Problem with breaking down a travelogue is that when it comes to your introduction, you are always at loss of words. And for me, loss of words means I am gonna ramble. And if I indulge this obnoxious habit of mine, I am not only going to increase my word count, but also bore you all to death.
Following my get-together with Sanchi, I decided to take a step back and admire man and his harmonious relationship with nature. Yes, our primitive ancestors were as creative as the ones who has created Sanchi and other historical monuments. Day 2 of my Bhopal stay-over started with a hearty breakfast, reassuring my dearest mother about my safety and longevity, and my trail leading to the Pre-historic Rock shelters of Bhimbetka, another World Heritage Site that none of us were aware of.
Bhimbetka is located 45 kms from Bhopal. According to rumours, the five brothers, called as Pandavas, from the grand epic Mahabharata, came and stayed in these caves, upon their banishment from their Kingdom. According to the natives, who vouch by this theory, the massive rock shelters depicts the gigantic frame of Bhima, the second Pandava and hence the name Bhimbetka came about.
If you go back into the pages of history, you will notice one common trend. World’s greatest historical treasures are often discovered in accident. I think this is one of the biggest reason why I love history so much. The caves of Bhimbetka is an example of that very trend. Discovered in 1957 – 58 by an intrepid archaeologist from Ujjain, Dr. Vishnu Wakankar who followed Robert Frost to literally and strayed on to a road that has never been traveled.
The place is surrounded by a beautiful lush canopy that can transport you to pre-historic times, except for the pavements that has been laid down for the visitors. Every cave and rock shelter gave me the feeling of an outsider in a different time-zone. Paintings from Upper Paleolithic, Mesolithic to the prehistoric, early historic and Medieval period can be found in these rock shelters. Sounds like a natural art gallery right?? It looks like one as well. I was surprised to see how well these magnificent paintings have persevered against the vagaries of nature as well as humans.
The one thing that I did not like about the place was lack of guides, in terms of path markers, as well as one to tell you about the place. But, Bhimbetka will definitely leave a lasting impression. And it will definitely ensure that you have completed your cardio goal for the day 😉
Entry timing – 7 am to 6 pm
Visit duration – 1 to 2 hours
Entry fees – 10 rupees for Indians; 100 rupees for foreigners, 50 rupees for four wheelers parking.
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