|• Mayor||Mrs. Vani Rao|
|• Total||345.76 km2 (133.50 sq mi)|
|Elevation||262 m (860 ft)|
|Population (2013 census(est))|
|• Density||322/km2 (830/sq mi)|
|• Official||Hindi, Chhattisgarhi|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Vehicle registration||CG 10|
Bilaspur is a city in Bilaspur District in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh, situated 111 km (69 mi) north of the state capital, Raipur. It is the second-largest city (after Raipur) in the state. It is the administrative headquarters of Bilaspur District. Chhattisgarh State High Court at Bilaspur privileges it to host the name 'Nyayadhani' ((Hindi: न्याय धानी) Law Capital) of the state.
Bilaspur is known for its aromatic Doobraj rice, handloom woven colorful soft Kosa silk saris, and more for its rich, varied and colorful culture. After the formation of Chhattisgarh state Bilaspur has emerged as the most favorable place to live in the state and developed city townships.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Geography
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Culture
- 6 Administration
- 7 Economy
- 8 Utility services
- 9 Transport
- 10 Tourist attractions
- 11 Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve (ATR)
- 12 Places of interest within Bilaspur City
- 13 Food
- 14 Education
- 15 Media
- 16 Notable people
- 17 References
- 18 External links
Historical records like Imperial Gazetteer of India, Vol 8, 1908 note that the city is said to be named after a fisherwoman by the name of "Bilasa" in the 17th century, and for a long period it consisted only of a few fishermen's huts.
Historically, Bilaspur was a part of the Kalchuri dynasty of Ratanpur. The city, however, came into prominence around 1741, the year of the Maratha Empire rule, when a Maratha official took up his abode there.
The management of Bilaspur district was taken over by the British Government in 1818. The city was taken over by the British East India Company of Great Britain in the year 1854 from the then ruler of the region, Bhosale of the Nagpur kingdom belonging to the Maratha Empire.Under [bhosale]of the [nagpur kingdom] there was many subedars or zamindars/landlords like akbar khan ,vazeer khan,sao and others in bilaspur.
Bilaspur district was constituted in 1861, followed by Bilaspur municipality in 1867. Famines in the Bilaspur district were recorded by the 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, resulting in severe distress, migration and desertion of villages. After the 1868-9 famine there was prosperity for the next 25 years; but in 1895 there was a very poor harvest, followed in 1896 by a complete failure of crops, and severe famine continued throughout 1897. In that year the mortality rate was as high as one in six people. The famine of 1897 was followed by two favorable years; but in 1899 the monsoon failed completely and the rice crop was wholly destroyed.
Guru Ghasidas (1756–1836) started a religious movement, Satnamis (meaning the worshippers of Satnam), between 1820 and 1830 primarily around the Sonakhan forests. This religious movement preached that god is not idols and not found in idols, but god is synonymous with truth. His community was a farming community, though in Hindu caste hierarchy they have been put in the Schedule caste. The university at Bilaspur is named after him as Guru Ghasidas University.
Railways arrived at Bilaspur in the decade 1880-90, with the arrival of the Bengal Nagpur Railway. In 1888 Mistri Jagmal Gangji and other Mistri Railway Contractors laid the first railway tracks from Rajnandgaon to Bilaspur, and in that same year fellow Kutchi contractor Khoda Ramji and others built the line from Bilaspur to Jharsuguda, including the bridge over the Champa river.
In 1890 the present railway station and yard were constructed by the famous Gujarati railway contractor Jagmal Gangji. His son Mulji Jagmal Sawaria was later given the title of "Rao Sahib" by the British for his contribution to the development of the town, railways and the district. Jagmal Block and Jagmal Chowk in the city are named after Jagmal Gangji Sawaria.
In 1901, the population of Bilaspur was 18,937 and it was the eighth-largest town in the Central Provinces of British India. In 1908, weaving of tasar silk and cotton clothes were recorded as the major industries of Bilaspur.
Bilaspur enjoys the distinctiveness of being one of the major cities in Chattisgarh with considerable historical significance. Located in the eastern part of Chattisgarh, Bilaspur is nearly four centuries old. Referred to as the "Rice Bowl of India", Bilaspur abounds in lush greenery and boasts of a myriad number of tourist attractions.
