Raipur is certainly one of the oldest cities in India, even though India boasts of many old cities. History has it that this region was ruled by the Kings of theRaipur City Satvahana dynasty between the 2nd and the 3rd centuries AD and then by Somvanshi kings. Sirpur was their capital which is just a few hours away from Raipur. One could ﬁnd the earliest evidence of the existence of this city from the 9th century ruins in the southern part of what is modern Raipur.
Later, the Kalchuris ruled this region and their capital was Ratanpur. King Ramchandra, a descendant of this dynasty founded the city of Raipur which was later made his capital. The city was named after his son Brahmdeo Rai. When the region disintegrated into small principalities, it passed from one kingdom to other until British ﬁnally conquered it in 1854. They then made Chattisgarh a separate Commissary (administrative unit) and Raipur was its district headquarters.
Raipur is located near the centre of a large plain, sometimes referred as the "rice bowl of India", where hundreds of varieties of rice are grown. The Mahanadi River ﬂows to the east of the city of Raipur, and the southern side has dense forests. The Maikal Hills rise on the north-west of Raipur; on the north, the land rises and merges with the Chota Nagpur Plateau, which extends north-east across Jharkhand state. On the south of Raipur lies the Baster Plateau.
Chhattisgarh Tourism Board
The Chhattisgarh Tourism Board (CTB) was established in 2002 to promote the tourism industry in the state. Its core responsibility is to develop a favorable framework for private, public and community participation in sustainable tourism development.
Cultural Sites Jagannath Dev Temple
Shri Jagannath Dev Temple is a highly revered shrine, located at Sadar Bazaar, in Raipur. It is believed to have been built in the 18th century. The presiding deity is Lord Jagannath. An annual festival, Rathyatra, is celebrated here with much pomp and splendour. It lasts for 15 days. The idols of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balbhadra and Subhadra are taken out in procession on this occasion.
Doodhadhari Monastery and Temple, located in the southern region of Raipur is one of the most important religious places in Chhattisgarh. Built in the mid-17th century by King Jaitsingh, the temple is dedicated to Lord Rama. It is also a popular religious and tourist destination in Raipur as both tourists and devotees throng this place to offer prayers and at the same time view the architectural brilliance and intrinsic carvings of the ancient temple. An ancient river known as Maharajbandh ﬂowing past the temple and monastery is another important attraction associated with this temple.
Hatkeshwar Mahadev Temple, located just 5km from Raipur along the banks of Kharun River is one of the most sacred pilgrimage destination in Chhattisgarh. It is regarded as another valued Hindu shrines in central India. Every year the temple attracts millions of tourists and devotees who come here to offer prayers and be part of the customs and rituals that are followed on a daily basis. It is an ancient shrine devoted to Lord Shiva and built in the year 1402 by Hajiraj Naik during the rule of Brahmadeo Rai who was the son of King Ramchandra belonging to the Kalchuri dynasty.
The district of Raipur has three wildlife sanctuaries. All are open year-round but November through June is the best time to visit them.
Barnawapara Sanctuary is located in northern part of Mahasamund district of Chhattisgarh. Spread over an area of 245 sq km, the sanctuary was established in 1976 under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. Flat and hilly terrain with altitudes ranging from 265 to 400 m form the topography of the region. Tigers, leopards, hyenas, antelopes, porcupine, bison, pythons and many other species are found in the sanctuary. Bird species found in the park include herons, bulbul, parrots, egrets and several rare avifaunas.
Situated in 'Purani Basti, this lake has been named by the combination of two words, Burha, which means old and Talab, meaning pond. It is the largest lake in the city. In the middle of the lake is an island that is covered with green trees and gardens. The lake is also popular for its musical fountain.
