Madku Dweep is a very small island surrounded by river on all the sides in landlocked state of Chhattisgarh
In just about an hour drive from Bilaspur there’s an island whose view from top looks like a frog. Mandaku is frog in pure Hindi and hence the name frog island of Chhattisgarh. In an alter story, there use to be a sage name Mandak and hence the name Madku Dweep. Finding the correct version of the two gets even more challenging because a Google Earth view of this place actually resembles to a frog. Not just in shape but also in colour and texture. I really don’t know how people in 7th Century saw the top view (they could fly!?). Then there are sculptures of the sage right at this spot, which signifies the possibility of other story to be true as well. So that’s uncertain.
We’re sure about about Dweep. Dweep in Hindi means island, which is true because it is surrounded by a river on all sides. The place is connected by two bridges now, as visible in the picture. The place has been recently unsurfaced during an excavation in 1970 and an age old temple that dated back to 11-15th century AD was discovered. It was the time when Kalchuries walked on this part of the land. Madku Dweep is a place blessed with naturally rich and fertile soil, a waterfall and a shrine with a series of 19 temples each dedicated to various gods and deities. The centre and the largest of the temple is dedicated to lord Shiva and it faces South. This place is one of it’s own kind in India and said to be a work of an art by the Kalchuri for whom this place was of holy significance.
It’s been said that the island was drowned under a great flood ruining and destroying this magnificent work into pieces. Since then the archeologist have been trying to put back the pieces of this jigsaw puzzle together.
Madku Dweep is in close proximity with other sites like Tala and Malhar, all these destinations can be covered in one trip. Although it is conveniently close to the city but visiting all the sites together ask for a good back up of food and water. Do not hope to find anything really delicious at this spot, but if you’ve a thing for street food, then the place won’t disappoint you.