Secreted in a forest of teak atop craggy sandstone hills 45km south of Bhopal are more than 600 rock shelters. Over 400 of these World Heritage–listed shelters contain thousands of rock paintings, the result of continuous occupation and use from the early Stone Age to medieval times.
A gamut of red and white figures dances across the rocks: bison, rhinoceroses, elephants and tigers share space with scenes of hunting, battle, initiation ceremonies, childbirth, communal dancing, drinking, religious rites and burials.
Fifteen of the best shelters are linked by an easy 1.4km round-trip walking trail, with helpful information boards along the way. Guides are available for around ₹200 though quality varies.