On a road trip through Bastar

Travelling from Raipur to Jagdalpur--in Chhattisgarh--you will be immersed in natural beauty, old temples, and tribal culture.
On a road trip through Bastar

The city found itself catapulted to fame as the capital of the new-born state Chhattisgarh in November 2000. With an airport and a major railway station, Raipur can be the base for exploring the tribal district of Bastar. From Raipur, you can also visit the Hatkeshwar Mahadev temple, Rajim and Sirpur. The annual Sirpur Music and Dance Festival is also a big draw now. And a visit to Raipur&rsquos Moti Bagh area is a must if you are looking for a culinary trip.

Gangrel Dam
Built on the Mahanadi River, the dam has been chosen as a water sports destination. The dam is about 15km away from Dhamtari town and 90km from Raipur. You can also take a break here at Chhattisgarh Tourism&rsquos (CG Tourism&rsquos) Bardiha Lake View complex (five air-conditioned double-bed rooms, restaurant, etc.).

About 140km from Raipur, Kanker is a former princely state. You can stop here for an overnight stay at the Kanker Palace, a luxurious heritage property. You can also avail their package tours to see the surrounding region. https://www.kankerpalace.com/

After driving for nearly 159km from Raipur, take a break at Keskal. A well-laid out Botanical Garden stands at the end of a branch road from the highway. Called Panchavati, it has a watch tower and a children&rsquos park. From the watchtower, catch a sweeping view of the surrounding forested hills and valleys.

Located near the junction of three states, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, Jagdalpur sits in the middle of the tribal district of Bastar. The town&rsquos major attractions include the royal palace, Danteshwari temple and an anthropological museum. There are several interesting places around Jagdalpur, such as Tirathgarh and Chitrakote waterfalls, Kanger Valley National Park, Dantewada, etc.

Tirathgarh waterfalls
and Kanger valley forest
Located about 38km from Jagdalpur, the Kanger river plunges 300 feet and is known as the Tirathgarh waterfalls. If photography is on your mind, then you must visit the waterfalls in the first half of the day to take advantage of the sunlight. A flight of stairs will take you to the base of the waterfall.

You need a permit to enter the Kanger Valley National Park. Drive to the Kutumsar and Kailash caves lying inside. If you are lucky, you might catch a glimpse of some of the smaller animals on the way. Enter the caves if you are accompanied by a local guide. The guide will arrange for lights too to see inside for visiting the caves.

If you are looking for a long day trip, continue to Barsoor (about 100km from Jagdalpur) from Kanger Valley. Between 12th and 13th centuries, Barsoor was the capital of the Chindagnag dynasty. But only a few temples&mdasha huge idol of Lord Ganesha, the Mama Bhanja temple, etc.&mdashremain of the more than 100 temples that once existed here.

31km from Barsoor, Dantewada is the abode of Goddess Danteshwari, an incarnation of Goddess Shakti. The temple&mdashlocated near the confluence of the Shankhini and the Dankini rivers&mdashfollows the south India style of architecture.

The best time to see the majestic beauty of this waterfalls&mdashaffectionately called the Niagara of India&mdashis during the monsoon and a couple of months after that. You can either visit Chitrakote as a half-day excursion from Jagdalpur or stay in the tourist cottages near the waterfalls. After flowing through hills and dales from its headwater in Odisha, the river Indravati takes a sudden 100-feet leap down a sheer rock face. As it tumbles off the cliff, the waterfall throws up a misty spray that catches the afternoon sunlight to form innumerable rainbows. CG Tourism&rsquos Damdami complex consists of 16 air-conditioned double-bed cottages and 13 air-conditioned luxury tents.

On your way back to Raipur, stop at the handicraft village in Kondagaon. You can buy handicrafts made by the local tribes from terracotta, wood, bamboo, iron and bronze (dokra).

&nbspThe information
The best time to visit the region is between November and March. But to see the Chitrakote waterfalls in full glory, you have to visit during the monsoon. For more details about Chhattisgarh, check www.cgtourism.choice.gov.in

Related Stories

No stories found.
Outlook Traveller