Barsoor is a place of cultural, historical and archaeological importance. What now is a small sleepy village, was once the throne of power during the tenure of the Gangawanshi rulers in as early as 840 A.D. Later, the Chindaknaga kings established their capital in Barsoor. Kaktiya king, Annam Dev, defeated the last Nagwanshi ruler, Harishchandra Dev, and shifted the capital from Barsoor to Dantewada city.
Situated on the banks of Indravati river, Barsoor is famously known as the city of temples and ponds. It is believed that there used to be 147 temples and equal number of ponds in the towering days of Barsoor. Although Barsoor lost its glory gradually century after century, the ruins of numerous temples that are found here still manage to attract the attention of people. Some of the temples worth mentioning are Mama Bhacha temple, Chandraditya temple, Battisa temple and Twin Ganesha temple.
Twin Ganesha Temple: This temple is devoted to Lord Ganesha and is famous for the third largest Ganesha idol in the world. The temple has twin statues of Lord Ganesha, where the left is smaller than the right one. The smaller statue is of around 5.5 feet and the bigger statue is of more than 7 feet. Near the temple, one can still see the remnants of the actual temple.
Battisa Temple: Battisa, literally means 32, is a famous temple in Barsoor. It is famous for its 32 pillars (stambhs), having 4 rows and eight columns, which are spectacular to see because of its symmetry all around in every pillar. It is uncommon to have two sanctum sanctorum (garbh-grihas) in Hindu temples, whereas, there are two garbh-grihas in Battisa temple for Lord Shiva with the presence of two individual big shivlingas, one in each garbh-griha. This temple shows an example of a temple construction over a stage formation. The State Government organises Barsoor Mahotsav every year near Battisa temple.
Mama-Bhacha Temple: This temple was built by Gangawanshi kings and is devoted to Lord Ganesha; but it is popularly known as Mama-Bhacha temple because of the stories associated with the temple. According to one story of ancient mythology, in order to punish the sculptors Mama and Bhacha, the king ordered them to complete the construction of the temple in one day; in case of failure to do so, one of them would have to kill the other. However, the sculptors managed to successfully build the temple in one day, and hence, the temple was named after them. However, as per another mythology, one Bhacha of Gangawanshi ruler was constructing a huge temple after calling the sculptors from the state of Odisha. This was not approved by the king (Mama) and so a fight broke out between Mama and Bhacha, in which Mama was killed and a copy of his head was installed in the temple.
CChandraditya Temple: This temple is devoted to Lord Shiva. The temple has carvings of idols and statues all around its outer walls, where the ridges of the outer walls are decorated by the carvings of Hindu gods and goddesses, and that of the grooves are decorated by erotic carvings. The garbh-griha of the temple is beautifully carved by Nagwanshi art and sculpture with the centrally placed shivlinga.
Apart from these temples, there is one vast pond of pre-historical days which is not to be missed. For the convenience and comfort of the tourists, trained guides are also available at the entry point of Barsoor town. The services of the guides can be availed of at nominal costs in order to understand the history and importance of this world famous archaeological site.
How to reach: Barsoor is around 30 kms from Dantewada city. Taxis are available from Geedam at regular intervals.