|Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)|
- Devapura (देवपुर) दे. राजिम (AS, p.448)
- Rajim राजिम, जिला रायपुर, म.प्र., (AS, p.783)
- Padmakshetra पद्मक्षेत्र-2 (AS, p.524)
Rajim is 45 km from Raipur. To reach there, one needs to take National Highway 43 to Abhanpur; from there a left turn leads a narrow but motor-able road to Rajim. Other. Nearby important city is Mahasamund which is only 35 km far on the junction of National Highway 6 and National Highway 217 and which has major railway station in Raipur Vizag rail line. The nearest airport is Raipur Airport and the nearest railhead is Mahasamund railway station. It is located at an elevation of 281 m above MSL.
The kings of Sirpur appear to have been ousted by the kings of Sārabhapura, which place has not been identified as yet. The inscriptions of the latter lave been found in the country round about and in close vicinity of Sirpur, viz at Arang Raipur, Raipur, Khariar and Sarangarh which enclose Sirpur from all directions, north, south, east and west. I have already identified several of the villages mentioned in them  and their position shows that a very large portion of the present Chhattisgarh Division came under their sway.
E. Hultzsoh  writes that Sirpur is a small village on the right bank of the Mahanadi in the Mahasamund tahsil of the Raipur District in the Central Provinces. It is 37 miles north-east of Raipur and 15 miles from Arang. Sirpur was once the capital of Maha-Kosala and was then known as Sripura, as given in the stone inscriptions found there, and also in the copper plates found in Rajim and Baloda. The ruins in and around the village indicate that it was once a great city and there are scores of temple sites, the identification of which is now rendered impossible by the removal of the idols they contained to a place near a brick temple, which is the only one now standing as it was originally built. It is popularly known as the 'Lakshmana temple.' Writing of the bricks with which it is built, Mr. Cousens who visited it in 1904 remarked that they were of a finer make than any he had till then seen, either ancient or modern. They are moulded and carved with, considerable artistic skill. About a third of the temple tower was gone, while the mandapa had totally collapsed and was a heap of ruins when it was taken under Government conservation. It was while removing the debris of this mandapa that the subjoined inscription was found and removed to the Raipur Museum, where it is at present deposited. Sir A. Cunningham visited Sirpur in 1881-82 and noticed all the inscriptions he found there, remarking that one of them must belong to this temple. He was right in supposing that the temple must have had some inscription but it had not come to light then and it was about 2 years ago that it was accidentally discovered.
विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर ने लेख किया है ...राजिम (AS, p.783) छत्तीसगढ़ के रायपुर ज़िले में महानदी के तट पर स्थित है। यह अपने शानदार मन्दिरों के लिए प्रसिद्ध है। यहाँ 'राजिम' या 'राजीवलोचन' भगवान रामचंद्र का प्राचीन मन्दिर है, जो शायद 8वीं या 9वीं शती का है।
यहाँ से प्राप्त दो अभिलेखों से ज्ञात होता है कि इस मन्दिर के निर्माता राजा जगतपाल थे। इनमें से एक अभिलेख राजा वसंतराज से सम्बंधित है, किंतु लक्ष्मणदेवालय के एक दूसरे अभिलेख से विदित होता है कि इस मन्दिर को मगध नरेश सूर्यवर्मा (8वीं शती ई.) की पुत्री तथा शिवगुप्त की माता ‘वासटा’ ने बनवाया था। राजीवलोचन मन्दिर के पास 'बोधि वृक्ष' के नीचे तपस्या करते बुद्ध की प्रतिमा भी है।
