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Hello to all fellow travellers who are looking for experiencing something new, explore the lesser known, wonderful places.

Photo of Travelosthan 1/1 by loveofindia8

Chhattisgarh is one of the states of Central India, Full of Surprises because you can find almost all tourist attractions that is available in landlocked states. Beyond Tribal's planet and land of temples, Chhattisgarh have numerous places which makes it a land of surprises.

Visiting a Southern part of Chhattisgarh where Bastar Tribal and Waterfalls was immensely amazing. Experiencing their lifestyle, food, dance, music and customs was so incredible. Buddhist Temples at Sirpur gave us an idea how monks used to study in Viharas.

Jungle Safari at Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary was like experience any virgin place, a new planet away from our regular life. This time I visited Northern Part of Chhattisgarh where I covered Madkudweep, Tala, Ratanpur Temple, Amarkantak, Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary, Mainpat, and Pali.

Chhattisgarh: “Rice bowl of India” This is a newly formed state situated in the heart of India. It is very well known for its cultural heritage, attractive natural diversity and for tribe community. Tribes of Chhattisgarh are unique in their lifestyles and have beautifully retained their own culture and traditions for centuries. Beyond tribal culture in Chhattisgarh, you can also experience Tibetan Buddhist Culture in Mainpat, which is also known as Mini-Tibet of Chhattisgarh or Shimla of Chhattisgarh.

Chhattisgarh really is full of surprises….

One may completely be mesmerised by the beauty of Chhattisgarh, authentic, undisturbed, and carry volumes upon volumes of Heritage Culture and Tradition in them. And thus my journey begins..

4 Days Itinerary:

Day-1: Raipur- Madkudweep- Tala- Ratanpur- Amadob (Night stay at Sonbhadra Tourist Resort, Amadob)

Day-2: Amadob- Amarkantak- Achanakmar- Mainpat (Night stay at Shaila Tourist Resort, Mainpat)

Day-3: Mainpat (sightseeing) (Night stay at Shaila Tourist Resort, Mainpat)

Day-4: Mainpat – Pali -Raipur (Night stay at Johar Chhattisgarh, Raipur)

Day-1: It was a beautiful morning in the capital city of the state Chhattisgarh, tired because of late night outing at TeliBandha Talab also known as Marine Drive of Raipur City. It's also a place where you can feel proud because India’s tallest TriColour at 82 meters is here. After taking healthy breakfast, i checked out from the Hotel Johar Chhattisgarh and getting a taxi. I was accompanied by my blogger friend, well wisher Mr Ravi Sharma of www.kukikol.com, and for the entire trip, Chhattisgarh Tourism Board assigned Mr Dinesh Jangde as our Tour Guide and Pushu Ji as Driver.

Photo of Telibandha, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India by loveofindia8

We left Raipur at 11:00 am for our journey’s first destination i.e. Madkudweep

Photo of Travelosthan by loveofindia8

We took NH 200 and reached MadkuDweep (District Bilaspur) at 01:00 pm. Madkudweep, a small island Town situated on the bank of river Shivnath. The Madku-Dweep named because Mandku Rishi (Sage) establish his Ashram in this island (dweep) and composed Mandku Upnishad. Satyamev Jayate 'Truth alone Triumph' is a mantra belonged to Mandku Upnishd and was one of the compositions of Mandku Rishi. It’s a peaceful place away from city traffic and perfect for family picnic.

Photo of Madku Dweep, Mungeli, Chhattisgarh, India by loveofindia8
Photo of Madku Dweep, Mungeli, Chhattisgarh, India by loveofindia8

Madkudweep is known for famous 11 Shiva Temples of Ratanpur Kings of Kalchuri period which were excavated by team of archaeologists under the leadership of Mr Arun Sharma. Madkudweep is also famous for annually Christian Community Fair.

At 3:00 pm we left for next destination i.e. Tala.

Photo of Madku Dweep, Mungeli, Chhattisgarh, India by loveofindia8

Tala is 12 km away from Madkudweep and 29 km from Bilaspur. It is a religious place on the river bank Maniyari. This place is known for the excavated temples and statues.

Rudra Shiva Statue is an example of wonderful piece of art and imagination of the sculpture. As you can see in picture, all parts of statue are different kind of animals and together making a statue of human being.

Devrani- Jethani Temple dedicates to Lord Shiva and is located in the same campus.

Photo of Maniyari River, Mungeli, Chhattisgarh, India by loveofindia8
Photo of Maniyari River, Mungeli, Chhattisgarh, India by loveofindia8

At 4:30 pm, leaving for Ratanpur after small halt in Bilaspur for brunch.

