Places to Visit
Rajkumar College, Raipur, one of the premier institutions of Eastern India, was founded by Sir Andrew Fraser, the then Chief Commissioner of C.P. & Berar, in the year 1882 at Jabalpur as a hostel known as the “Rajkumar School”, to impart education to the sons and relatives of the Ruling Chiefs and Zamindars of the Eastern States, who had donated large funds to establish the same. The School functioned at Jabalpur till 1894 and thereafter, shifted to its present site at Raipur, making it a full- fledged school with boarding house facilities. The seeding being done, the sprouting was left in the hands of Rev. G.D. Oswell, who was the Principal of Rajkumar College, Raipur from 1894 to 1910. He had a delicate and difficult task to put the School on a very sound footing, and he performed it admirably. The ambience, lighting and architecture of the Rajkumar college are delightful. Enchanting gardens and majestic arches make it a tourist attraction worth visiting.
Thanks to the efforts of swami Atmananda, the Ramakrishna seva samiti was established in July, 1957. Working on the ideologies of renunciation and self -service, the ashram strives for self-emancipation and welfare of the world. Today a resplendent temple dedicated to Ramakrishna paramhans has been built. The ashram is well-equipped with a hospital and library. At present, this hermitage is connected to the Ramakrishna mission ashram Belur.
Near the shastri chowk and Dau Kalyan Singh hospital, there is a newly renovated pillar. The clock is really beautiful and the ‘Minar’ is a famous tourist attraction.
Solar energy park
Various cities in India are full of lovely gardens, but none of them can match up to the uniqueness of the solar energy park in Raipur, Chhattisgarh. The energy education park set up by Chhattisgarh renewable energy development agency (creda) at Raipur is a park with a difference. It is a park on the theme of generation and usage of various forms of renewable energy sources, surrounded by beautiful garden with abundance of greenery, colorful flowers, attractive fountains and unique waterfalls. The energy education park at Raipur has been set up to create awareness and educate people in general about the various forms of renewable energy sources. This has been achieved through indoor and outdoor exhibits and through working models, interactive games and quizzes. For toddlers, there are solar operated toy-cars. This park is located approximately 7 kms. From Raipur city on airport road. There are solar cars for children up to age ten. These solar cars have roofs made of a solar cell powering motor through batteries. Another attraction is the solar boat kept in an artificial lake that has been developed in the park. Visitors can enjoy solar/ paddle boats in the lake. The motor of the solar boat is driven by batteries that are charged by solar modules which are mounted on the roof of the boat.
Inaugurated by the Hon’ble A.P.J Abdul Kalam the former President of India, on Nov 2006, this blissful garden gives a glimpse of Chhattisgarh’s rich culture. Life-like figures of tribals performing, different folk-art provide a wonderful, perspective on the vibrant treasures of Chhattisgarh.
Nandanvan Jungle Safari
The Jungle Safari, located at sector-39, Naya Raipur. Naya Raipur is about 35km from Raipur Railway Station and 15km from the Swami Vivekanand Airport, Raipur. The entire 800 Acre area of the Nandanvan Jungle Safari is lush green, with beautiful landscapes. Several indigenous plant species also add up to the vegetation, creating a natural habitat for the animals. It has 130 Acre of water body named ‘Khandwa Reservoir’ which attracts many migratory bird species. Four safaris namely, herbivore, Bear, tiger & Lion Safari has been established. Another 32 species of animal will be exhibited in the upcoming zoo.
In safari area, four safaris have been created so far;
Herbivore Safari – Area 30 ha.
Bear Safari – Area 20 ha.
Tiger Safari – Area 20 ha.
Lion Safari – Area 20 ha.
The whole area of safari is covered by chain link fence of the height of 5 m. and 1.5 m. and inverted at the top at 60 degree. The area is having adequate vegetation, shelter and water bodies. Green belt has been created all along safari and service road and 55000 saplings were planted inside the safari for habitat improvement.
There will be drive through enclosure in which entry and exit will be through a system of double gates and the visitor vehicle will move on the designated road inside the safari at low speed.
These 4 safaris namely Tiger Safari, Herbivore Safari, Lion Safari and Bear Safari are ready in all respects for visitors. At present 4 tigers are kept in Tiger Safari, 106 Herbivore are kept in Herbivore Safari which includes Chital, Sambhar, Blue bull, Barking Deer and Blackbucks. Bear Safari has 4 bears at present.
