To a traveller, Chhattisgarh promises a journey, that is almost paradisiacal — undulating hills, land bursting with bright green paddy fields, zigzagging tributaries plunging white waterfalls and dense forests—all hold timeless secrets of nature. It is said that even Lord Ram walked on this land during his exile. The intense cultural magnetism holds no lesser draw.
More than forty tribes, still rooted to their culture, traditions and a history shrouded in enigma, inhabit the state. Incredible biodiversity at National Parks and Sanctuaries, ancient Hindu temples, Buddhist monuments, unique tribal practices and local handicrafts converge here to make this a pulsating land to satiate the curiosity of a traveller.
TEMPLES – Spiritual fervour runs deep in Chhattisgarh. With the social composition enveloped in reverence to a million local deities and nature, it is not uncommon to see a number of large and small shrines sprinkled in the state.
MAHAMAYA TEMPLE, RATANPUR – Dedicated to the dual deity of Goddesses Mahishasur Mardini, the Mahamaya Temple lies 25km from Bilaspur. Though the temple started getting constructed in the 12-13th century, several additions embellished it over the course of time. Influences of the Nagara style of architecture still make for the most prominent architectural features in it.
BAMLESHWARI TEMPLE, DONGAR – The 1,600 ft-high perch of the shrine gives it a vantage position to have devotees make that extra effort to pay homage to the deity, Goddess Bamleshwari. The legend of the temple goes back to 2,200 years ago. A local King by the name of Raja Veersen, who could not conceive a child with his wife, and upon the suggestions of his royal priests prayed to the Gods. Within a year, the queen gave birth to a son who was named Madansen. Considered a blessing of Lord Shiva and Parvati, the king constructed a temple in their honour.