Bhimbetka, a World Heritage Site, has one of the largest collections of pre-historic paintings and rocks, some of which date back to more than 10,000 years. Some of the Stone Age rock paintings found among the Bhimbetka rock shelters are approximately 30,000 years old (Paleolithic Age).
The name Bhimbetka is associated with Bhima, a hero-deity renowned for his immense strength, from the epic Mahabharata.The word Bhimbetka is said to derive from Bhimbaithka, meaning "sitting place of Bhima".
Executed mainly in red and white with the occasional use of green and yellow, with themes taken from the every day events, the scenes usually depict hunting, dancing, music, horse and elephant riders, animals fighting, honey collection, decoration of bodies, disguises, masking and household scenes. Animals such as bisons, tigers, lions, wild boars, elephants, antelopes, dogs, lizards, crocodiles, etc. have been abundantly depicted in some caves. Popular religious and ritual symbols also occur frequently.
The colors used by the cave dwellers were prepared combining manganese, hematite, soft red stone and wooden coal. Sometimes the fat of animals and extracts of leaves were also used in the mixture. The colors have remained intact for many centuries due to the chemical reaction resulting from the oxide present on the surface of the rocks.
By Air: Bhopal (46 km from Bhimbetka) is the nearest airport.
By Bus: Bhimbetka is connected by bus with Bhopal.
By Rail: Bhopal, on the Delhi-Chennai and Delhi-Mumbai mainline is the most convenient rail-head.