When we talk about history, India has plenty. What only a few might know is that the earliest signs of human life on the Indian subcontinent are in the cave paintings at Bhimbetka in Madhya Pradesh. These sprawling caves have rightfully earned their place in UNESCO’s list of the World Heritage Sites. Inside these majestic caves, one can see art traced back epochs ago from the Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Chalcolithic periods along with the Medieval Age. And they are actually paintings, not etchings in stone. It is a mystery how most of the paint has remained intact through centuries. Discovered in 1957, there are around 15 caves that are open for public viewing.
Bhimbetka is not the only place that carries the signs of history in its deep and dark caves. Located in a remote location at Wayanad in Kerala, the Edakkal caves contain drawings from as far back as 5000 BC. The sight of a huge piece of rock embedded at the top of the cave is awe-inspiring.
Another hidden exotica in northeast India’s travel itinerary is the Rang Ghar and Kareng Ghar of Sivasagar (formerly called Sibasagar) in Assam. A 12-hour drive from Guwahati, Sivasagar is where one will still find traces of the Ahom Dynasty that ruled Assam for over 600 years. Kareng Ghar is the royal palace and is a great example of the unique architecture of the period. Rang Ghar—as the name suggests, ‘Rang’ in Assamese stands for fun—is where the kings had all the fun. In this sports pavilion, the mighty Ahom kings watched buffalo fights and other sports.