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Jatmai-Ghatarani Waterfalls, Gariaband



 Jatmai-Ghatarani Waterfalls (Gariyaband)
(A blog by Jitendra Nakka)


Introduction


Depicting the beauty of the Central Plains of Chhattisgarh, Gariyaband is one of the most beautiful districts of state.  Gariyaband is the home of some of the most beautiful waterfalls. Among them, the most beautiful waterfalls are the falls of Jatmai and Ghatarani
 Image: Ghatarani Waterfall


Where and how to reach?

            Jatmai-Ghatarani Waterfalls are actually two different waterfalls 6kms away from each other. Jatmai-Ghatarani is nearly 90 kms from State Capital Raipur and nearly 40 kms from District Head Quarter. Just 20 kms away from Gariyaband, there is a village called Panduka, towards Gariyaband-Rajim State Highway, from where Jatmai Waterfall is nearly is 20-22 kms away. For reaching Ghatarani,  again we have to start our journey from Jatmai and take the straight forest road which after a couple of miles, turns into a kachcha road, which after next 4kms leads to our next beautiful destination called Ghatarani. 

Site Map of Jatmai Ghatarani Waterfalls
(Courtsey: www.mapsofindia.com)

            Both the Waterfalls are approachable throughout the year, as it is just 20-22 kms east from State highway. Here the months of rainy and early winter season are most advisable for visiting these wonders. As Panduka village is directly on the State Highway, one can find good hotels, lodges and restaurants in Raipur, Gariyaband and Rajim and can plan their tour-plan from there.
  
Salient Features


  • Experience being at Jatmai Waterfall:         

This area actually comes under Chhura block of Gariyaband District. Welcoming with the roaring sound of Falls, Jatmai is divine spiritual place famous for its milky waterfall as well as Goddess Durga temple centrally placed in a rocky sanctum in a sharp thin grotto down to middle of the left side of bank of fall. The fall is 20 feet high (approx.) flowing with a milky cascade of Water from upstream. 
 Image: Mata Jatmai Temple

 
 Image: Jatmai waterfall with temple

  Image: Jatmai waterfall with temple

Both the banks of Jatmai fall are witness of some of the most beautiful temples of district, painted in white colour everywhere, complimenting the milky colour of falls. The upstream can be traversed quite up to a long distance. Tourists love to do hiking and climbing sort of sports. Other than the fame of religious waterfall, this place is also famous for water-sports.

  • Experience being at Ghata-rani Waterfall:

Ghatarani waterfall is a bit larger than Jatmai waterfall and nearly 6kms from Jatmai Waterfall from a kachcha road directly leading to Ghata-rani Waterfall.  Ghatarani is nearly 30-35 feet wide and 25-30 feet in height with a divine sanctum of Goddess Durga on the right bank of fall, which is known as Mata Ghatarani temple. This place too holds the same importance as Jatmai Waterfall. 
 Image: Mata Ghatarani Temple

The upper most side of waterfall is formed as cascade upto first 5 feet, followed by formation of cataract up to 20-25 feet reaching the foot of the falls. The foot of the falls homes a shallow reservoir which is incompatible to store the huge amount of water coming from upstream, hence allows the flow of water downstream again forming gentle low cascades which is completely occupied by devotees and tourists. This place too is famous for water-sports and young people love to do hiking and mountain climbing in this place.  
 Image: Ghatarani Waterfall (with Author)
Image: Ghatarani Waterfall


Conclusion:

These sites are perfect picnic spots for youngsters as well as families too. Being the nearest waterfalls from state capital, they have the capacity to become one of the most beautiful waterfalls of Chhattisgarh.

            As there are some good tourist places like Taurenga Reservoir, Kukdha Mini-Dam, Chingra-pagaar Waterfall nearby these marvels, one can plan a tour including these places also. Last but not the least, my special tanks to Mr. Mahendra Sinha and Mr. Verma for their support and time, they have given me for visiting these wonders.

 Note: This citation is a part of my travalogue, my experience while going through the different eco-touristm sites of Gariyaband district. 