If the historical records are to be given any credence, then there is no reason to disbelieve the fact that Bilaspur owes its name to a fisherwoman, Bilasa in the 17th century. Bilaspur during that time and for many more years to come remained a fishing hamlet consisting of a few fishermen's huts. According to the census conducted in 1901, the total population of Bilaspur was somewhere around 18,937 and it was considered the 8th largest town in the Central Provinces of British India. One interesting fact that one comes across while flipping through pages of Raipur history is that even as early as in 1908, Bilaspur had already made a mark as home to the major tasar silk and cotton clothes manufacturers. As far as the historical background of Bilaspur is concerned, the city was an integral part of the Kalchuri dynasty of Ratanpur. The city rose to prominence in 1741 which was also the period of Maratha invasion that served as a major watershed in the history of Bilaspur.
Bilaspur is located at  It has an average elevation of 264 metres (866 ft)..
Bilaspur is situated on the banks of the rain-fed 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 the Hasdeo valley in the east.
Bilaspur District is surrounded by Koria District in the north, Shahdol District of Madhya Pradesh, Mungeli District in the west, Balauda Bazar-Bhata Para District in the south and Korba and Janjgir-Champa District in the east.
The climate is pleasant and mild in the winter (minimum temperature 10 °C, 50 °F). There are medium rains in the monsoon season. The summers are very hot and dry, with maximum temperature 45+ °C, 113 °F.
|Climate data for Bilaspur|
|Average high °C (°F)||23
|Average low °C (°F)||10
|Precipitation mm (inches)||20
|Source: Bilaspur Weather|
As of 2011[update] India census, Bilaspur had a population near 680,000. Final population data are yet to come which is estimated at 700,000. Nearby or suburban areas will soon be included in the city limits. Males constitute 51% of the population and females 49%. Bilaspur has an average literacy rate of 87.29%, higher than the national average of 74%; with male literacy of 92.94% and female literacy of 81.33%. 15% of the population is under 6 years of age.
The city has a multicultural mix of locals and people that have migrated from other areas of India and Pakistan.
The city celebrates all the major festivals of India. There are some local festivals such as the colorful Rout Dance (November), harley, and pola.
Bilaspur City runs under the administration of 'Bilaspur Municipal Corporation (BMC)'.
Bilaspur is the center of electric power generation in India. Bilaspur and the surrounding area generate 10,000 MW of electricity, and an additional 50,000 MW are planned in the next few years. As many as 22 companies are interested to tap an estimated power generation potential of 50,000 megawatts in the region. The railways have gotten a major boost with big energy sector players set to invest Rs.5,000 crore in three proposed railways corridors around Bilaspur.
South Eastern Coal Fields Limited (SECL), a subsidiary of Public Sector Unit Coal India Limited (CIL) - A Maharatna Company, is situated with headquarters at Bilaspur. SECL is a Miniratna PSU under the Ministry of Coal, with several awards in its credentials including best PSU award in 1997-98.
The downtown is called Gol Bazaar (Circular Market). Gol Bazaar, Sadar Bazaar and company Garden Chowk are buzzing and vibrant but overcrowded with slow-moving traffic. In contrast there are some newly developed areas as well. The Vyapar Vihar is a newly developed commercial and goods transport area. Bilaspur has Chhattisgarh's first hi-tech bus stand at Bodri. It has the High Court of Chhattisgarh which is Asia's largest court (in area).
- Industries: Around Bilaspur, there are many industrial areas, including Tifra, Sirgitti and Silpahri Industrial Growth Centres. Chhattisgarh Laghu Evam Sahayak Udyog Sangh or CLSUS is an association of industries which represents all major industries of Bilaspur and Chhattisgarh. BEC Fertilizers – a unit of Bhilai Engineering Corporation is situated in the Sirgitii Industrial Area.
- Power plants - Bilaspur has India's second largest power plant of NTPC at Sipat which generates power of 2980 MW with 3 units of 660 MW each and 1 unit of 1000 MW. Many thermal power plants are coming up in the surrounding area of Bilaspur. Also notable are Nova, KSK, Gitanjali, Mahanadi etc.
- Shopping mall(s): City Mall-36 (near Mangla Chowk) and Magneto Mall (Srikant Verma Marg) and Big Bazaar at Rao Trade Center have opened here, providing ultra modern shopping facilities and movie multiplexes, and upcoming malls with City Center Mall and Rama Orchid Mall, which will be opened around 2014.
