Formerly the eastern most region of Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh is
one of the newest states of India with the oldest of destinations. The
tiny state Chhattisgarh, rich with amazing treasure of wildlife and
natural beauty is influenced lot by the culture and heritage of the
neighbouring states Madhya Pradesh situated in the North-West,
Maharashtra in the West, Andhra Pradesh in the South, Orissa and
Jharkhand in the East.
For an offbeat tour, no destination can equal Chhattisgarh. Enriched with numerous wild life sanctuaries, the ancient jungles of Chhattisgarh seem to be very loving abode of Indian tigers, leopards, sambars and cheetals. But wait, Chhattisgarh is even more than that. The oldest tribal populations in India find their home here for millennia and that discovers another face of this vibrant state. Unique handicraft artifacts made by the tribes, flavours the art of Harappan civilization, definitely deserve a kudos for still retaining the ancient era.
The state and central government have come up with a number of tour packages to promote the tourism in this beautiful state which still remains largely unadulterated by the outside world.
The Capital, Raipur
Raipur, the capital of Chhattisgarh is located centrally in the state rests on the banks of Mahanandi river. The historical city Raipur, founded in the 9th century by the Kalchuri king Ram Chandra maintains a nice balance between the ancient and modern era and is now a fast growing modern city of central India . The Vivekananda Ashram started by Swami Vivekananda himself is a must see attraction in Raipur. The ancient Shwetambara Jain Temple and Kaiser-e-Hind Darwaza to commemorate the visit of queen Victoria are other attractions that grab your appreciation.
Nestled amidst the thick greenery, Bastar takes you to the pre-historic age with the black dense forest, white waterfalls and stalactite caves. The million year old Kutumsar Caves and Chitrakote Falls are all that people never miss to visit once they are in Chhattisgarh. But what about the life here? Here comes the age old tribes who are resting here standing testimony to the bygone era, which is alive in the pages of history only. The adventure tourists find heaven here while camping near the ancient waterfalls under the fat archaic trees.
Forest and Wildlife That Captivate
Chhattisgarh, the greenest state of India proudly boasts of a forest which is the densest in the world after the Amazon and has been identified by the UN as the bio-diverse hot spot. Adventure loving and nature loving tourists discover paradise here with wonderful wildlife and extreme greenery causing green riot. After the monsoon, the green leaves seems to be even greener and the wide waterfalls seem to gush even stronger. Undoubtedly, this is the right time to embark for dense and thick jungles of Chhattisgarh. Indravati National Park famous for its lush green forests, Udanti Sanctuary famous for its wild buffaloes, Achanakmar Sancturay housing tiger, leopard, cheetal and Sal covered Sitanadi Sanctuary are some of the destinations which you should not miss while you are in Chhattisgarh. You can stay in the jungle resorts inside the national parks and believe us, no one wants to miss this opportunity to be lost in the nature.
Tribal Trails of Chhattisgarh
Housing the oldest tribal population of India, the identity of Chhattisgarh has been synonymous with the culture, music and craft of the tribes residing here. The pure magical and virgin beauty of the region comes alive with the buzz of cock fight and hustle-bustle caused by the weekly tribal haats (markets). You will be amazed to find that barter system is still alive with these innocent people living away from the modernization of the world. You can have a good chance to get acquainted with the queer rituals and traditions of the Murias, who love to be fuddled by the local brew- mahua. The ageless art of the various tribes include exquisite terracotta, bell metal and molded iron sculptures and excellent wood-carvings which easily find themselves contemporary with the modern decoration of our rooms.
Chhattisgarh is not all about jungle, wildlife and tribes only. The
ray of civilization illuminated the region much earlier when Lord Rama
was mesmerized by the beauty of the jungle and decided to stay here
with wife Sita and brother Lakshmana. Sirpur inherits the legend with
the Lakshman Temple, perched on a six foot high platform is a wonder
itself for it is the only temple dedicated to him. The Buddha Vihar
and Swastik Vihar with adjoining monastery are blessed with the 6 ft
tall statue of Lord Buddha emphasizes the holy Buddhist heritage of
The 11th century temple of Bhoramdeo, dedicated to Lord Shiva is famous for its titillating carvings which is compared with the erotic sculpture of Khajuraho. Set amidst the picturesque surroundings and dense forests, these ancient temples seem to take you for a timeless voyage.
12 kilometer away from the city, Raipur airport is well connected with Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Nagpur and Bhubaneshwar where Indian Airlines, Jet Airways and Air Deccan offer regular flights.
The main hub of railway in Chhattisgarh is located in Bilaspur, which is the headquarter of South East Central Zone in Indian Railways and hence well connected to all the major cities of India. Rajdhani Express from Raipur to Delhi runs everyday. The Mumbai-Howrah Geetanjali Express makes a definite halt at Raipur.
Raipur is well connected by roads. NH 200 and NH 43 criss-cross the state and there are inter-state bus services to Bilaspur- 111 km, Bhopal- 630 km, Nagpur- 278 km, Bhubaneshwar- 562 km, Cuttack- 537 km, Ranchi- 645 km.