Chingra-pagaar Waterfall, Baruka, Gariyaband


Chingra-pagaar Waterfall (Baruka, Gariyaband)
(A blog by Jitendra Nakka)


Introduction

Being one of the most newly formed district, Gariyaband has the potential to be of the most beautiful eco-tourism site of the Central Chhattisgarh. Gariyaband has some of the most beautiful waterfalls of Chhattisgarh, some of which still strive to get recognised in and around the state. One such marvel is “Chingra-pagaar Waterfall”.

 
 Figure: Chingra-pagaar Waterfall
Photo source: Jitendra Nakka 


Where and how to reach?

            Chingra-pagaar Waterfall is nearly 78kms from State Capital Raipur and nearly 12kms from District Head Quarter. Just 12kms away from Gariyaband, there is a village called Baruka, towards Gariyaband-Rajim State Highway, from where Chingra-pagaar is 3kms east to its front Mountains.
 Figure: Location map of Chingra-pagaar Waterfall
Photo source: (C) www.mapsofindia.com

            Waterfall is approachable throughout the year, as it is just 3kms from State highway, but the last 3kms journey is from dense forest with a unmetalled stony Kachcha road, with a lot of undulations and small brooks along the road, which will test the patience of tourist. But a 5-10 mins of patient journey will led to a splendid surprise which is called Chingra-pagaar Waterfall.
Figure: Chingra-pagaar Waterfall with Author


            As told by the local Villagers, that the fall receives water from a hilly brook up from the hill, so it gets dry during summer. Hence the months of rainy and winter season are most advisable for visiting this wonder. As Baruka village is directly on the State Highway, one can find good hotels, lodges and restaurants in Raipur, Gariyaband and Rajim and can plan their tour-plan from there.


Salient Features

            This area actually comes under Gariyaband block of District. The most specific feature during the journey to this marvel is the road track of this hilly terrain, which is fully undulated with slopes somewhere even upto 45 degree. As the soil is sandy, the soil gets attached into the tyre of the bikes, and the tyre gradually slips on the road surface and somewhere its full of boulders and demands the patience of rider.
Figure: Chingra-pagaar Waterfall
Photo source: Jitendra Nakka
            As the tourist reaches near, he/she can be able to hear the roaring sound of fall from a distance of half-kilometer.  Walking along a bouldary path which is complete a dense forest, leaves you spellbound in a mesmerizing natural environment. 
Figure: Way to Chingra-pagaar Waterfall
Photo source: Jitendra Nakka 

            The water from a hilly brook plunges down from a considerable height of 60 feet (approx.) to make this beautiful fall of Chingra-pagaar. The best part of this waterfall is two stage formation where the first stage and second stage of fall are incorporated with each-other, where the first stage is completely steep and gives it a height of 40-45 feet whereas the second stage is 15-20 feet high, hence both the stage combinedly gives it a height of 60 feet, from where the water plunges down a 4-5 feet deep reservoir/pond downside. If rain falls heavily it forms more than one fall laterally parallel to eachother, where the other falls are bit thinner than the central thick fall.
Figure: Chingra-pagaar Waterfall
Photo source: Jitendra Nakka  
 Figure: Reservoir of Chingra-pagaar Waterfall
Photo source: Jitendra Nakka 


            On both the sides of fall, there are steep climbing tracks on the large broken boulders of rocks. Young tourists like to take this place as an ideal adventure site.  

            As there is no proper approach road to this place, this place still strives to drive attention of tourist from in and out of state.  


Conclusion:

This site is purely a “silent killer”. If proper attention will be given from local administration, this site has the potential to become one of the most famous waterfalls of state and country. As this place is full of indigenous butterlies, administration can promote this as Butterfly zone. Last but not the least, my special thanks to Mr. Mahendra Sinha and Vermaji for leading me to this mesmerizing place.
Figure: Density of Butterflies in Chingra-pagaar Waterfall
Photo source: Jitendra Nakka 

Madku Dweep

Madku-dweep
(A blog by Jitendra Nakka) 

Introduction

The Bilaspur division of Chhattisgarh is well embraced by lush green forest, hilly areas in the north, and great ancient history. When we talk about ancient history, there are few places in this division, which can astonish you to its extreme, as how that would have happened in the past. One such place is Madku-dweep
  Pic: Front (Left side) view of temples
Situated near calm and silent river Shivnath, Madku dweep is an island of spellbinding beauty with full of greenery. It has an area of around 24 ha and is extremely picturesque. The island of Madku-dweep resembles the shape of a frog (Mandku), hence got its name. 

