Cave Shelters at Mahadeo Hills


Pachmarhi is an archaeological treasure house. The cave shelters in Mahadeo Hills have an astonishing richness in rock paintings – the earliest paintings here are estimated to be some 10,000 years old. Other cave shelters around Pachmarhi are: Dhuandhar, the paintings kept here mostly in white include a group of archers with typical Gond bun and hooped earrings. Bharat Neer (Dorothy Deep), has well executed animal paintings and when excavated in the 1930s, yielded many pottery shards and microliths. At Asthachal (Monte Rosa) there are four shelters with paintings, comparatively early linear drawings. Along the northern side of Jambu Dwip valley there are some six shelters with many paintings of animals and human figures, including a detailed battle scene. Harper's Cave is named so because of one of its paintings - a man seated and playing a harp is close to the Jata Shankar Shrine. The Chieftain's Cave derives its name from a battle scene showing two chieftains on horses. A terrace that runs the length of the South, South East and East faces of Kites Crag has some fine cave paintings, the majority of which are in white or outlined in red.