Bastar is a tribal region in Chhattisgarh, blessed with an exceptional scenic beauty that beckons the lovers of nature to explore the forests, waterfalls, wildlife, ancient temples, tribal dances and music. Located at a distance of 264 km from Raipur, Bastar is one of the most significant eco-friendly destinations of the country. It has plenty to offer to its visitors with its valuable tribal art and culture that lie in and around the lush green city of Jagdalpur. One can choose from National Parks, waterfalls, natural caves, palaces, museums and places of religious significance.
The Bastar Palace located in Jagdalpur is a historical monument which has an impressive art and architectural work with exquisite carvings and engravings on walls and ceilings. Bastar Palace was built by the rulers of Bastar and speaks of many legends of gallantry and heroism of these kings. The Bhoromdeo Temple is adorned with magnificently carved erotic sculptures. It also has a Shiva Lingam which is a striking piece of architecture. The Danteshwari Temple is an ancient temple of Devi Danteshwari and is said to be one of the 52 sacred Shakti peethas of the Hindu Mythology. The temple attracts tourists throughout the year, especially during the festival of Dusshera.
The Kanger Valley National Park, based near the Kholaba River has amazing wilderness and rich biodiversity. For nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts, it is a perfect place to be. Wildlife here includes panther, tiger, bear, snakes, jackals, langurs, and many species of Deer’s. One can also spot numerous varieties of birds perching at the tree tops. The Bairamgarh Wildlife Sanctuary, with its striking landscapes is famous for Chital that are found roaming in open grasslands as well as dense forests. The Indravati National Park is another significant national park of the Bastar region. Natural caves abound in the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh.
Located in the Kanger Forest near Jagdalpur is the 330 meters long Kutumsar Cave, which is the second longest natural cave in the world. The caves are pitch-dark, enclosing stalactite formation of the Shiva Lingam. The Kailash Cave, located nearby, is also well-known for its natural carving of the idol of Lord Shiva. Other impressive caves in the Bastar region are the Dandak Cave, Kanger Cave, Karpan Cave, and Devgiri Cave, among others.
The natural landscape of Bastar encompasses many beautiful waterfalls, both big and small, surrounded with lush green forests. The horse-shoe shaped Chitrakoot Falls is the largest waterfall in India, and a major tourist attraction. The Tirathgarh Waterfall located in the Kanger Forest is a wonderful site which also has an old Shiv-Parvati temple at the spot. Other smaller waterfalls include Kanger Dhara, Mandawa Waterfall, Chitradhara, and Tamada Ghumar.
Spread across thick bamboo forests is the huge Bhainsa Darha Lake, which inhabits crocodiles and tortoises. Dalpat Sagar is the largest artificial lake of Chhattisgarh and a major source of fish. The Anthropological Museum provides a valuable insight into the history, culture, and lifestyle of the various tribes of Bastar. Enriched with natural beauty and pleasant atmosphere, Bastar is an adventurer’s delight and a nature lover’s paradise. Visitors to Bastar retreat to their city life refreshed and revived!
Best time to visit:
November to June
( One should avoid planning a trip during rainy season, as monsoons bring heavy showers and the caves get closed owing to floods.)
- History has it that Bastar is ‘Dandakaranya’, the legendary forest, through which Lord Rama passed during his exile.
- Valmiki’s ashram has been identified by researchers here in Bastar.
- Bastar is also acknowledged as the ‘Kashmir of Chhattisgarh’.