Where and How to reach?

Madku dweep is situated 25kms far from Bilaspur towards Raipur in NH-130 (old NH-200). It’s nearly 79kms far from Raipur. The nearest railway stations are Bilaspur, Bhatapara and Raipur. And nearest airport is Raipur. Madku-dweep is approachable throughout the year but as it is situated near the bank of River Shivnath and is approachable through Annicut Bridge through Sargaon Village which is nearly 15-20kms from Madku-dweep. 
Pic: Site Location of Madku Dweep (Source: Maps of India)
  
One more way is through Village Baithalpur, which, too, is on NH-130 (Raipur-Bilaspur Highway) and is just 4kms away from Madku Dweep.
For boarding and lodging, one can take hotels and motels in Bilaspur, which is the nearest big city and a no. of hotels are there, which provide attractive tourist packages for the nearby tourist places.   
 
Importance:

Historical and Archeological Importance:

According to Archaeologists, this place is famous for various facts:
(   (1) Here pre-historic stone tools have been discovered and has been reported in India Epigraphy 1959-60 report.
(   (2) Here, two stone inscriptions have been found, where one is in Bramhi script and is of 3rd Century B.C. mentioning the name of Akshaya Nidhi and other one is in Shankha Script.

Religious Importance:

This place is a unique identity for a name called religious harmony. As this place is very famous for the ancient idols of Lord Shiva, Ganesha, Shiv-Parvati, Nandi and many other Gods, there are few new temples also built here which are equally worshipped by the devotees. Religiously, as this place is in the middle of river, it is also renowned as Kedar Tirth and has got the title of Harihar Kshetra Kedar Dweep.
In the month of Paosh Purnima (Chera chera Punni), a 7 day fair is held here. Similarly here Shiv-ratri and Hanuman Jayanti is also celebrated with great devotion.
One more fact which shows the communal and religious harmony of this area is that just beside the archeological excavation of Madku-dweep, Christians too gather for a huge fair every year in the month of February during 10th-18th

Art and Sculpture:

Archeologist went through extensive excavation in this place, and happened to have unearthed 19 ancient temples. Strange is the fact that among these temples, 18 temples are directed towards east direction and one temple (middle one) is directed to west direction. The style of temples and statues formation(including idols of Shivlinga, Ganesh, Shiv Parvati) is quite similar to that of Great Kalchuris
 Pic: Statue of Uma-Maheshwar
 
Pic: Statue of Lord Shri Ganesha

 Pic: Site Location with Author

 Pic: Front (Left side) view of temples
  Pic: Front (Right side) view of temples

  Pic: Front Back View of temples

After mush research, it was concluded that a mighty overhead flood submerged the whole series of temples in 1.5-2m below ground level.

Conclusion:

Here near the bank of Shivnath, there are a lot of relics which are still to be explored, but this is just the beginning. This temple comes under Archeological Survey of India and still hides a great past, a great mystery to be revealed. The basic need is to go for more analyzed research. Here nearby, you can also visit the temples of Tala.


Devrani Jethani Temple - Tala, Chhattisgarh

Devrani-Jethani temple - Tala, Chhattisgarh
(A blog by Jitendra Nakka) 

Introduction

In words of famous scientist James Hutton – “Present is the key to Past”, which means the past processes can be explained in terms of the contemporary processes which can be observed  and recorded at present. 
There are some places which are evidences of great ancient past. There are some places which are proof of great art and breathtaking sculpture of any region. There are some places which are witness of great love of traditions and customs by any great ancient kingdoms, any great ancient dynasties. One such perfect destination is Tala. Tala is famous for Devrani-Jethani temples.

 Picture: Devrani Temple, Tala

Where and How to reach?

Tala lies in the bank of confluence of river Maniyari and Shivnath near Village Ameri Kampa. Tala is also identified as Sangama Gram in the records of Panduvanshis of Mekala.
                                  Picture: Location Map of Tala

 Tala lies near the Raipur-Bilaspur Highway (NH-130), the nearest railway station is Bilaspur and Raipur and the nearest airport is Raipur. This place is approachable throughout all the seasons of a year. 

