Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bhimbetka Rock Shelters

From Bhojpur we moved to Bhimbetka to explore the rock shelters which is which is located in Vindhyan mountain range in the central India.
It is a rocky terrain of dense forest and craggy cliffs. In 1957, V S Wakanker of the Vikram University, Ujjain discovered over 1000 rock shelters belonging to the Neolithic age spread over a area of 10 x 4 Kms. In more than 500 of these caves there are paintings that depict the life of the prehistoric cave dwellers. Here there is also evidence of Stone Age habitation from the lower Palaetholic period to the late Mesolithic. It is a natural art gallery and an archaeological treasure.
In 2003, UNESCO made them part of the World Heritage List. Out of the over 1000 caves, the 15 of them are extraordinary ones. It is amazing how these caves are located in convoluted cliffs on the top of a hill.
These caves depict paintings belonging to the Paleolithic (10,000 BC), Mesolithic (5,000 BC) and the Chalcolithic (2,000 BC) periods. The paintings are mainly in red and white. There is also hint of other colors being used like green and yellow. Most of the paintings depict the scenes hunting, dancing, music, horse and elephant riders, animals fighting, honey collection, decoration of bodies, disguises, masking and household scenes. Animals such as bison’s, tigers, lions, wild boar, elephants, deers, dogs, lizards, crocodiles etc, have been abundantly depicted in some caves.
There are unobtrusive and clear passageways that have been provided, so that visitors can view the paintings at leisure but are kept sufficiently away not to cause any damage. We will explore this place in several sections in subsequent posts as:

47 comments:

radha said...

You have kept us in suspense. The rock shelters are really amazing.How does one get to this place? If you could also add information like this to your post it would be helpful ( just a suggestion)

Pooch Morning Glory said...

wow....amazing ! great pics rajesh
~laura

Sumandebray said...

I shall wait eagerly for those posts

Sachin said...

oh great. saw a few pics of this place recently. its a world class heritage site. one must go. i ll try to be there next year..

indicaspecies said...

I have been to Bhojpur and Bhimbetka in Dec 2007 and still have wonderful memories of the place. Good to read about these on your blog. Thank you. Happy SWF.

Steffi said...

Very interesting post and photos!Thank you for sharing!

Photo Cache said...

Everytime I drop by here, I find another place to want to visit.

Carol said...

Great photos...and fascinating information. I would love to see the paintings.

Sylvia K said...

What a fascinating place! I would love to visit there! Terrific post and photos, Rajesh! Thanks for sharing!

Enjoy your weekend!

Sylvia

Carver said...

Fascinating post and photographs.

joo said...

As usually I love your post - it's so interesting:)

J Bar said...

Great.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

JyotiAjay said...

beautiful photos.

eileeninmd said...

Thanks for sharing your skies. The cliffs look wonderful.

eden said...

Great shots. Thanks for sharing.

My entry

SandyCarlson said...

What an interesting place. wow.

magiceye said...

wow! amazing! looking forward to the explorations inside!

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Rajesh: That information on the caves is amazing.

Gattina said...

How interesting, I would have loved to see the paintings. I have seen similar shelters in Turkey.

Ann said...

Cool answers to the questions. I myself would have given the same answers to some of the questions.

What a great job you are doing to India.

Ka Pai (great Job) and Paki paki (Clap) in Maori in New Zealand.

I posted this to you interview post but was blocked. I re post here.

Anya said...

Very interesting information about those caves :-)
Looks like a lovely place !!
(Today I received a email for a interview with me about my blog.(just like you a few days ago .... I don't now I think about it !!)

Have a relaxing weekend (@^.^@)

JOE TODD said...

Appreciate the tour and photos

Diane AZ said...

Interesting cliffs. The rock shelters with cave paintings sound fascinating!

Pam said...

Wonderful views and history. Thanks for sharing and have a nice day.

GMG said...

Hi Rajesh! 10,000 BC? Incredible!!
Congrats on your interview!!

Blogtrotter just finished Bilbao 2008. Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Pearl Maple said...

Fascintating tours around the countryside, thanks for sharing with Sky Watch Friday.

LadyFi said...

Fascinating. I'd love to see these for myself.

hip chick said...

Very interesting.

Robin said...

How fascinating, thanks for sharing.

Reader Wil said...

Rajesh, though these photos are great, I am looking forward to those of the rock paintings. You remember perhaps my photos of the Aboriginal rock paintings? I posted them several times and I like to compare rock art from all over the world. Could you post them next time, please?

Kirigalpoththa said...

Thanks for sharing this place maginificent place!

Asta said...

Hi Rajesh,

WOW! Amazing! I'd love to see pictures of the paintings as well, if it's possible to actually photograph them.

Best regards
Asta

Jacob said...

My goodness, these shelters are something! It's quite incredible to be walking in the shoes, so to speak, of pre-historic people!

Thanks for this wonderful post!

Bengbeng said...

thank u so much for sharing. awesome pics

exposemaximum said...

great images :)

Linda said...

