The prehistoric paintings are produced in preliterate, prehistorical cultures beginning somewhere in very late geological history, and generally continuing until that culture either develops writing or other methods of record-keeping, or makes significant contact with another culture that has, and that makes some record of major historical events.
Paintings and drawings were the oldest art forms practiced by human beings to express themselves using the cave wall as their canvas. The prehistoric paintings are in the form of murals. Theses murals were made by the prehistoric man using their tools on the inner walls of the cave. The importance of Indian mural painting was firstly highlighted by the Archibald Carlleyle and John Cockburn. They gave introduction to the Kaimur (Mirzapur) hill paintings in 1880 AD.
1. Mirzapur (Utta Pradesh)
Centre: Likhunia, Bhasauli, Lohri, Kohbar, Vijayagarh and Ahirora
Famous Painting: The poaching scene of Sambhar using a spear. Scene of poaching a Barasingha and a poached wild pig.
2. Garhwal-Kumaon Region (Area of river Suyal, Uttarakhand)
Centre: Lakhudiyar (Almora) and Dalband (Chamoli).
Famous Painting: Paintings of dancing humans, representation of human Figurine like a thin skin.
3. Raigarh Area (Madhya Pradesh)
Centre: Singhanpur, Kabra Hill, Khaitpur, and Baniya Beri.
Famous Painting: Human figurines holding of as mermaid, dragon, and agriculture activities are depicted.
4. Panchmarhi Area (Mahadeva Hills, Madhya Pradesh)
Centre: Bazar Cave, Nimbbubhoj, Mahadeva, Mandadeva, Dorothi Island, Imli Khoh and Baniya Beri.
Famous Painting: Collective poaching by men-women having prehistoric arms or a boomerang. The daily life scenes depicting the depicting the dancing, singing, grazing of cattle’s etc.
5. South India Area
Centre: Kurnool, Betamcharla, Muchrla Chintiyani, Adoni, Balchakar, Odikadda, Tirupati, Reshpalli, Khowa, Warangal, Kazipet, Hasan Parti (Andhra Pradesh), Bellary (Karnataka) and Edkkal (North Kerala)
Famous Painting: Long horned and large-bellied animals in running posture, representation of the magic and mythology.
In the late historic, early historic and Neolithic period the subjects of paintings developed and figures like Bulls, Elephants, Sambhars, Gazelles, Sheep, Horses, styled human beings, tridents and rarely vegetal motifs began to see.