Importance:

Historical Importance:

Discovered by J.D.Welger, assistant to renowned archeologist Alexander Cunningham in 1873-74, Tala has been dated to about 7-8th Century A.D. During excavations, it has been dated to 6th – 10th Century A.D. 

Religious Importance:

Tala is famous for the spectacular Devrani-Jethani temples which are devoted to Lord Shiva. Various excavations done here tell that various dynasties reigned here were followers of Lord Shiva and preached the Shaiva Religion in the past. Here there are few more temples built recently by Nishad Samaaj namely Ram-Janki temple, Swami Purnanand Maharaj temple and Gaushala.

Art and Sculpture:

Devrani-Jethani temple

Here, there are two temples viz: (1) Devrani temple and  Jethani temple. Both the temples are still present in the form of remnants only. It is discovered that these temples have been during the reign of Sharabpuri Kingdom.-

  (1)    Devrani Temple: 

This temple involves a combination of two temple (a) Devrani temple and (2) Shiv temple. The dimension of this temple is quite interesting as it has a dimension of 75X32 square feet. This temple is constituted by three phases of temples i.e. Mandapa, Antaral and Garbh-griha. The entrance wall pillars is ornamented with encarvings of River Goddesses whereas the top is encarved with Gajlaxmi.

Picture: Front View of Devrani Temple

Picture: Inner View of Garbh-griha, Devrani Temple 

Picture: Inner View of Garbh-griha, Devrani Temple  

 Picture: Author infront of entrance
This temple cannot be complete without discussing the divine and spectacular statue of Lord Shiva which is also renowned as Rudra Shiva. In this statue, the body parts of the Lord Shiva is made in the form of different animals like the forehead is made like snake, nose is made like lizard, moustaches is made like fish, beard is formed like crab and the ears are made like pea-cocks. Similarly the abdomen part of Shiva is made of the head of 7 men. The statue is nearly 2.70 meter long. As we don’t find any incarnation of Lord Shiva like this statue in any of the religious books, hence there are differences in the view of archeologists and historians. 
 Picture: Statue of Rudra Shiva

The majority of this temple was buried under earth. In 1976-77, The excavation was started, later followed by excavation works in 1988-89. This temple is believed to have built by Sharabhpuri Dynasty around 5th - 6th  Century A.D. Later on the external part of the temple had been extended around 9th – 10th Century A.D. 

((2)    Jethani Temple:
 
This temple is in devastated condition but still hold special importance in the field of Archeology and Science, where the back of the base of the temple gives a square like impression but the front of the temple shows continuous stairs upto the first chamber i.e.  Mandapa, which is actually half of its square shape. The Garbh-griha and front phase of the temple is directed towards east direction, whereas other entrance can be observed in East and West direction too. The relic of weight bearing pillars can be observed by the ornamentation encarvings of Lion at different directions and other peculiar but artistically spectacular design of idols. The base of the temple is ornamented with the encarvings of Digpal Devta and Gajmukh.
Picture: Side View of Jethani Temple  

Picture: Front View of Jethani Temple 

 
Picture: Ornamentation(Encarvings of Digpal Dev) in the Pillar of Front View of Jethani Temple

 Picture: Ornamentation(Encarvings of Digpal Dev) in the Pillar of Front View of Jethani Temple
 
 Picture: Ornamentation(Encarvings of Lions) in the Pillar of Front View of Jethani Temple

 
 Picture: Ornamented Pillar infront of Jethani temple
  Picture: ruined statues and idols infront of Jethani temple

  Picture:  idols infront of Jethani temple

Picture:  idols infront of Jethani temple courtyard

Picture:  idols infront of Jethani temple courtyard

The extensive excavation of this temple started in 1986, resulted into the discovery of various statues, metamorphic objects, metal bangles, coins etc. Later in 1987, more enhanced excavation was started to more findings. This temple is believed to be of 5th – 6th Century A.D. This temple is made from Red Sandstone and is believed to have gone through renovation previously in 8th-9th Century A.D. This place is considered as one of the most important Shiava pilgrim from early ages.  

