Phoolpaad Waterfall, Bailadela, Dantewara (A blog by Jitendra Nakka)
Chhattisgarh is the home of one of the most mesmerizing valleys, enchanting mountains, inviting rivers, wonderful caves and some of the most exotic waterfalls. It’s something like, even GOD too would say, -“man….!! I have given something great to this land”. And that’s nature at its best.
Chhattisgarh comprises of some of the most untrodden valleys, some of the rivers about which very few people are known, some of the waterfalls which are still virgin. Let’s move on to the southern part of Chhattisgarh which is the actual crown of tourism of this state. Whether may be the matter of culture, history or tourism, Bastar is rich in everything, in every aspect. Talking about Bastar, the first thing which comes in mind…are the beautiful falls of Tirathgarh and Chirakote and the wonderful caves of Kutumsar. But…….the word”Bastar” denotes a full division comprising of 7 districts with God gifted natural beauty. And one such beautiful destination is “Phoolpaad”waterfall (फूलपाड़ जलप्रपात) of Dantewara district.
Courtsey: Sarit Kumar Watti
Where and How to reach?
Phoolpaad is located in the kuwakonda block of Dantewara district. From Kirandul, this exotic place is just 18 km away in the Kirandul-Palnaar road. There is one more way to reach this place. On the way from Dantewara to Bailadela, there is a triangular square which divide the path to Sukma and Bailadela from Dantewara. Going ahead to this route, we have to cross the villages like Nakulnaar, Palnaar. After 5kms to Palnaar, we can observe the beginning of a small valley called Aranpur Valley (अरनपुर घाटी ). In the laps of this valley, there is one small village called “Phoolpaad”. Just after 2kms from this village, there is rainy brook which falls from a great height and form this beautiful waterfall.
Fig: A scenic view of Beautiful Aranpur Valley at Phoolpaad waterfall
For the comfort of Tourist, State Govt. has made one beautiful tourist motel house in Haaram (a small village between Geedam & Dantewara). Also the District Forest department has some comfortable rest houses for the official and tourist people. The nearest railway station is Kirandul (nearly 18kms away). And if you are in search of some good and cozy boarding and lodging, then Jagdalpur can be your best option and has the capacity to offer some great holiday tourist packages all around Bastar.
The best time to see this waterfall is the season from the end of rainy season to the mid of summers i.e. from mid of October to March-April. In the rainy season, it displays its most rapid, thrilling and beautiful form, but the width of fall decreases at the time of summers.
Just on the way to reach this beautiful waterfall, walking down the meadows, you can start hearing the roaring of this marvel. Because this stream is a not perennial river, and depends on rain for its recharge and discharge amount, it roars immensely with a great sound and great amount of water at the time of rainy season.
Fig: Phoolpaad waterfall photograph by: Om Soni
As you reach near to this fall, you can feel that this rainy stream falls from a great height of nearly 125 feets(approx.) and forms this mesmerizing waterfall. Tourist who all have visited this fall share their experience with joy, smile and contentment. Some of them told that it seems to be falling from a height greater than that of Tirathgarh.
The route for going downstream seems a little risky. But the young daredevils can try their best through the help of surrounding forest (trees and bushes). In the end of this fall, we can observe one reservoir where this stream water gets collected. But as this stream flows down to a forest area, after sometime, it seems disappearing from our sight. Due to its beautiful look, local people used to call it “Phoolpad Indul” (फूलपाड़ इंदुल ).
Being a known tourist place by the local guys, the mesmerizing marvel still strives for the attention of people. Earlier local bodies made stairs and tried to develop it, for the ease of tourist to reach this wonderful tourist spot, but the ignorance is so much that this spot still search for its position, its name and fame. It too depends upon the state Govt. also to search and develop such places as the budding tourist spots for the betterment and development of this area.
So if you say- “size does matter”; if you wanna visit one of the most virgin waterfalls of Chhattisgarh, do visit Phoolpaad waterfall.
Note: A part of this citation is inspired by the facts given by Dr.Suresh Tiwari. I pay my reverence for such a great writer of this soil for writing such an interesting book called “BASTAR – Paryatan, Itihaas, aur Sanskriti”.
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Sometimes some areas get hided, sometime some regions get abandoned, sometime some places get lost…..if you have an interest, a zeal to discover, to search , to find something new…..hold on !!!…there are a lot of uncertainties, a lot of secrets, a lot of mysteries hidden in the laps of a place called BASTAR. Bastar is not just a place, not just a district, not just a division, in fact it’s a saga of great past of royal dynasties, prosper art and culture and a series of developed civilization.
Have you ever heard of a temple which is a combination of half made of bricks and half carved on rocks? Mmmm……the answer may be either “yes” or “no”. Well, if the answer may be “yes” also, the no. of such creations might be countable in fingers all over in India. One such divine destination is the Amravati Shiv Temple.