Ratanpur Temple is as Mahamaya Shaktipeeth Temple of Hindu Goddess. Mahamaya Temple is temple dedicated to dual Goddess Lakshmi & Saraswati.

Photo of Mahamaya Shakti Peeth Temple, Alupara Pt.II, Assam, India by loveofindia8

At 7:00 pm, leaving for Amadob which is 80 km via SH 8. Amadob is a small town where Sonbhadra Tourist Resort of Chhattisgarh Tourism. Resort is wonderful place known for peaceful stay. Dinner and Stay at Sonbhadra Resort.

Day-2:

It was really a beautiful and green morning because resort was like placed in lush green forest. After having breakfast at Sonbhadra Resort, we left for our today's first destination i.e. Amarkantak

Photo of Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh, India by loveofindia8

Amarkantak is situated on Madhya Pradesh- Chhattisgarh Border but major part is in Madhya Pradesh. Hilly and curved road with green mountains and valley then my guide said We are in the ranges on Vindhya Mountains. Green forest and less vehicle seems like we were travelling in the Himalayas.

Photo of Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh, India by loveofindia8

In enroute to Amarkantak, we stopped at Kabir Chabutara, it's a place where great Saint Kabir stayed in the past. And also stopped at Kabir Talab, a magnificent place to click photos and selfies with your friends with forest ranges in the background and blue water lake.

Photo of Kabir Chabutara, Dindori, Madhya Pradesh, India by loveofindia8
Photo of Kabir Chabutara, Dindori, Madhya Pradesh, India by loveofindia8

After 10 min ride, we reach Amarkantak, a religious town under Anuppur district of Madhya Pradesh known for origin of two famous rivers of India i.e. Narmada River and Son River. It is also a point where two famous mountain ranges of central India meet i.e. Satpura Range and Vindhyas Range.

Photo of Satpura Range, Barwani, Madhya Pradesh, India by loveofindia8

Unlike other pilgrim destinations,here the main attraction is the temple where River Narmada originated and several temples associated with it and situated in the same temple premises.

But the site that attracts me was behind the premises of Narmada Temple. It is a ‘Group of Ancient Temples’ under Archaeological Survey of India. The group of Temples namely Pataleshwar Temple, Shiv Temple and Karan Temple.

Photo of Travelosthan by loveofindia8
Photo of Travelosthan by loveofindia8

Next we move to other attraction of Amarkantak which is 15 Kms from the town named Doodh Dhara and Kapil Dhara. There are two waterfalls on the river Narmada on the different heights.

Doodh Dhara is on the normal walkable distance from theparking.

River Narmada falls from very good height and it colour like milk. For Kapil

Dhara Waterfall, we have to go around 1 km in the deep forest. Kapil Dhara is a small waterfall near a cave temple of Kapilmuni (Sage Kapil). People love to bath here but it was risky and slippery. It was great adventurous in the forest of enjoying waterfall with trekking.

Photo of Doodh Dhara, Dindori, Madhya Pradesh, India by loveofindia8

At 12 Noon we left for next destination that is Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary which is nearly 50 km.

Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary: It is a wildlife park houses a number of endangered animal species, including leopards, Bengal tigers, and wild bison. We reached there by 1:30 pm. After having a lunch in the Baiga Resort, we took entry in the Reserve Sanctuary.The ride of Jungle Safari was good but we could not see many animals due to a very hot summer day. It was a great experience in the park having seen many types flora and fauna

Photo of Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary, Mungeli, Chhattisgarh, India by loveofindia8
Photo of Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary, Mungeli, Chhattisgarh, India by loveofindia8
Photo of Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary, Mungeli, Chhattisgarh, India by loveofindia8
Photo of Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary, Mungeli, Chhattisgarh, India by loveofindia8
Photo of Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary, Mungeli, Chhattisgarh, India by loveofindia8

At 4:00 pm, we left for our day’s final destination that is Mainpat which is around 300 Kms via Ratanpur, Katgora, Ambikapur and Darima. Roads are good but the journey was too hectic.

We reached there by 11:00 pm. Dinner and overnight stay at Shaila Resort of Chhattisgarh Tourism Board.

Day-3: Mainpat

Good Morning from the ‘Tibet of Chhattisgarh’ or ‘Shimla of Chhattisgarh’.