Conclusion:

Here near the bank of Maniyari and Shivnath, there are a lot of relics waiting to be explored. This place is an important pilgrim for Shaiva people and a huge fair is held every year in the month of Shiv-ratri. So if you really wanna visit some of the best archeological sites of Chhattisgarh, do visit Tala

Arang - The Temple City of Chhattisgarh


Arang, the Temple city of Chhattisgarh
(A blog by Jitendra Nakka)

Introduction

Raipur is the Capital of Chhattisgarh, not just in terms of Politics, or not in terms of technical and infra-structural development, but also in terms of its rich art and culture and heritage, its archeology nearby. Raipur, being district has four blocks, where one of the blocks is Arang. Arang, the block head quarter, is a small town, but possess many worthseeing ancient temple and is famous as the “temple town of Chhattisgarh”.

                              Picture: Bhaand Dewal Jain Temple

 Where and How to reach?

36 kms to the east of Raipur (along the Mahasamund road, in NH-06) lies the beautiful town of Arang. The nearest airport is Raipur. This place is approachable throughout the year. For Lodging and boarding, Raipur can be a nearest suitable destination.
                                    Picture: Location Map of Arang
                                        Source: Maps of India

Mythological and Historical Importance:

This place was once under the Kingdom of a kind, noble, faithful, generous, worthy ruler, King Mordhwaj (once the ruler of Ratanpur kingdom), who was believed to have ruled over this region, during the period of “Mahabharata”. History says that all the area occupied by his reign, shows equal importance to Jaina, Vaishnava and Shakt temples. 

Archeological Importance: 

Much of the area in the Central Chhattisgarh was once the kingdom of Great Kalchuris, who were great admirers of Art, Sculpture and Culture. They ruled Central Chhattisgarh during 1000-1741 A.D. They happened to have given equal importance to all the religions of their reign and made countless temples all over many parts of Central Chhattisgarh.

Religious Importance: 

Believed as the land of Great King Mordhwaj, Arang is the home of some of the most wonderful temples of Central Chhattisgarh namely - Bhand Dewal Jain Temple, Mahamaya Temple, Mahadev temple, Shri Bageshwar Nath Mahadev Temple, Goddess Kamaksha temple, Shri Panchmehwar Pipaleshwar Mahadev Temple, Goddess Chandi Temple etc. People from all parts of Central India visit this place because of these divine shrines. Therefore today this place is called as temple-town of Chhattisgarh. 

Salient Features:

   1. Bhand Dewal Jain Temple: This temple is believed to have been built by Haihaya Dynasty during 9th Century A.D. Dedicated to Jain Tirthankaras (Jain Gods), this temple shows three beautiful statues of Jain Tirthankaras, with beautiful carvings inside and outside of the temple. Built in the form of Nagar style of temple formation, this temple shows beautiful carvings of Yaksh-yakshinis, Gods and Goddess & erotic couple carvings.
                                 Picture: Bhand Dewal Jain Temple

    2. Goddess Kamaksha temple: This temple is near Goddess Samya Mata temple and devoted to Goddess Durga. It is built under the roots of a Banyan tree; as told by the locals, earlier the former patron priest of this place got a dream by the almighty Goddess Durga to search this place, dig it, and find an ancient statue, Hence this temple is formed.

                                   Picture: Chandi Mata Temple

     3. Shri Panchmeshwar Pipaleshwar Mahadev Temple: It is believed that it is built under the trunk part of a Pipal tree, where as told, earlier the former patron priest of this place got a dream by the almighty Lord Shankar to search this place, dig it, and find an ancient Shiv Lingam, Hence this temple is formed.
                               Picture: Pachmeshwar Pipaleshwar Temple

    4. Goddess Chandi Temple: This temple is actually devoted to the almighty Goddess Durga as Mata Chandi. The centrally placed statue has been placed by the excavation done near the temple region itself. Other than this temple is a divine abode of Lord Vishnu and Jain Lord Aadinath Shri Rishabdevji. All these statues have been recovered by the excavation done in the Arang area.  

                                   Picture: Chandi Mata Temple
  
    5. Shri Bageshwar Nath Mahadev Temple: This temple too is an ancient temple but for the sake of its conservation, Government and Local Bodies has renovated this shrine to a new temple. Built in Nagara style of temple formation, this temple is devoted to Lord Shiva. Just below right side near the entrance gate of this temple, one can observe many archeological ruins like broken statue of Nandi, Lord Vishnu and Garuda. The Courtyard of this temple shows an example of roof like boundary formation which too is used for the visitors and priests at the time of Yagyas.
                                   Picture: Bageshwar Temple
 
Conclusion: Arang is a worthseeing place very near to the capital city of Chhattisgarh, Raipur. If you people really wanna visit some aesthetic religious place near Raipur….do visit Arang.

