Mainpat Mountains Chhattisgarh's Tibet

Mainpat region of Chhattisgarh has a strong connection with Lord Rama. Mainpat region has been mentioned in Ramayana. According to Ramayana, Shri Ram had also lived in Mainpat region during his exile. He had met the tribal communities of this region and had also talked to them.

Buddhism had no connection with this region, although it is not very far from Varanasi. That is why it was a matter of great surprise for me to see Tibetan settlements flourishing here. The existence of Tibetan settlements here is not an ancient historical event, but it is the result of recent history.

There are two routes to reach Mainpat from Ambikapur which is located about 50 km away. One is via Ambikapur-Sitapur route, otherwise Mainpat can be reached via Darima village.

Climbing the hill through dense forests, you reach Kamleshwarpur where there is a cafeteria influenced by Buddhist culture on the mountain peak. I can say with confidence that this cafeteria can be counted among the best cafeterias in entire Chhattisgarh. Apart from this cafeteria, you will also see Mainpat Tibetan settlement here.

Mainpat Tibetan Settlement

In 1962-63, many Tibetans migrated to India. The Indian government allotted land to these refugees in various parts of India. Many of those lands have now become popular tourist attractions.

Tapko Buddhist Monastery - Mainpat Chhattisgarh
Tapko Buddhist Monastery – Mainpat Chhattisgarh

At that time, the Madhya Pradesh government had allotted 3000 acres of land to about 1400 displaced Tibetans. At present, this number has increased to about 2300. They specifically chose Mainpat mountain for living because the hot climate of the Terai and plain areas was unbearable to them. They found this place cooler and more suitable than the Tibetan areas.

The Mainpat mountain area was a dense forest area. Many trees were cut down to build a Tibetan settlement. Initially a huge camp was built for all the Tibetan refugees. Over time, seven different camps were built which are spread across the entire mountain.

Read more: Purkhauti Muktangan – A heartfelt tribute dedicated to ancestors, Naya Raipur

After settling on the Mainpat mountain, these Tibetans started grazing sheep, which they were accustomed to earlier. But it proved to be a failed attempt as a means of livelihood. As a result, they were given training in agriculture industry by their head office located in Dharamsala, after which they started farming. Potato and buckwheat are produced here in good quantity.

Buddhist Flags - MainpatBuddhist Flags - Mainpat
Buddhist Flags – Mainpat

Now they are doing new experiments in enterprises like micro-credit, agricultural mechanization and flour mill under the cooperative society project. For a long time, making handicrafts was also their main occupation. This project also could not meet the financial criteria. Ultimately, they chose agriculture and agricultural production for their livelihood.

Takpo Monastery

While visiting the Tibetan settlement, you will see a small clean village with a few huge buildings. Only basic amenities are available in these buildings. There is a Buddhist temple called Takpo Monastery. Inside the monastery, there is a picture of the Dalai Lama placed on an altar.

Many young and teenage lamas wearing traditional ochre coloured Buddhist robes are visible throughout the area. Multicoloured prayer flags flutter on both sides of the road. Many white and golden domes are visible amidst the prayer flags fluttering all over the mountain.

Like the youth of other parts of India, the young Lamas here also ride motorcycles. Women wear their traditional clothes and are seen busy in their daily activities. At the same time, small children wearing red robes are seen playing various games and swinging. They are also eager to talk to tourists. They also enjoy taking tourists on a tour of their colony.

Read more: Kalidas's theatre – an ancient heritage of Ramgarh Chhattisgarh

While walking in the village, I saw a health centre. I also saw an old age home. I started thinking with a sad heart that even in such a small settlement, there is a need for separate accommodation for the elderly! Only a few of the refugees who came in the beginning are left now. For the new generation, this is their primary residence.

When you see them as a visitor you will get the feeling of a displaced community yet living in their homes.

Tourist attractions

In the border area of ​​the Tibetan settlement, near the refreshment room, there is a fully equipped tent accommodation area called Swiss Tent Camp area. From here, the beautiful landscape of the valley can be seen. During the monsoon season, it becomes a peaceful place filled with unmatched natural scenery.

There are landscape observation points at many places on this mountain whose names are similar to the observation points of other mountain areas, such as Tiger Point etc. At one time tigers were seen here. Another observation point is Machhli Point. The river flowing from here is called Machhli River. Some other tourist places are Bagicha and Jaljala but we could not visit them.

Read More: Ektal – Village of Crafts and Arts, Chhattisgarh

Being a mountainous region, there is a plan to develop Mainpat as an exciting tourist center. There is still some time and a lot of hard work left for this plan to be completed. But till then you can definitely come here to enjoy its natural beauty.

There are bauxite ore mines in the area around Mainpat mountain. You can see trucks carrying reddish-brown brittle ore blocks excavated from these mines going up and down the hill. Bauxite is the ore of aluminium. A separate route has been fixed for these ore trucks to reach the mountain peak. The entire excavation area is surrounded by temporary walls. These walls are also made of bauxite ore blocks.

depiction of the Guru-disciple tradition depiction of the Guru-disciple tradition
depiction of the Guru-disciple tradition

The visit to Mainpat was an unexpected but pleasant surprise in my Chhattisgarh Darshan program.

At a distance of 5 km from Mainpat, there is a unique place named Bisaar Paani or Ulta Paani. Here, the water stream of a river flows upwards against gravity. It cannot be said whether this is an optical illusion or an event that challenges gravity.

Travel Tips

Mainpat is located at a distance of about 55 km from Ambikapur. Ambikapur is conveniently connected to other parts of the country by air, road and rail.

You can stay in Swiss tents or visit Mainpat as a one-day trip from Ambikapur.

Mainpat is an ideal tourist destination for nature lovers and trekking enthusiasts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *