In ancient times, Chhattisgarh was the region known as Dakshin Koshal, which finds mention in both the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Over time it was ruled by a succession of Hindu dynasties, and they have left it a legacy of temples, ranging from modest to imposing. We invite you to follow our temple trail.
- Laxman Temple and Gandheswar Temple, Sirpur
- Danteshwari Temple, Dantewada
- Shivani Temple, Kanker
- Chandi Temples, Dongargarh
- Mahamaya Temple, Surguj
- Kudargarh, Surguj
- Shankar Temple, Deepadih, 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
- Turridham Shiva Temple, Janjgir Champa
- Adbhar Ashtbhuji Temple, Janjgir Champa
- Chandrahasini Devi Temple, Janjgir Champa
- Ganga Maiya Temple, Durg
- Temples of Ratanpur
- Mallhar (Saravpur)
Laxman Temple and Gandheswar Temple, Sirpur Sirpur is an interesting site, one hour east of Raipur. Sited on the banks of the holy Mahanadi river, and known as 'Shripur' in ancient times, it was the capital of South Kosala. The Laxman Temple here, believed to have been built in the 7 th century, is one of the finest brick temples in India, in good condition, and characterized by exquisite carvings and precise construction. Sheshnaag serves as an umbrella to Load Shiva on the top of the entrance, while incarnations of Load Vishnu, Krishna Leela ornamental symbols, and erotic carvings adorn the sides. The religious segments of a temple - Vatayan , Chitya Gawaksha , Bharwahakgana , Aja , Kirtimukh and Karna Amalak - are engraved in the pillars of this Panchrath type temple. The inside has the Mandap (shelter), Antraal (passage) and Garbha Grih (the main house). The Archaeological Survey of India has established a museum in the temple premises, which houses a collection of rare statues and other relics significant to the Shaiva, Vaishnava, Buddhist and Jain faiths. Down the road is the Gandheshwar Temple, situated on the banks of the Mahanadi river. This Shiva temple was built using the architectural remains of ancient temples and vihars . The effect is quite artistic. Various pictures of 'Shiva-Leela' adorn the top of the entrance. Inside there is a statue of Buddha touching the earth, as well as statues of Natraj, Shiva, Varah, Garud Narayan, and Mahisasur Mardini.
Barsoor Located on the banks of the Indrawati river, about 75 km (a one and a half to two hour drive) to the south west of Jagdalpur, Barsoor was once an epicentre of Hindu civilization. It is believed that there were once 147 temples and an equal number of ponds here. The ruins of these temples, dating back to the 10 th and 11 th centuries (i.e. over 1,000 years old) can be seen even today. Some beautiful images of Lord Vishnu can also be seen. One Shiva temple, with 12 carved stone pillars, has nude figures on the outside. Another Shiva temple has 32 carved stone pillars, a black granite Nandi (Shiva's carrier) bull, and two sanctum sanctorum, with a common court. The ruins of this temple have been recently restored. A 50 foot high temple, known locally as Mama-bhanja-ka-mandir (temple of the maternal uncle and nephew), is in good condition, but lacks an idol. It is not clear to which deity the temple was consecrated, or even if it was ever consecrated. The biggest attraction though, is the Ganesha Temple. While the temple itself is in ruins, two sandstone images of Ganesh, both in the aspect of Maha-Ganapati, are amazingly intact. The larger of these, and the more impressive, is about 8 feet high and over 17 feet wide.
Danteshwari , Dantewada Temple This ancient temple is at the confluence of the Dankini and Shankini rivers, about one and a half hours from Jagdalpur. It was built by the Chalukya kings of Bastar in honour of their family Goddess, Devi Danteshwari, who is venerated by both Hindus and tribals in the entire Bastar region (Danteshwari is believed to be the new name of Manikeshwari, the family Goddess of the Naga Dynasty who preceeded the Chalukyas). The temple is divided into four parts - Garbh Griha, Maha Mandap, Mukhya Mandap and Sabha Mandap. The first two are constructed using stone. The temple itself has been constructed at various times, but the sanctum sanctorum is believed to be more than 800 years old. A Garud Pillar has been erected in front of the temple entrance. The Danteshwari Temple really comes to life during the Bustar Dassera festival season. Men have to wear a lungi to enter the temple.
Shivani Temple This temple has one of just 2 statues in the world that is half Goddess Kali and half Goddess Durga. The other one is in Kolkata. The Navarathri festival is celebrated enthusiastically in this temple.
Chandi Temple Situated in the villages of Birkoni and Guchapali (10 km north and 40 km south of Mahasamund respectively), these are dedicated to the Goddess Chandi. A mela (fair) is held here during Navaratri in the months of Chaitra and Kuwar .
