The capital of Chhattisgarh, Raipur is the largest city in the state. With more than hundreds of steel mills and six steel plants, Raipur is also one of the largest industrial centres of the country. Besides steel, it is also home to the aluminium and coal industries. A primary business and industrial hub, Raipur is even fast emerging in the tourism sector, attracting tourists from across the world. The city is known for its temples, lakes, factories, educational centres as well as the development of Naya Raipur. Naya Raipur is a newly planned city and is about 17km away from the current town. The Swami Vivekananda Airport lies in between Raipur and Naya Raipur facilitating travel.
Raipur has a rich history and until 2000 was a part of Madhya Pradesh. After the formation of the new state of Chhattisgarh, Raipur was made its capital, primarily because of its centralised location. Located in the centre of the plains that are also called the ‘rice bowl of India’, Raipur is surrounded by the districts of Durg and Bemetara. The city is a bustling capital city with a multicultural and multi-religious society. With many festivals, shopping outlets and city landscapes Raipur is also an excellent base for venturing into the surrounding attractions. These include the Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary, Dandak Caves, Bilaspur, Chitrakoot Falls, Amarkantak, Bhilai, Kanha National Park and the Sitanadi Wildlife Sanctuary.
Visit Raipur to explore its various natural, wildlife and historical tourist attractions. Chhattisgarh is mostly a forested region. Raipur understands the importance of maintaining its ecological balance, and there is a government proposal under works to construct a micro-forest in the heart of the city. Raipur is also about its various festivals, such as Hareli, Champaran Mela, Pola and Teeja that are celebrated during monsoons. And no city in India is complete without a taste of its unique flavours. Raipur is no different offering its many fascinating cuisines and street food that are an integral part of the city’s cultural and social layout.
Places to Visit
Located 85 km from the city of Raipur is Ghatarani Waterfalls, the largest in the state of Chattisgarh. Surrounded by lush greenery, this breathtaking sight is a popular picnic spot. Ghatarani Waterfalls is a favourite picnic spot to go to on the weekend along with your friends and family. A small trek through a forest would lead you to this beautiful natural beauty. At the bottom of the waterfall lies a naturally formed pool. Enjoy a swim, play with your fam, or unwind in the pool. Although the waterfall’s beauty enriches in the rainy season – when the water is in full flow – it is best to avoid going during this time because of slippery terrains and mudslides.
Nandan Van Zoo & Safari
Nandan Van Zoo, located at Naya Raipur, is one of the famous places of visit in the city. With its primary objective to protect and conserve animals, the zoo has many species of fauna. There are jungle safari and boating rides and is a perfect spot to spend the day with kids. It is fascinating to watch the animals wander around the jungle, and it also gives an exposure to many species which are not very popular and on the verge of extinction. Also, the facilities provided by the zoo are comfortable and affordable.
Keep your gadgets away and spend a day at Purkhauti Muktangan, a delightful garden reflecting the rich culture of Chhattisgarh. The Hon’ble A.P.J Abdul Kalam inaugurated the place in November 2006. Since then, this garden is a place that attracts tourists and locals alike. Folk art, life-like tribal figures, vibrant sceneries add on to the beautiful experience. Not only is the garden eye-catching to visitors, but it also spreads cultural awareness about preserving our bio-cultural diversity.
Swami Vivekanand Sarovar
Swami Vivekanand Sarovar is also called Burha Thalab which means old lake. Fenced by a number of trees, especially palm trees, it is a tranquil place to visit. There are several food stalls just outside the park that provide cheap and good quality street food. Apart from that, the lake is a popular picnic spot and a joggers paradise. The best time to visit the lake is in the evening, just before sunset.
Gandhi Udyan Park
Gandhi Udyan Park is located in the heart of the Raipur city which extends till the famous Bhagat Singh Chowk. With a lot of natural vegetation spread over the park, the walking area is neatly tiled. There is also a playground where yoga classes are held early in the morning. With a walking area of about 400 meters, it is an excellent place for a morning or evening walk.
Located close to the Chief Minister’s residence, it is well- maintained and attracts a lot of people from the neighbourhood. The park is more pleasant during sunrise and sunset when the place is airy. Most people visit the park during that time thus making the place exuberant. It is most recommended that the park be visited during this time.
