Jagdalpur Dairies

With Karma Puja and Eid aligning perfectly with weekend, it had to be some thing more than a movie and diner. Hence sprouted the plan to visit Jagdalpur & Dantewada which falls in Bastar Division of Chhattisgarh. It was idyllic not only because, it was a outing in a very long time, but also coz it was planned with some old dear friends. A perfect reunion reminiscing old college days. 

Jagdalpur is around 350 kms away from Raipur, the capital town of Chhattisgarh. There are various ways  of travelling from Raipur to Jagdalpur by road: 
  • Air-conditioned buses are available in every half an hour, which take around 7-8 hours
  • Low expense cabs and taxis can be hired, which take around 6-7 hours
  • Trains, least preferable of all take around 24 hours as there is a detour from Odisha 
Each of the above are exiting and enjoyable in their own way, its ideal to have perfect companions, either way. We opted for the night bus, which would depart from Raipur around 2230 Hrs and reach early morning. There are decent hotels available across the town of Jagdalpur, mostly ranging from 1500-4000 INR for the day. The other option is to stay at the government cottages near Chitakote waterfalls, all you need is a (helpful & generous) contact at the NDC office. 

Now a little about Jagdalpur, the town of squares. Jagdalpur is well known for its greenery, lush green mountains, deep valleys, dense forests, streams, waterfalls, caves, natural parks, monuments, natural resources, herbs, exuberant festivity and peaceful solitude. Other tourist attractions relate to Bastar's royal past and its tribes. The town is most vibrant during its famous Dassehra festival celebrations, which lasts for about 75-80 days. The town has marked presence of the buildings made during victorian era, some of the newly made buildings used as municipality have drawn inspiration from the older architecture. The proximity with Odisha and Andhra Pradesh have their influence on the food. Some of the most delicious & sumptuous south indian food (idlis, dosa, vada with mouth watering chutneys) that too on the street thelas, at throw away prices. Same goes with the high calorie milk -sugar drowned teas. They are the perfect indulgence for the holidaying soul. 

Although we never really had lot of time to explore the city, but the other interesting part are the vendors for Bastar art. These are small shops seen near the Chandani Chowk area of the city. they sell silks, wooden craft, iron filigree artefacts and  semi precious jewels. 

Now to the must visit places in and around Jagdalpur. We started early next day to visit Danteshwari temple, This is located at Dantewada district which is 90 kms from Jagdalpur, a drive of 1.5 hrs enabled by the immaculate roads. The thing to keep in mind while visiting the temple is that, you are not allowed to enter the inner most sanctum of the temple wearing pants of any kind, everyone needs to change to dhoti. Though the change of clothes and place of change is available in the temple premises for men but women, it is strongly adviced to carry a change of clothes along. 

This six-hundred-year-old temple is one of the ancient heritage sites of India and is a representation of the religion-socio-cultural history of the Bastar region. The statue of Mata Denteshwari carved of black stone was established here as it was believed that a tooth of Sati had fallen here and Danteshwari Shakti Pith was established. According to the ancient legend, Goddess Sati committed self-immolation in the fire pit of yagna kund, due to an insult committed by her father Daksha towards her consort Lord Shiva during the Yaga. Raged by the death of Sati, Lord Shiva destroyed the Yaga of Daksha and with the body of Sati in his hands started to do 'Taandav'.Lord Vishnu cut the dead body of Goddess Sati with his Sudarshan to free Lord Shiva from the grief caused by her death. Parts of the dead body of Goddess Sati were scattered to fifty-two different places, which were consecrated as Shakti Pithas. 

The confluence of tourists from various parts of the country had led to sprouting of many dhabas around the highway. Some of the best inspired punjabi-chhsttisgarhi fusion food that I have tasted in a while. A bookmark to remember when in Bastar. 

The next stop were the Chitrakoot waterfalls, these are the widest fall in India, also called Niagara Falls of India. Indravati river which generally floods in the rainy season and gushes out like a force of nature. The beauty of the falls is enhanced during sunset and early morning when sunlight is reflected on the water and misty atmosphere provide views of the falls under an sun light and in a blue hue. The sound of the fall, provide a perfect tranquillising  effect and before you know, its already dinner time. 

Teerathgarh Falls:

Teerathgarh falls are located in the Kangar Valley National Park. These are around 40 kms from Jagdalpur a 45 minute drive in the hills. the fall is a three layer fall, each more diverse than the other. 

All three can be  enjoyed one by one, till you pick you favourite and spend most of the time in waters. The best advice that can be given is to fill up before you step out in the falls, because its certain that the waterfall will wear you out. 

Some place we missed, hope you catch them there: (curtsey Google)

Barsoor Temples: Located on the banks of the Indrawati river, about 75 km (a one and a half to two-hour drive) to the south-west of Jagdalpur, Barsoor was once an epicentre of Hindu civilisation. It is believed that there were once 147 temples and an equal number of ponds here. The ruins of these temples, dating back to the 10th and 11th centuries (i.e. over 1,000 years) can still be seen today; they contain some notable images of Lord Vishnu. Old temples of many other deities can be visited and marked for the awe inspiring architecture. 

Kutumsar caves: These are located in the Kangar Valley National Park, well known for the for stalactite and stalagmite formations. These caves are closed down during the rainy season and are business from November to March. These are one of the largest lime stone deposits in form of pillars and columns.

Its always recommended to spare a day or two to recover from the fatigue from waterfalls and walks before you get back to work. Word of advice, look out for the scenic beauty outside the window, you might just wanna lose yourself to the beauty of the lush greenery, the meandering mountains,  and bushes and thickets of bamboos, sal, teak and bija trees.
Happy Travelling folks!!!