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Sirpur, Chhattisgarh Overview

Sirpur is a small village located in the state of Chhattisgarh, situated on the banks of river Mahanadi. It is 35 km away from the Mahasamund district and around 78 km away from the city of Raipur, which is the capital of Chhattisgarh. The village of Sirpur is an archaeological wonder. Inspiration to many architects, this village is rich in its temple culture. A quaint hidden gem, it has a deep connection to the Buddhism world and a treasure for archaeological findings from the 8th century.

There are numerous temples one can visit, and is generally a hub for passionate historians. A look at the historical artefacts and the deep carvings on the walls of the temples have inspired many architects around the world. The Buddhist monasteries of this village are said to be one of the most important and most significant in India. Apart from the rich historical importance and fascinating findings in these villages, there is more to this village. The Chhattisgarh Tourism Board organises a music and dance festival here to promote the Buddhist sites and celebrate its culture. Offering a rare mix of art and culture with different performance and a deep history and evolution of art, Sirpur is a peaceful village filled with wonders.

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History of Sirpur

Also known as Shripur or Sripur, the name translates to an auspicious city. It has a rich cultural and architectural background and is often referred to as the ancient heritage. A report on a Lakshmana temple written by Alexander Cunningham (a British colonial) when he visited in the year 1872, brought Sirpur international attention. Famous for the many temples here, many site excavations over the years have led to prominent archaeological findings and understanding of the temple architecture evolution. The excavations conducted in the 2000s yielded Shiva temples, 5 Vishnu temples and Jain Viharas.

People and Language

The native language of Sirpur is Punjabi, so most people speak that language. But as the village is considered to be a rich heritage site and the growing number of visitors and the government’s interest in making it a tourist spot, you will find people speaking in Hindi as well.

Places to Visit in Sirpur

Lakshman Temple
Sirpur is referred to as the pilgrimage site for the people who follow Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism; there are many sites you can visit in this village to get to know about its iconic history. The Lakshmana temple is one of the most popular spots in this village, and the architecture of this temple has been a constant inspiration for many architects.

Baleshwar Temple
Believed to be lost, this temple was excavated recently. It is named after the king Mahashivgupt Balarjun, who built the temple. Many of his items have been unearthed in the recently conducted excavation. Another interesting fact about this temple is that there is not one but three more temples in this place and they are all dedicated to the great Shiva.

Rama Temple
This temple is one of the oldest ones and is believed to be dedicated to Ram and Lakshman. A popular attraction, it has a star-shaped platform called Jagati and the place is situated near the Lakshmana Temple.

Buddha Vihara
Popularly known as the Sirpur Buddha Vihara, this is an 8th-century Buddhist temple built by Bhikshu Anand Prabhu. One of the most visited Buddhist pilgrims, this place has attracted many historians even who are studying and joining the dots of the Buddhism timeline. This is a place where you can witness architectural wonders.

Not far from the Lakshmana temple, it is a Buddhist monastery that had Buddhist artworks, statues and Hindu themes such as tales of Panchatantra. A beautiful meeting of the Buddhist and Hindu architecture, this temple is believed to be built by Shaiva Khan and his Buddhist Queen.

ASI Museum
ASI museum that has a rich collection of artefacts collected over the years in the various site excavations conducted. The museum is situated right in the Lakshmana temple so it’s easily accessible and a must visit.

Best time to visit Sirpur

To explore the village and have a pleasant experience, plan your trip at the best time. The weather conditions from January to March are considered to be the best. Temperature ranges from 50F to 106F. The second best time would be from October to November. With winter approaching, the climate gets cool and suitable for a walk around. April and May can be pretty dry and hot making the time spent there uncomfortable. There is also a Sirpur music festival celebrated in January. So if you like exploring villages and cultures, Sirpur is the place for you.

Winter Season (November to March): The climate during these months is delightful as it is time for the winter season. The temperature fluctuates between 21 degree celcius to 28 degree celcius, a good time to walk around the place and visit the various excavations.

Monsoon Season (July to October): This the time for monsoon season which makes everything greener and better. The temperatures hovers around 32 degree celcius with around 80% humidity. It makes the climate cooler which makes it a great time to visit the places and click beautiful photographs.

Summer season (April to June): The temperatures are exceptionally high with the average temperature being 37 degree celcius. Because of this reason, the climate is sweltering and makes it unpleasant to visit the sites and enjoy the beauty of the temples.

How to Reach Sirpur

How to reach Sirpur by Road
Sirpur is 78 km away from Raipur (1 hour and 30 minutes journey) and is home to many Buddhist, Hindu and Jain temples. To reach the city, you can drive by car or book a cab from Raipur. Sirpur is very accessible due to the four-lane national highway and bus services available.

How to reach Sirpur by Train
Most people prefer to travel by car or bus from Raipur and enjoy the scenic view on the way, but you can also take a train to Mahasamund district, nearest railway station.

How to reach Sirpur by Flight
Booking a flight to the nearest airport which is Raipur is also possible. From there one can take a cab or bus to Sirpur.

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