Every historical monument is a testament to our past. Its something which was made by people like us who wanted to share their vision with the world and their future generations. These places, born way back in time stayed true to their essence while the world around them changed and thus its a unique experience to ride to places which present unique perspectives from our history.
In the cave shelters of Chaturbhuj Nala, we found an opportunity to witness creations which date back to as much as 35000 years. Sounds unbelievable, but that the experts estimate the age of these cave paintings to be. The uniqueness of this place doesn’t end here. The fact is that this system of rock art decorated cave shelters is the largest of its kind in the world with rock art spread over a distance of 12 kilometers.
Ever since our ride to Likhichhaj, Pahargarh I had an interest in visiting more such cave shelters. Like Likhichhaj, the paintings here too are made in shallow caves running alongside a river, the caves are unprotected, sparsely documented and thus easily accessible which is majorly not a good thing.
We started from Gwalior at around 5:30 AM taking the route via Shivpuri, Baran, Jhalawar and Bhanpura. Bhanpura is the town nearest to the location. From Bhanpura we took the Neemuch Road towards Gandhi Sagar Dam. Chaturbhuj Nala is inside the Gandhi Sagar Sanctuary approachable via a 6KM long trail which cuts off the Neemuch road at around 8-10 KM before Gandhi Sagar Dam. There is a board at this point.
2-3 ASI staff are posted at the site who are available between 10am to 4pm. We did not find them willing to tell anything about the site. They just wanted us to leave as quickly as possible without seeing much. Although, I did walk around all the caves which I could conveniently get to and took pictures of all the art which I found interesting.
Once I had wandered sufficiently around the shelters we set off to find an accommodation for the night. We head towards Gandhi Sagar Dam where there are a number of guest houses run by dam and electrical authorities. There is also a tourism guest house under construction near the Shelters but it should take around an year more to get done. We were allowed to stay at the electricity department’s rest house for the night. It conveniently located near the Gandhi Sagar Dam with a nice view of the lake.
Our return was rather swift. Having visited the route from Gwalior to Jhalawar on a previous ride, we had nothing new to stop for here. However, we did take a lunch stop at a place called Shahganj where we found a small but good restaurant which server Dal Batti.
Overall, a good ride.Maybe if we had one more day to explore more it would have been better, but nevertheless at least we got to cover this amazing location.