Mahamaya, Surguj Temple This simple temple is to the east of Ambikapur town.
Kudargarh, Surguj Temple This simple temple is to the east of Ambikapur town.
Shankar, Deepadih Temple The Shankar Temple here is surrounded by 4 gods - Lord Ganesha, Lord Kartikeya, Lord Vishnu with his all avtars (forms) and Goddess MahaDurga - who are there to guard and serve Lord Shiva. Deepadih is about 70 km from Ambikapur.
Vishnu Mandir, Janjgir Champa Temple The kings of the Hayhay dynasty began construction of this temple, in 2 parts, in the 12 th century, but did not complete it, and the still incomplete temple can be seen near Bhima Talab.
Pithampur Shiv Mandir, Janjgir Champa Temple Also known as Kaleshwarnath Mandir, this is on the banks of the river Hasdeo. A 10 day fair is organized here during Mahashivratri. Every year, on Rang Panchami, Naga saints participate in the enactment of the marriage procession of Lord Shiva.
Madanpurgarh Devi Mandir, Janjgir Champa Temple This temple is also on the banks of the Hasdeo river. The festival of Navratri is celebrated here every year.
Ghatadai (Paharia) Tripur Sundar Devi, Janjgir Champa Temple This temple, dedicated to Tripur Sundar Devi, is surrounded by forests
Shivarinarayan Laxminarayan, Janjgir Champa Temple This 11 th century Vaishnava temple was built by the kings of the Hayhay dynasty on the banks of the Mahanadi river, at Shivarinarayan Nagar. It is believed that Shabri Ashram, mentioned in the epic Ramayana, was located here. During Magh Purnima a fair is organized here.
Kharud Nagar Laxmaneshwar, Janjgir Champa Temple The locals believe this temple was built by and named after laxman, the younger brother of Lord Rama, the central character of the epic Ramayana.
Turridham Shiva, Janjgir Champa Temple A 3 day mela (fair) is organized at this temple every year on Mahashivratri.
Adbhar Ashtbhuji, Janjgir Champa Temple This is an ancient temple of Goddess Devi with eight hands. The Jyoti Kalash are lit here on Navaratri.
Chandrahasini Devi, Janjgir Champa Temple Situated on the banks of the Mahanadi river, this is popular as both a pilgrimage place as well as a tourist spot. A big mela (fair) is organized here every year on the eve of Navaratri.
Ganga Maiya, Durg Temple Located at Jhalmala, 58 km from Durg, there is an interesting story about the origin of this temple: a fisherman was fishing in the pond near the village when he found an idol in his net. He kept putting it back in the water, it kept coming back into his net. Finally, he got fed up and left it and went home. The same night, in a dream, a villager heard the Goddess saying "I am being ignored by the fisherman . take me out and get me installed." Taking this to be an order, he visited the pond the next morning, retrieved the idol and installed it in a hut near the village (and hence the name). Later a more permanent temple was built here by Bhikam Chand Tawri. The temple trust plays an active role in the life of the villagers, including organizing cultural activities and medical camps.
Mallhar, Saravpur Temple A former capital, this is about 14 km from Bilaspur. It has remains from 1,000 BC onwards. 10th and 11th century temples can be seen here. The Pataleswar Kedar Temple is one of them - the Gomukhi shivling is the main attraction here. The Didneswari Temple, belonging to the Kalchuri regime, is also worth visiting. The Deor Temple has artistic idols. There is a museum, managed by the Central Government, which had a good collection of old sculpture.
Talagram Temple Talagram, about 25 km from Bilaspur, is known for its "Deorani-Jethani" temple. This has a huge 7 foot high statue, that's 4 feet wide and weighs 8 tons.
Champaran Temple This village (formerly known as Champajhar) has religious significance, as the birthplace of Saint Vallabhacharya, the reformer and the founder of the Vallabh Sect. It has a temple constructed in his honour. Near this is a temple of Champakeshwara Mahadeva. An annual fair is held here every year, in the month of Magh (January - February). It is also customary for followers of Saint Vallabhacharya to celebrate his birth anniversary here every year on the eleventh bright day of Baisakh (April-May). Getting There: Champaran can be approached from Raipur via Arang (60 km) or Nawapara Rajim (68 km). Buses are available from Raipur and Arang (25 km).
Rajim Temple 30 minutes from Raipur, on the banks of the Mahanadi river, this was once an important urban centre. It has a fine group of temples, of which the main one (Rajivalochana Temple) is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.