Travel guide to Bhimbetka rock shelters

Travel Guide of Bhimbetka rock Shelters

During my 1st visit of Bhopal, my plan of visiting Bhimbetka couldn’t get executed. So, just to visit Bhimbetka rock shelters I again planned for Bhopal. Prehistoric cave paintings at Bhimbetka caves helped this site in getting label of UNESCO Heritage site. Unfortunately in India people are not much aware about it, so I decide to write a complete travel guide to visit Bhimbetka rock shelters.

Bhimbetka rock shelters, travel guide

Bhimbetka rock shelters is one of the rarest site across the Globe, where one can see the proof of early human settlement. If i say early human that means, it is much older than the settlement of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro. Even, it is older than the Indian epic Ramayana or Mahabharata.

Name of this site taken from Bhima ( Character of Mahabharata) as his sitting place. This very site spread over a 10 sq. km area and having around 750 such type of rock shelters. Most of these are in the deep forest so for the safely reason only 15 of them are open to visitors. Caves at Bhimbetka

Caves at Bhimbetka

auditorium cave at bhimbetka
Auditorium cave at Bhimbetka rock shelters

Here at Bhimbetka rock shelters, you can easily understand that why nature is biggest architect. Most of these shelters are naturally formed caves and the shapes of these are amazing.

It look impossible that any weathering effect can shape these cave like this. Its like nature itself had been planned to setup a colony for them and teach early human to live at one place rather than hunting and moving.

Then, these human learnt to settle at one place, they also learnt farming and domesticated the animals. All these thing may be understand by looking at the figures drawn on these caves.

Largest cave of Bhimbetka

Auditorium cave (shelter no-3) is the largest and most significant cave of this group, it look well designed having 8 meter high entrance and 20 meter deep. Some rocks are hollow in between and some projected like umbrella. 

Prehistoric cave paintings at Bhimbetka

There are lots of rock paintings in these caves as a proof of early human in this area. These paintings are drawn using the color made from vegetable, herbs and minerals found in local region.

There are numerous paintings of animals like elephants, deer, horse, oxen etc. Some paintings depicting hunting of animals, celebration and war.

These painting help to understand about their life style. Archaeological Study of these paintings tell that some of them are even 30,000 year old.

cave paintings of UNESCO site of Bhimbetka
Painting of herds of wild animals drawn on ‘Zoo rock’ 
boar cave painting at bhimbetka
Painting on ‘Boar cave’ where a big boar is attacking on a human

Some of the cave shelters named according the painting drawn on them. Like, zoo rock have herd of lot of animals like deer, elephants and tigers.

One cave named as ‘Boar cave’ where you see a painting of a big boar attacking on human. This is the only painting where any animal attacking on human.

cave paintings at Bhimbetka rock
Scene of hunting and a horse
prehistoric rock paintings
Cave painting showing the war scene

Possibly these cave paintings were drawn for decoration purpose to their respective home(shelter). And these art have passed through one generation to another and another.

Even today, we can see roughly drawn paintings of animals, tree or like that on the wall of mud house in villages. We can say that these prehistoric cave paintings of Bhimbetka were the ancestor of today’s wall arts.

mystery of bhimbetla
A face can be seen on rock formation

This site is recognised for its cave painting worldwide but here you can see many rare plants (mostly herbs) and different type of natural rock formation which look like a face or an animal. This site is located on a height so it also provide nice view of surrounding.

tortoise rock at bhimbetka
Tortoise rock at Bhimbetka rock shelters

How to reach Bhimbetka Rock Shelters

Nearest International Airport is located in the outskirt of Bhopal and 57 km from Bhimbetka. While from the main city of Bhopal, Bhimbetka is around 45 km.

It is good to hire a cab for both side to visit Bhimbetka and plan your stay at Bhopal (various budget option are there). Cab charges for visiting Bhimbetka from Bhopal will cost between Rs. 1200/- to Rs. 1500/-. You can also visit Bhojpur Temple in the same trip, which is only 20 km from the Bhimbetka.

Nearest railway station from Bhimbetka is at Obedullaganj and 8 km away, There are many regular train on this route (Bhopal-Itarasi). An auto can be book from there to visit this site.   

Read more: How to plan a trip to Bhopal?

Bhimbetka by bus from Bhopal

The main site is 3 km from the Bhopal-Hoshangabad highway, so you can board any bus going to Bhopal-Itarsi or Bhopal-Piparia. Bus will drop you on the main highway near ‘Hotel highway treat’ but there is no transport facility for balance 3 km.

So, if you are ready to walk then its OK, but try it in early morning because this 3 km deserted road do not have any tree and it may be difficult to face the Sun in noon.

Ticket charges for Bhimbetka heritage site

While move towards main site of Bhimbetka rock shelters from highway, you met a check-post. To cross that you have to pay an entry charge depending on your mode of transport because this area fall under Ratapani wildlife sanctuary. Its Rs. 25/- if you are on foot or cycle, Rs. 100/- for two wheeler, Rs. 200/- for Auto rickshaw and Rs. 300/- for car.


More tourist attraction of Madhya Pradesh


I hope this travel guide will help you in planning a memorable visit to Bhimbetka Rock Shelters, please share your valuable feedback in the comment box.

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  1. Interesting to find out about ancient historical spots protected by unesco. I am very curious now. Looks like a place i would really love to visit….

  2. Nice and information. The paintings inside the cave looks intriguing. would love to visit. How did you put the “Content is protected” alert in your blog. Will be glad if you share.

    1. thanks Ishani, there is a plugin name’ wp-content-protector’ that can be use for the same

      1. Thanks a lot 🙂

      2. nice info bro !

  3. I have been to Bhimbetka in MP, a proud UNESCO site. Amazed at the immensity of so many natural rock formations there. You have beautifully covered this site in your write up and photographs.

    1. thanks Indu

  4. Very informative article. Didn’t knew about this place being so old . Love to visit it in near future. This place then carries a lot historic value.

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