Article By: Sheikh Abdul Kadir
Situated at the tri-confluence of rivers Mahanadi, Shivnath and Jonk in Chhattisgarh, Shivrinarayan holds a special place in Hindu Mythology and Santana Dharma. This ancient city is famous as a religious, historical and mythological city. The significance of this place is known from the fact that it has been named as the fifth Dham after the four major Dhams of the country namely Badrinath, Dwarka, Jagannathpuri and Rameshwaram. This place is the original place of Lord Jagannath hence famous as Jagannathpuri of Chhattisgarh.
Shivrinarayan is associated with the events of the Ramayana era. According to the belief, Lord Rama had spent significant amount of the exile period in Chhattisgarh, Shivrinarayan is the city where Lord Rama had consumed Shabri’s half eaten berries. In order to preserve Ramayana’s events of such historical and cultural importance, a concept plan has been prepared by the Chhattisgarh government for the development of Ram Van Gaman tourism circuit. For the implementation of which, an action plan of Rs 39 crore has been prepared for the development of the temple complex in Shivrinarayan as well as the surrounding area equipped with world class facilities for the devotees and tourists. In the first phase, various development works worth Rs 6 crore have been completed, this will provide new facilities to the people coming here.
Ram Van Gaman Path Circuit: 75 culturally significant places of the Ramayana era to be developed as Religious Tourism Sites
In the Ram Van Gaman Concept, a plan has been made to develop 75 places related to the excursion of Lord Ram in Chhattisgarh as heritage pilgrimage tourist sites. In the first phase, 9 places have been identified, and facilities are being developed there for the devotees and tourists. An action plan of Rs 133 crore has been prepared for this. Upgradation of access road, sign board, tourist facility center, interpretation center, Vedic village, pagoda waiting shed, basic facilities, drinking water system, toilet, sitting bench, restaurant, water front development, electrification etc. will be done at selected places as per requirement. The work of developing the places falling under Ram Van Gaman Marg as tourist destination has started from the construction of Mata Kaushalya temple located in Chandkhuri village of Arang tehsil of Raipur district.
Chhattisgarh as ancient Dakshinapath-
According to researchers, ‘Tretayug’ in Chhattisgarh was famous as Dakshin Kosal and Dandakaranya. The exile journey of Lord Rama in Dandakaranya is confirmed by Valmiki Ramayana. According to the information received from the research of researchers, after entering Chhattisgarh from North India , Lord Ram entered South India after visiting various places in Chhattisgarh. Hence Chhattisgarh is also called Dakshinapath.
Lord Ram reached Shivrinarayan by the Mahanadi River route
According to folklore, Lord Ram, during his exile had reached Shivrinarayan from Mand river to Chandrapur and then through the route of Mahanadi river. Out of the 14 years of his exile, Lord Ram spent more than 10 years at different places in Chhattisgarh.
Architecture and Historical Temples
The temple parisar of Shivrinarayan is a must visit for tourists. The architecture and sculpture here is unmatched. The Nar-Narayan temple, built by King Shabar is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Kesavanarayan temple is made of bricks, it is built on the Bhumi style on Pancharatha configuration. Chandrachud Mahadev Temple and Jagannath Temple built in a similar manner as Jagannath Puri of Orrisa are also present here.. There are many temples of historical and archaeological importance in village Kharod adjoining Shivrinarayan city, mainly Dulhadev Temple, Laxmaneshwar Temple, Shabari Temple.
New facilities in Shivrinarayan-
Chief Minister Shri Bhupesh Baghel will inaugurate new facilities and various works developed under Ram Van Gaman Circuit at Shivrinarayan in Janjgir-Champa district. In the first phase, development works worth Rs 6 crore have been completed. These include upgradation and beautification of the temple complex of Shivrinarayan, Deep Pillar, Ramayana Interpretation Center and Tourist Information Center, grand entrance on the temple route, Development and beautification of the river ghat, intricately beautiful statues of Lord Ram-Lakshman and Shabari Mata have been constructed in the ghat. Similarly, the ghat includes construction of view point kiosks, landscaping works, boundary walls, modular shops, spacious parking areas and public toilets.
The Famous Rath Yatra
Shivrinarayan Shaivism has been the main center of Vaishnavism. Due to this place being the original place of Lord Jagannath, the festival of Rath Yatra is celebrated with great enthusiasm here. It is believed that the idols of Lord Jagannath were taken from here to Jagannathpuri. Rath Yatra is organized here on the lines of Puri. Apart from Chhattisgarh, saints and devotees from other states are involved in this magnanimous Rath Yatra.
The Grand fair of Sadhu Sant Shahi Snaan
Chhattisgarh’s biggest 15-day fair is held here on Maghi Purnima. The fair ends on the day of Mahashivratri. On the first day of Maghi Purnima, sages and saints take a royal bath here. Devotees come here from far, it is believed that Lord Jagannath resides in Shivrinarayan temple for a day.
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