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Old 3rd December 2021, 18:45   #1
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Default Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur

Even after residing in Raipur for few years, we could not visit Bastar area of Chattisgarh due to one or another reason. So we were on a look-out for a suitable opportunity.

Suddenly we got a 3 day weekend (28-30 Aug 2021), Monday being the Janmashtami, which was free from other commitments. Also we got one of my friend who agreed to accompany us. Only hitch we faced was in booking our rooms. It was basically because of two reasons-
1. It being a 3-day weekend & people having urge to have an outing after long covid lockdowns & scares.
2. We were looking for rooms on 27th afternoon for stay on 28-29 Aug.
Anyway we got 2 rooms in a reasonably ok hotel.

Trip Program :



Car : Our Dzire model 2020
Group : Me & my friend with wives.

Day 01 (28 Aug 2021)- Raipur- Jagdalpur (visit Chitrakote Fall)
Day 02 (29 Aug 2021)- Jagdalpur (visit caves & Tirathgarh Fall)
Day 03 (30 Aug 2021)- Jagdalpur- Raipur


[Caves could not materialize as these were closed due to monsoon season. So we went to Dantewada to have darshan at Maa Danteshwari Devi]

Route - Raipur to Jagdalpur
Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-rpr_jagdalpur-route.png

Route condition



Naya Raipur to Dhamtary - Highway (NH-30) construction going on. However one side is available for traffic during most of the stretch with many left-right diversions. This portion is being made with continuous casting concrete machine and has very good surface for a concrete highway.

Dhamtary to Kanker - We need to cross Dhamtary town and afterwards its a good highway, starting before Charama to almost upto Kanker with good surface finish (though without divider). There is Makri Dhaba just before Kanker. Its the only point to have a break on RPR-Jagdalpur route and is almost midway. All times we stopped here for a break with Tandoori Paratha's / tandoori rotis . It has washrooms, but not the well kept ones. There is lot of traffic of car travelers to this dhaba.

Makri Dhaba
Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-img_20211119_091554.jpg

Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-img_20211119_084000.jpg

Kanker to Jagdalpur- We had to cross Kanker town and some bad roads and then come to a ghat section (Keshkal) which rises to good elevation. Road condition is not good but still quite manageable. After this section upto Jagdalpur its a beautiful highway, quite smooth where high speeds can be easily maintained. There is no road divider excepting while crossing towns. Its a beautiful stretch which I have always enjoyed, even during first time in August, while it was raining almost throughout. There are nice dense forests on both sides almost throughout.

Diversion to Chitrakote Fall- There is a right diversion at Besoli (after Kondaghat) which leads to Chitrakote Fall, some 27 kms away, through a narrow 1.5 lane state road passing through many villages. Though narrow and with sharp turns, its a well made one and is easy to drive. Narayanpal Vishnu Temple is on this road just 7-8 kms before the Fall.

Jagdalpur city to Chitrakoot Fall- Its a 2 lane ok road with many villages and light mix traffic (37kms)

Jagdalpur to Dantewada- Once you come out of the town outer limit, highway going to Bijapur (further to Hyderabad) starts. What a smooth well made highway with lot of curves & up-downs among green dense forests!!! It is a delight to drive for some 60 kms till we take a left turn to Dantewada.

Route followed for sightseeing
Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-jgdlpr_01_sight-seeing_li.jpg


We were quite disappointed for not able to see limestone Caves during this trip. Our plan to visit Bora Caves, Aaraku Vally during our Bangalore trip also could not fructify. So as soon as we got another 3 day weekend (19-21 Nov' 2021), we lapped it up and planned another trip to Jagdalpur. It was also a sudden program, made just 1 day before and in this trip only me & my wife were the passengers

Repeat Trip to Jagdalpur



Day 01 (19Nov 2021)- Raipur- Narayanpal Vishnu Temple- Chitrakote Fall- Hotel (same hotel)
Day 02 (20Nov 2021)- Hotel- Kutumsar Cave & Kanger Dhara- Raipur

Day 03 ie Sunday was used to have rest after this hectic trip.

Route followed at Jagdalpur (IInd trip)
Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-jgdlpr_02_sight-seeing_li.jpg

Now let's start with star attraction of our both trips.

Chitrakote Falls



The Chitrakote Falls is on Indravati River, which originates in Kalahandi district of Odisha in Vindhya Range, forms a fall at Chitrakote and finally flows into Godavari. It is the widest waterfall in India with a free fall of about 30 meters (100 fts). It forms a horseshoe-shaped gorge and during high monsoon, covers the entire stretch of horseshoe from left to right bank, a width of about 300 meters. It is often called 'Niagra Falls of India'.

Water flow conditions vary with the seasons, flow being filled with silt during monsoon season. As We had been there during Aug end & November, difference in flow conditions is visible in pics.

