Formerly a part of Madhya Pradesh, Raipur is currently a constituent as well as the capital city of Chattisgarh. Having being ruled over by a wide variety of kings and emperors, this place boasts of a rich culture and heritage.
It is also a primary industrial center and houses one of the largest steel markets in the country. Raipur is also agriculturally fertile and is commonly known as the Rice Bowl of Chattisgarh. Major tourist attractions in and around Raipur include museums, ashrams, temples and lakes. Here are five places to visit in Raipur.
1. Mahant Ghasidas Memorial Museum
This Museum is named after Mahant Ghasidas, the king of Rajnandgaon, an erstwhile princely state, who funded and sanctioned the construction of this museum. The museum houses sculptures, swords, guns and even cooking utensils which are over 5000 years old. The sculptures and relics on display take you on an intriguing journey through the history of Chattisgarh. A hundred minute show allows you to take a peek into the anthropological, archaeological and natural history of the centre of India.
The Mahant Ghasigas Memorial Museum is a double-storey building, opened to public view in 1875. Some objects on exhibit here date back to 1st century B.C. It also displays intricate art works of indigenous artists.
The Museum also houses a huge library with a wide variety of books, journals and magazines.
2. Doodhadhari Monastery and Temple
Located in the southern province of Raipur, the Doodhadhari Monastery and Temple is set against the sprawling waters of Maharajbadh River. This temple, which is dedicated to Lord Rama is known to be built around mid-17th century by King Jaitsingh. This temple is admired for its exquisite murals and delicate carvings. Being dedicated to Lord Rama, this places witnesses a number of devotees across the year. Besides the temple is a monastery devoted to Swami Balbhadra Das, who is believed to have survived only on ‘dood’ (milk), hence, lending the place its name.
3. Mahamaya Temple
The Mahamaya Temple is situated in the old fort region of Raipur. Nestled in the banks of Kharoon River, the temple witnesses a massive number of visitors every year from across the country, especially during the festival of Navrati. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Mahamaya or Durga Ma. She is believed to be the embodiment of the many powers of Lord Shiva as well as that of Lord Vishnu. The lighted temple during festivals instills a sense of devotion and piety in the visitors.
4. Budhapara Lake
The Budhpara Lake is believed to be built by King Brahmadei, the Kalchuri emperor in 1404 A.D. It is a spectacular destination which attracts a number of visitors across the year. The sprawling waters of the lake instill in the onlookers a sense of calm and serenity. It is an ideal weekend getaway for those who seek harmony and peace, away from the bustles of everyday life.
5. Vivekanand Sarovar
Vivekanand Sarovar, also known as Budha Talab is located right in the centre of the city of Raipur. This serene location is a favorite choice for picnics and family outings. It is believed that the lake got its name from the great philosopher Swami Vivekanand, who lived in the vicinity during his visits to Raipur. He was immensely fond of the spot and the banks of the lake became a location for meditation for Vivekananda. A huge 37 feet high statue of Swami Vivekananda has been recently installed in the garden besides the lake. Tourists visit the place to experience calm and peace as they are embraced in the magnificence and tranquility of the lake. The Sarovar also facilitates boating and other water activities.
The suggested time to visit this place is between October-March, when the temperature is not too high, and the weather is pleasant and cool. Even as Raipur continues to rise as the manufacturing center of the country, it takes much pride in this rich heritage. The many temples and museums are illustrative of this fact.
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