Archaeology of Chhattisgarh
Chhattisgarh State largely consists of plateaus streaked with high range of Satpuras in the North, the river Mahanadi and its tributaries in the Central Plains and the Bastar Plateau in the South. The Past (Hills) give rises to the main river systems- Mahanadi, Hasdo, Sheonath and Indravati.
Intersected by these meandering rivers and dotted with hills and plateaus, the state has varied natural settings of great beauty. To the north of river Shivnath there were 18 garhs belonging to the Kalchuris and to the South there were another 18 garhs belonging to the Kalchuris of Raipur. Hence, the total of these 36 Garhs (Forts) formed the basis of naming this region as Chhattisgarh. Chhattisgarh lies between 17 - 46' to 24 - 5' North and 80 - 15' to 84 - 20' East. It covers an area of 1,35,133 Sq. kms. bordering six other states - Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand in the North, Orissa in the East, Andhra Pradesh in the South, Maharashtra in the South West and Madhya Pradesh in the North West.
Although the newly formed state came into existence on 1st November 2000, its cultural heritage is as ancient as Stone age. In ancient times Chhattisgarh was known as Dakshin Koshal. Geographical evidence of the place is found in the Ramayana and the Mahabharat. Lord Rama entered Dandkarnaya from North-East of Koshal and spent some of his exile (forest-living) period here. In Mahabharat's Rajsoo Yagya episode the description of Dakshin Koshal has been found. In historical records in Samudragupta Prayag eulogy, description of Kosal has been found. After the sixth century evidence of political insurgence of Dakshin Koshal has been found.
From Sixth Century to mid-twelve century Sarabhpurnima, Panduvanshi, Somvanshi, Kalchuri and Nagwanshi rulers dominated the region. The various documents, Copper plaques, coins, and archeological goods apprise us about the cultural heritage and political development of that time. In contemporary history evidence of ancient people has been found in the hills of Raigarh, Singhanpur, Kabra, Basnajhar, Boslada and Ongana mountains at "Chitwandongri" in Rajnandgaon district. The stone equipment made and used by ancient people have been found from the coasts of Mahanadi, Mand, Kanhar, Manihari, and Kelo River.
The rock-paintings of Singhanpur and Kabra mountains are quite famous among contemporary painting due to variety and style. Among remains of historical age, traces of bone, animal burial has been found in abundance in Raipur and Durg districts. Along with archaeology, the culture of Chhattisgarh is also quite famous. The tribal Kanwars, Kamar, Baiga. Halba, Korea, Pando, Birhai, Biniwar make the atmosphere cheerful by their dance and song, on the occasion of marriage and other festivals. The rice-bowl Chhattisgarh land has unique eroticism and Sweetness.
Apart from the mesmerizing dances songs of Dadra, Pandwani, Karma, Panthi and Suva, the region has National parks/Sanctuaries and has places of archaeological and religions importance such as Sirpur, Rajim, Malhar, Sita Bengra, Jogibhatta, Deepadih, Dantewada and Dongargarh where tourists come automatically. The ancient deposits of Chhattisgarh and Jain religion memorials are found at Malhar, Sirpur, Maheshpur and Arang. Innumerable monuments, finely carved temple, vihars, forts and palaces raise in the visitors mind visions of dynasties and kingdoms of great warriors and builders, of poets and musicians, of saints and philosophers, of Hindusim, Buddhism, Jainism, Christianity, and Islam.
Saint Guru Ghasidas of Satnami samaj, Mahaprabhu Vallabhacharya of vaishnav samaj and the great poet and saint Kabirdas also hails from this state. The celebrated chinese traveler Huein Tsang visited the state in the middle of 7th century A.D. Nearly half (44%) of the state is forested and offers a unique panorama of flora and fauna. The national parks of Kanger Valley and Indravati, the Sanctuaries of Udanti, Sitanadi, Barnawapara, Achanakmar, Gomardah, Tamorpingla etc.
Offer the rare opportunity to see the wild buffalo, gaur, tiger, leopard, singing maina and wide variety of antelopes in sylvan surroundings. A variety of tradition in each of three geographical and cultural regions of Baghelkhand plateau, the plains of Mahandi basin, and the Dandkarnaya plateau of Bastar Have added colour to the states rich cultural tapestry, making it a many splendor land.