During August end....
Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-img_20210828_163138.jpg

Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-img_20210828_163702.jpg

We all in a group shot
Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-img20210831wa0009.jpg

During November.....
Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-cht02_1.jpg

With slow shutter speed
Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-cht06_1.jpg

During our second trip, boating below the falls was in operation, which was not there during our August trip due to very heavy flows. Obviously we went for boating. These are manually rowed country boats. Everyone is given a life jackets. There were 5 boatmen rowing it carrying 8-10 tourists. The boats takes a round trip passing through near to falling streams with everyone getting wet by a blast of mist spray. Its mesmeric to see falling stream from so near.

Here we see the boat
Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-cht25_1.jpg

Lets go for boating
Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-cht36_1.jpg

And here is the Majestic Chitrakote (during somewhat lesser flows)
Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-cht30_1.jpg

Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-cht34_1.jpg

Fall is frequented by outstation tourists as well as local population from the district. The river and Shiv ji Temple there must also be having religious significance. We had seen local population groups having darshan at the temple. One of my friend who visited the Fall on Shivratri day, told me the place having a local religious-cultural fair with tribal dances & music, though water flows were quite less.

Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-cht15_1.jpg

Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-cht20_1.jpg

Few points more .....

We had seen lights installed focusing onto the fall, but could not get any information about when, they switch it on. Internet has few night time shots of the fall bathed in light.
Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-fbimg1482561993881.jpg

Only a row of concertina wire was there as a safety measure. I feel a handrailing too should be provided.
Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-img_20210828_165416.jpg

Area does not have good civic amenities / eating places.

There is a Chhattisgarh Tourism resort which also has huts. However these were always found booked during the season.

Last edited by Aditya : 7th December 2021 at 04:51. Reason: Extra smiley deleted
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Old 4th December 2021, 09:44   #2
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Default Re: Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur

Kotumsar Caves



We had a repeat trip to Jagdalpur mainly to visit this cave. It is a limestone cave in Kanger Valley National Park. A vertical fissure in the wall of a hill serves as the main entry for the cave and from there a concrete path has been made upto the end of the cave. The main tunnel of cave is nearly 200 m long with several lateral and downward passages. The cave is subject to flooding during monsoon season and remain closed from 15 June to 31 October. Though there is always some seepage water which makes small pools.

NH-30 after coming out of the city turns left (near to our hotel) towards Sukna.
Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-img_20210829_061036-2.jpg

Some 12 kms from this point, highway enters forest area and after 2-3 kms we reach to forest check-posts for Tirathgarh Falls and Kanger Valley National Park, wherein Kotumsar Caves lie.
Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-img_20211120_092343.jpg

On the right Tirathgarh Falls is there, where private vehicles are allowed. On the left KVNP is there, where only Forest department's Gypsy's are allowed.
We had to hire a Gypsy for Rs. 1500 (to seat six persons). They have fixed routes inside the park covering Kotumsar Cave & Kanger Dhara. Its a round trip journey of about 25 kms inside the forest. Before going to the Cave, we get a guide with Torch to accompany us (it is compulsory, cost built in the Gypsy hire charges)

Kanger Valley National Park Gate
Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-img_20211120_092410.jpg

Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-img_20211120_114712.jpg

Gate of Kotumsar Cave
Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-img_20211120_111626.jpg

Way for entering and descending the cave is narrow and we have to bend ourselves a bit to proceed. Its better if we do not carry back-pack, which unfortunately I was carrying. We have to descend about 20-30 feet. There is no lighting inside it. Its pitch dark there except light from torches of guides and tourists. Guide has a torch to show us the way & the cave's important points. Its better if we have our own strong light torch, so that we are free to see caves on our own. Pics can be taken only when the subject is illuminated through some torch lights. Pic quality also suffers.

Some pics which tells about the cave...
Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-img_20211120_105444.jpg

Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-img_20211120_105338.jpg

Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-img_20211120_105704.jpg

We were told by the guide that it used to be an underground " monsoon Nala (drain)" thousands of years back. Flowing water had cut and sort of polished its surfaces. Hanging outgrowth (called Stalactites) were formed due to seepage drops carrying dissolved limestone getting deposited on the ceiling.

The Cave....
Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-img_4662.jpg

Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-img_20211120_105614.jpg

Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-img_20211120_110050.jpg

Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-img_20211120_110138.jpg

Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-img_20211120_110204.jpg

In the same forest, Kailash Cave is also there which is considered to be older, but is less popular. It is also covered through Gypsy in a separate tour. I think this cave will prompt us to have our third visit to Jagdalpur

Kanger Dhara



Gypsy will take us to this (comparatively) smaller stream/Fall, located deep inside the forest. Other then a cascading fall, plus points are the journey inside forest and folding rock structures.

Few Pics are ....
Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-kanger01_1.jpg

Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-kanger15_1.jpg

Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-kanger16_1.jpg

Narayanpal Vishnu Mandir



During our second trip we visited this temple besides Indravati river, just about few kms from Chitrakote Falls. It is a 11th century temple, presently maintained by ASI.

