It's true, Chhattisgarh is relatively a new and very young tourist
destination, but the state's warm, friendly atmosphere is quite enough
to draw large number of tourists every year. There are verdant lush forests,
shimmering waterfalls, imposing palaces, ancient temples, rich customs,
vibrant handicraft, delectable cuisine, friendly people and much more,
Chhattisgarh's charms are truly boundless and enduring. Chhattisgarh is
the 10th largest state of India and it derives its name from 36 princely
states who ruled over this region from ancient times.
Chhattisgarh shares boundaries with the states of Madhya Pradesh on the
north-west, Jharkhand on the north-east, Andhra Pradesh on the south,
Maharashtra on the west, Orissa on the east and Uttar Pradesh on the north.
The state of Chhattisgarh spreads over an area of 135,194 sq. kms and it
consists of 16 districts. Around 35 big and small tribes inhabit in the
state of Chhattisgarh, the Gond tribes form the largest portion of tribal
population with the percentage of 55. The Chhattisgarhi language is the
official language of the state, which is often regarded as a dialect of
Hindi by linguists.
Predominantly a tribal state, Chhattisgarh is bestowed with rich mineral
and forest wealth. Chhattisgarh abounds in plains and hilly regions, the
central part is a fertile plain while the northern and southern parts are
hilly. The Mahanadi river is the principal river of Chhattisgarh, other
major rivers are Arpa, Eeb, Hadeo, Indrawati, Jonk, Kelo, Mand, Maniyari,
Pairi, Sheonath and Udanti.
Plan a trip to the enchanting state of Chhattisgarh next vacation, where
you will come across a number of spectacular sights. Besides, on your
Chhattisgarh trip, you will also get a chance to discover the distinct
tribal culture of the state on your own. Moreover, the lovely memories of
your Chhattisgarh trip will linger long in your mind.
Chhattisgarh - History
Although Chhattisgarh is a new state, but historically it is an ancient
land, finding its description as Dakshin Kosala in ancient texts,
inscriptions, literary works and account of foreign travellers. According to
epic Ramayana, Lord Ram, during his Vanvas (exile) stayed in Chhattisgarh.
From the 17th century onwards, Chhattisgarh witnessed a number of
socio-religious reform movements, seeking to form a more equitable society.
The Satnam Panth, the Kabir Panth, the Ramnami Panth and the Rae Das Panth
are the prominent movements that emerged out in the region during the 18th
and 19th centuries.
The region of Chhattisgarh also witnessed a number of tribal rebellions
from the late 18th century to the early decades of the 20th century. Some of
the noted rebellions include Halba rebellion (1774-79), Bhopalpatnam
Struggle (1795), Paralkot rebellion (1825), Tarapur rebellion (1842-54),
Maria rebellion (1842-63), First Freedom Struggle (1856-57), Koi revolt
(1859), Muria rebellion (1876), Rani rebellion (1878-82) and Bhumkal (1910).
A renowned Rajput family called as the Haihaya dynasty ruled over this
region for six centuries. Later it split into two parts, the older branch
continued at Ratanpur, while the younger one settled in semi-autonomous
state at Raipur. In 1741, the Marathas attacked Chhattisgarh and destroyed
the Haihaya power. In the year 1745, they conquered the region and deposed
Raghunathsinghji, the last surviving member of the Ratanpur house. Finally
in the year 1758, the Marathas annexed Chhattisgarh and it came directly
under the rule of Maratha. Bimbaji Bhonsle became the ruler.
In 1818, Chhattisgarh came under the British control and they made some
changes in the administrative and revenue systems of Chhattisgarh. India's
first war of independence in 1857 was invoked in the state of Chhattisgarh
by Vir Narain Singh who was a zamindar of Sonakhan. The British arrested Vir
Narain Singh in 1856 for looting a trader's grain stocks and later
handed him on 10th December, 1857. In the war of independence, Vir Narain
Singh became the first martyr from Chhattisgarh. After India's
independence in 1947, Chhattisgarh remained a part of the state of Madhya
Pradesh. On 1st November, 2000, Chhattisgarh was carved out of Madhya
Pradesh as the 26th state of India.