Mahadev Temple Dev Baloda


Dev-Baloda Shiv temple
(A blog by Jitendra Nakka) 

Introduction

There are some places or sites which being in the midst of lot of adversities, still manages to come out from them. One can go there and can be witness of great past of that place. One such place is Dev-Baloda, near Bhilai, Chhattisgarh, which is famous for ancient Shiv temple, called as Dev-Baloda Shiv Temple.
 Picture: Dev-Baloda Shiv Temple (Front View)




 Picture: Dev-Baloda Shiv Temple (Side View)


Where and How to reach?

Dev-Baloda comes under Charoda Muncipality region, just 3 kms south of Charoda Town. Its just 10-15 kms from Bhilai and 20-25 kms from Raipur, the Capital of Chhattisgarh on Raipur-Nagpur Highway (i.e. Mumbai Howrah Highway). The nearest Railway station are Charoda, Power House(Bhilai) and Raipur. And the nearest airport is Raipur.

Importance:

Historical Importance:

According to Archaeologists, the Central Chhattisgarh was once the kingdom of Great Kalchuris. the Kalchuri dynasty were great admirers of art and sculpture and near the adjoining areas of Dev-Baloda, they built a lot of ponds. It is believed to have built around 13th Century A.D.

Religious Importance:

The Shiv temple of Dev-Baloda holds great importance in the surrounding areas, as they had great faith in Lord Shiva and here, a big fair occurs on the occasion of Maha-shiv-raatri. 

Art and Sculpture:

This temple’s front is east facing. This temple has a shivling of around 1.5 feet. The front chamber of this temple gives an impression of square like formation calles as Navranga Mandapa. The different style of encarvings of Gods and Goddess can be observed on the pillars of this temple. The roof of the garbha-griha is quite surprising as it gives the impression of a dome-less structure from outer view, but inner view of the roof gives a bit of dome or pyramid like impression in our first view. Probably the Shikhara has been built in Nagar Style.
  Picture: Dev-Baloda Shiv Temple (Front View)

  Picture: Dev-Baloda Shiv Temple (View of Garbh-Griha)

The Shiv-linga in the Garbh-Griha can be reached through a highly ornate door-entrance guarded by Shaiv-Dwarpals accompanied by other attendants like Ganeshji in the top(lalatbimba) of entrance. The front chamber (Mandapa) pillars have been designed by the carvings of  Mahisasur-mardini, musicians, Bhairava, Shiv, Tripuraantak Venugopal, dancers and keertimukh designs. 

 
Picture: Entrance of Garbh-griha

 picture: Wall carvings of Mandapa

The exterior of this temple is decorated by carvings of Gajas, Horses and Naras and other than these, there are many carvings of Gods and Goddesses likes Mahisasur-mardini, Vaman Avtar of Vishnu, Virat Avtar of Vishnu, Gajantakshiva, Varaah Avtar, Radhe-krishna, Narsimha, Ganesh, Laxmi and a couple of erotic encarvings.

 picture: External Wall decorations/carvings

 picture: External Wall decorations/carvings

 
  picture: External Wall decorations/carvings


 This temple also has a rectangular pond beside, which in ancient times believed as formation of ponds and lakes near temple, leading to salvation
  picture: Pond inside Temple Boundary

The temple courtyard has a store-house like shed too where collection of antique idols which has been excavated from this place, but get broken down during excavation have been placed and is worshipped with equal dedication. The front of this temple has Nandi placed just infront of temple entrance.
 picture: External Shed with broken statues

Pic: Nandi Placed in front of the temple entrance


As this temple is well maintained by archeological department, the temple is available for visit in all seasons of a year.

Conclusion:

Near Bhilai, the Steel City of Chhattisgarh, this temple gives gives you a combo of technology meets art and sculpture. So far  from noisy  and polluted area, if you wanna visit any divine religious place near Bhilai and Raipur, do visit Dev-Baloda Shiv Temple.