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Chhattisgarh : Bastar And Chitrakoot
Bastar considered to be an important place of visit, is situated right on the border of Orissa but falling under the jurisdiction of the state of Chhattisgarh. Not only is Bastar famous for its scenic beauty, there are many ancient temples and caves which can be a treat to one’s eyes. Moreover Baster is famous due to its richness in heritage culture. Kanker and Keshkal valley can also provide adventurous experience to the tourist. Another famous site of visit can be Jagdalpur which is the gateway of the district town of Lilabhumi.
Those who willing to pay a visit atWaltair, Araku, Koraput and Jepur, can avail several buses from Jagdalpur. Several buses, cabs and jeeps for Bijoygarh, Hyderabad, Raipur, Orissa, and Andhra Pradesh as well for Chhattisgarh are available.
Jagdalpur is adorned with many places of interests. Among them, one is the Government Office which is situated near the bus stand, was the palatial building of the famous 19th century royal Kakatiya family. The building is a treat to watch as it is adorned with beautiful sculptures and architectural designs. However the main door of this building has the famous Danteshwari temple. The famous Danteshwari temple is a common site for visit amongst the pilgrims as it has been considered one amongst the 51 Pith where different part of Sati was found. The teeth of Sati were being found here. Adjacent to which is the famous Bhubaneswari Temple, where still the footprints of Sati are visible, under a tree. Men visiting this famous temple are supposed to were a lungi or a dhoti, while entering the temple premise. A famous rath festival is observed during the time of Dussehra. But the main sanctum sanctorumis situated Dantebada, which was the capital city of the royal family. The main shrine is made of 14th century old rock, nearby which is the famous junction of the Sankhini and Dakhini rivers. As per historical reports, there were nearby 52 temples, however with the passage of time the number perished to four temples only. Not only are twin shrines of Lord Ganapati and Lord Shiva are there, many other idols are also present in the famous Dantebada temple.
Another striking aspect of Dantebada is the unique weekly market, where every seller come adorned in their respective traditional attires and sell goods based entirely on the barter system. Once done with the temple visit, one can avail a bus for the 11th century capital city of Bastari.eBarsur. The place is also famous for a twelve pillared temple of lord Shiva. Some famous templesare of Lord Ganesha and that of the Mama Bhanja Temple. 6 kms from here is the Indravati falls which is mainly known for its enormity. Moreover there is the famous Bailadila Iron Mine which is one of the biggest in the Asian Iron Mines. You can also collect some of the famous BastarKosa Silk, Daru and the terracotta items as a souvenir. On the south western part of Dantebada nearby the Andhra Pradesh is the famous Pamed Sanctuary, can also be a famous site of visit.
Other places of interest are the famous GangaMunda Lake, DalpatSagar Lake, and the famous Anthropological Museum which is situated at Dharampura.
Apart from all these cite of attraction, the main attraction of Jagdalpur is the miniature Niagara, Chitrakoot Falls. The grandeur which the falls convey is just indescribable. The 96.32 ft. falls flows from the Vindhya mountainous range. But the grandeur supersedes further during the monsoon season as the Indrani or the Indravati River flows with all vigour and zest. The river further takes a right turn to finally meet with the Godavari. The whole scenery has an awe appealing beauty. Moreover the beauty is further intensified with the beautiful rainbow that is a frequent spectacle. Though this view is worth a visit but still this place is seldom visited by tourists.
Again if one continues moving from Jagdalpur towards Chitrakoot, after an 8km travel is the Chitradhara Falls, which is also worth visiting. Further travelling one can find the Tomragumor Village and the Tomragumor Falls.
Kanger Ghati National Park
Spread over a 204 square kilometre beautiful and picturesque hilly area, the Kanger Valley National is known for its unique plantation of Arjun, Mahua, Kendu, Sal, Segun and Teak trees. Located 27 kilometers south-west of Jagdalpur, Kanger Ghati attained the status of a National Park in the year 1982. The Dhurba, Maria, Muria and Gond tribe are the added attraction of this park. Moreover tiger, cheetah, chital, wild boar, sambaretc. are common site in this park. Further the beauty of this park is intensified with the sweet chirping of the birds. And those wanting to spend few days amidst this natural beauty, different forest bungalows are available. But in order to avail better services, charges will have to be paid in bulk. Moreover parking and camera fees are levied on the tourist. But this park remains closed from 1st July to 31st October.
Right opposite the entrance of this park, if one continues moving towards the village is the famous Tirathgarh Falls. The 160mts wide waterfalls, falls from a height of 110mts, thus striking a grand impact. The water flowing through the various streams and crossing numerous paths in a zigzag manner and finally ending up in the falls is a treat to watch. Those wanting to catch a complete view of this beautiful waterfall, have to climb down 218 spiral stairs. This particular waterfall is the storehouse of stalagmite and stalactite lime stone. A temple of TribhubaneswarMahadev and that of Laxmi-Narayana can also be visited. A few yards from the falls is the Tirathgarh watch tower which is been built to provide a better view of the surrounding.
Further travelling 1km from Tirathgarh and 40 km south from Jagdalpur is the Kutumsar Cave. Spread over an area of 1.5kms this cave is considered to be the 2nd largest cave in the world. Those willing to visit this cave need to be accompanied by a guide, who’ll show you the way through the cave with the light of their specialised battery torches. Entering through the 5x3 ft. gate, the cave will lead you to a shrine of a limestone built ten forms of Lord Shiva.
Travelling 17kms further from Kutumsar Cave is the Kailash Cave. The way to the cave is such a wonder to watch that often wild animal couldn’t resist this eternal beauty and come out from their den in order to catch a view. Tigers are frequent on this way.The entire road is dark thus full of thrills and adventures. Guides are required to guide the tourist through this way. Though these guides carry petromax light but still it is advised to carry a torch along. And to book a guide one has to seek permission from the Collector or the Tourist Officer.
Indravati Tiger Reserve
Another site of interest is the famous Indravati Tiger Reserve. Established in the year 1983, this reserve is situated 150km away west from Jagdalpur, along the Indravati River which flows almost along the Maharashtra border. Covering an area of 2799 square kilometre, this reserve forest is a treat to be around. Extreme weather conditions do prevail here. This reserve forest is thus the storehouse of some of the famous species of Sal, Shemul, Shegun, Amla, Haritaki, Palash, Bohera, bamboo etc.
Moreover a wide range of wild animals also take shelter of this reserve forest. Some of them being the cheetah, gaur, chausingha, nilgai, sambar, barking deer, wild buffalo, wild dog, hyena, sloth bear, etc.