More historical wonders. I really enjoy the explanations on your blog. These are completely new areas to me.

Sharodindu said...

nice post...very informative as always....
keep on traveling and never forget to share your good moments with us..

:)

Vicky said...

Great place for photos!!! Thanks for sharing. Have a nice SWF

Mitr Friend - Bhushavali said...

Rajesh,
Great to know you've visited Bhimbetka.. Wish to visit this great place soon.. :)

Mallikarjunar Koil at My Travelogue
My LBD at Fashion Panache

George said...

Thanks for sharing this fascinating site with us. It's interesting that visitors are allowed to view the caves, but I'm glad that the paintings are being protected at the same time.

bindu said...

We have some incredible historical sites in India, don't we!

Vaggelis said...

what a place!!!

joshi daniel said...

something so new to me! thanks for sharing!

biologion said...

it is amazing to be able to see these ancient art! thanks for sharing!

Rajesh said...

Radha: Thanks, I wanted to write about this place in parts. I will take care to mention about directions in future posts.

Laura, Celine, Steffi, Carver, Joo. J Bar, JyotiAjay: Thanks for the appreciation.

Sumandebray, Carol, magiceye, Gattina: Thanks, I shall post the details soon.

Sachin, Photo Cache, Sylvia. LadyFi: Thanks, it is a must see place.

elieeninmd, eden, SandyCarlson, Fishing Guy, Anya, Joe: Thanks for the appreciation.

Ann: Thanks for understanding my perspective.

Diane, Pearl Maple, Robin, Jacob: Thanks, it is a fascinating place.

Pam, GMG, hip chick, Kirigalpoththa, Bengbeng, Deepak: Thanks for the appreciation.

Reader: Thanks, I remember your post one the same. I shall post the paintings soon.

Asta: Thanks, I shall post the details soon.

Sharodindu, Vicky, Vaggelis, Joshi, biologion: Thanks for the appreciation.

Bhushavali, Bindu: Thanks, it is a must see place.

George: Thanks, visitors are allowed to see the place from a distance.

Anonymous said...

ACTUALLY THE ROCK ART SITE WAS KNOWN TO THE LOCAL TRIBAL PEOPLE AND OTHER VILLAGERS FOR GENERATIONS. SINCE THE YEAR 1972 I VISIT THE SITE AT LEAST TWICE A YEAR. DR. YASHODHAR MATHPAL IS THE FIRST SCHOLAR WHO SYSTEMATICALLY STUDIED THE ROCK ART OF THE WHOLE AREA AND SUBMITTED HIS RESEARCH WORK AS A PH.D. DISSERTATION UNDER PROFESSOR V.N. MISRA OF THE DECCAN COLLEGE, PUNE. DR. MATHPAL IS KNOWN TO ME FOR LAST FEW DECADES AND HE IS A MOST DEVOTED PERSON IN THIS FIELD. THE MYSTERY OF BHIMBETKA IS IN THE PRESENCE OF SUCCESSIVE LAYERS OF STONE TOOL- BEARING DEPOSITS EXPOSED DURING EXCAVATIONS. ROCK ART IN BHIMBETKA HAD ORIGINATED DURING THE UPPER PALAEOLITHIC TO MESOLITHIC TRANSITORY PERIOD AND THE ART TRADITION HAD CONTINUED IN SUCCESSIVE PERIODS. EVEN THE ART TRADITION CONTINUED DURING EARLY HISTORIC PHASE AND THEREAFTER. THE BURIALS IN BHIMBETKA ROCK SHELTERS, THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL MATERIALS FOUND FROM ROCK SHELTERS - ALL ARE ASSOCIATED TO THE VISUAL TRADITION OF ROCK ART WHICH ULTIMATELY INCORPORATED OR ASSIMILATED TO THE LOCAL TRIBAL TRADITION PARTICULARLY OF GOND - SPEAKING TRIBAL COMMUINITIES. BUT TO MY OWN ASSESSMENT, THE ROCK ART OF BHIMBETKA REGION EXHIBITS LIMITED VISUAL NARRATIVES ON COMMUNITY LIFE OF THE PERIODS. WHEREAS, SUCH ILLUSTRATIONS EXHIBITED LIFE- OPPORTUNITIES EXHAUSTIVELY AND MORE IN DETAIL IN ROCK PAINTINGS OF PACHMARHI REGION IN HOSHANGABAD DISTRICT OF MADHYA PRADESH. FOR FURTHER READING YOU MAY CONSULT THE FOLLOWING BOOK :
ROCK ART STUDIES IN INDIA : A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE. BY SOMNATH CHAKRAVERTY. PUBLISHED BY : THE ASIATIC SOCIETY . KOLKATA. IF NECESSARY, YOU MAY CONTACT THE FOLLOWING E-MAIL ADDRESS : somraja2008@gmail.com

DR. SOMNATH CHAKRAVERTY
KOLKATA

indu chhibber said...

Rajesh i have been there & was highly impressed.Your post gives interesting information too.