मन्दिर के स्तंभ पर चालुक्य नरेशों के समय में निर्मित नरवराह की चतुर्भुज मूर्ति उल्लेखनीय है। वराह के वामहस्त पर भू-देवी अवस्थित हैं। शायद यह मध्य प्रदेश से प्राप्त प्राचीनतम मूर्ति है। राजिम से पांडुवंशीय कोसल नरेश तीवरदेव का ताम्रदानपट्ट प्राप्त हुआ था, जिसमें तीवरदेव द्वारा 'पैठामभुक्ति' में स्थित पिंपरिपद्रक नामक ग्राम के निवासी किसी ब्राह्मण को दिए गए दान का वर्णन है। [p.784]: यह दानपट्ट तीवरदेव के 7वें वर्ष श्रीपुर (सिरपुर) से प्रचलित किया गया था। फ़्लीट के अनुसार तीवरदेव का समय 8वीं शती ई. के पश्चात् माना जाना चाहिए।
राजिम में महानदी और पैरी नामक नदियों का संगम है। संगम स्थल पर 'कुलेश्वर महादेव का मन्दिर' है, जो इतना सुदृढ़ है कि सैंकड़ों वर्षों से नदी के निरंतर प्रवाह के थपेड़े सहता हुआ अडिग खड़ा हुआ है। 'राजिम' या 'राजिव' का प्राचीन नामांतर 'पद्मक्षेत्र' भी कहा जाता है। (राजीव=कमल) पद्मपुराण, पातालखण्ड 27, 58-59 में श्री रामचन्द्र का इस स्थान (देवपुर) से संबंध बताया गया है।
राजिम के ऐतिहासिक माघ पूर्णिमा का मेला पूरे भारत में प्रसिद्ध है। इस पवित्र नगरी के ऐतिहासिक और पुरातात्विक महत्त्व के मन्दिरों में प्राचीन भारतीय संस्कृति और शिल्पकला का अनोखा समन्वय नजर आता है।
राजीवलोचन मन्दिर: राजिम का प्रमुख मन्दिर 'राजीवलोचन' है। इस मन्दिर में बारह स्तम्भ हैं। स्तम्भों पर अष्ट भुजा वाली दुर्गा, गंगा-यमुना और विष्णु के विभिन्न अवतारों, जैसे- राम, वराह और नरसिंह आदि के चित्र बने हुए हैं।
कुलेश्वर महादेव मन्दिर: राजिम में 'कुलेश्वर महादेव मन्दिर' भी प्रमुख है, जो की नौवीं शताब्दी में स्थापित हुआ था। यह मन्दिर महानदी के बीच में द्वीप पर बना हुआ है। इसका निर्माण बड़ी सादगी से किया गया है। मन्दिर के पास 'सोमा', 'नाला' और कलचुरी वंश के स्तम्भ भी पाए गए हैं।
माघ मेला: राजिम के ऐतिहासिक माघ पूर्णिमा का मेला पूरे भारत में प्रसिद्ध है। इस पवित्र नगरी के ऐतिहासिक और पुरातात्विक महत्त्व के मन्दिरों में प्राचीन भारतीय संस्कृति और शिल्पकला का अनोखा समन्वय नजर आता है। 14वीं शताब्दी में बना 'भगवान रामचंद्र का मन्दिर', 'जगन्नाथ मन्दिर', 'भक्तमाता राजिम मन्दिर' और 'सोमेश्वर महादेव मन्दिर' श्रद्धालुओं के लिए आस्था और विश्वास का केन्द्र है।
विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर ने लेख किया है ... 2. पद्मक्षेत्र (AS, p.524): राजीम, मध्य प्रदेश, का प्राचीन नाम है. राजीम या राजीव या कमल का रूपांतर है. राजिम में 8 वीं या 9वीं सदी का राजीवलोचन विष्णु का मंदिर है. (देखें राजीम)
Holy confluence of three rivers
Rajim is famous for its rich cultural heritage and the beautiful ancient temples. Shri Rajiv Lochan Mandir, dedicated to Lord Vishnu is at Rajim. The temple structure is supported by twelve towered columns embroidered with stone carvings, which bear the faces of the various gods of the Hindu mythology. The temple is an important religious construct visited by devotees from all over the globe who arrive to offer their prayers to the Lord Vishnu. Other temples dedicated to the various incarnations of Lord Vishnu like the Vamana and the Narasimha are in close proximity of the Rajiv Lochan Mandir.
Kuleshvara Mahadeva Mandir stands in glory in the city even in its ruinous state. The statue of Lord Buddha in the meditative position under the Bodhi tree carved out of black stone is also popular in the city.
Ghatoria mahakali mandir is another temple in the banks of mahanadi
The annual Rajim Lochan Mahotsav is held between the 16th of February and the 1st of March. The various music and dance performances conducted in the fair displays the rich culture of Rajim.