- Multiplex:- Glitz at City Mall 36 and PVR at Rama Magneto Mall. Inox is coming soon.
- Legal: The day the state of Chhattisgarh was constituted (1 November 2000) with its capital at Raipur, the High Court of Chhattisgarh was established at Bilaspur. It is the 19th high court of India.
- Banks: All major Indian banks have branches and ATMs in the city. SBI have approx. 80 ATMs in the city as of 2013.
- Website: A web-site dedicated to provide information on Bilaspur is maintained by NIC.
- The most popular Video Game parlour is located in Nehru Nagar, near Samudaik Bhavan. It was opened in 1993 and now it has become one of the most famous Video Game Parlour in city.
- The most popular farmhouse in Bilaspur is the 45-acre Samgra property, owned by Ajay Kumar Ajeet and Shree Jagdish Prasad Ajeet.
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, overstraining the water resources and generally defunct civic amenities due to its indifferent officials and politicians. But now, December 2013, after VidhanSabha elections almost all the roads have been made very wide and these are dust free roads.
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. A massive restructuring of sewerage system of the whole city and suburbs is undertaken by the "Bilaspur Nagar Nigam", and is expected to be completed in the year 2013.
Electricity is government regulated and as of now, no power cuts are effected, thanks to the massive expansion in energy generating capacity both by public and private companies in the energy sector.
- Medical facilities: One medical college and hospital managed by the university, one dental college managed by the Barfani Academia, one of the biggest 9 units of the Apollo Hospital and many private nursing homes and clinics.
Bilaspur railway station is a regional hub for the railway system. It is the busiest junction of Chhattisgarh and fourth busiest of central India. It is the Zonal Head Office of the South East Central Railway. It is well connected to the rest of the country through the Indian Railways. The Rajdhani Express (Bilaspur-New Delhi) via. Bhopal bi-weekly connects Bilaspur to New Delhi. The station is on the Tatanagar–Bilaspur section of the Howrah-Nagpur-Mumbai line and another rail is for Delhi via Katni. It is also the originating station for many superfasts and express trains including: Bhopal - Bilaspur Express, Bilaspur Rajdhani, Chhattisgarh Express and Narmada Express.
Daily connections are available for Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune, Nagpur, Indore, Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Amritsar, Agra, Roorkee, Haridwar, Visakhapatnam, Bhubaneswar, Puri, Tatanagar, Patna, Jabalpur, Raipur, Varanasi etc. It is also connected by direct trains to Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Chennai, Ernakulam, Tirupati, Tirunelveli, Bangalore, Bhuj, Gandhidham, Okha, Porbandar, Dhanbad, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Gorakhpur, Shirdi, Udaipur, Bikaner Jammu, Jodhpur, Guwahati, Kanpur, Lucknow, Ranchi, and many other cities and towns in India.
Other railway stations present inside Bilaspur :
However with Bilaspur jn, Uslapur is the other city station where express trains used to halt while the other three are for local-passenger trains only.
The Government of India is planning to lay some new lines from Bilaspur. Surveys of the following routes are ongoing:
The city is connected with Mumbai and Kolkata through the National Highway network. Bilaspur is on NH-200 connecting Raipur and Raigarh. NH 111 starts from Bilaspur and connects the city to Ambikapur and Varanasi. Other state highways are SH 7 and SH 5. There are regular buses and taxis available to all nearby major cities and towns.
For local transportation three-wheeled, black and yellow auto rickshaws, referred to as autos, are popular. Local transportation also includes man-powered cycle rickshaws, horse drawn tangas [horse carriages], city bus etc.
Recently the city administration has started a city bus service which is available on three routes at present, i.e. City Railway Station to Koni, City Railway Station to Seepat, and City Railway Station to Usalapur. Newly started for Hi Tech Bus Stand and High Court as well.
A new overpass is planned from near Maharana Pratap Square to Mangla Chowk, reducing the traffic which is expected to start soon.
Places of interest in and around Bilaspur include:
- Malhar, which is of historical significance, as it was visited by Xuanzang, the Chinese historian.
- Amarkantak - Narmada River and Son River originate from Amarkantak.
- Kanan Pendari Zoo. (Within city limits)
- Tala, 20 km away, is famous for Rudra Shiva.
- Ratanpur for its Mahamaya temple.
