Raipur, Mar 3
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say the area of Budhapara, Sadar Bazaar and Gole Bazaar is like the heart of Raipur city. The oldest of them is Budhapara locality. Maratha ruler Raghuji Bhonsle’s general Senapati Bhaskar Pant established the Maratha Empire in Chhattisgarh by ending the Kalchuri dynasty by mounting attacks on Ratanpur and Raipur in 1741. Raghuji installed his son Rajkumar Bimbaji as the new King of Chhattisgarh. At the time of the Maratha attack, Raipur was ruled by Amar Singh.
Marathas established several localities to reinforce their grip on the power and to fulfil their needs. These localities still exist by the names of Tatyapara, Budhapara, Bhoipara, Telipara, Kamasipara, Lakher Oli, etc. Established at the same time, Budhapara is around the 275-years-old locality. The name of Budhapara was perhaps derived from the Budhatalab located adjacent to the area. On the other side of the lake, an old settlement had already come up and these settlements now go by the name of Purani Basti and Brahmanpara. This settlement was identified as the fortress of Marathas aka Kshatriyas, but there are big numbers of Marashtrian Brahmins also living in the area. The 100-year-old Maratha Mitra Mandal consisting of Marathas still exist here. Besides, there are people from other communities who also reside in this area.
After Budhapara, localities like Sadar Bazaar, Satti Bazaar, Nayapara, Rehmannia Chowk, Lakher Oli, Telipara, Kamaspara, Kalaipara, Dashrathpara etc also came up over time and with them, the region became a centre of commercial activities.
There existed a fountain near Kotwali Chowk with statues of two children. No one knows when the fountain was installed. Even the Sexagenarian and Septuagenarian elders say they had been seeing it since childhood. That fountain was later shifted to Motibagh, and a Stupa of Bhagwan Mahavir replaced it. The stupa was recently removed while road widening. There were two other fountains in the areas, one was of an Apsara dancing with a clay pot on the head at Satti Bazaar and another was at Navdurga Chowk Nayapara. It was a ball-shaped fountain, which doesn’t exist now, but the area still known as fountain square (Fowwara Chowk).
(Ajay Kumar Verma is Record Keeper at RMC)
(Photograph by Gokul Soni. Soni is a senior press photographer of Chhattisgarh.)