BHIMBETKA ROCK SHELTERS | TOURISM PLACES TO VISIT IN BHIMBETKA
#9 of 21 Places to visit in Madhya Pradesh
Ideal Trip Duration: 1-2 Days
Nearest City to Bhimbetka: Bhopal (45 Kms)
Best Time to Visit Bhimbetka: July to March
Peak Season: October to February
At a distance of 9 km from Obaidullaganj, and 45 km from Bhopal, Bhimbetka is an archaeological site located in the Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh, India. It is one of the popular places of heritage in India, and among the must include places in Madhya Pradesh tour packages.
The archaeological site of Bhimbetka is situated inside the Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary, embedded in sandstone rocks, in the foothills of the Vindhya Range. It was discovered in the year 1957, but only in the 1970s that the scale and true significance of the Bhimbetka was discovered and reported. It came under the management of the Archaeological Survey of India in 1990 and was declared a World Heritage Site in 2003. The name 'Bhimbetka' is derived from the historic tale of Mahabharata. Legend has it that Bhima, one of the Pandavas sat in this place during their exile, and thus the place got its name 'Bhimbetka', which means the sitting place of Bhima. It is one of the famous heritage places to visit near Bhopal.
The site consists of seven hills namely Vinayaka, Bhonrawali, Bhimbetka, Lakha Juar (east and west), Jhondra, and Muni Babaki Pahari, and around 750 rock shelters distributed over 10 km (6.2 mi), which are the prime attraction of Bhimbetka tour packages. The Bhimbetka group contains 243 of these, while the Lakha Juar group nearby has 178 shelters. The rock shelters and caves provide evidence of a 'rare glimpse' into human settlement and cultural evolution from hunter-gatherers, to agriculture, and expressions of prehistoric spirituality. The Bhimbetka site has the oldest-known rock art in India, as well as is one of the largest prehistoric complexes. Among all other caves, Auditorium Cave is one of the significant features of the site. Surrounded by quartzite towers, the Auditorium Cave is the largest shelter at Bhimbetka, and among the prominent Bhimbetka tourist places.
Out of the 750 rock shelters, 500 are adorned with interesting paintings and the earliest are about 30,000 years old. However, only 15 caves are opened for visitors. The paintings in the caves are completely diverse in nature as the caves have been around for millennia. Executed mainly in red and white with the occasional use of green and yellow with themes taken from the everyday events of the people who lived in the caves including childbirth, hunting, dancing, music, horse and elephant riders, animal fighting, honey collection, decoration of bodies, disguises, masking and household scenes. Animals such as bison, tigers, lions, wild boar, elephants, antelopes, dogs, lizards, and crocodiles have been abundantly depicted. In some caves, popular religious and ritual symbols also appear often.
Raja Bhoj Airport, Bhopal is the nearest airport which is about 55 km from Bhimbetka. It has well connected direct flights from Mumbai, Hyderabad, and New Delhi. Bhopal Junction Railway Station, about 45 km from Bhimbetka, is the nearest railhead which has well-connected trains from Hyderabad, Bangalore, Trivandrum, Kochi, Amritsar, Gorakhpur, Nagpur, Mumbai, Goa, Dehradun, Chandigarh, Chennai, Bilaspur, Lucknow, Puri, Pune, Bareilly, Kanpur, Indore, Jabalpur, Jaipur, Chhattisgarh, Kolhapur, Vishakhapatnam, Jodhpur, Jhansi, Tirunelveli, Madurai, Rameswaram, Haridwar, and New Delhi. Bhopal Bus Station, around 45 km from Bhimbetka, is the nearest bus stand which has well-connected buses from all the major cities of Madhya Pradesh, Mumbai, Lucknow, Kanpur, Allahabad, Pune, and Ahmedabad. One can hire an auto, cab, or bus to reach Bhimbetka from Bhopal.
Since Bhimbetka is more of a tourist spot rather than a complete city, most of the accommodation and eating revolves around the city of Bhopal. Highway Treat, Bhimbetka is the only option for those who want to stay near Bhimbetka Rock Shelters and is maintained by the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Department.
The best time to visit Bhimbetka is from July - March. Winter is the best season for a visit to Bhimbetka with a pleasant climate and a lovely ambiance. Monsoon season is also a nice time to visit, especially for the budget travellers, who will find less crowd and the slowly but gradually blooming beauty in Bhimbetka. While, summers should be avoided, owing to the hot, and humid climate.
Timings: 7 AM - 6 PM
Bhimbetka Rock Shelter Entry: Rs. 25 for Indians, Rs. 500 for Foreigners, Rs. 100 for 2-Wheelers, Rs. 300 for Cars
Since the ticket counter is about 2 km from the site, it is suggested that you travel the distance in a vehicle instead of walking.