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Lakshman Temple is one of the prime attractions of Sirpur! It’s situated 90 kms from Raipur, the capital city of Chhattisgarh. More than 1300 years old, Laxman Temple was built somewhere in 6th century A.D. Laxman Temple was the first temple in India which was made of bricks!
Chhattisgarh is the state of ’36 forts’ in central India and is one of the fastest developing one. Undulating hills, mighty rivers, acres of dark forests, uncomplicated tribes of people and relatively unexplored territory add up to make Chhattisgarh a travel destination waiting to be discovered.
Chhattisgarh carved out of Madhya Pradesh, was formed on the 1st of November, 2000. Raipur city is the state capital. It borders Madhya Pradesh in the north-west, Maharashtra in the south-west, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in the south, Odisha in the east, Jharkhand in the north-east and Uttar Pradesh in the north.
The climate here is tropical and is hot and humid because of its proximity to the Tropic of Cancer. The monsoon season is from late June to October and is a welcome respite from the heat. Winter is from November to January and is a good time to visit the state, in fact any time between October and March is favorable as weather conditions are very pleasant around this time of the year.
Chhattisgarh is one of the most colorful states of India and offers a variety of interesting things to do; it is well known for its pilgrimage aspect and you can pay your visits to sacred places like Amarkantak, Jagannath Temple and Shwetambar Jain Temple in Raipur and Maa Bambleshwari Devi Temple in Dongargarh. Visit Raipur for its glorious past, Bastar (the archetypical tribal territory) for its natural landscapes, and Sirpur for Buddhist and Hindu temples and statues. The thick forests, water bodies, waterfalls, hills and valleys make up the splendid surroundings of Amarkantak. The ‘Prayag of Chhattisgarh’ (confluence of the Rivers Mahanadi, Pairi and Sondu) and the Kankali Talab at Rajim deserve special mention here.
Shop for fabrics, paintings and local handicrafts made of natural stuff. Chhattisgarh plays host to a wide range of tribal festivals, Bhagoria Haat being the most significant.
Outdoor activities include going for treks, jungle walks and safaris in the area around Kanha National Park, set amidst hills and woods.
Rice is the staple diet – quite logical in the area proudly called the ‘Rice Bowl of India’ by the locals. Pulses, cereals, vegetables, fruits and meat products complement the basic rice-based diet. A typical Chhattisgarhi thali would be a good mix of both tribal and non-tribal recipes. You can try some of their rice pakoras, dehati vada, muthiya, fara, mundiya ka pech with tomato red chilli chutney, angakar and paan roti, rice poori, panchratan dal, dubki kadhi, arbi kadhi, bhindi kadhi; those with a sweet tooth will relish gulgulle, kusli, doodh fara. Try gul ki cha in the beverages. There is another sweet dish which the Chhattisgarhis make during festivals and occasions called ‘bafauri’ which is made with chana dal; green leaves like bohar bhaji, lal bhaji, kohda bhaji are often prepared for daily meals. You’ll get a taste of the most unusual of dishes here, prepared simply but tastefully amazing!
Neighboring states of Odisha, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have their influences on Chhattisgarhi cuisine.
Festivals and events in Chhattisgarh are different from their counterparts elsewhere – the tribals’ celebrations are marked by plenty of drinking, singing and dancing that generates a great deal of revelry. The rhythmic beats of drums and the sound of voices reverberate in the air and people shed all their inhibitions and make merry. Cockfights, shooting contests, folk theatre and Pandavi performances are regular features on festival days.
Celebrated just before Holi in the month of March, Bhagoria Haat is a tribal festival; the main highlight of the festival is the eloping of young boys and girls after selecting their partners to be caught eventually and recognized as a couple by their tribes.
Dussehra festivities in Bastar are very special – and are a perfect coming together of traditional religious beliefs with tribal rituals.
Rajim Kumbh Mela, Nara Narayan Mela, Bhoramdeo festival, Teej festival, Pola, Hareli, first fruit festival, earth festival, Dantewada fair, Ratanpur fair, Sirpur festival, Champaran Mela, Madai festival, Chakradhar Samaroh, Ramaram fair, Maa Bambleshwari fair, Shivrinarayan fair, are some of the major events, fairs and festivals of Chhattisgarh.
Panthi, Rawat Naach, Pandwani, Chaitra, Saila, Rahas, Rai, Maao-pata, Karma naach and Soowa are the several indigenous dance styles of Chhattisgarh. Music and dance play an important part whilst they reflect the tribal culture and heritage.
Theatre is known as ‘Gammat’ and Pandwani is one of the lyrical forms of this theatre.
Chhattisgarh is a storehouse of performing arts and crafts – they derive substance and sustenance from day-to-day life experiences, religion, mythology, social and political events; nature and folklore are favorite motifs. Traditional crafts include painting, wood carving, bell metal craft, bamboo ware and tribal jewellery. Tribal jewellery comprises of items made from beads, shells, bones, feather, copper, bronze and mixed metals. Bamboo utensils, mats, baskets and decorative items are a hit too.
Vegetable-dyed and hand-woven cotton sarees are much in demand in and outside the state. The state is famous for its kosa silk and ‘lost wax art’. Besides sarees and salwar suits, the fabric is used to create lehengas, stoles, shawls and menswear like achkans and sherwanis.
Situated in the heart of India, it is endowed with a rich cultural heritage and attractive natural diversity. Chhattisgarh is full of ancient monuments, rare wildlife, Buddhist sites, palaces, waterfalls, caves, rock paintings, hill plateaus, exquisitely carved temples, hot springs and dams.
With so many options, shopping in Chhattisgarh is all about buying its myriad handicrafts and textiles. Local craftsmen produce a mind-boggling variety of hand-crafted items using natural materials like wood, bamboo, bone, horn, stone, feather, bell metal, gold and silver. Hand woven fabric, Pithora paintings, Dokra metal animals and figurines, carved woodwork, colored beads and chunky jewellery are some special buys available to visitors.
Hindi and English are spoken in the urban belt; Chhattisgarhi is a dialect derived from Hindi and is widely used by the rural population. Tribal dialects are spoken in the remote areas.
By Road: Raipur has good connectivity with Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai. Raipur is 85 kms from the destination. On festival times one may get special buses run by the tourism department to reach Sirpur from Raipur.
By Train: Raipur is the airport to Sirpur. From the railway station one may hire a cab to reach the temple in Sirpur. It’s the best way to explore Sirpur.
By Air: Raipur is the nearest railway station to Lakshman Temple.GET DIRECTION
There are few eating joints and restaurants within 38 kms of Sirpur catering local food.
From November till March are the best times to visit Chhattisgarh.
This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Made of brick, Lakhshman temple has a garbhagriha, mandapa and antarala. The door frame of the entrance is exclusively carved with different figurines of Vishnu and other incarnations. Also every year in the month of January Lakshman Temple hosts Sirpur music and dance festival!
Barnawapara wildlife sanctuary: This sanctuary is located in Mahasamund district and shelters some of the exotic floras and faunas in the country!