Thursday, June 25th, 2009 | Author:

Last century witnessed lots of discoveries of cave paintings in India. In fact, this is not just an Indian phenomenon. Several countries have discovered cave paintings of pre-historic age. The tide turned in India in the year 1958 when Dr Wakankar discovered oldest Indian cave paintings at Bhimbetka caves in Madhya Pradesh. That was surely an archeological marvel that led to many more discoveries. The one found at Bhimbetka were as old as 20,000 years. Mostly primitive in nature, the cave paintings gave a certain indication of the time when Homo sapiens used in live in caves and were discovering the world.


This discovery was also significant in the light of the fact that we have no other records of our pre-historic ancestors. There are no written or oral records except these cave paintings. The discovery led to several other discoveries across the India. We also came to know a great deal about our ancestors. Places like Ajanta, Bagh, Ellora and Chhattisgarh have been found with historical cave paintings. Over 600 caves with paintings were found in Bhimabetka. The name Bhimabetka got its name from Bhima, one of the Pandava brothers.


The cave paintings of Bhimabetka clearly show usage of red and white color along with occasional green and yellow. Animal fat, vegetable dyes, colored earth and charcoal were used in paintings whereas brushes were made up of fibrous plants. The most surprising part was these paintings were still intact. Themes have been selected from everyday life like, hunting. Images of animals like elephants, tigers and wild boar etc can be seen in these cave paintings. Other themes include household occasions, dance and festivals. These cave paintings belong to seven different historical periods like upper Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Chaleolithic, Early historic and Medieval.

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