Sirpur – Historic Places in Chhattisgarh

Sirpur

In the quaint dusty backyard of Sirpur lies, sacred ruins of the bygones, disposed in the sands of time. Beautiful broken colorful bangles, clay toys, and stupefying cenotaphs of a civilization that would talk no more but for the epigraphs, the epitaphs, polished, chiseled stones and inscriptions for description. Mounds and monuments and mounts of wisdom lay scattered, echoing the lives and times of about 2000 years of rich history, tradition, trade and folklore.

About 80 kms from Chhattisgarh`s capital Raipur, on the bank of river Mahanadi, Sirpur is the jewel of the other 57 protected and catered archeological places in Chhattisgarh.

The findings in the Sirpur have revealed a civilization and culture much more illustrious than that of the Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro!

22 Shiva temples, 4 Vishnu temples, 10 Buddha vihars, 3 Jain Vihars, remains of ancient market, underground granary market, 6th century Ayurveda snana-kund (Ayurveda spa), Ayurvedic treatment center, 10 bedded hospital with ancient surgical instruments….to name a few! The stone engravings are unparalleled even in comparison to those of Ellora and would make Khajuraho envious.

Spread over in an area of about 30 Sq km the ancient capital of Dakshin Koshal (south kosal- mentioned in the epic Ramayana), about 200 archeological mounds have been discovered and excavated so far.

archeological places in Chhattisgarh

Sirpur Temple

Dalai Lama and an envoy of South Korea and Sri Lanka visited the site recently and were enamored especially by the Boudh Vihar. Magnificent and the biggest temple complex of 6th and 7th centuries to be discovered so far. The stone inscriptions and the engravings depicts features of southeast Asian ethnicity, attesting to the fact that more than 6000 buddhist students visited and attained wisdom in the once not so nondescript shreepur; as Sirpur was probably known in the ancient times. The medieval traveler and scholar Hiuen Tsang too mentioned Sirpur in his travelogue implying the rich buddhist tradition of the place.

The multitude of the Buddhist places of worship, shrines and other artefacts contributed to the inclusion of Sirpur in Circuit 3, titled Buddhist heritage trails.

Lord Parshvanath Tirthankar

Sirpur Chhattisgarh

The sprawling city was once a major trade center in the international market of the ancients, from 6th BCE towards the end of 18th century!! The first traders might probably were Jains as implied by the presence of huge statue of Lord Parshvanath Tirthankar. The market were segmented for metals, daily consumable articles etc.

The presence of Ayurveda spa, treatment center, and a 10 bedded hospital complex is too incredible a discovery in central Indian state which is mostly considered a land of the impoverished, stuck in Stone Age and what not. The common remark of the people is “achha vahan to haathi may ghumte hai na? / well..there (in cg) you travel in elephants aint so?”.

Well….much has changed in the state and a weary traveler would feel at home with the cozy comfortable arrangement the state tourism has done in the past decade, with world case accommodation, lodging and tour packages. Come and relish the rich culture and history of Chhattisgarh.

Don’t forget to bring a diary. You might want to pen down a travelogue.

apna

Chhattisgarh came into existence as a state on 1 November 2000 by partitioning 16 south-eastern districts of undivided Madhya Pradesh. It shares its border with six states, namely Odisha in the east, Jharkhand in the north-east, Madhya Pradesh in the north-west, Uttar Pradesh in the north, Maharashtra in the west and Andhra Pradesh in the south. The state is endowed with a rich cultural heritage that includes its varied crafts, folk dance, food and theatre, and attractive natural diversity. It is also home to some of India’s ancient caves, finest waterfalls, picturesque palaces, temples, Buddhist sites, rock paintings, hill plateaus and rare wildlife. While the northern and southern parts of the state are hilly, the central part is fertile plain. Mountains, plateaus and plains constitute roughly a third each of the state’s physiography. Major rivers of the state include Mahanadi, Indravati, Godavari, Narmada, Hasdo, Shivnath and Arpa. Identified as one of the richest biodiversity habitats in the country, Chhattisgarh has one of the densest forests in India, rich wildlife, several species of exotic flora and fauna and abundant non-timber forest products, with tremendous potential for value addition. Following its formation as a state, the nine original districts were further bifurcated, and as a result, the state now has 27 district administrative units. In the last phase of reorganization of districts, nine new districts were created and notified on 26 January 2012 to bring administration and governance closer to people, and also to address the spatial and other challenges that the state faces. There are a variety of tourist places in Chhattisgarh most of which lie virtually unexplored. The unspoilt green forests, dotted with picturesque waterfalls, scenic plateaus and winding rivers offer a feast to eyes. The caves and forts of a forgotten era add to the variety of tourist attractions in Chhattisgarh. Myriads of wild lives hide in the forests of Chhattisgarh, which occupy a huge 42% of the state’s land surface. Last but not the least important to mention is the lure of exotic tribal life of Chhattisgarh that acts as a magnet to attract tourist to the city of Chhattisgarh. *Copyright of Pictures and Information in this page might belong to someone else as all the data in this page are taken from different sources.

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