Senior citizens, young adults and children visit the park for playing, walking or exercising — some just visit to sit and enjoy nature within the park. Later in the evening, the lights are turned on illuminating the park. The plants are watered regularly by the appointed workers, and the entire park is administered correctly and cleaned. However, parking charges are applicable. For two-wheelers, the charge is INR 10, and for four-wheelers, the cost is INR 20.
MM Fun City
MM Fun City is a one-stop destination for everyone who is looking to soak themselves in unlimited fun and entertainment. Located in the outskirts of the capital city, it is Chhattisgarh’s largest water amusement park. The park has been set up in a tranquil and serene environment, away from the city’s busy life. It is a hit among its visitors, providing them with fun water slides, family pool, wave pool, rain dance, a restaurant and even an exclusive kids zone. It is famous for its exciting rides, modern features and excellent service.
Mahant Ghasi Memorial Museum
Located near the Kutchery Chowk intersection, Mahant Ghasi Memorial Museum is small but packed with rich history of Raipur city. This well- maintained museum boasts an impressive collection of tribal artefacts, inscriptions, coins, carvings, models, and other things related to anthropology and natural history. There are five galleries spread on two floors and a vast library that you won’t be able to miss. Head over to an open-air restaurant located at the ground floor of the museum to experiment with cheap but good tribal food. You get to learn a lot about Raipur’s past, its culture and how it went on to become the big city it is in the present times. Entry fee to the museum is INR 5.
How to Reach Mahant Ghasi Memorial Museum
The Mahant Ghasidas Memorial Museum is situated on Raj Bhawan Road in the capital city of Raipur. Travellers can easily find an auto-rickshaw or book a cab through any of the available apps like Ola and Uber, to reach the museum.
Banjari Mata Mandir
The shrines of Banjara Mata Temple are, without a doubt, its speciality. Devoted to Goddess Banjari Mata, this sacred place is famous for hosting events during the Dussehra and Navratri festivals. Many devotees from neighbouring states and across the country flock to breathe in the pleasant and sacred aura. One can feel the calmness lingering in the air. The temple is open all days of the week and can be visited between 6:00 AM to 7:30 PM. The temple’s exquisiteness and authenticity is the reason why thousands visit the place to seek blessings.
Champaran was previously known as Champajhar. This village is of religious as well as historical significance as it is regarded to be the birthplace of the Sant Mahaprabhu Vallabhacharya, the founder, pioneer and reformer of the Vallabh Sect. It is thus, a popular Vaishnava Peeth. Champaran is home to two temples that are dedicated to Shri Mahaprabhuji – the Prakatya Baithakji Mandir and Mool Prakatya (more commonly known as Chatti Baithak) and also holds an annual festival.
Located in Gariaband, about 85 km from the city of Raipur, Jatmai temple is situated amidst lush greenery. The temple, devoted to Mata Jatmai is constructed with granite and has beautiful murals at its entrance. The holy place is lit up and decorated with great enthusiasm during the festivals of Navratri. It is a place which has such peaceful vibes and positivity.
Must Try Food in Raipur
1. The Haunt Dive
2. Godwit Cafe
3. Gadh Kalewa
4. Saubhagya Tilak, Ambrosia
5. Manju Mamta Restaurant
6. Nukkad Tea Cafe
8. Cafe Junoon
9. The Urban Oasis TAO
10. The Music Cafe
How To Get Here
Raipur’s Swami Vivekananda Airport is located in Mana, 20 km south of the city. Several operators including Air India, Air Deccan, Indigo Airlines, Jet Airways, and Spicejet connect Raipur to major cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Pune, Lucknow, Visakhapatnam, Ahmedabad, Bhopal, and more.
The highways connecting Raipur to other cities are well maintained. A 300 km drive from Jagdalpur will take about 5 hours to reach Raipur. National Highway 26 is yet another highway that passes through Raipur and connects the city to Visakhapatnam.
There are regular bus services – both private and government based – from Nagpur, Mandla, Sambalpur, Amravati, Ambikapur, and more.
Raipur Junction is the station that serves the city. It is considered amongst the highest earning stations in India due to its extensive connectivity to other parts of the country. Take an auto rickshaw or taxi from the station to get around the city.