Nature has blessed Chhattisgarh with double treasure. It has surfeit Chhattisgarh of mineral resources from diamond to iron and from limestone to coal. Secondly, it has got some of the most picturesque surroundings and sights from north to south. This apparently adds a lot to its tourism potential. As the global report reveals that tourism is the only sector, where India can explore significantly and carve a niche in the world map, same holds true to Chhattisgarh as well.
Ever since, this tribal-dominated state?also known as rice bowl?got a separate statehood, tourism became one of the most prominent sector in this state.
The government have done quite a bit to explore the potential and thereby making Chhattisgarh, a tourists? destination. During the last three years or so, Chhattisgarh has participated in a number of national and international tourism festivals, in an attempt to make an identify of its own.
For years together, Chhattisgarh was virtually an un-noticed region, thanks to its peaceful nature and lifestyle. Now that the region has become a full-fledged state, the rapid industrial growth and subsequent developmental activities in tourism sector, Chhattisgarh has suddenly acquired the centre-stage.
This state largely consists of plateaus streaked with the high range of Satpuras in the northern part. The central part of the state is predominantly covered by the ?life line of Chhattisgarh ??Mahanadi and its tributaries. The lush green valleys and hills identify the Bastar in the southern part of the state.
The main rivers?Mahanadi, Sheonath, Hasdo and Indravati add to the natural beauty of this new state. A number of tourist spots have been developed along these rivers intersected by these meandering rivers. Chhattisgarh has a diverse natural sights and surroundings. There were 18 garhs (forts) during the regime of Kalturis of Ratanpur in the northern part of Sheonath river and another 18 garhs (forts) in the southern part, belonging to the Kalturis of Raipur. The sum of 36 garhs (forts) formed ?Chhattisgarh?. Even though Chhattisgarh got a separate identity only six years back on November 01, 2000, its cultural and historical identity is as old as the stone age. Chhattisgarh was previously known as Dakshin Koshal. The traces of Ramayana and Mahabharata are still very much found here and they are the emblems of the glorious past of this state.
The rich tribal culture and variety of folk dance forms are found here, this ?Rice bowl? is also becoming famous for its natural and historical tourist places of late.
There are quite a few places, like?Sirpur, Rajim, Malhar, Sita Bengra, Jogibhatta, Deepadih, Danteads, and Dongargarh?having archeological significance. Besides, the memorials of Jainism, Buddhism, Shaiva, Shaktya and Vaishnava religions also give a fair indication of the rich historical background of this region.
It is virtually beyond imagination, that the illustrious Chinese traveller Huein Tsang had walked all the way from China to Sirpur, in the middle of 7th Century AD after having heard about the glory of this Buddhist place. Even after almost 1,300 years, the remains of the Buddha Vihar, Swastik Vihar, and the exquisitely carved Laxman temple, remind of the beautiful architecture of that era.
With rapidly increasing infrastructure, Sirpur, today has all the potential to draw the international tourists. The Chhattisgarh Tourism Minister, Brijmohan Agrawal is making all possible efforts to get Sirpur included in the list of world heritage.
The other similar places like Malhar, Arang, and Maheshwar can also be presented before the visitors as the unique centre of religious oneness, amidst all the diversities.
The glorious monuments, superbly carved temples, vihars, forts and palaces given the visitors a perfect glimpse of the dynasties and kingdoms of great rulers, poets, saints and philosophers.
Nearly half of the state (44 per cent ) is covered with dense forest and offers unique panorama of flora an fauna. The national parks of Kanger Valley and Indravati, the sanctuaries of Udanti, Sitanadi, Barnawapara, Achanakmar, Gomardah and Tamorpingla provide a rare opportunity to watch the wild life in action. The wild buffalo, gaur, tiger leopard, singing maina and a myriad of other antelopes, in the picturesque and natural surroundings.
All these characters only add colours and charm to the tourism potential of Chhattisgarh.
The three geographical regions?including the Baghelkhand plateau, plains of Mahanadi basin and the Dandakaranya plateau-form a variety of cultural canvass, making Chhattisgarh a land of splendor.
For any visitor, Chhattisgarh has so many thing to mesmerze. The confluence of three rivers?Mahanadi, Pairi and Sondhur?give Rajim?a rare distinction of being the only place of ?Triveni Sangam?. Even the Prayag no longer has this distinction, as the Saraswati river has lost its existence. Rajim is only 50 km away from the state capital Raipur.
Sipur is another destination of archeological significance, having the memorials of Buddha and other temples. Situated on the banks of Mahanadi, Sirpur was once the capital of the King of Sharabhpura and his successors.
On the banks of Sankri river, Bhoramdeo, 116 km away from Raipur, is known for sculptures carved on the front walls of the Shiva temple. It is often compared with the Khajuraho of Madhya Pradesh, as well for its architectural beauty.
As one moves towards the South, the thunderous water falls of Chitrakot, Teerathgarh, welcome the visitors.
The abundant of naturally gifted spots and places of tribal crafts from North to South and East to West, have countless distinctions to flabbergast the onlookers. Having a myriad of tourist places known and not-quite-known?the glorious presence of Chhattisgarh in the world map is quite imminent.