Bhimbetka Rock Shelters and Rock Paintings

 Paintings in Rock Shelter 8, Bhimbetka Rock Shelters Paintings in Rock Shelter 8, Bhimbetka Rock Shelters.

Bhimbetka is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the oldest Indian petroglyph archaeological site dating back to the Paleolithic Era, establishing proof of human habitation in the Indian sub-Continent. Paleolithic Era is the period extending from around 2.6 million years back to Pleistocene Period which is around 10,000 BP (Before Present) years. ‘Present’ is taken as 1 January 1950 , when radiocarbon dating technology was available.

Bhimbetka is situated in Raisen district in Madhya Pradesh state, in central India. Some of the rock shelters in the area were dwellings to ‘Homo erectus’ (extinct species of Hominin) for more than 3 lack years ago. There are many rock paintings among the rock shelters of Bhimbetka, which were painted using vegetable colors, and stood the test of time. 30000 year old rock paintings were found in the Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka. More than 750 rock shelters were discovered in the region. Bhimbetka is home to world’s oldest stone walls and floors and is among the best petroglyph found anywhere in the world..

Bhimbetka rock shelters are inside the Ratapani wildlife sanctuary and Ratapani Tiger reserve. Bhimbetka is at the southern portion of Vindhya hills and Satpura Range of hills lies south of Bhimbetka Rock Shelters. Mountain ranges of Vindhya and Satpura, the two east-west mountain ranges, divides the Indian sub-continent into North and South India,

How Do I Go to Bhimbetka?

Bhopal, the capital city of Madhya Pradesh state, is the nearest city to Bhimbetka at around 45 kilometers south-east of Bhopal on the Bhopal – Hoshangabad road. Raja Bhoj Airport at Bhopal is the nearest airport to Bhimbetka Rock Paintings site.

OBAIDULLA GANJ with station code ODG, a small station where a few trains stops, is the closest railway station at around 7 kilometers to Bhimbetka petroglyph painting rocks site. (Few trains from Mumbai, Gujarat and from some other central Indian cities stops here.) Nearest major railway station is the one at Bhopal.

Rajat Prapat Falls (Silver Falls)

Rajat Prapat Falls is in Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh state, India.

Rajat Prapat FallsPachmarhi valley where Rajat Prapat Falls is situated. Photo Source : Creative commons Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0. Photo by Abhayashok.

For interested in statistics, Rajat Prapat Falls is the 30th highest falls in India. Rajat Prapat Falls is a horsetail type of fall (single drop fall), with a height of approximately 120 meters from a long cliff across a steep gorge. Rajat Prapat Falls is at an altitude of around 2800 feet above sea level.

Rajat Prapat Falls is also known as “Big Falls” due its its sheer height. This fall is also known as “Silver Falls” , as the color of the fall looks like silver when sunlight falls on it (In Hindi, Rajat means Silver and Prapat means falls).

You can trek to the base of the Silvre fall. Those who are adventurous can trek to the top of the Rajat Prapat Falls, from Apsara Vihar, which is close to Apsara Fall, another nearby waterfalls. Once you reach the top of Rajat Prapat Falls, you can take a bath there! You fell like standing on top of world, with a spectacular view of the falls and the serene forests below.

How Do I Go to Rajat Prapat falls alias Silver Falls or Big Falls?

Rajat Prapat falls alias Silver Falls or Big Falls is accessible from Pachmarhi hill station, which is part of ‘Satpura Mountain Ranges’ , which is part of the National Park at Satpura. Pachmarhi is known as the “Queen of Satpura”. Pachmarhi is mainly a Cantonment area serving the Indian Army.

Pipariya (known as Pips locally) on the HowrahAllahabadMumbai main line, with station code ‘PPI’, is the nearest railway station to Pachmarhi hill station at around 50 kilometers distance. Bhopal is the nearest airport to Pachmarhi , at around 200 kilometers away. The world renowned UNESCO Heritage site Khujuro temples are situated at around 425 kilo meters from Pachmarhi.

Kanha National Park and Kanha Tiger Reserve

A Royal Bengal Tiger inside Kanha National Park and Kanha Tiger Reserve
A Royal Bengal Tiger inside Kanha National Park and Kanha Tiger Reserve

Kanha National Park and Kanha Tiger Reserve is the largest National Park in Central India in Madhya Pradesh state of India. It is also a Tiger reserve.