Rajim the Prayag of Chhattisgarh
Note - This text is from Indian History and Architecture
Rajim (राजिम) is probably the holiest place in Chattisgarh (छत्तीसगढ़) as it is situated at the eastern bank of Mahanadi (महानदी) river, just below its junction with Pairi (पैरी) and Sondhur (सोंढूर) rivers. Due to its location, on the junction of three rivers, it is often classified as Prayaga (Allahabad) of this region, Chattisgarh. Mahanadi enjoys the same status as that of Ganga River in Chattisgarh hence taking bath and performing rituals at the bank Mahanadi is considered very sacred. Rajim-Mahatmya mentions that Mahanadi is known as Chitrotpala below its junction with Pairi and Utpalesvara before the junction. It is also believed that your journey to Jagannath Temple of Orissa is not complete if you do not visit Rajim. Mahashivaratri is celebrated with full faith and vigor. It used to be a show of three month in old days as perported by Beglar and Cunningham however at present the celebrations run for a month only.
It is not only the holiest but one of the most ancient town of Chattisgarh. It has attracted historians, archaeologists and vivid travelers since ages and it continues to mesmerize you with its cultural, historical and social heritage. J D Beglar visited Rajim in 1871-72 and reported its antiquities. He was not allowed to enter inside the temples hence his account is very limited. Alexander Cunningham, who visited Rajim in 1881-82, describes it in detail. He tells that Rajim was a small village of about 3000 inhabitants and the holiest place of Maha-Kosala (महाकोशल), present Chattisgarh. Rajiv-Lochan (राजीव-लोचन) Temple, the main temple of this town, was visited by pilgrims on their way to Jagannath in Orissa.
Richard Jenkins narrates a story about the name Rajim. When Rama did his ashvamedha, king Raju-lochana was ruling over Raju. When the sacrificial horse arrived at Raju, the king seized it and handed over to sage Kardama. Shatrughna who was accompanying the horse with his army tried to take it from sage Kardama but was reduced to ashes by him. Rama on hearing the news of the death of his brother soon reached Raju. However king Raju-lochana met him and obtained favor for him. Rama told the king that there are two deities at Raju, Utpaleshvar Mahadev and Nilkantheshvar. However as Shiva and Vishnu is same so he would make his abode here in worship of Shiva. Rama ordered the king to set up an image in his name and call it Raju-lochana. He further pleased rishi Kardama and got back Shatrughna to life.
However there is no such story mentioned in Ramayana. Cunningham suggests that it would be a late invention of the brahmanas of Rajim to rival the claim of ancient capital of Manipur where ashvamedha horse of Yudhisthira was captured by Babhruvahana. No inscription refer to name Rajim however some inscriptions mention name of a king, Jagat Pal, whose father, Sahilla, was the head of a race named Rajamala. Cunningham suggests that his city would be Rajamalapuram which later changed to Rajam or Rajim.
Note - This text is from Indian History and Architecture
There are two foundation inscriptions, one on southern wall and one on northern wall of the mandapa. Inscription on northern wall is dated to beginning of eighth century CE based upon paleographic studies. Its mentions construction of a Vishnu temple by a king of Nala dynasty.
Another inscription, on southern wall of the mandapa, mentions construction of a Rama temple by Jagapala in 1145 CE. There is an image of Vishnu inside the sanctum hence the temple is dedicated to Vishnu but not to Rama, though both represent one and same god. Scholars suggests that the later inscription must be referring to repair done by Jagapala but not of construction as the temple was already there.
There are two possibilities, either we may assume that Jagapala enhanced the temple by constructing subsidiary shrines and compound wall or the inscription slab does not talk about Rajiv-Lochan temple but some other temple. However no scholar has proposed the later theory so I assume that it is not tenable on some ground otherwise they would have thought about this. But if we accept the repair theory then why the inscription mentions temple of Rama? Is it because this temple was known as Rama temple by the time of Jagapala? But why as the image inside the sanctum is clearly depicts Vishnu attributes. Also standalone image of Rama is very rare to find as he is usually accompanied with Sita and Lakshmana.
Rajim grant of Tivaradeva – Gupta Inscriptions by J F Fleet – written in Sanskrit, box-headed variety of central Indian alphabets – dated in seventh regnal year, 667 CE – This grant was found 5-6 feet underground the temple. The grant was issued from Sripura (Sirpur) and mentions a grant of village by king Tivaradeva of the Panduvamshi family.
Stone slab on northern wall of the mandapa – Epigraphia Indica Vol XXVI – Kutila script and Sanskrit language – dated to beginning of eighth century CE on paleographic studies – Inscription starts with obeisance to Vishnu and then mentions glory of King Nala, of Nala dynasty of Mahabharata. It then mentions King Vilastunga and his predecessors Prthiviraja and Viruparaja. It then tells that king Vilastunga built a temple of Vishnu – composed by Durgagola and engraved by Durghasti.
