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What are few known, unknown or interesting places to visit in Bilaspur?

There are numerous spots to visit in Bilaspur. One among them being ‘Ratanpur’. It is located 25kms away from Bilaspur district on the National Highway 200 leading towards Ambikapur. Ratanpur has its own significance as a place of religious importance. Ratanpur was founded by Raja Ratanraj, son of Kamaldeo, who after annexing the area near Bilaspur. In the 11th century AD, Raja Ratanraj shifted his capital from Taman to a newly built capital at Ratanpur.

Ratanpur is mostly known for the famous temple of Mahamaya Devi. The temple was also built back in the 11th century AD and is of great religious importance to the people of Chhattisgarh. Thousands of pilgrims from far and wide visit Ratanpur every year in order to visit this temple. The atmosphere here is very pious and pure. There are two solid lions built out of gold at the entrance of the temple. During the Navratri, pilgrims come to the temple in huge numbers after walking barefoot for many miles. It is believed that walking barefoot for miles will complete their fast of Navratri and thus help fulfill their wishes. There is a small pond on the back of temple which has a wide variety of fishes. The beautiful pink lotuses used for puja here are most of the time sourced from this pond. I spend a lot of my time near that pond whenever I visit Ratanpur.

Apart from the pond, there is also a lake located beside the temple which is another major source of attraction to the pilgrims. You can choose to go for boating in this lake during the day. The best time to visit this lake is the night when the entire lake sparkles due to light from the temple and its nearby surroundings getting reflected by the water. This sight adds to the whole experience. It being my favorite pastime, I look forward to going out for boating whenever I visit Ratanpur. Beside the lake, there is another temple of rich cultural heritage. This beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Shiva was also built by Raja Ratanraj in the 11th century AD. The architecture is so magnificent that I feel it should also be included as one of Chhattisgarh’s heritage sites.

There are various shops lining the roads right from the parking lot. They sell different memorabilia like photographs of Mahamaya Devi, lockets, rings, puja material, books and various other things that tell the story of the temple and its rich history, Do visit Ratanpur once if you go to Bilaspur and to get embraced in an atmosphere of devotion and dedication.
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