetka has been a witness to a part of the human evolution – something very few heritage sites around the world can pride on. Of the 760 caves, 500 have paintings. These paintings are completely diverse in nature as the caves have been around for millennia.

The oldest paintings have larger figures, with just outline of animal or person, and attention on scenes of everyday life. The newer ones have smaller but elaborate figures, with religious motives, and the outline is filled with colour and details.

How to Reach? 

By Air

Nearest airport is at Bhopal about 55 km from Bhimbetka.

By Road

It is well connected by roads from all directions. Its nearby place are Bhopal, Indore, Itarsi, Sagar, Raisen etc. Their is regular bus service from these places.

By Train

Nearest railway stations for reaching Bhimbetka is Bhopal, Narmadapuram (Hoshangabad) & Itarsi.

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