Fig: Picture showing front view of Amravati Shiv Temple
Where and how to reach?
Amravati is a small village situated 20kms away on the east of District Headquarter Kondagaon. Kondagaon is nearly 75 kms to the North of Divisional Headquarter Jagdalpur. As for Lodging and Boarding, the perfect destination is Jagdalpur, where there are numerous hotels provide all comforts and ease with some exciting packages for the tourism of the surrounding areas of Bastar (Division). From Raipur, Kondagaon is nearly 225 kms away in NH-30(earlier called as NH-43).
Archeological and Religious Importance:
It is interesting to know, that Bastar was the land of some great dynasties who contributed a lot to its art and culture. Either may be Nal Dynasty, or may be Gang Dynasty, may be Chhindak Nagwanshis, or may be Kaktiya Dynasty……each dynasty adored some areas of Bastar and developed them in the best way they can. Among them, one of the earliest dynasties found in Bastar Division was Nal Dynasty (04th – 07th Century A.D.), which adored the surrounding areas of Kondagaon upto the mid-way of Narayanpur and led the foundation of great temple series of Vishnu, Gobarhin and Banjarin.
This temple of Amravati is an abode of Lord Shiva which is represented by centrally placed very ancient Shiv-ling along with great ancient monuments of Lord Vishnu, Uma-Maheshwar, e.t.c. In the areas of Garh-dhanora, there are some ancient idols found which seems to be of the age of Nal Dynasty having the same resemblance as that of the idols found here in Amravati temple (“according to my perception”). This temple is of much importance as this area receives high attention of the local and surrounding area people. On the occasion of Shiv-ratri, one has to face a huge rush of worshippers, followers and devotee peoples in order to once have a view of Lord Shiva (shiv-ling).
Fig: Picture showing Centrally Placed Shiv-ling in the Amravati Shiv temple
There is need of much research work to be done on the area of Kondagaon, as the area suffers lack of enough historical data to bring out a clear picture. Currently, it’s not a protected monument and still strives for the attention from Archeological Survey of India.
Art and Sculpture:
The temple shows a unique combination of two style of temple formation together to form a single temple. From the front side, we can observe the temple part formed by bricks (might have been built later than the rocky part). In the back side, we can observe a beautiful but nearly devastated temple part formed out of large pieces of rocks which, as told by the fellow villagers, has been used as roof which stands out by the help of small rock pillars. The rocky roof, is in oval shape, and as told by the fellow villagers, is meant as the form of natural shiv-ling formed there by the grace of Lord Shiva himself.
Picture showing rocky part of temple bulging out over the later built brick temple part
Picture showing the back view of the temple showing the rocky temple part
In the temple we can observe many idols which resembles with the style of sculpture and way of formation we have seen in the areas of Garh-dhanora where a lot of archeological monuments had been found by Archeological Survey of India, indicating the age of the Garh-dhanora monuments to of the age of 4th – 7th Century A.D. But as this temple has still not received the attention of Archeological Survey of India, the assumption of exact age of this temple and the actual creator(dynasty) of this temple is very “uncertain”.
Inside temple, we can observe a long idol of Lord Vishnu which has a unique style of art where a cloth starts from one wrist , then goes to thighs and ends back to wrist of another hand (seems like similar to the idols of Lord Vishnu, one can observe in Garh-dhanora) .
Picture: An antique monument of Lord Vishnu.... Photograph by: Ambala Sidhart
It is interesting to know that here we can also observe 3 different styles of idols of Uma-Maheshwar with different carvings at the place of their jewels, symbols, and the animals on which they sit.
Fig: Collection of ancient idols of Uma-Maheshwar carved out in different styles
Fig: Picture showing idol of Uma-Maheshwar with their symbols denoted above their heads
Fig: Picture showing idol of Uma-Maheshwar
Fig: Picture showing idol of Uma-Maheshwar
From the first view of temple from front and outside, it will give you a look of normal temple having a “gumbad” in its top, but….when you enter inside, you feel like in a different world with a cave like internal look.
Picture: Roof gives the impression of a cave like formation
Going back down to forest nearly 150-200m, we can observe one idol of Ganesha which is around 2.5 ft of height. Again going back to Ganesha idol, we can observe some more temples like of Durghani mata and Bavadi mata(this temples have been built in 1962).
Fig: Picture showing idol of Lord Ganesha on the back side of Amravati Shiv Temple
So if you wanna visit one of the finest examples of a shrine , one of the divine abode of Lord Shiva, if you wanna fill youself with divine look of a temple, if you wanna fill yourself with thrill and enthusiasm being like in a cave. Do bow your head on Amaravti Shiv Temple.