- Shri Aiyyappa Mandir (Sani dosha haarak) near Tifra Over bridge (Bhartiya Nagar).
- Mungeli Maa Mahamaya Temple.
- Dams Khudiya dam, Lormi, and Khutaghat dam, Ratanpur.
- Rani Sati Temple, a religious temple built in the city of Bilaspur by the Marwaris where the deity of Jhunjhunu's temple is worshipped.
- Two amusement parks are also here. (Bubble Island and Radhika water park)
Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve (ATR)
Besides having places associated with its ancient and cultural heritage, the city is also famous for its wildlife variety. This is because of its situation within the state. It is reputed to have some of the densest forests in the country and an even spread of hills and rivers. One of the places worth visiting is the Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary. Famous for the variety of its wildlife, the sanctuary is spread over an area of 551 km2 (213 mi2) and was set up in 1975 under the Wildlife Protection Act. The sanctuary is 55 km (34 mi) away from Bilaspur and is closed during the monsoon season.
Just before entry into Achanakmar Wild Life Sanctuary, there is situated the Ghongapani Jalashya (Dam) with beautiful panoramic views. Although there is no place to stay, it can be visited in the daytime on way to Achanakmar.
Beyond the sanctuary, on the way to Amarkantak, there are Government Guest Houses in Achanakmar, Keonchi and Lamni. These guest houses can be booked with governmental officials in the district headquarters. These guest houses are well built and the arrangements are also good.
The forest guest house at Lamni was built by the then British Officials. It is 1850 feet above sea level. It was built in June 1913 at the cost of Rs.3055.8 paise and 5 anas.
Within the sanctuary the presence of guar (Indian Bison) and tigers are very much in evidence, as reported by the multiple sightings by the visitors. Other animals include the leopard, chital, panthera, striped hyena, canis, sloth bear, dhole, sambar deer, nilgai, Indian four-horned antelope and chinkara, which populate the sanctuary in equal numbers.
Trips to the sanctuary can be organized via private taxi operators.
- Khutaghat: Located 55 km (34 mi) away is Khutaghat, where there is a dam and reservoir and it is possible to stay in the prebooked Irrigation Department.
- The Khudia Dam, which is 75 km (47 mi) away from the city, is equally beautiful though more remote.
Places of interest within Bilaspur City
- Vivekanand Udyaan
- Deendayal Udyaan
- Energy Park
- Smriti Van
- Traffic Park (on the outskirts of city at Lagra on Bilaspur-Sipat road)
- Bilasa Taal
- Kaanan Pendari Zoo
- Ramkrishna Ashram
- Arpa River Chhat Puja Ghat.
- Bubble Island
- Bandhwapara lake and fountain
- Subhash Udyaan (gec Bilaspur)
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.
Bilaspur is famous for Doobraj rice, chila, rice role, angakar roti, thetri-khurmi etc. No trip to Bilaspur is complete without trying samosa from various vendors. The large but light samosa of Bilaspur are different than the Punjabi kind (which is predictably bulky and full of blustery masala). At Bilaspur, this pale-gold, dimpled temptress seduces the travelers. There are many other local Chhattisgarhi foods you may find on visiting a local family such as cheela and dhusaka.