Once known as the Victoria Jubilee Hall, the Town Hall was inaugurated in 1887. The stones used to construct the building came from the Raipur Fort. The Town Hall is a majestic hall adjoined to the Shastri Chowk and Collectorate Bhavan. A list of all the ruling kings of various dynasties gives us an idea of the great men who are behind the splendid collection. The note also states that the Town Hall construction was initiated in 1887 and completed in 1889. Inaugurated in 1890, the Town Hall stands witness to the struggles of independence. The Nagar-Nigam has renovated the Town Hall. re-establishing its old splendour.
Mahant Ghasi Das Memorial Museum
Mahant Ghasi Das Memorial Museum: Located right opposite the Collectorate’s Office on JE Road, the Mahant Ghasi Das Memorial Museum is a window into the rich heritage of Chhattisgarh. This museum was made from the valuable contributions of Queen Jyoti Devi – Rajnandgaon. It was inaugurated by the Hon’ble President of India Dr. Rajendra Prasad.
The rich cultural artefacts and archaeological excavations have been beautifully displayed and safely kept at the Mahant Ghasi Das Memorial Museum. Intricately crafted idols. ancient stone inscriptions and rare coins have been showcased at the museum.
Being the oldest lake in Raipur. the Vivekananda Sarovar is also called the Budha Talaab. Legends say that Budha Dev was the revered deity of the Adivasis and this pond is dedicated to him. To create a modern appeal, the pond was renamed as Vivekananda Sarovar. Right at the centre of the lake, a heavenly paradise has been created for tourists. This is called the Nilabh Garden. Butterflies flutter. fountains omit colourful lights and flowers fill the air with a sweet scent on this island-garden. A 37 ft high statue of Swami Vivekananda has been built in between the lake .This statue has been added to the Limca Book of Records for being the ‘Largest Model for A Statue’. At night the Vivekananda Sarovar presents an amazingly lit up wonderland.
Built in the 17- century, the Dudhadhari Temple is the oldest temple in Raipur. The antique mysticism of the temple enchants Lord Rama devotees. Belonging to the Vaishnav religion, the Dudhadhari Temple has original sculptures of the Ramayana period. The artworks dating back to the Ramayana period are extremely rare making this temple a one of its kind. Lore is that there lived a Mahan( by the name of Swami Balhhadra Das who was a great devotee of Hanuman. He would only survive on milk (“Dudh-Ahari”) and therefore, this temple dedicated to Lord Rama came to be known as the Dudhadhari Temple. Built by the Ka’churl King Jait Singh (1603-1614 AD). the external walls of the temple are decorated with charming sculptures related to Lord Rama. This ancient temple is a marvellous site for all pilgrims and art lovers.
Welcome to one of the most religiously-celebrated, architecturally superb and culturally rich temple of south-east India- Shri Mahamaya Devi Mandir. Ratanpur. 900 years old, this temple attracts the attention of historians and archaeologists.
Built on the Nagar School of architecture, the temple is surrounded by an 18 inch thick boundary wall. Supported by sixteen stone columns, the temple is believed to be built around 1 I th century AD by King Ratnadev. Many of the statues and motifs used in the temple have been taken from rundown or broken temples of earlier centuries; some of them being Jain temples. The’ main campus of the temple has smaller statues of Mahakali. Bhadrakali, Surya 0ev. Lord Vishnu, Lord Hanuman. Bhairava and Lord Shiva.
It is said that the Goswami Naga sages of the Dashnami Sanyasi sect had meditated here. One day they all dreamed of the divine deity, and were inspired to build a temple complete with a Kund here. Following tradition. a small Shiva Temple was built in the middle of the Kund. On all three sides of the pond. stones have been arranged in an exquisite manner, enhancing the antiquity of the temple. A huge banyan tree shelters the great Kankali Temple. The ‘Samadhis’ of the sages can also be seen here.
Hatkeshwar Mahadev Temple
The famous Hatkeshwar Mahadev Temple is a very highly valued shrine of the. Hindus. This temple is located 5 kms from Raipur on the banks of river Kharun, Chhattisgarh. The Kalchuri Kings had initially made this region their administrative capital. Thechief deityof the Hatkeshwar Mahadev Temple is Lord Shiva. A stone inscription reveals that it was built in 1402 by Hajiraj Naik during the rule of Brahmdeo Rai, son of Kalchuri King Ramehandra. Brahmdeo Rai’s monumental script in Sanskrit is still preserved at the Mahant Ghasidas Memorial Museum.