Few pics can describe it very well...
Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-img_20211119_122119-2.jpg

Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-img_20211119_121526.jpg

There are two stones inside temple having some slokas engraved in Sanskrit. Frankly I do not know the meaning But its clear that this script was alive & kicking during 11th Century.
Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-img_20211119_121841.jpg

Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-img_20211119_121851.jpg

Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-img_20211119_121859.jpg

Last edited by Mellow : 6th December 2021 at 10:55.
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Old 4th December 2021, 23:41   #3
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Default Re: Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur

Tirathgarh Falls



It is also located in Kanger Valley National Park. Private vehicles are allowed to go near its entrance. Then we have to descend about 200 stairs (handrails are provided) to the bottom of the Fall. There is ample parking and there are parking / entrance tickets.

Tirathgarh Falls is on the river Mungabahar. Here water falls to 300 feet below, over stilted (stair-like) hillside natural structures, resulting in milk foam like water. Because of water falling through stair-like structure, we can wet ourselves under this portion (even in monsoon flows). However other portion has a almost direct fall and is as violent as a 300 feet fall should be. Few pictures will tell the story further....

Here we can wet ourselves
Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-img_20210829_150759.jpg

Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-img20210830wa0047.jpg

No bathing this side....
Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-img_20210829_150707-2.jpg

Here Fall is in full glory
Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-img_20210829_151148.jpg

Let's celebrate the Fall
Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-img_20210829_152329_01.jpg

Maa Danteshwari Mandir



This temple is located in Dantewada, about 80 kms from Jagdalpur city. Its a 14th century temple dedicated to Goddess Danteshwari Devi and is one of the 52 shakti Peethas. Danteshwari Devi is considered and worshipped as Kuldevi of Bastar. Temple is located at the confluence of rivers Shankini and Dhankini.

Danteshwari Devi Mandir
Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-img_20210829_120219-2.jpg

Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-img_20210829_120344.jpg

Summary of the trips



Trip- 1
Raipur- Hotel- Chitrakote- Jagdalpur city- Hotel
Hotel- Dantewada- Tirathgarh- Hotel
Hotel- Raipur

Total trip kms = 924 kms + 46 kms loacal at raipur = 970kms
Petrol consumed = 49.3 Liters
Fuel Efficiency = 19.7 Km/L (tankful to tankful basis)

Trip- 2
Raipur- Chitrakote- Hotel
Hotel- Kotumsar cave- Raipur

Total trip kms = 692 kms
Petrol consumed = 33.7 Liters
Fuel Efficiency = 20.5 km/L (tankful to tankful basis)

Thanks for reading this long monologue

Last edited by Mellow : 6th December 2021 at 12:21.
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Old 7th December 2021, 04:50   #4
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Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 7th December 2021, 12:29   #5
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Default Re: Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur

Awesome and informative travelogue once again, thanks for sharing. Even I visited Bastar during Dussera weekend and it was a first drive for me since pandemic started. What I love about the region are the very good roads and lush greenery, makes up for quite relaxing and enjoyable drive. Couldn't help but share few of my clicks-

Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-12-road-after-bhanpuri2.jpg


Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-35-side-low2.jpg


Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-5-snap-good-roads-snap-12.jpg


Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur-10-road.jpg
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Old 7th December 2021, 12:39   #6
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Default Re: Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur

Wonderful details and log with beautiful pictures, @mellow. Despite being a ‘Raipurian’, I haven’t been to this place yet. This is on my to-visit list whenever I visit Raipur next.

Thanks for sharing the travelogue.
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Old 7th December 2021, 14:47   #7
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Thanks for sharing. Having spent entire childhood in the district and didn't ever get a chance to go back in last 25 years. This travelogue is a blessing in disguise. The photo of me as 2 year old in front of Chitrakote Fall is the one i still show to my younger one. Those days there was hardly any tourism and unspoiled nature at it's best. It's time and era that will not come back but rekindle the desire to go back once a revisit these places once again.

Last edited by CircleOfLife : 7th December 2021 at 14:48.
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Old 7th December 2021, 16:11   #8
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Default Re: Weekend drives to Bastar (Jagdalpur) from Raipur

Very informative, thanks for sharing. Refreshed lot of memories for me.
I had seen Chitrakoot and Tirathgarh in August 2004 when my father-in-law was posted at BailaDila near Kirandul and we traveled from Hyderabad. Onward journey was by a very lengthy train journey (Hyderabad-Vishakhapatnam-Bailadila). Return was by bus.
Always thought about visiting Jagdalpur but somehow it never materialized after that. Its really very scenic all around.
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Old 7th December 2021, 19:10   #9
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Excellent coverage of Bastar. Have visited these places a few times during my school days. The interiors of India is a completely different animal.
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