Bilaspur has developed as a centre of education for Chhattisgarh with students from all over the state coming to Bilaspur to study engineering, medical and administrative officers' competitive exams. Along with the older schools, which provided excellent education, many new schools make Bilaspur the center for excellent school education, too. As of 2012 Bilaspur has 5 universities. Bilaspur has following educational institutions:
- Bilaspur University (2012)
- Guru Ghasidas University (Central)(1984/2009)
- Pandit Sundarlal Sharma (Open) University (2004)
- Dr. C.V. Raman University (2006)
- Maharishi University of Management and Technology (2002)
- Memorial Institution of Technology & Education
- Lakhmichand Institute of Technology
- Govt Engineering College, Koni Bilaspur
- Abhiyan Academy for Management
- Soft Computers Education
- GGU Institute of Technology
- Chattisgarh Institute of Medical Science
- S.L.T. Institute Of Pharmaceutical Sciences, GGV
- Thakur Chedilal Barrister College of Agriculture and Research Station
- College of I.T. & Applied Social Science
- Department of Management Studies GGU
- New Horizon Dental College and Research Institute
- The SLT Institute of Pharmaceuticals Science
- GGU Institute of Management
- C. V. RAMAN Technical College
- Chouksey Engineering College
- School of Pharmacy, CEC
- CMD P.G. College
- DP Vipra P.G. College
- J. K. Institute of Pharmacy and Engineering
- Govt Girls PG College
- Shanti Niketan College
- Nac-Mit Computer Education Center College of IT
- DLS College
- Naveen Kanya Mahavidalaya
- Bharat Computer Institute
- Zone Computer Education
- NiceTec College for Professional Studies
- C.L. Chouksey Memorial Homoeopathic Medical College
- J. K. Institute of Engineering
- Akash Institute of Management
- D.P. Vipra College of Education
- Delhi Public School, Raipur Road, Tifra
- D.A.V Public School, Vasant Vihar (S.E.C.L), Seepat Road
- Kendriya Vidyalaya
- The Jain International School, Mungeli Road, Sakri
- Maharishi Vidya Mandir
- Don Bosco Public School
- St. Francis Sr. Sec. School, Ameri Road
- St. Joseph Convent
- St. Xavier's School
- Loyola School, Rajkishore Nagar
- Bharat Mata Higher Secondary School
- Bharatmata Primary School
- Aadharshila Vidya Mandir (AVM) - Koni, Bilaspur
- Bal Bharati Public School, NTPC Sipat
- Siddhivinayak Higher Secondary School
- Balmukund Higher Secondary School
- Bengali Higher Secondary School
- Burgess English Medium School
- Brilliant Public School
- Colonel's Academy of Radian Education
- Chhattisgarh Higher Secondary School
- Christian English School
- Devaki Nandan Higher Secondary School
- Dreamland Higher Secondary School
- Government Multipurpose Higher Secondary School
- Lal Bahadur Shastri School popularly known as Municipal School
- Mission Higher Secondary School
- Mohanty English Medium School
- Normal School
- Pushparaj English Medium School
- Puskar Convent School, Tifra
- Saraswati Shishu Vidya Mandir, Juna Bilaspur
- Saraswati Shishu Vidya Mandir, Rajkishore Nagar
- Saraswati Shishu Vidya Mandir, Sarkanda
- Saraswati Shishu Vidya Mandir, Tilak Nagar
- SEC Railway English Medium School
- SEC Railway Hindi Medium School
- SEC Railway Primary School
- SEC Railway Single Teacher School
- Shanti Niketan Public School
- Sheafer Memorial Christian H.S., Kududand
- H. S. M. Global Public School, Dayalband
- Lalu Baba Public School, Chingrajpara
- Akshay Gurukul School
- Church of Christ Primary School, Chanduwabhata, Tarbahar
- Peepal Tree: The Play School, Radhika Vihar, Seepat Road
- Winners Valley English School, Jarhabhata
- Holy Nursery Eng. Med. Hig. Sec. School, Rajkishornagar
- Holy Cross Higher Secondary School, Mangla
The city publishes print media newspapers in Hindi languages.
The following electronic media channels deliver local news 24*7:
- Chhattisgarh Cable Networks (CCN)
- Grand Gumber Channel
- Siti News Channel
- Z 24 Ghante - Chhattisgarh Bilaspur Buero
- E TV M.P. CG. Bilaspur Beauro
- Sahara TV M.P. CG. Bilaspur Buero
- P7 /Pearls News M.P. C.G. Bilaspur
- Aaj Tak, Bilaspur Buero
- India TV, Bilaspur Buero
- Akashwaani - Government Radio channel, frequency 103.2 MHZ
- 94.3 MYFM,Jiyo Dil Se − 1st private radio station of Chhattisgarh, frequency 94.3
Internet penetration is gaining pace in Bilaspur.
|Mera Bilaspur||http://www.merabsp.com/||Local city portal with coverage of local news, events, festivals etc.|
|QuickSearch||http://www.myquicksearch.in||Local search service provider in the city|
|Bilaspur- Government Website||http://bilaspur.gov.in/||Official government website for the city. Land records and other e-governance projects are available from here.|
Late Shri Manharanlal Pandey - Ex- Home Minister of MP
- Manish Ahluwalia - Deputy General Health and Safety
- Leslie Claudius - Ex-captain of Indian Hockey Team
- Ashok Vyas -Dainik Bhaskar
The census has been taken from Hari Bhoomi Bilaspur Bhaskar Edition dated 23/12/2013.