Chhattisgarh India - Tourism - A Holiday Guide for Chhattisgarh
Largely unspoiled and unexplored, Chhatisgarh is a state densely covered with forest and the home of more than forty tribes. For a uniquely cultural experience, Chhatisgarh offers a diverse range of things to do for tourists. From its ancient monuments, exquisite temples and rock paintings to the grand waterfalls and palaces, it provides a wonderland of discovery.
Also known as the “rice bowl of India”, Chhatisgarh is able to sustain successful agriculture practices through good irrigation systems. This allows them to grow vast crops of paddy, wheat, maize, groundnut, pulses and oilseeds. With more than 80% of Chhattisgarh’s population depending on agriculture they have diversified their crops and continue to grow a large proportion of the state’s needs.
Although forest covers almost half the state, its capital Raipur is not particularly known for its good looks. Raipur is the home to many industrial businesses such as the Bhilai Steel Plant, BALCO Aluminium Plant and the National Thermal Power Corporation which forms a large part of Chhatisgarh’s economy. The area’s rich mineral resources coupled with the resident industrial businesses fuels the economy and are represented in the high growth rate.
In fact, Chhattisgarh has a rather ambitious plan to be biofuel self-sufficient by the year 2015. They have begun to plant crops of jatropha to achieve this goal. Hopefully will be a bid to counter the emissions of their industrial activity.
If you are interested in the cultural side of Chhattisgarh, make sure you spend some time in and around Jagdalpur where there are haats (markets) every Sunday where the tribal groups often come to sell their crafts
As there is little interest for tourists in Raipur, the capital, most head to the star attractions such as the Chitrakote Falls. This waterfall is a good two thirds the size of Niagra Falls so you can imagine just how spectacular it is. The best time to visit is after the rains have been as the waterfall is the fullest, and make sure you get to see it at sunset for a magical experience. While you are there during the day be sure to either hire a pedal boat or take a ride out to the spray of the fall. Also if the weather is nice, take a dip! Just take the steps by the garden of the government-only hotel.
Another attraction not to be missed is the caves at Kanger Valley National Park. Just four kilometres from the park entrance is the Tirathgarh Falls which is open to the public all year. The waterfall splits and drops into three sets of cascades making an impressive sight. Again, it is best to visit after the rains.
While in the area, drop by the Kawardha Palace, a true treasure and representative to the rich culture here. It has been converted into a luxury hotel with each room given a personal touch. Also take a wonder around the Shiva Bhoramdeo Temples and appreciate the intricate stone carvings depicting deities of the region. The temples are approximately 18km from the city.
In addition, take the time to experience the several festivals including the Goncha festival, Madai festival, Sheorinarayan fair.
Some important things to know before travelling to Chhattisgarh are the language, temperature and the transport. The main language of the state is a dialect of eastern Hindi with Hindi being the official language of the state. Transport is quite minimal with only one airport located in the capital, Raipur, which links to most main cities of India while the best time to travel is in the winter months as the temperature in the summer can reach 45°C.