Archeological heritage – Temple of Bastar | Unexplored Bastar

Chhattisgarh is a land of surprises with a lot to offer to you. In the southern part of the state, there is a pristine place untouched by the hustle-bustle of city life, with serenity all around – Bastar. Bastar is a division of seven districts. It is interesting to note that there’s a divison, a district and a village named Bastar too. Bastar is known for its natural beauty, but it is equally rich in architectural beauty. Barsoor, the heritage city known for once 147 temples and as many ponds, is the area where one gets to know the glorious past by taking part in a Heritage Trail. Dated to almost 10th-11th century, on the banks of river Indravati, many ruling dynasties like Nala, Ganga, Naga and Kakatiya had built temples and ponds in Barsoor. Ruins of the capital, Raj Bhawan, temples can still be seen at the banks. The architecture of temples at Barsoor gives ample opportunities to delve in the history and the cultural heritage of the place. Being an old historical city, Barsoor stands tall in the history of Bastar. Some of the explicit examples of architecture are Battisa Temple, Mama Bhacha Temple, Chandradityeshwar Temple, Twin Ganesha Idol etc. 

Once you reach Jagdalpur, the District Headquarters of Bastar, you can take out a day and plan to visit the temples of Bastar. Here is a short itinerary to brief you about the temples. To know the stories and legends related to each of these temples, visit Unexplored Bastar at Jagdalpur, where the guide will make you familiar with everything. 

Battisa Temple

Dated back to the 9th-11th century, Battisa Temple at Barsoor is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is the only temple with two garbhagriha (Sanctum Sanctorum). There is an ornate Nandi in front of each garbhagriha. Battisa symbolises the 32 pillars of the temple. Another unique element of this temple is that the Shivlinga can be rotated too.

Exterior of Battisha Temple. Picture credit: Abitanshu Soni

Mama Bhacha Temple

As the name indicates, this temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesha and Narsimha. Many folk tales are prevalent in the region about the Mama Bhacha Temple at Barsoor and the most famous one goes to the rivalry and jealously between Mama and Bhacha. This temple has a beautiful architecture built by the Utkal (Odisha) sculptors.

Picture credit: Anzaar Nabi

Twin Ganesha Temple

This is the third-largest single sandstone idol of Lord Ganesha in India. Two Ganesha idols adjacent to each other at Barsoor, are revered by the people. Folklore behind these idols is that King Banasur, a Naga ruler, made the big idol for his daughter and the smaller one for her best friend.

This is third largest sand stone idol of Lord Ganesha which is carved in single sand stone

Hiramraj Temple

This temple is dedicated to the king Hiramraj. He is considered as the guardian of Barsoor. Over the hilltop, this temple offers a perfect view of Barsoor. It is believed that an earthquake long time ago has cracked the temple.

The ruins of Himraj Temple

Solah Khamba Temple

Just as Battisa symbolises the 32 pillars of the temple, SolahKhamba Temple at Barsoor symbolises the 16 pillars of this temple which are in ruins.

Chandradityeshwar Temple

With the erotic carvings on the outside wall, Chandradityeshwar Temple is known as the Khajuraho of Bastar. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Shiva Temple

The Shiva Temple at Samlur is one of the best archaeological sites still present in Dantewada district of Bastar division. It was constructed during the Nagvanshi era. 

After completing the circuit of Barsoor in a Heritage Trail, one can get back to Jagdalpur to pay homage to the presiding deity of Bastar, Devi Danteshwari. Also, there’s the Shaktipeeth of Devi Danteshwari at Dantewada which can be visited while returning to Jagdalpur.

Danteshwari Temple

Danteshwari Temple at Jagdalpur is dedicated to the presiding deity of Bastar, Devi Danteshwari. Constructed after the capital city of Kakatiya dynasty shifted to Jagdalpur, the idol of Devi Danteshwari is of white colour. This temple holds a significant place during the rituals of the world-famous festival of Bastar Dussehra.

Entrance of Jagdalpur Palace and Danteshwari Temple

If you are interested to have some adventure, go for trekking to Dholkal peak and witness the Dholkal Ganesha at the peak. You need to have a plan of full one day to visit this place.

Dholkal Ganesha

A Ganesha idol at the height of 3000 feet at Dholkal is one of the mysterious idols of Bastar region. One has to trek through the dense forests and hike at the end to reach to Dholkal Ganesha.

Narayanpal Temple

The only Vishnu Temple of Bastar district, Narayanpal Temple near Chitrakote Waterfalls is an architectural beauty dated back to 11th century. It was constructed during the Nagvanshi era.

How to Reach

One can plan the journey while keeping Jagdalpur as the base. Jagdalpur is the district headquarter of Bastar and well connected to nearby cities like Raipur, Vishakhapatnam and Hyderabad

From Air: Jagdalpur Airport is soon commencing its operations. It will be connected with Hyderabad and Raipur initially. Raipur and Vishakhapatanam both are well connected with all the major cities. Both are around 300KMs from Jagdalpur.

From Train: Jagdalpur is well connected with Vishakhapatnam, Bhubaneswar and Kolkata

From Bus: Jagdalpur is very well connected with Raipur, Vishakhapatnam, Nagpur and Hyderabad  

Anyone can come to Jagdalpur through road routes. It is a fantastic ride on the well-connected and maintained roads of Highways. 

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1- After arriving at Jagdalpur in the morning, hire a cab and a guide from Unexplored Bastar, and head towards Barsoor. Explore the architectural beauty of the temples in a Heritage Trail and spend some time at the Sathdhar bridge, the gateway to Abhujhmarh. Return to Jagdalpur. On the way visit Danteshwari Temple at Dantewada, one of the Shaktipeeths. Have a pleasant stay.

Day 2 – Head towards Chitrakote Waterfalls and enjoy the view of the gigantic waterfall. Visit some of the less explored waterfalls on the way to Chitrakote like Chitradhara, Tamda Ghumar, Mehndri Ghumar. Visit Narayanpal Temple on the way to the other side of Chitrakote. Head to Jagdalpur and pay homage to the presiding deity of Bastar, Devi Danteshwari Temple at Jagdalpur.


Day 2 – Head towards Dholkal where you have to trek to the peak of 3000 feet. Have the adventure to trek in the lush green forests of Dholkal and reach the peak to witness Ganesha. Return to Jagdalpur and have a pleasant stay.

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