Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh
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|• Zonal Headquarters||Mandi|
|Elevation||673 m (2,208 ft)|
|• Ethnic groups||Kahluria,Bilaspuria|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Vehicle registration||HP 23,24,69|
Bilaspur was the capital of a state founded in the 7th century, and known as Kahlur after its earlier capital, or as Bilaspur after its later capital. The ruling dynasty were Chandela Rajputs, who claimed descent from the rulers of Chanderi in present-day Madhya Pradesh. The town of Bilaspur was founded in 1663. The state later became a princely state of British India, and was under the authority of the British province of Punjab.
On May 13, 1665, Guru Tegh Bahadur went to Bilaspur to attend the mourning for Raja Dip Chand of Bilaspur. The Dowager Rani Champa of Bilaspur offered to give the Guru a piece of land in her state. The Guru bought the site on payment of Rs 500 (Five Hundred Rupees). The land consisted of the villages of Lodhipur, Mianpur and Sahota. Here on the mound of Makhowal, Guru Tegh Bahadur raised a new habitation. The ground was broken on June 19, 1665, by Baba Gurditta Randhawa. The new village was named after the Guru's mother, Nanaki. Chakk Nanaki later became famous as Anandpur Sahib.
In 1932 state was made part of the newly created Punjab States Agency, and in 1936 the Punjab Hill States Agency was separated from the Punjab States Agency. India became independent in 1947, and on October 12, 1948 the ruler, HH Raja Sir Anand Chand, acceded to the Government of India. Pandit Sant Ram was the last Home Minister of the state. As Bilaspur acceded to India on 12 October 1948, Pandit Sant Ram administered the state's accession ensuring that Bilaspur retained an independent identity as a separate province and in 1950 as a part C state while the territory of the princely state was politically integrated into the Indian Union.
Bilaspur became a separate state of India under a chief commissioner, and on July 1, 1954 Bilaspur State was made a district of Himachal Pradesh state by an act of the Indian Parliament. The historic town was submerged in 1954 when the Sutlej River was dammed to create the Govind Sagar, and a new town was built upslope of the old.
Most of the Rajputs in Bilaspur are chandias, that is they belong to different branches of the ruling family. These families are numerous, and all enjoyed jagir pensions from state amounting in aggregate to Rs. 40,000 a year in 1933. They are called 'the Mian families', and the chief names are: Ajmerchandia, Kaliyanchandia, Tarahandia and Sultanchandia.
Bilaspur is located at  It has an average elevation of 673 metres (2208 feet).It lies at foot of Bandla Hills. It lies near the reservoir of Govind Sagar on the Sutluj River. It is first major town after entering himachal on way to manali..
It is hot in summer as it is situated in valley at lower altitude while surrounding mountains top experience pleasant weather and cold in winters. Monsoon brings plenty of rain from July to September. Best time to visit is October to November, during this time Lake is completely full and weather is also pleasant. Hottest months are May and June when temperature usually hover around 37-38 degree Celsius and sometimes for few days jumping to above 40 degree Celsius, although unlike North Indian Plains nights are comparatively cooler and comfortable.
As of 2001[update] India census, Bilaspur had a population of 13058. Males constitute 56.25% of the population and females 43.75%. Bilaspur has an average literacy rate of 91%, higher than the national average of 74.04%.10.74% of the population is under 6 years of age. Most of people live in villages and are agrarian in addition to working for government.Language spoken is Kahluri or Bilaspuri a part of Western Pahari branch. Hindi is widely understood. Majority of people follow Hinduism.
There is no railway or air network in district. Buses are only mode of public transport.Buses are available to all major town within state as well as for outside state. All buses going to Manali from Delhi or Chandigarh pass through city. Bilaspur lies on National Highway -21 also known as Chandigarh-Manali NH-21 highway. It is 86 kilometers away from Shimla, state capital and 405 kilometers from Delhi. Nearest major airport with daily scheduled flights from major airports of India is in Chandigarh which is 141 kilometers away. Manali major tourist attraction in Himachal is 195 kilometers away. Mandi 70 kilometers away is another major town nearby and also Zonal headquarters of district. Most of long route buses are run by state owned HRTC. Local routes are covered by private bus operators. Farthest place in himachal from bilaspur is Kaza, Himachal Pradesh via Shimla at 526 kilometers. There is daily bus service on this route which starts from Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh.
- Naina Devi Temple
- Gobind Sagar
- Nahar Singh Dhaulra : The temple of Baba Nahar Singh exists at Dholra in the Bilaspur Town. The people all over Bilaspur worship Baba Nahar Singh. Baba is also known as ‘Bajia’, ‘Peepal Wala’, ‘Dalian Wala’. Baba ji is known as apparent (Prtyaksh) god. Baba Nahar Singh was the god of Naggar the capital of Kullu Riyasat. Raja Deep Chand (1650-1665) of Bilaspur married princess of Kullu Lai Dei (she is now known as Naggar Dei also). When the princess now known as Rani of Bilaspur reached Bilaspur she had frequent attacks of unconsciousness. The devoted persons of Bilaspur tried to find out the reason for this. They all came to the conclusion that Baba Nahar Singh has accompanied Rani and the god needs to be established with all religious rituals. Raja Deep Chand did the same and established the god in Dholra. ‘Kharaun’ (the wooden slippers) of Baba Nahar singh symbolizes him and are placed in the temple. In the month of ‘Jeth’ (mid May to mid June) on every Tuesday fairs are organized in the temple.
- Bandla Hills: Famous for paragliding.
- Vyaas Gufa: The oldest and the most famous religious place which lies on the left bank of river Satluj. It is about 610 m above sea level. It is situated between the old and new Bilaspur Township. There is a common belief that Vyas Rishi of Mahabharta fame lived in this Gufa in penance. The name of the present Bilaspur town traces its origin to Rishi Vyas which was originally known as Vyaspur. It is a place of pilgrimage. It is about 0.5 km from district headquarters.
- Laxmi Narayan Temple
People from Bilaspur
Yami Gautam, [] noted Bollywood/television actress
- History of the PUNJAB Hill States,Volume 2, J. Hutchinson and J.Ph. Vogel, P - 513, 1933, by Superintendent, Government Printing, Lahore, Punjab
- Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Bilaspur
- "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.