The Archaeological Survey of India has discovered pre-historic caves with rock paintings dating back to 12,000 years on the Satpura mountain range near Betul on the Maharashtra-Madhya Pradesh border.

A team of archaeologists, carrying out explorations on the Satpura ranges in Gawilgarh Hills in the border township of the Tapti-Purna valley stumbled on these ancient paintings, dispelling the myth that Vidarbha and its neighbouring region is bereft of such artistic treasures from our past. About 71 new rock shelters harbouring paintings and engravings have been found at the site, which may give a tough competition to the World Heritage site of Bhimbetka near Bhopal, ASI officials said. The decorated rock shelters were discovered by a joint team of ASI’s Nagpur-based Pre-history and Excavation Branch-I during the ongoing exploration and documentation work in remote parts of Satpura range.

Un-decorated rock shelters

Besides, the ASI team camping at village Chincholi Gawli, about 25 kilometres from Morshi in Amravati district (Vidarbha region) has also discovered more than 200 un-decorated rock shelters.

Since last week of December 2012, the team has so far discovered 89 rock shelters. “The assiduous work done by team members amidst arduous terrains has led to fascinating discoveries,” Nandini Bhattacharya Sahu, Superintendent Archaeologist, Prehistory Branch, (Nagpur) and leader of the exploration team told.