Stone slab on southern wall of the mandapa – Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum Vol IV part 2 – 19 lines in Nagari characters and Sanskrit language – dated in year 896 of Kalchuri Era (1145 CE) on Budha-dina or Wednesday, the eight tithi, called rath-ashtami, in the bright fortnight of the Magha month – The object of the inscription is to record construction of a temple of Rama (it should be taken as repair and not construction as the Rajiv-Lochan temple was already constructed prior of Jagapala’s time or this stone does not belong to this temple) and grant of the village Salmaliya for the purpose of the food offerings to the deity by Jagapala (later referred as Jagatsimha in line 10). After the customary obeisance to Narayana, the inscription traces the genealogy of the donor Jagapala from Thakkura Sahilla, the latter was the spotless ornament of the family of Rajamala and have come from the country of Vadahara (V V Mirashi suggests that it was probably situated in the country of Bhanjas whereas R B Hiralal identifies it with Badahara in Mirzapur district) . He made brave kings tremble in wars and brought the Vivarabhumi under his sway. Sahilla has a younger brother, Vasudeva, and three sons Bhayila, Desala and Svamin. They conquered the Bhattavila and Vihara countries. Jayadeva, elder son of Svamin, acquired the country of Dandora (V V Mirashi identifies it with former state of Sarguja which was once called Bais Dandor) containing 2100 villages, while the younger son, Devasimha, took Komo mandala (V V Mirashi identifies it with Pendra). Thakkuraini Udaya, who was the wife of one of the two sons of Svamin, was the mother of Jagapala. Next six lines detail about the accomplishments of Jagapala. The Mayurikas and Savantas were submitted to him. For his overlord, Jajalladeva, Jagapala conquered the Tamanala together with Ratha and Tera. During the reign of Ratnadeva II, he acquired the name of Jagatsimha by his heroic deeds in the Talahari country (V V Mirashi identifies it with southern part of Bilaspur) . But his exploits were even greater during the reign of Prithvideva II when he took the string fort of Saraharagadha (Kielhorn identifies it with Sarangarh) and Machaka-Sihava (R B Hiralal identifies it with Mechaka-Sihava south of Dhamtari) and conquered countries of Bhramaravadra (V V Mirashi identifies it with Bhramarakotya near Bastar), Kantara, Kusumabhoga (V V Mirashi identifies it with Kusmurra of Dhamtari), Kanda-dongara (V V Mirashi identifies it with former Bindra-Navagadh area where a range of hill goes by name Kanda) and Kakayara. He then established the town of Jagapalapura in the newly acquired territory. He had three brothers, Gajala, Jayatsimha and Devaraja. – composed by Thakkura Jasananda, son of Thakkura Jasodhara of Ayodhyapuriya family – engraved by artisan Ratnapala.
Pillar inscriptions – Descriptive List of Inscriptions in The Central Provinces and Berar – various pilgrim inscriptions are recorded on the pillars of this temple. Videshaditya, Purnnaditya, Vakaradhavala, Bhagavati, Ratnapurushottama, Manadevi, Salonatunga are the various names of pilgrims found in these inscriptions. However none of these names have any historic value.
Rajmala gives an account of the mythological origin of the kings of Tripura, tracing the genealogy of the ruling king to the Lunar Dynasty as the 149th king since Chandra (the Moon, treated as the founder of the dynasty). It also states that the ancient name of Tripura was 'Twipra Kingdom', after the brother of Puru who was banished to the Eastern provinces by his father Yayati. 
- Cunningham, Alexander (1872). Report of a Tour in Bundelkhand and Malwa and in the Central Provinces (Vol VII). Archaeological Survey of India. New Delhi.
- Cunningham, Alexander (1881). Report on Tours in the Central Provinces and Lower Gangetic Doab in 1880-81 (Vol XVII). Archaeological Survey of India. New Delhi.
- Lal, Hira (1916). Descriptive List of Inscriptions in The Central Provinces and Berar. Government Press. Nagpur.
- Mirashi, V V (1955). Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum Vol IV Part 2. Archaeological Survey of India. New Delhi.
- Sampath, M D (2001). Epigraphs of Madhya Pradesh. Archaeological Survey of India. New Delhi.
- Epigraphia Indica, Vol. IX. p. 283
- Epigraphia Indica Vol. XI (1911-12): A S I, Edited by E. Hultzsoh, Ph.D., pp. 184-197
- Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.783
- Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.524
- Raipur district tourism
- Hill Tippera - History The Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1909, v. 13, p. 118.
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