Sita Nadi Sanctuary is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Chhattisgarh. Located in Dhamtari district, Sitanadi Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most famous and important wildlife sanctuaries in central India. This beautiful sanctuary derives its name from the Sitanadi River that originates in the middle of the sanctuary and joins Mahanadi River near Deokhut. Sitanadi Wildlife Sanctuary is known for its lush green ﬂora and rich, unique and diverse fauna. It also has great potential to emerge as one of the ﬁnest wildlife destinations in central India.
Udanti Sanctuary was created to protect wild buffaloes. Apart from occupying the south-eastern portion of Gariaband taluka of Raipur District, the sanctuary also adjoins Odisha state on the eastern side. Spread over an area of 247 sq km, the sanctuary was established in 1983 after the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 was passed. The sanctuary has derived its name after River Udanti that ﬂows through this region. In addition to wild buffaloes, the sanctuary is also an abode to tigers, antelopes, black bucks, jackals, foxes, bison, barking deer, wild dogs, hyenas and cobras. Magpie robins, herons, parrots, egrets and pea fowls form the bird population inhabiting the sanctuary.
It was built by Maharaja Roadani in 1770. To the north of the lake lie ruins of a mediaeval fort. King Ram Chandra, the founder of Raipur had initiated the construction of the fort during his reign.
It is a location where most of Hindu religious rites are performed.
It was built in 1610 by Shri Balbhadra Dasji and Shri Bhosleji, and is one of the most important shrines in the Raigarh District. Sree Balaji is the presiding deity here. The walls of the temple are graced with beautiful images, depicting scenes from Lord Ram's life. Another highlight the Saligrams placed near the idol of Sree Balaji.
Chhoti Bamleshwari Temple
Chhoti Bamleshwari Devi Temple is one of the prominent shrines in Dongargarh. The presiding deity is Goddess Durga in the form of Goddess Bamleshwari. This temple was constructed for those who found it difﬁcult to climb the 1,100 stairs to reach Maa Bamleshwari Devi Temple, on a hilltop which is 1,600 ft high. Devotees, ﬂock here during Navratri in large number.
Danteshwari Temple is a 600-year-old heritage pilgrim centre built by the Chalukya kings in the 14th century. The temple is located at Dantewada, about 80 km from Jagdalpur, near the Gole Bazaar and Bastar Palace, in Bastar District. Two rivers, Shankini and Dhankini, meet here. Danteshwari got its name from the belief that a tooth of Devi Sati fell here. The temple is decorated and lit up magniﬁcently during the Dussehra festival.
Kuleshvara Mahadeva Temple
Kuleshvara Mahadev Temple is one of the prominent shrines at Rajim, in Raipur district. Inscriptions that date back to the periods of Somavanshis, Nalas and Kalchuris can be found here. The most unique part abou the temple is that it is situated on an island. According to local populace, the temple formerly located on the mainland and was severed by the river.
Rajivalochana, literally means 'the beautiful-eyed one', is one of the important shrines at Rajim, Raipur District. The presiding deity is Lord Vishnu. The temple boasts 12 pillars, on which the ﬁgures of Goddess Durga, Lord Vishnu, Lord Ram and Lord Narasimha are exquisitely sculpted.
It is a singing clock made by Raipur Development Authority. Constructed in 1995, the clock sings tunes of Chhattisgarhi folk music every hour before the hourly bell chime.
Mahant Ghasi Das Memorial Museum
It is home to a collection of inscriptions, images, coins, sculptures and other items that are of historical signiﬁcance to the region. Collections of the museum are displayed on two ﬂoors and in ﬁve galleries. In the museum is also located a library having a collection of records of the major happenings of the city's history. Established in 1875 by Raja Mahant Ghasidas of Rajnandgaon, the museum is a preservation site of different types of objects of archaeology.
Mahakoshal Art Gallery
It is one of the most important among the tourist attractions in Raipur. It is octagonal shape and situated near the D.K. Hospital. This gallery exhibits some of the attention grabbing art works of the locals.
It was built by the Kalchuri emperor King Brahmadeo. Dating from 1402 AD, the lake is a favourite picnic spot in the region.