Hard Ground Barasingha, a Swamp Deer species is the major attraction in this park. It was on the verge of extinction and this park was instrumental in increasing its population. Indian Gaur (an ox species) is also seen in this National park of Kanha, which is the largest wild animal of the park, which used to be the home of wild Indian elephants.

Kanha National Park and Kanha Tiger Reserve
Hard Ground Barasingha at Kanha National Park

Barasingha (a swamp deer species) has been re-introduced into the Kanha National Park. Barasingha ‘s antlers carry a minimum of 3 tines (prongs); thus the name Barasingha , which means 12 tined. Full grown Barasingha have normally anywhere between 10 to 14 tines, which may go up to 20 in rare cases.

Large sized Munna male tigers are another specialty of Kanha National Park.

Hallon and Banjar rivers, two tributaries of holy river Narmada, flows through the National Park. “The Jungle Book”, story by English author Rudyard Kipling, is inspired are believed to be inspired from this park, as he lived initially as a small kid and later as a youngster in these areas.

How do I Go to Kanha National Park and Kanha Tiger Reserve

Kanha National Park and Tiger Reserve is spread across the Balaghat and Mandala districts of Madhya Pradesh state in Central India.

Jabalpur is the nearest airport to the National Park at a distance of around 175 kilometers away. Nagpur is at 260 kilometers away from the Park at Kanha.

Raipur is at 210 kilometers distance from the Kanhna Park and Kanha Tiger reserve. Mandla is at 60 kilometers distance from the National park.

There are 3 gates to enter into Kanha National Park. If you are coming from Nagpur, Kisli gate is the one which is most convenient. Another gate to the National Park is at Mukki and a third gate to enter the Tiger reserve and National park is at Serai.

Stone Carvings at the UNESCO World Heriatage Site – Khajuraho Temples

Khajuraho temples are the largest group of around 25 medieval temples in Mahdha Pradesh state in India.

Khajuraho temple
Khajuraho temples, India

Khajuraho temples are built between 950 AD and 1150 AD. There are Hindu and Gain temples in Khajuraho. These temples were covered in thick forests and were discovered in the 18th Century by a British soldier. These temples are declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Temples at Khajuraho, India’s unique gift of love to the world, are famous for erotic stone carvings on the main walls. These may have been made to educate the youth. These petroglyphs shows the greatness of Indian art and architecture. These are considered to be the pinnacle of love and passion. These temples wee built during warrior kings of the Chandela Dynasty. Each of the 25 existing temple differs from one another.

Khajuraho temples have a theme; that of women; Celebration of womankind, her myriad moods and facets are well captured in the art work.

‘Kandariya Mahadeo’ dedicated to Lord Shiva is the highest temple with 31 meters in height with exquisite detailed intricate carvings. ‘Chaunsath Yogini’ is oldest temple built in 9th century. Most of the temples are built of sandstone. Interior rooms inside the temples are inter connected. There is enough walking space separating each temple.

Another temple was discovered during excavations at Bija Mandal in Jatkara village, near to Khajuraho, which dates back to 11th century. It is believed that there were 85 temples, out of which only 22 are unearthed till now.

How Do I Go to Khajuraho Temples?

Khajuraho Railway Station is the nearest railway station at 5 kilometers distance from the temple city.

‘U P Sampark Kranti Express’, a long distance Express train, goes to Khajuraho railway station. It is a daily train from Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway station at India’s capital city of New Delhi.

Jhansi Railway station is the nearest Major railway station, with code JHS at railway ticket booking site irctc.co.in, with frequent train connectivity to other parts of India, at around 200 kilometers away.

City Airport at Khajuraho is very close to the temples at 2 kilometers away. Khajuraho is well connected by roads to all parts of India.

What are Khajuraho Temples Visiting Timings?

Khajuraho temples are open to visitors from Sunrise to Sunset.

How Much is the Entry Fee?

Entry Fee is INR 10 for Indian citizens, and INR 250 or US $ 5 for foreigners. Entry is free for children up to 15 years of age.

Is There any Good Khajuraho Hotels?

Hotel Chandela (from Taj Group of Hotels), Radisson Hotel, Ramada, The Lalit Temple View, etc, are some of the leading 5 star Khajuraho hotels.