Raipur is the capital city of the state of Chhattisgarh, India. It was formerly part of Madhya Pradesh before the state of Chhattisgarh was formed on November 1, 2000. Raipur is located near the centre of a large plain, sometimes referred as the "rice bowl of India", where hundreds of varieties of rice are grown. The city is located centrally in the state of Chhattisgarh, and now serves as a regional hub for trade and commerce for a variety of local agricultural and forest products.
Raipur city had been the capital of the Haihaya Kings, controlling the traditional forts of the
Chhattisgarh for a long time. The town of Raipur has been in existence since the 9th century. The
old site and ruins of the fort can be seen in the southern part of the city. Satawahana Kings ruled
this part till the 2nd-3rd century AD.
In the 4th Century AD the king Samudragupta had conquered this region and established his
domination till Fifth-Sixth Century AD when this part had come under the rule of Sarabhpuri Kings.
For some period in Fifth-Sixth Century A.D., Nala kings dominated this area. Later on Somavanshi
kings had taken the control over this region and ruled with Sirpur (Sripur-The city of Wealth) as
their capital city. Mahashivgupt Balarjun was the mightiest emperor of this Dynasty. His mother,
the widow Queen of Harshgupta of the Somavansh, Rani Vasata built the famous brick temple of
Lakshman. The Kalchuri Kings of Tumman ruled this part for a long time making Ratanpur as
capital.The old inscriptions of Ratanpur, Rajim and Khallari refer to the reign of kalchuri kings. It is
believed that the King Ramachandra of this dynasty established the city of Raipur and
subsequently made it the capital of his kingdom.
How to reach Raipur
There are a number of flights that connect Raipur to the other major cities. You can access Raipur from Delhi, Bhubaneswar, Bhopal and Jabalpur. There are regular flights that ply between these cities and Raipur.
Reaching Raipur by road is possibly the most inexpensive way to get to the city. The city is intersected by The National Highway 6 and the National Highway 43 links the city to Vijaya Nagaram.
Raipur serves as a major junction for the South Eastern Railway on Mumbai, Nagpur and Calcutta route. Traveling to Raipur by rail is also a popular and much favored option.
Important Places to Visit
It is a magnificent lake and is also one of the prime tourist attractions in Raipur. The lake was built by the Kalchuri emperor King Brahmadeo around 1402 AD.
Also popular as Champajhar village, this town played an important role in the Indian independence movement and is one of the famous tourist destinations in Raipur. Saint Vallabhacharya, a famous reformer and creator of the Vallabh Sect, was born here. Champakeshwara Mahadeva is a famous temple located here. An annual fair is held every year in the month of Magh (January-February). Birth Anniversary of Mahapprabhu Vallabhacharya is celebrated every year on Eleventh bright day of Baisakh (April-May) and a large number of followers of the Sect assemble here to pay homage.
Situated in the district of Raipur in the recently formed state of Chhattisgarh, Chandi temple is one of the prominent religious monuments of the region. Blessed with a rich architecture. The splendid religious monument of Chandi temple stands tall with it's over imposing structure. Apart from the religious importance, the famous Chandi temple boasts of a rich architectural legacy and religious ancestry that has added to the importance of the sacred shrine.
Doodhadhari Monastery and Temple
This is located in the southern region of Raipur. An ancient river called Maharajbandh flows by this landmark. This ancient temple was built by King Jaitsingh in mid-17th century and dedicated to Lord Rama. There is also a monastery that was named after Swami Balbhadra Das who survived only on 'Doodh' (milk) as his food.
Mahant Ghasidas Memorial Museum
This museum is located near the D K Hospital in Raipur and was established by Raja Mahant Ghasidas of Rajnandgaon in the year1875. The museum has two floors featuring five galleries and features different sections including archaeology, anthropology and natural history. Besides, it also displays crafts, jewelry, paintings and terracotta belonging to tribal culture. The museum also has an interesting library.
Located in the old fort area of Raipur on the banks of the river Khaaroon, this temple is a must visit for the pilgrims. It is dedicated to Mahamaya - a revered Hindu goddess believed to be a blend of the powers of Vishnu and Shiva. Durga and Mahishasura Mardini or Jagdambe are the other names by which this popular deity is known as.
This is an important place situated in Raipur. It is most remarkable for the four handed sculpture of Lord Brahma that dates back to the 8th century and is believed to belong to the Som dynasty.
Nandan Van Nature Centre
It is an exquisite nature centre which is situated near Raipur and provides refuge to stray wild animals. It also houses a zoo which is home to a number of wild species and is noted for its natural beauty. This center has also been an endeavor to spread awareness among the urban people about nature and wildlife.
Raipur Open-Air Museum
Raipur Open-Air Museum is a famous tourist spot and innovative museum in the state of Chhattisgarh. It covers a total area of over two hundred acres of land and is situated in the district of Raipur at the Abhanpur block. The open-air museum or the 'Purkhouti Muktangan' as it is also known, is an important building that protects and maintains the different items related to the art and culture of the state.
The museum has some exclusive features included in it that adds to its uniqueness. The special features are as follows:
Educational Sessions for kids
Open-air interactive sessions
It is a popular pilgrimage spot for the Hindus and has derived its name from Sri Shadaramji Saheb who was a noted saint. This sacred site sprawls over 12 acres of land and is famous for the Dhuni Saheb, a collection of devotional sonnets, kept in a big hall. On the walls you will come across the intricately carved images of gods and their incarnations.
Shaheed Smarak Complex
It is a multi-faceted complex that was designed by eminent architect Prasanna Kothari and was built to serve as a memorial to the Indian freedom fighters. It comprises an auditorium, library, museum and an art gallery.
It is an important place for those who seek spiritual enlightenment and is a branch of the mission inaugurated by Swami Vivekananda in the year 1897. The organization works on the principles of ideologies that are based on renunciation and self-emancipation and attempts to achieve the overall well being of the world..
Mahakoshal Art Gallery
It is one of the most important among the tourist attractions in Raipur and is in an octagonal shape situated near D.K. Hospital. This gallery exhibits some of the attention grabbing art works of the locals.