Thursday, February 25, 2010

Time Travel - BP to AD: Bhimbetka

The maddening tour continues. Back from Bhopal last night and going to Bhubaneswar tonight. Which means this month, I spend 4 entire days at home. Imagine! On our first day in Bhopal, a sunday, we were able to wrap up things early and visit Bhimbetka.

One hour drive from Bhopal, a right turn and then a narrow, surprisingly well maintained road snaked its way up leaving everyone and everything behind and suddenly...we zoomed back to...well pre-history.
Was it the gigantic odd shaped prehistoric crags (dated BP - "before present"), the strange red, white and blue striations on the rock surface - believed to be under water before the north and south gondowana land collided to give rise to the world structure as we know nos throwing up many mountains ranges, including these rocky crags part of the Vindhyas.

And the cave paintings. Our guide dated these to be from 12,000 years ago - those in white; the ones in red being more recent merely 2000-3000 years ago and ofcourse somewhere in between the legend of the lot later Pandavas, bhim in particular - bhim baithika.

As the guide led us from one rock shelter to another pointing out the paintings - white, red, pale yellow and green....we were lost, transported far far away. Suddenly, the tour had ended and we were right in the front whence we had begun.

And only half an hour had passed and yet we had travelled 12,000 years. And back.

There is so much on Bhimbetka on the net. Archaeological Survey of India & Unesco World heritage site among others. But these pictures don't half capture the magic.

"See madam, the colours are all original, surviving all these years. And yet the C/5 marking that the ASI had inscribed to denote the rock shelter no. 5 has to be renewed ever so often".
Civilisation then, need not mean progress?
PS - Again, a digicam with a chip capable of storing only 3-4 snaps (argh! Dont ask ... long boring story).


Swati said...

Wow, and we dont even know of these places...would love to visit some're travelling like a maniac...dont you ever need to hop by Delhi?

Satyasri Ukil said...

See...your notes and pics are very good...they clearly record interesting details...I like them...

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