City : Bilaspur
Location : Central India
Language : Hindi, Chhattisgarhi
Know About Bilaspur
Bilaspur is located in the Chhattisgarh region in the Bilaspur District, India. It is the third-largest city in the state with a population of 16948,83 (agglomeration 330,291) (2001 census). The High Court of Chhattisgarh is located here. It is the headquarters of Bilaspur District and is located 111 km (69 mi) north of the state capital of Raipur. Besides this it is also the headquarters of the South East Central Railway which comprises the Bilaspur, Nagpur and Raipur divisions.
Bilaspur is situated on the banks of the rainfed Arpa River which originates from the high hills of the Maikal Range of central India. This dolomite rich region is surrounded by lush green forests in the north and the coal mines of Hasdeo valley in the east. Bilaspur is known for its aromatic Doobraj rice, handloom woven colorful soft Kosa silk Saris, and more for its rich, varied and colorful culture.
Historical records like Imperial Gazetteer of India, Vol 8, 1908 note that the city is said to be named after a fisher-woman by name Bilasa in the 17th century, and for a long period it consisted only of a few fishermen's huts. In 1901, population of Bilaspur was 18,937 and was 8th largest town in Central Provinces of British India. In 1908, weaving of tasar silk and cotton clothes were recorded as major industries of Bilaspur.
The management of Bilspur district was undertaken by British Government in 1818, before this it was under harsh extortionist nature of marathaa rule for about 60 years. Bilaspur district was constiuted in 1861. Bilaspur municipality was constituted in 1867. Famines in Bilaspur district before 1908 were recorded by British administration in 1828-9, 1834-5, 1845-6, 1868-9 and 1899–1900.
In 1868-9 and 1899–1900, the rains failed almost completely, accompanied with severe distress, migration and desertion of villages. After 1868-9 famine, there was prosperity for next 25 years; but in 1895 there was a very poor harvest, followed in 1896 by a complete failure of crops, and severe famine prevailed through the year 1897. In 1997, mortality rate was as high as dying of one in every group of six people. Famine of 1897 was followed by two favorable years; but in 1899 monsoon failed completely and rice crop was wholly destroyed.
Bilaspur is located at [show location on an interactive map] 22.09° N 82.15° E. It has an average elevation of 264 metres (866 ft).
The city now, is spread over about 30 km² (12 mi²). Over the years, Bilaspur has developed with wide roads, cafes, hotels, street lighting and some beautiful squares. However the last decade has seen large scale unregulated urbanization and residential and commercial expansion, over straining the water resources and generally defunct civic amenities due to its indifferent officials and politicians.
The downtown is called Gol Bazaar (Circular Market). Gol Bazaar and Sadar Bazaar are buzzing and vibrant but overcrowded with slow moving traffic. In contrast there are some newly developed areas as well. Electricity is government regulated and frequent power cuts have become a routine especially during the summer months. The sewerage and drainage system is practically nonexistent, so much so, that like any other Indian town even the first shower of monsoon floods many areas.
The climate is pleasant and mild in the winter (10 °C, 50 °F). There are medium rains in the monsoon season. The summers are very hot and dry (maximum temperature 45+ °C, 113 °F, maximum humidity 90%).
The main languages spoken are Chhattisgarhi a dialect and Hindi, while Bengali, Sindhi,Punjabi and English is spoken by only a few.
Places of interest in and around Bilaspur include:
Giraudhpuri, A religious place for the Satnami, They are the follower of Satnam Panth.(for more details visit www.satnami.com)
Sirpur and Malhar, which are of historical significance, as they were visited by Xuanzang, the Chinese historian
Tala, 20 km away, is famous for Rudra Shiva
Pali with Lord Shiva temple
Janjigir with incomplete Lord Vishnu temple
Kharod with Lakshmaneswar temple
Sheorinarayan with Lord Rama temple
Singhpur cave with pre-historic paintings
Bhoramdeb said to be mini Khajuraho
Rajim famous for Lord Rajiv Lochan
Ratanpur for its Mahamaya temple
Narmada River and Son River originate from Amarkantak
Fair and Festivals
The city celebrates all the major festivals of India. There are some local festivals such as the colorful Rout Dance (November). The city has a multicultural mix of locals and people that have migrated from Sindh (Pakistan), Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat, etc. The city publishes four morning and one evening daily newspapers in Hindi. The town has been the home of some famous literary personalities including Sri Srikant Verma (Hindi) and Sri. Bimal Mitra (Bengali).
Local memorabilia include the handicrafts that are available in Khadi Bhawan, near Satyam Cinema. Kosa silk saris and cloth are available in Sadar Bazaar.
The best time to visit is from October to March. However, one can visit it anytime of the year to shop and to enjoy the diversity of the culture which is very different from other parts of the country and for the better for sure.
Bilaspur is a regional hub for the railway system. It is zonal head office of South East Central Railway. It is well connected to the rest of the country through the Indian Railways. The Rajdhani Express connects Bilaspur to New Delhi. The station is on main Mumbai-Kolkata (Calcutta) rail line. It is the originating station for many trains to Bhopal, Indore, Nagpur, Kochi (Cochin), Mumbai, Chennai (formerly Madras), Kolkata, Bangalore and Hyderabad and to other major cities in India.
The city is connected with Mumbai and Kolkata via Raipur through National Highway network. Bilaspur is on NH-200 connecting Raipur and Raigarh on either side.
Three-wheeled, black and yellow Auto rickshaws, referred to as autos, is a popular form of transport. They can accommodate up to eitgh passengers. Local transportation also includes human pulled Cycle Rickshaws, horse drawn Tongas.And just started City Bus services, which covers almost the city with a cheap fare.
There are regular buses and taxis that connect to all nearby towns and cities.
Bilaspur Airport is at Chakarbhatta, 10 km away. It is not served by any scheduled airline. The nearest airport that has regular flights for Delhi, Nagpur, Mumbai, Kolkata, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar,Ahmedabad, Indore,Pune, Visakhapatnam, and Chennai, is at Raipur, 110 km (68 mi) away.