Chhattisgarh is a 'Land of Surprises' and a large part of it is still unexplored and untouched. The state is known for its historical points, regal residences, rock depictions, exotic wildlife and sanctuaries. Chhattisgarh offers a unique and memorable experience for tourists.
Located in this offbeat destination is Rajnandgaon, a popular pilgrimage and tourist centre. It is about 80 km from Raipur, the capital of Chhattisgarh. It is situated on the Mumbai-Howrah railway line and NH6 passes through this place.
Earlier, it was known as Nandgram and the city was reigned by several famous dynasties like Kalchuries, Somvanshies and the Marathas. The royal residences in Rajnandgaon unfurl the interesting story of its rulers, the culture and customs of that era. It was also ruled by Hindu caretakers or 'Mahants' and the Chiefs or 'Gond Rajas'. The successor was selected through adoption.
During the British Era, Rajnandgaon was an active and lively city with Mahant Ghasi Das recognized as the ruler by the British. It remained a Princely State under the British rule and later in 1948 after Independence, it became part of Durg District of Madhya Pradesh. The history of this place changed its course again in the year 2000 when Chhattisgarh was formed. Rajnandgaon continued to be an important city in the newly formed state of India.
Beautiful nature, glorious past and abundant resources have made this historical place one of the emerging cities in the country. One of the main attractions of this laidback town is 'Food'. 'Yes', Rajnandgaon is famous for its unique delicacies, especially the street food that fascinates not only tourists but also people around the place.
How To Reach Rajnandgaon
By air: Swami Vivekananda Airport in Raipur is the nearest airport to Rajnandgaon. It is at a distance of 73 km. Sonegaon Airport in Nagpur, Maharashtra is about 190 km.
By train: Rajnandgaon railway station provides frequent train services to Nagpur, Dongargarh and Raipur. There are trains available from major metro cities in the country like Bangalore, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Delhi, Pune etc. The other nearest railway station is Durg, which is about 28 km away.
By bus: There are regular bus services from Old and New Bus Stands in Rajnandgaon that provides good connectivity to nearby cities. NH6 passes through the town.
Best Time To Visit Rajnandgaon
The weather is pleasant and comfortable from November to February and ideal to explore the places in Rajnandgaon. In summer months, the temperature is hot and humid with abundant sunshine. If you want to get a nice tan, this is the right time to visit the place.
Places Of Interest
1. Gangrel Dam
Gangrel Dam is a must-visit place, if you are in Rajnandgaon. Also known as the Ravishankar dam, it is situated on river Mahanadi. The reservoir offers an array of water sports too. This is one of the lengthiest and largest dams in the country. During monsoon, the place is spellbinding with its picturesque Virgin Islands that is enriched with rich flora and fauna.
2. Indira Kala Sangeet University
This is one of the oldest universities in Chhattisgarh that provides courses in music and fine arts in the country. Established in 1956, it is located in a palace that was donated by the royal family. The place is nestled amidst three rivers that provide serene and tranquil surroundings to the artists.
3. Mangata Wildlife Park
The undulating terrain of Mangata Wildlife Park dotted with numerous hillocks is a well-forested area located in the Mangata village. The park is home to exotic species of wild fauna and flora. It is one of the well-maintained wildlife parks. Besides its diverse avian and wildlife population, the national park is known for its trekking trails that draw adventure seekers to this incredible nature park.
4. Maa Bamleswari Temple
Dongargarh lies about 40 km away and is one of the main pilgrimage centres of Rajnandgaon District. The temple located here is dedicated to Badi Bambleshwari, which is of spiritual importance. It is situated on top of a hill at 1600 ft from where you will get great aerial views of the valley. Located about a half km from the temple complex is the Chotti Bambleshwari temple, which is vibrant during Navaratri. Grand fairs are held at the temple premises during this time which draws a huge crowd.