Raipur: The places visited by Lord Ram in Chhattisgarh are being developed as tourist destinations, and in this scheme of Chhattisgarh, Sitamadi-Harchauki of Koriya district and Ramgarh area of Sarguja have also been included. Ramgarh is also known for its one of the oldest ‘natyshala’ of the world. Mahakavi Kalidas had created his masterpiece ‘Meghdootam’.
During his exile period, Lord Ram had entered Chhattisgarh state via Koriya district. Sitamadi-Harchauka in Janakpur area of Bharatpur Tehsil is believed to be his first stop. Cave in Sitamadi-Harchauka area near Mavai River has 17 rooms, which is also known as ‘Sita Ki Rasoi’. There is a stone in the cave, which is believed to have footprints of Lord Ram. This cave on the bank of Mavai River has been carved to make 17 rooms, and there is also a shivling ‘Shivling’. This place is also known as ‘Harchauka’ (Rasoi i.e. kitchen). Lord Ram had reached from Harchauka to ‘Sitamadi-Ghagra’ situated on the bank of Rapa River. Later, he had travelled from Ghagra to Kitadola and them Ramgarh hill of Sarguja district, situated on Ambikapur-Bilaspur, also known as Ramgiri. Mahakavi Kalidas had created his literary masterpiece ‘Meghdootam’ at this place only. During his exile period, Lord Ram had spent some days here with wife Sita and brother Lakshaman. This is why these caves are known by their names in folk tales, such as Jogimara, Sita Bengra and Lakshman Gufa.
Development of all the places connected to Lord Ram’s exile period in Chhattisgarh as pilgrim-tourist destination is an ambitious project of Chief Minister Mr. Bhupesh Baghel. For this purpose, Ram Van Gaman Paripath is being made. Government has identified 75 places related to Lord Ram’s exile period in Chhattisgarh. In the first phase, nine places are being beautified and developed and an action plan of Rs 137 crore 45 lakh has been prepared.