Where the eternal river flow and the natural slopes add to the allure, the city of Sirpur lies in its everlasting beauty. This off the radar travel destination is one of the perfect cites to visit on your Chhattisgarh tour. Located by the banks of a river, Sirpur is a great place to visit on your tour of Chhattisgarh. It is famous for its well-planned temples, its walls situated alongside the river, and for its markets. Sirpur is an enigma which tourists often miss.
Sirpur is brimming with temples, monasteries, and many monuments many of which remain undiscovered and buried under the earth. Recently, 22 Shiva temples, 5 Vishnu temples, 12 Buddha Viharas, a bustling market place, and a granary market were unearthed.
There is something so quaint and serene about this city, that you will fall in love with it the moment you come here. With its towering temples, and the ringing bells, this city should be included in your Chhattisgarh tour.
Sirpur was once quite a bustling city with traders and merchants coming in with goods and products. The city soon became a bustling hub for traders and vendors. You can still find these lovely markets in Sirpur while on your Chhattisgarh tour.
However, Sirpur suffered the wrath of time, when a massive earthquake reduced the city to crumbles.The wrath of time buried the city. Later, after the archaeological department found the city. Since then, major restoration work has been going on. However, there are still many parts of the city that are buried deep inside.
One of the most iconic structures that you will see in Sirpur during your tour of Chhattisgarh is the beautiful Lakshman Temple. The Archaeological Survey of India discovered this temple. The temple is made of bricks. The bricks show the signs of ruin. ASI maintains this temple.
Yet, when you look at the temple, you will feel a radiating aura will pull you closer and closer. Once you enter the garbhagriya you will witness stunning door with carvings on the panels. Some of the cravings include- the reclining Vishnu, the different avatars of Vishnu, and various other etchings that show the daily life of people.
The bricks used in this temple are quite simple. The beautifully etched frame belongs to the grabha griha. The rest of it is made of stones.
There is a mandap in the middle. Some of the pillars lie in ruins.
The Lakshman Temple is one of the most iconic sites in Sirpur and you will find it towering over the skyline of Sirpur.
The next temple that you should visit on your Sirpur tour is the Gandheshwar Temple. Tourists and devotees still visit this Shiva Temple. This lovely temple is resplendent with stone stairs that lead from the river to the inner sanctum of the temple.
Once you enter the temple on your Chhattisgarh tour you will find it quite well maintained and even freshly painted with all the colours popping up. This temple goes through regular cleaning.
You will also see find some artefacts. You will find Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain iconography, which is not a usual sight in a Hindu Temple. There is also an ancient stone slab in the temple. This slab has some wonderful inscriptions.
As you continue on your Chhattisgarh tour in Sirpur, you will reach the Baleshwar Mahadev Mandir. This is another Shiva Temple. You can find a few other Shiva Temples around the Baleshwar Mahadev Mandir. These temples were also dug up. The main sanctum has a marble Shiva Lingam, while the walls have some beautiful carvings of women and couples in a colourful arrive.
You will also find the remnants of the other temples.
One of the most fascinating monuments in Sirpur is the Surang Tila. This huge temple complex also has a terrace with pullers, and steps that connect the terrace to the main mandap located right below it. With such unique architecture and immense planning, the Surang Tila will make you fall in love with it.
Right below the temple terrace, you will be privy to the ruins of two buildings. One was for priests. These were the ones who stayed here. Lord Shiva is kept in the other one.
The terrace was once a mandap. There are five sanctums that go through the terrace.
The neatly arranged and well organise markets are the highlights of Sirpur. These markets are different from the usual chaotic places. The planning of the markets are great. The organisation is neat. And are perfect for a peaceful stroll. There are spaces for traders, temples for them to pray at, Ayurvedic baths, and even a lovely hospital.
Sirpur had a strong Buddhist influence as well. In your Chhattisgarh tour, you will find some beautiful and stunning Buddhist monasteries and structures that talk about the secular history of Sirpur.
Some of the notable ones are:
Sirpur is has some stunning monuments and is worth exploring. On your Chattisgarh tour, you will witness a city that was pronounced dead. Yet it was reborn. With about 40 monuments, Sirpur is quite something. Each of the monuments is different from one another and have a story to tell. So, just take your time and try to hear out all the stories that Sirpur has to tell you before heading home.