DANTESHWARI TEMPLE, DANTEWADA – Dantewada, home to the presiding deity (Kuldevi) of Bastar, lies 87km South West of Jagdalpur, at the confluence of rivers Shankini and Dankini. Here, the Danteshwari shrine draws thousands each year, especially during Navratris and the days that lead up to Dussehra.
The 14th-century Chalukyan three-tiered temple is home to the black stone Goddess, who has a piercing gaze. It is recommended to come during the Bastar Dussehra when the main idol is temporarily shifted to Jagdalpur amidst much fanfare, led by the Bison Horn Marias in a long procession. The temple is one of the Shakti Peeths, popular for being the spot where Sati’s tooth has fallen.
LAXMAN TEMPLE, SIRPUR – A wondrous complex of ancient brick temples, Sirpur is the ideal destination for the spiritual and history enthusiasts alike. An erstwhile Buddhist site, parts of Sirpur are still getting excavated. Prominent areas include the Buddha Vihar and the 7th century LaxmanTemple, which is propped on a high platform. The exquisitely carved door frame is replete with figures of Seshasayi Vishnu along with his other incarnations. This temple is one among the most stellar examples of brick temples of ancient India.Buddha Monastery
BUDDHA MONASTERY, MAINPAT – Mainpat is one destination that offers respite from summers and has an unlikely religious composition of Tibetans. Main-pat is known for its Buddhist monastery that exudes a soothing vibe, fit for the drop in degrees as you climb from the plains to its hilltop address. A small, unassuming town, it is sure to charm the off-beat traveller.
PRAGYA GIRI, DONGARGARH – The 225 steps that lead to this 1000 feet hill is worth your while when you set your eyes on the enchanting gold statue of Buddha on top of the hill. Apart from some other small Buddhism themed shrines, stunning views of the towns below lie in store up here.