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Latest in Madhya Pradesh 07 October, 2014

 35,000-year-old rock painting rots in Bhanpura area of Madhya Pradesh

The rich historic treasure in the form of one of the longest pre-historic rock painting and collection of art works depicting evolution of civilisation and history have been left to plunder in Bhanpura area near Gandhi Sagar Wildlife Sanctuary in Mandsaur district of Madhya Pradesh. 
In the absence of protection and conservation, the priceless art works are either damaged or stolen. The 15km-long rock art gallery at Chaturbhuj Nala near Gandhi Sagar Sanctuary has thousands of figures painted on its wall. 
According to carbon dating done by western researchers and approved by ASI, the paintings are around 35,000 years old. "Rock paintings are found in different parts of country and in Madhya Pradesh rock painting of Bhimbetka and Panchmarhi are very popular and protected by government, but the rock art painting done in pre-historic era at Chaturbhuj Nala is one of its kind found in a single place," said historian and researcher Dr Pradyumn Bhatt, who is working to save this art work.
Most of the paintings here have been executed in shades of red, ochre and, in rare instances, white and black. It is also likely that many hundreds of compositions were made on the outer surface of the rock shelters, all of which have been erased by sunlight, wind and rain. Moreover, many individual artists demonstrated their artistic prowess on these rocks over the decades and no artist can be individually identified since all followed the styles of their clans. 
"This rock painting depicts the story of entire human development and also gives valuable information about ecology of that time as painting of kangaroos, sea horse and rhinoceros (all these animals are not found in this region) have been made here," said Bhatt. 
The paintings were first discovered in 1973 and after several years of research, mostly by western scholars, ASI took this site under its fold. In the name of protection, three guards were appointed. However, this is hardly serving the purpose. 
The area also has a rich collection of art works and idols from Parmara Dynasty, many of which have been stolen in past few years. Yet, no effort to protect this piece of history is being made. 
Chief conservator of forest (CCF) PC Dubey said that the area comes under forest department and they have decided to take steps for its conservation and protection. "We are preparing a plan along with ASI and Dr Bhatt," Dubey said adding that the area can be developed for eco-tourism. 
[news as published in THE TIMES OF INDIA, INDORE PAGE ONLINE EDITION (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/City/Indore/35000-year-old-rock-painting-rots-in-Bhanpura-area-of-Madhya-Pradesh/articleshow/44586683.cms)  (Bagish Jha,TNN | Oct 7, 2014, 11.55 AM IST)
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