Pilgrimage Place for Buddhist in Chhattisgarh : Pragyagiri Mountain Dongargarh
Pragyagiri is a mountain in Dongargarh blessed by knowledge, wisdom and Goddess Saraswati. A sacrosanct land in Chhattisgarh and King Kamser’s pride, Pragyagiri is a well-known Buddhist destination. After visiting Sirpur, no spiritual journey is complete without visiting this land.
The purifying chants of “Buddham Sharnam Gacchami, Dhammam Sharnam Gaccham), Sangham Sharnam Gacchami” resonate from the beautiful mountain that is just 36kms away from Dongargarh where the famous Shaktipeeth Maa Bamleshwari Devi’s Temple is located. The Nangara Hillock situated near the Bamleshwari Hillock flaunts a huge statue of Lord Gautama Buddha in a meditating pose. This mesmerizing statue has given the mountain the name of Pragyagiri.
The Spiritual Journey
The Pragyagiri Mountain is approximately 650m tall and it takes a winding path of 255 steps to reach it. On 16th Feb 1988, a 30ft statue of Mahatma Gautama Buddha was installed here and the ceremony was graced by imminent Buddhist masters and followers from across the country like Somanhori Shava from Japan and the likes. Situated between Nagpur and Chhattisgarh, this Buddhist destination is an illustration of unity between various followers of Buddhism.
Every day, the sun shines upon the Buddha Statue, enlightening it with rays of divinity. As the golden rays of the sun fall upon the face of the Lord, the whole statue brightens up as a wheel of rays seem to emanate from behind the head giving an impression of the Lord actually appearing in front of tourists and devotees. So enchanting is this sight, that many flock to watch the Lord Gautama Buddha with sincere faith and devotion in their heart.
As the day ends and the sun starts to bid farewell with a beautifully painted sky, the statue of Lord Gautama Buddha seems to melt back into the dense forests. Tourists and devotees feel fortunate enough to have witnessed this rare, mystical sunset at Pragyagiri.
The statue of Lord Gautama Buddha at Pragyagiri makes it one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage destinations. As much as Bodhgaya, Lumbini, Sarnath, Shravasti, Sankita, Mathura or Kanauji, Sirpur, Mainpat and Pragyagiri too are important from the perspective of completing the spiritual journey.
Chhattisgarh’s ancient Dongarakhya Nagar and king Kamsen’s Kamakhya Nagri are both sacrosanct and holy. It is here that the famous Nangara Dongri is situated and called as Pragyagiri. To complete their spiritual experience many fond devotees and tourists come to bow down before the 30ft statue of Lord Buddha and enjoy the tranquil surroundings.
International Buddhist Meet
Every year on the 6th of Feb a grand International Buddhist Meet is held. Devotees and followers from all around the world come here. Honble CM of Chhattisgarh, Dr. Raman Singh, has made a huge contribution of Rs. 47 Lac to aid the progress of Pragyagiri. With the assistance of the Chief Minister, Chhattisgarh, Hon’ble Tourism Minister Mr. Brijmohan Agrawal and the help of Mr. Vinod Khandekar a fund of Rs. 79 Lacs has been raised by the Chhattisgarh Tourism Board in order to create a tourist shelter. This shelter will provide excellent care and accommodation to the tourists. Under the guidance of Hon’ble Mr. Vinod Khandekar the Pragyagiri Trust is making great progress. The valuable teachings of Lord Buddha echo through the mountain as every year various followers, masters and spiritual leaders assemble for the International Buddhist Meet. Love is the only religion that weaves them all together and many attractions like the sound and light shows are also held on the day of the meet.
Devotees, followers, and tourists believe that meditating at Pragyagiri gives immense joy, tranquility and peace of mind. One comes closer to enlightenment as the Lord Buddha statue seems to emerge out of the peak. The Lord’s kindness and grace is so evident, that people from far-off places come to worship the idol.
For the seekers of a spiritual awakening, Pragyagiri is the perfect place to find peace within. The tranquil surroundings, dense forest, bright sunshine and the beautiful blue sky beckon the presence of every being.
A comfortable stay can be arranged at a Hotel in Dongargarh, Lodge, or the Bamleshwari Trust Shelter.
How to reach
By Air: Raipur is the nearest airport well connected to Mumbai, Delhi, Nagpur, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Vishakhapatnam and Chennai.
By Rail: Dongargarh railway station is linked to the Bombay-Howrah main line.
By Road: Linked to the National Highway-6. Local taxis and jeeps are also available.