- Tourist Destinations
Chhattisgarh comprises 16 districts namely - Raigarh, Raipur, Bastar,
Bilaspur, Dantewada (South Bastar), Kanker (North Bastar), Dhamtari, Durg,
Janjgir - Champa, Jashpur, Korba, Kawardha, Koriya, Mahasamund,
Rajnandgaon and Surguja. Raipur is the state capital city, which houses a
number of tourist attractions. One of the biggest cities of Chhattisgarh,
Raipur is fastly developing into an important hub for large and middle scale
industries. Apart from Raipur
other towns and villages of Chhattisgarh offer many visual feasts for
Chhattisgarh - Temples
During the ancient times, the region of Chhattisgarh was known as Dakshin
Koshal. In fact, Chhattisgarh has been mentioned in the great epic Ramayana
and Mahabharata. Over the centuries, Chhattisgarh region was ruled by a
succession of Hindu dynasties who had built several temple ranging from
modest to magnificent.
On your Chhattisgarh trip, you can see the imposing temples that include
Laxman Temple (Sirpur), Gandheswar Temple (Sirpur), Danteshwari Temple
(Dantewada), Shivani Temple (Kanker), Chandi Temples (Dongargarh), Mahamaya
Temple (Surguj), Kudargarh (Surguj), Shankar Temple (Surguj), Vishnu Mandir
(Janjgir Champa), Pithampur Shiv Mandir (Janjgir Champa), Madanpurgarh Devi
Mandir (Janjgir Champa), Ghatadai (Paharia) Tripur Sundar Devi (Janjgir
Champa), Shivarinarayan Laxminarayan Temple (Janjgir Champa), Kharud Nagar
Laxmaneshwar Temple (Janjgir Champa) and Ganga Maiya Temple (Durg).
Chhattisgarh - Palaces
During olden times, a number of districts of Chhattisgarh were erstwhile
princely states. The Chhattisgarh rulers built several massive palaces
during their rule, which now provide a glimpse of the bygone era. So, visit
Chhattisgarh and get a taste of royal hospitality in the magnificent
palaces. Kawardha Palace (Kawardha), Kanker Palace and Bastar Palace are the
most important palaces of Chhattisgarh.
The Kawardha Palace was built in the 1930's by the Maharaj Dharamraj
Singh and is open from 1st September to 30th April. The Kanker Palace was
originally the Resident's House during the British rule, but now it is
the main residence of Royal family. This palace is open from 1st September
to 30th April. A colorful local festival is held every year here and is the
perfect time to visit this palace.
Chhattisgarh - People & Culture
According to census report of 2001, Chhattisgarh has a population of 20,
795, 956. Chhattisgarh has the second highest percentage of tribal
population in India after the state of Madhya Pradesh. The Scheduled Tribes
constitute around 33% of Chhattisgarh's population, mostly concentrated
in the southern, northern and north-eastern districts of the state. The
highest concentration of tribals are found in the district of Dantewara
(79%), the erstwhile Bastar district has the second largest tribal
population (67%), followed by Jashpur (65%), Surguja (57%) and Kanker (56%).
The Gonds, the Oraons, the Abhuj Maria, the Bison Horn Maria, the Muria, the
Halbaa, the Kawars, the Halbis, the Dhurvaa, the Bharias (Bhumiars), the
Bhattras and the Napesias are the main tribes of Chhattisgarh.
Each tribe of Chhattisgarh has its own distinct history and rich culture of
music, dance, clothes and food. What's common among the tribes is their
simple, basic and in-tune-with-mother nature way of lifestyle that has been
coming for several centuries. Dance and music are essential part of the
tribals of Chhattisgarh. Panthi Dance and Raut Nacha are popular dance forms
of the state. The Panthi dance is usually organized in the rural areas in
marriage ceremonies and some other auspicious occasions, while the Raut
Nacha, a traditional folk dance is usually performed by yadavs/yadavanshis
as a symbol of worship to Lord Krishna. Chhattisgarh is also known for its
rich art and crafts that include wood crafts, bamboo crafts, bell metals,
wrought iron and cotton fabrics.
Chhattisgarh - Cuisine
People of Chhattisgarh are known for their distinct eating habits. Wheat,
jowar and maize are the staple food of the state. Usually people take dal
(lentils) in their meals, most commonly consumed of all is Arhar dal. In
addition to these, people of the state are fond of sweets and namkeens.
Jalebi is favourite sweet among the state people, Bafauri is another popular
dish. However, some tribes have now started using oil as a cooking medium,
but the traditional tribal cuisine mostly involves boiling or roasting with
almost no spices and condiments. Dried fish, jungle fowl and mushrooms form
a significant portion of the tribal diet. Bastar's Lal chinti chutney
(red ant paste) is one of the famous local delicacies of Chhattisgarh,
besides, people also like pakodas and samosas found in local haat (market).
