Bhimbetka Cave and art paintings : There are a lot of theories regarding the existence and development of man on this earth. If one wishes to see firsthand as to how we as a race existed centuries ago, then the place to visit would be Bhimbetka. Here exist more than just several caves that were used by humans more than thirty centuries ago.
Discovery of Bhimbetka
It was an Indian archeologist, V. S. Wakankar, who first understood what Bhimbetka was all about. Traveling by train to Bhopal, he saw certain rock formations that reminded him of the cave dwellings found in Spain. He quickly organized an expedition with a team of archeologists and went back to find a number of cave dwellings. This was in the year 1957. Since then, more than seven hundred caves have been found.
Tourism of Bhimbetka
Although it is definitely considered an archeological site, the area of Bhimbetka has witnessed a lot of tourism as it has also been declared as a UNESCO world heritage site. People come from all over the world to see the caves, as they represent seven periods of human life, namely:
Upper Paleolithic – these show linear representations of animals.
Mesolithic – these drawings, slightly more detailed, show the activities of the community as well as hunting scenes. The latter prove to be very informative regarding the hunting tools that they use.
Chalcolithic – Drawings from this era depict trade between this society and the agricultural community located some distance away.
Early historic – these contain color details, and include religious symbols as well as deities.
Medieval – some say that the addition to detail in the drawings of these era have sacrificed the artistic quality of the cave drawings, but they still show a lot regarding the lifestyle of the cave dwellers.
One major reason why these caves were made into dwelling places (and this is one piece of information that tour guides will always point out) would be that the temperature within the caves would be significantly cooler than the temperature outside. Outside the caves, one would see a lot of foliage as well, which have been helpful in preserving the caves. Water is also in abundance.
With nearby resources, cool dwellings and good hunting grounds, there is no doubt that these caves have been made dwelling places by our ancestors. The documentation of their stay has been in existence for centuries. Some wonder why these have lasted, but scientific studies show that they not only improved their art, but the ink that they used as well. And since the caves are naturally protected, then these cave people have been able to send a message through time and inform us of their ways of life. It is definitely a message that you have to see while on your tour to India.
The best way to get to Bhimbetka is through the city of Bhopal. This city is connected by air to several other major Indian cities such as Delhi, Mumbai and Gwalior. These same cities will allow you to travel by rail to Bhopal as well.