Named after the mythological character Bhim in the epic Mahabharata, Bhimbetka is one of the earliest caves in India. It is a World Heritage Site declared by the UNESCO. The Bhimbetka Caves and rock shelters are situated in the Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh. It is surrounded by the Vindhya Mountain Range.
There are more than 600 caves, and these caves have various paintings depicting the daily activities of the ancient people. Apart from human paintings, there are colourful paintings of a variety of animals like tiger, dog, lizard, elephants, buffaloes and so on in many of the caves. The colours used in the paintings are natural. These are vegetable colours and are found on the inner walls of the caves.
It was earlier regarded as a Buddhist site. After the archaeological survey done by an Indian archaeologist called V.S Wakankar, many more rock shelters were discovered which dated back to the pre historic era.
The range of style of the paintings can be traced back over a long period starting from the Paleolithic Age to the Medieval Period. The Bhimbetka caves take us through a journey of different eras and thus is a national treasure of the cultural heritage of India.