Dantewada is a beautiful district in the south of Bastar region of the Chhattisgarh state. The place derives its name from its presiding deity, Devi Danteshwari, which is believed to be an incarnation of Goddess Sati, the epitome of Shakti (strength). It is believed to be one of the 52 sacred shakti peethas (seat of shakti , female power) of Hindu mythology. The hero of epic Ramayana, i.e Lord Rama is believed to have been taken shelter here for sometimes during his 14 years of exile. This region has also been ruled by the Nags, Satwahanas, Nalas and Chalukyas at different periods of history. You may also find traces of Buddhism and Jainism dating back to the 3 rd century AD can be seen here. Dantewada is blessed with spectacular natural beauty having tall and long series of hills and profuse greenery of the sal and teak forests. The meandering rivers, Indravati, Godavari & Shabhari flowing through out the district enhances the natural beauty of the place. The perennial rivers like Shankhini and Dankiny creates panoramic water falls at different sites of the district. The forest of the region is a home to several wildlife species of which 2 are native to the area – the Pahadi Maina and the Wild Buffalo. Several tribal groups, like Maria, Muria, Dhurwa, Halba, Bhatra, and Gonds inhibit the region. They are renowned for their artistic excellence and produce outstanding terracotta, bell metal and bamboo-craft artisans. Dantewada is also a mineral rich area having minerals like Iron Ore, Uranium, corundum, granite, graphite, limestone and marble. Dantewada shares borders with three states – Maharashtra to the west, Orissa to the East and Andhra Pradesh to the south – each with a very different culture. As such, Dantewada’s culture is a rare and unique blend of all of these, with its own tribal traditions.
Places to see in Dantewada: Apart from the scenic beauty there are also different sight seeing locations which are also worth visiting. These include:
Mountain range, famous in the world for the enormous & top quality deposits of Iron ore. Total 14 reserves have been discovered in this range out of which the mining activities are going on in 3 deposits. As this range of mountain contains peaks that look like the humps of the ox at different places, this range of mountains is called as “Baila Dila”, meaning the hump of ox, in the local language. Bailadila has been established as an Industrial area that has been divided into two towns, namely Bacheli (29 KMs from Dantewada) & Kirandul (41 KMs from Dantewada). The Iron Ore mines are situated at the top most peak of this mountain range known as “Aakash Nagar”, which can be visited with prior permission from NMDC (National Mineral Development Corporation). A 22 KMs lengthy Ghat Road, that leads the visitors from Bacheli to Aakash Nagar thrills them with serpentine twists and offers a bird eye view of the entire region through out the journey. Apart from understanding the mining activities of NMDC, one can enjoy the pleasant locality of Aakash Nagar, which is stretched into the blue sky, offering the visitors a panoramic view of the green forests and beautiful landscapes. Similarly 12 Kms Ghat Road from Kirandul takes the visitors to Kailash Nagar, yet another peak of Bailadila range. Kailash Nagar is equally beautiful as Aakash Nagar. One can find the rare and wonderful deposits of “Blue Dust” the sand like blue colored Iron Ore, which satisfies one’s quest to come in encounter with the wonders of Mother Nature.
This ancient temple is at the confluence of the Dankini and Shankini rivers, about one and a half hours from Jagdalpur. It was built by the Chalukya kings of Bastar in honour of their family Goddess, Devi Danteshwari, who is venerated by both Hindus and tribals in the entire Bastar region (Danteshwari is believed to be the new name of Manikeshwari, the family Goddess of the Naga Dynasty who preceeded the Chalukyas). The temple is divided into four parts – Garbh Griha, Maha Mandap, Mukhya Mandap and Sabha Mandap. The first two are constructed using stone. The temple itself has been constructed at various times, but the sanctum sanctorum is believed to be more than 800 years old. A Garud Pillar has been erected in front of the temple entrance.The Danteshwari Temple really comes to life during the Bustar Dassera festival season. Men have to wear a lungi to enter the temple.
Memory Pillars of Gama-wada
14 km from Dantewada, on the way to Bacheli, the small village of Gama Wada has giant stone pillars, erected centuries ago by the local tribes in memory of their deceased relatives.
Nearby attractions around Dantewada: You may also enjoy short trips to places like:
Located on the banks of the Indrawati river, about 32km (a one and a half to two hour drive)from Dantewada, Barsoor was once an epicentre of Hindu civilization. It is believed that there were once 147 temples and an equal number of ponds here. The ruins of these temples, dating back to the 10 th and 11 th centuries (i.e. over 1,000 years old) can be seen even today. Some beautiful images of Lord Vishnu can also be seen.One Shiva temple, with 12 carved stone pillars, has nude figures on the outside. Another Shiva temple has 32 carved stone pillars, a black granite Nandi (Shiva’s carrier) bull, and two sanctum sanctorum, with a common court. The ruins of this temple have been recently restored. A 50 foot high temple, known locally as Mama-bhanja-ka-mandir (temple of the maternal uncle and nephew), is in good condition, but lacks an idol. It is not clear to which deity the temple was consecrated, or even if it was ever consecrated. The biggest attraction though, is the Ganesha Temple. While the temple itself is in ruins, two sandstone images of Ganesh, both in the aspect of Maha-Ganapati, are amazingly intact. The larger of these, and the more impressive, is about 8 feet high and over 17 feet wide.
Bodhghat Sath Dhar
6 KMs from Barsur, river Indravati divides into 7 parts to form one small waterfall. This spot, fully covered with dense green forests stands to explain the beauty of the combination of the river, water and the mountains. With all its beauty and peaceful locality Sath Dhar is an idle picnic spot.
Things to do in Dantewada: Sightseeing to different places and shopping local handicrafts goods from the tribal villages.
Best Time to Visit Dantewada: October to February are the best months to visit Dantewada.
How to go ?
Nearest Airport is Raipur having regular flights from all major cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Indore etc. A drive of 5hrs will take you to Dantewada.
Direct trains (South East Railway) are available only from Vishakhapatnam to Bailadila which stops for a while at Dantewada. The nearest railway station is Raipur which is connected with almost all major railheads in India. A drive of 5hrs will take you to Dantewada. It is better to stay overnight at Raipur after a long journey and then head for Dantewada next day.
Dantewada is connected with Jagadalpur, the nearest town, by State Highway 9.Private Luxury Bus runs regular bus services from all the big cities of Chatthisgarh – Raipur, Bilaspur, Durg, Rajnandgaon – to Bailadila, and these go via Dantewada. .Dantewada is also connected by road with Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh, the neighboring state. Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) runs a regular bus service on this route.
Where to stay ?
The place of Dantewada has very few accommodation options. These include:
Hotel Madhuban: +91-0756-299006
Regal Lodge (Dantewara Road, Bacheli): +91-07857-230010
Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.