violet flower in a garden

Barnawarpara is a perfect weekend getaway from Raipur, the capital of Chhattisgarh. Good accessibility, perfect roads and descent wildlife experience makes it a great stopover for tourists of various interests. While returning from Barnawapara we crossed the historic village of Sirpur. ‘Orange’ colored banners along the roadside made it impossible to miss having a look anyway. Situated on the banks of Mahanadi, the town’s history dates back to 6th century AD.

Monuments and ruins of Hindu, Jain and Buddhist origin exist here. The town was also visited by famous Chinese scholar Huen Tsang. Later it was ruled by rulers of Maurya dynasty. The Laxman temple and the adjoining museum, well maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India are the prime attractions. Though most of the structures were destroyed, few remaining sculptures depict a sense of architectural marvel.

stone wall with carvings on it
Laxman Temple, Sirpur
sirpur raipur chhattisgarh group monuments
Foliage at Sirpur Chhattisgarh
a rock cut sculpture
A sculpture in the museum resembling the chariot of Sun temple, Konark

We then headed on to the Buddhist Vihara, which was the site of teaching Buddhism for several centuries. The main hall area leads to a giant Buddha statue. The wall architecture on the entrance is precise depicting mythological stories. We tried to explore few more stupas after going off the road for a kilometer wherever the street signs pointed. The stupas were mostly in ruins.

banner on the wall for Buddhist monastery
Buddhist monastery at Sirpur
a rock cut sculpture at sunset
Inside the Buddhist monastery at Sirpur
Stone tables on the ground at sunset
The prayer hall at Buddhist monastery

After a short stop for tea at the Chhattisgarh tourism guest house we headed towards Raipur. The spectacular sunset gave a picturesque ending to our weekend gateway.

My Barnawapara National Park experience – Click here 



WHAT TO SEE:

  1. Laxman Temple & Museum
  2. Buddha Vihar, Swastic vihar, Ancient well
  3. Ram temples
  4. Dhaskund falls is a popular tourist attraction during the rainy season/ post rainy season.

HOW TO REACH

Distance from Raipur is 90 km on the Mumbai-Kolkata highway. Road conditions were good when we visited in the month of January 2018.

 

A visit to the group of monuments at Sirpur, Chhattisgarh
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