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Sirpur Group Of Temples, Chhattisgarh

Been there recently?

Ever visited a city that suddenly disappeared from ancient records only to re-emerge seven centuries later? Ever wondered why such culturally rich places that were great capital cities promoting art, culture, and religions reappear at all? It is because people, cities, and time may vanish, but not the culture and heritage they leave behind. A thriving city named “Shripur” that rose step by step from the 4th to the 8th century to become a famous commercial and religious hub, vanished suddenly in the 12th century only to reappear brick by brick from 1892. If you are a tourist inclined to history, then goosebumps are guaranteed at Sirpur, where in 2003 as many as 184 mounds were marked and subsequent excavations have revealed 27 temples, 10 Buddha Viharas and 3 Jain Viharas apart from a market site and bath house. This is just the beginning for Sirpur, as there is more to come as large parts of the ancient city are still under the rubble. A look at the quietly flowing Mahanadi river and you would know that the river is smiling as it is watching the slow resurrection of a city it watched vanish.

Nearby Places to See


Lakshman Temple
Aside from the tower and the sanctum, the Lakshman Temple has been completely destroyed. The manatapa of this brick temple, constructed in the seventh century, has long since disappeared, leaving behind only the temple’s foundation. The simple temple with the tall tower stands out.
Surang Tila
Surang Tila is an extraordinary religious centre that houses five separate temples. A total of three temples are dedicated to Shiva, while the other two are dedicated to Vishnu. In 2006, archaeologists unearthed this white-stone temple. One of the most significant discoveries is that the first level, staircase, and sanctums reveal crucial details about the temples of ancient Shripur.
Buddha Viharas
When it comes to Buddhist monasteries, or “Buddhist Viharas,” the 1950s excavation of Swastik Vihar uncovered the ancient Sirpur Buddhist monks’ meditation hall. The Ananda Prabhu Kuti Vihara is a 14-room Buddhist vihara also located in Sirpur. The Buddhist vihara known as Teevar Dev is the third site to be uncovered in Sirpur. Additionally, the door jambs are adorned with exquisite sculptures that showcase a high level of craftsmanship.
ASI Museum
Next to the Lakshman temple is the ASI Museum, which displays many artefacts unearthed during the excavations, including several idols. The museum exhibits provide insightful details about the diverse religious practices of ancient Sipur.
Site of the Ancient Market
This is a fantastic location for exploring the ruins of the ancient market. It sheds light on the intricate structure of ancient marketplaces, which date back nearly 1500 years. Large, thoughtfully laid out, and full to the brim with worship temples and bathing stations where merchants can relax after a long day on the road, the likes of this marketplace are unimaginable in the present day.
Gandheshwar Temple
On the banks of the Mahanadi River is where you’ll find another ancient temple: the Gandheshwar Temple. The temple’s sanctum and mantapa columns were still in place. After the mantapa’s ceiling and tower were renovated, the structure was ready for use again.


Things to Buy

Things to buy include Souvenirs, Gifts.

Foods to Relish

North Indian Thali Dishes, Lassi, Iddhar.