Chhattisgarh - Fairs & Festivals
Chhattisgarh boasts of a multihued culture which is beautifully manifested
in the various fairs and festivals of the state. People of the state
celebrate numerous fairs and festivals throughout the year. The tribals form
a major portion of Chhattisgarh's population, the fairs and festivals
of the state provide you an excellent opportunity to experience the tribal
culture on your own. Amongst the fairs and festivals of Chhattisgarh,
Dussehra festival is celebrated with a great deal of pomp and grandeur.
Bastar Dussehra is, by far, Chhattisgarh's biggest and most vibrant
festival. Interestingly, unlike Dussehra in other parts of India, Bastar
Dussehra has nothing to do with the triumphant return of Lord Rama to
Ayodhya. Bastar Dussehra entirely revolves around goddess Devi Danteswari
Mai and the occasion is marked by a congregation of various village deities
at the Danteswari temple at Jagdalpur.
Some of the important fairs and festivals of Chhattisgarh include Bhagoriya
Festival, Bhoramdeo Mahotsav, Chakradhar Festival, Goncha Festival, Hariyali
Kora Navakhani, Kajari Festival, Madai Festival, Narayanpur Mela,
Sheorinarayan Fair, Rajim Lochan Mahotsav, Bastar Lokotsav, Champaran Mela,
Fagun Wadai, Koriya Mela, The Earth Festival, The First Fruits Festival,
Hareli Festival, Pola Festival and Teeja Festival.
Chhattisgarh - Wildlife
Around 44% of the state's area is under forest coverage, which makes
12% share of India's total forest area. Chhattisgarh is home to a
variety of plant and animals species that include some of the most
endangered and rare wildlife. Bestowed with 3 national parks and 11 wildlife
sanctuaries, Chhattisgarh promises a thrilling and rewarding experience for
wildlife lovers and nature lovers as well.
Indravati National Park is the most popular wildlife sanctuary of
Chhattisgarh, other important national parks and wildlife sanctuaries are
Kanger Ghati National Park, Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary, Sitanadi
Wildlife Sanctuary, Udanti Wildlife Sanctuary, Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary
and Sanjay National Park. The endangered Wild Buffalos and the Hill Myna are
the major wildlife attractions. In addition to these you can see wild
animals such as Tigers, Leopards, chinkara, Indian Gazelle, Barking Deer,
Chital (Spotted Deer), Chausingha (Four-horned Antelope), Nilgai, Sambars,
Gaurs, Muntjac, Sloth Bear, Wild Boar, Dhole or Wild Dog, Jackal, Striped
Hyena, Porcupine, Bison and many more.
Chhattisgarh - Shopping
Any trip to Chhattisgarh is incomplete without shopping. So, whenever you
visit this picturesque state, you must not forget to buy a variety of
handicrafts and several other locally made items. As the state has a big
tribal population, so you will mostly find handicraft items produced by the
tribes. Handicrafts of Chhattisgarh have earned much popularity worldwide
and they make an excellent option for gift or utility item. Chhattisgarh has
numerous Government Emporia and private shops which will surely satisfy your
shopping urge. Some of the popular shopping items of the state include Wood
crafts, Bamboo crafts, Wrought iron items, Bell metal items, Cotton fabrics,
Stone sculpture and Terracotta. On the whole, shopping in Chhattisgarh will
provide you a wonderful experience.
Chhattisgarh - Climate
Chhattisgarh has a tropical, humid and sub-humid climate and it varies from
region to region. The climate of Chhattisgarh is hot because of its location
on the tropic of cancer. In the central plane areas, the temperature soars
to a high of 45°C and it drops to a minimum of 10°C. The
temperature remains cooler round the year in the higher altitudes in the
north and south. April to June are hot months while December to January are
cold months. Chhattisgarh is fully dependent on the monsoon for rains which
arrive the state by late June and ends by the month of September.
Best Time to Visit
November to March is the best time to visit Chhattisgarh.
Chhattisgarh - Transportation
Chhattisgarh has a domestic airport in state
capital, Raipur, which is connected to almost all the important airports of
the country. Indian Airlines operate frequent flights to Raipur from various
destinations of India. From Raipur buses and taxis are available for
different parts of the state.
Raipur and Bilaspur are two major railway
heads of Chhattisgarh. These railway stations are served by a number of
express trains from all over the country. Raipur is situated between Mumbai
and Howrah, two major railheads of west and east, so several important
trains pass through this railway station regularly.
Good network of roads criss-cross the state of
Chhattisgarh. National Highway No. 6, 16 and 43 connect all the important
cities and towns of Chhattisgarh with each other and also with other parts
of the country.