The town of Sirpur is known for its Buddha Vihars, among which the most famous one is that of Anand Prabhu Kudi Vihar. This Buddha Vihar was built by Bhikshu Anand Prabhu who was a follower of Buddha.
The structure contains fourteen rooms and a main entrance. It also has several stone pillars which have beautiful carvings on them. Inside the building, there is a 6 ft tall statue of Lord Buddha that touches the earth. The other attractions that are near to Anand Prabhu Kudi Vihar are Lakshman Temple, Turturiya and Gandheshwar temple.
The Lakshman Temple or Laxman Temple is one of the first brick temples constructed in India. It is located around 90 km from Raipur, the capital city of Chhattisgarh. Its intricate carvings and depiction of art makes the temple all the more attractive.
This brick temple is constructed on a high massive platform and it consists of three major segments that are the garbha grih (the main house), antraal (passage) and mandap (a shelter). The other religious depictions portrayed in the temple are Vatayan, Chitya Gawaksha, Bharwahakgana, Aja, Kirtimkh and Kama Amalak that are beautifully carved on the pillars inside the temple.
Are you a nature lover? Then this is definitely a place you must visit. Located in the northern part of Mahasamund District, the Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary is spread over an area of 245 sq km. It was declared as a wildlife sanctuary under the Wildlife Protection Act in the year 1972.
The sanctuary is a mixture of plain and hilly terrains with an altitude that falls in the range of 265 m to 400 m. The wildlife here includes four horned antelopes, tigers, leopards, bison, pythons, barking deer, hyenas, porcupine, chinkara and black bucks.
This place has a lot to offer for all the bird lovers too. The birds seen here include herons, bulbul, egrets and parrots with other bid species. The forested area is rich with dry deciduous trees and other trees that incude tendu, ber, seemal, sal, teak and bamboo.
This is another interesting attraction on the banks of river Mahanadi. The Gandheshwar Temple, as the name suggests, was built using the ruins of many other temples and Vihars in that area. For the same reason, one would be amused to see different styles of architecture and carvings on the structures inside the temple.
Historic remains from different temples collectively formed this beautiful temple which later became a place of interest among tourists. The temple includes a Buddha statue that touches the ground, idol of Natraj, Garud Narayan, pictures of Shiv-Leela, an exceptional depiction of Ravan's face, Mahisasur Mardini, etc.
Turturiya is a small forest village that is located around 24 km from the town of Sirpur on the banks of a spring Turturiya which is also called Sursuri Ganga. The area is known for the Buddhist ruins and the other ruins of a later period of time.
The major portion of the ruins include some intricately carved pillars, Buddist stupas made of brick, idols of four armed Vishnu, several idols of Lord Ganesha and some traces of bathing ghats. There is a Valmiki Ashram in the vicinity of the village where festivals like Vaisakh Purnima and Amavasya are celebrated every year.
The Ram Temple which is near to the Lakshman Temple is also in ruins. The temple has attracted visitors as the structure has something in store for an architecture lover. The shattered structure of the temple still stands tall with its star-shaped projection with arms at vertical angles. Some of the other attractions in Sirpur are the Barnawapada Wildlife Sanctuary, Turturiya and the Gandheshwar Temple.