India being a monsoon country is full of rivers. Some are very important rivers and are the source of livelihood for many people. River is considered as a goddess and is worshipped from time immemorial. One of the finest examples is River Ganga, which is considered as the holiest river in India. A dip the holy river is believed to wash away one’s sins and make one pure. So during festival and other auspicious days people take a dip in the river. Mahanadi is one of the holy rivers in India, and also the longest. The meaning of Mahanadi is large river and it has its origin at Chhattisgarh in Dhamtari District. It starts from Sihawa in Amarkantaka Hills and drains in to the Bay of Bengal at Paradeep Sea Port in Orissa. The river is about 442 m above the sea level at its source. Mahanadi is regarded as the lifeline of Chhattisgarh and people engage in a lot of activities agriculture, fishing etc on the river.
Mahanadi is often referred to as the Holy Ganga of Chhattisgarh and is surrounded by thick vegetation on its course through the mountains. It consists of a large variety of plants and trees and supports a wide species of animals and birds. It drains the Raipur district first on its course. Raipur is located on the banks of the river Mahanadi and is an industrial city in the state. It has various tourist places and sanctuaries that tourists from all parts of India visit. The river is a source of livelihood for many people. A lot of people engage in fishing and other activities on the river. For agriculture also the water from the river is useful. Many people take bath, wash clothes etc on the river.
The Hirakud Dam on the river is the largest earthen dam in the world. It is a source of hydel-power for a large area surrounding it. The sunset viewed from the river is very beautiful. During our stay at Raipur, we went to the banks of the river one evening and spent some time there, coming back after watching the spectacular sun set.