Mainpat, locally known as “Mini Tibet”, is a beautiful hill station located atop a plateau at a height of 1099 Meters from the sea level in the Sarguja/Ambikapur district of Chhattisgarh. This charming and picturesque place boasts of many cultural and natural sites of interest. Mainpat has a large population of migrant Tibetans who were settled here after 1959, when the Dalai Lama and his followers moved to India.

Photo of Mainpat, Chhattisgarh, India by loveofindia8

Before taking breakfast we moved to Mainpat village and interact with the locals and click photos with them. We enjoyed beautiful and peaceful aura of the rural India.Most of people busy in their daily chores- going to market for selling fruits, waiting for bus, kids going to school.

Photo of Travelosthan by loveofindia8
Photo of Travelosthan by loveofindia8
Photo of Travelosthan by loveofindia8
Photo of Travelosthan by loveofindia8
Photo of Travelosthan by loveofindia8
Photo of Travelosthan by loveofindia8
Photo of Travelosthan by loveofindia8
Photo of Travelosthan by loveofindia8

After Healthy and Quick Breakfast,we left for sightseeing of Mainpat. First one was Machhli Point; It was really a wonderful place for enjoying the scenic beauty. It is a waterfall where water falls from a great height and people love to bathe at the base of the fall. For getting there. it was a tricky trek of around 500 Meters and to depth of around 80 Meters. It is a picnic point for couples and families.

Photo of Travelosthan by loveofindia8

Then, we moved for our next attraction that is Mehta Point. It is known for observing a beautiful landscapes, valleys and river. People love to click photos from this Point.

Photo of Travelosthan by loveofindia8

Next attraction was Tiger Point, The surrounding area is dense forest area and known for housing wild animals, In the past tigers came to this area to drink water or rest. But now due to increased movement of tourists, it’s difficult to observe tiger.

Photo of Travelosthan by loveofindia8

Next, we moved to Jaljali. Like it's name, the place is also unique where on the ground when you jump you feel yourself on a trampoline. It was really an unbelievable moment for all of us who visited there. According to some researcher, It was formed naturally due to heavy layer of soil clubbed with roots and water.

Photo of Jaljali, Chhattisgarh, India by loveofindia8

Finally, we went to place we were waiting since morning- The Tibetan Monasteries to experience the culture. There are 5 Tibetan Buddhist Temples in Mainpat and all of them have different styles of architecture. Buddhist temples generally are East facing. Tibetans speak their native language (Tibetan), English and Hindi also. Majority of them are farmers and small shopkeepers. We talked to young Buddhist monks and tried Buddhist cuisines with them. Make one Tibetan friend there.

Photo of Travelosthan by loveofindia8
Photo of Travelosthan by loveofindia8
Photo of Travelosthan by loveofindia8
Photo of Travelosthan by loveofindia8
Photo of Travelosthan by loveofindia8
Photo of Travelosthan by loveofindia8

Back to Resort

Dinner and Overnight at Shaila Resort.

Day-4:

Last day of this journey started for Raipur after breakfast in Shaila Resost.

Left for Raipur or our starting point enroute We stopped at numerous places which were incredible and unbelievable. Distance between Mainpatt and Raipur was 370 km

Photo of Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India by loveofindia8

Zigzag Hilly road with green forests on both the sides with deep valleys and villages was a unique sight. It was tough to believe that we are leaving this wonderful plateau and would be returning to our normal routine in next 7-8 Hours.

In enrouting to Raipur, We first stopped at ‘Thin Thin Patthar’ alike name It is really rock which sounds ‘THHIN!! THHIN!!’ when you hit on it by other small stone. It was really tough to believe that an ordinary looking piece of stone can sound like and musical instrument but it was true. SomeScientist says the piece of stone is hollow from the inside and it is the valid reason behind it. But

beyond the science talk we enjoyed a lot and sung a song on the tune. It is near to Darima enroute to Raipur.

Photo of Travelosthan by loveofindia8

Our next halt was at Pali, a small town on the NH between Ambikapur and Raipur. Pali is known for Mahadev Temple which is having unique stone carving and erotic sculptures.

Photo of Mahadev Temple, Ganjpara, Durg, Čhattisgarha, India by loveofindia8

After taking lunch at Go Highway Resort, we reached our final destination that is Raipur City at 4.30 PM. It was a long but sweet memorable journey.

Photo of Travelosthan by loveofindia8

Checked in Hotel Johar Chhattisgarh and had Dinner.

Before Sleeping in Bed, All pictures and moments of this beautiful land of

Chhattisgarh running through my mind and attracting to visit again!!!

This blog was originally published on 'Travelosthan Travel Cultural India'

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