Situated in Madhya Pradesh, Bhimbetka is a pre-historic world heritage site where stone age, rock-shelters and painting dating to some thousand years have been found. According to a tradition, Bhima, one of the Pandavas, was supposed to have stayed here. Hence the name Bhimbetka.
The rock-shelters are situated at the southern end of the Vindhyachal hills that abound in thick forests. Bhimbetka was first noticed as a Buddhist site based on information gathered from local adivasis in the I 9th century. Explorations have revealed some 700 rock-shelters of which 243 are in Bhimbetka and 178 in Lakha Juar group.
The rock-shelters and caves of Bhimbetka reveal some interesting aspects of life in pre-historic times. The paintings depict scenes of community dancing and drinking, religious rituals as well as the landscape around them that includes elephants, deers, bisons etc.. Another rock painting shows peacocks and deer. There are hunting scenes where the hunters are represented fully armed with bows, arrows, swords and shields. As there are very few other rock-shelters of this type, the paintings throw light on the lifestyle of the people of this region in pre-historic times.