Dr. V. S. Wakankar

Rock Paintings at Bhimbetka

The rock paintings can be classified into several groups

Hunting scenes :

  • Several such paintings are available in Bhimbetka, particularly Lakhajwar area.
  • Here one can see hunters hunting animals such as Cow, Buffalo, Bull, Peacock, Rhino etc.
  • The most interesting painting is the one where a hunter is aiming at a peacock on a tree.
  • Another hunter wearing a horned headgear is hunting an animal.
  • In II a is a painting of a buffalo surrounded by men during hunting.
  • In another one while a person with bow and arrow is aiming at an animal, dogs are chasing the animal.

War scenes :

  • These are from historical period where men can be seen on horses, elephants and proceeding for a fight. One also sees men on foot with weapons.
  • Groups of armed men facing one another on a battlefield.
  • In II B - 32 is a painting of warriors on an elephant fighting with one another.
  • In one group one can see one Mahavat and a fighter on elephant back. The fighter is carrying a spear, bow and arrow and sword etc.
  • In one shelter is a painting depicting Ashwamedh Yagna from the Gupta period where a horse is leading, followed by army of a king. On the opposite side is another army trying to stop the horse.

Birds Animals and Aquatic species :

  • Painted animals include Lion, Elephant, Horse, Deer, Antelope, Cow, Monkey, Wild Boar, Buffalo, etc.
  • Birds include Peacock.
  • Aquatic species have fishes.
  • In the Boar Rock Shelter is a huge Boar almost 1 meter long drawn in red colour.

Human figures :

  • A female resting her hands on another human figure standing in front (discovered by RR Brooks).
  • Another painting shows a man extracting honey from a honey comb.
  • In II f - 14 is a human figure drinking water from a vessel. One can see drops of water flowing down on to his stomach.

Dance :

  • Several shelters are painted with dancing figures - preliminary group dances.
  • People dancing holding hands

Religious rites :

  • Bulls whose feet are trapped in a basket.
  • Hand prints - outline or fully coloured.
  • Figures dancing with hands raised.
  • Some signs related to worship.

Inscriptions :

These are of two types

  • Etched
  • Painted

These are mostly from Sunga and Gupta period.

There are several inscription using Shankh lipi (Conch script).

There are almost 20 such inscription in red colour.

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