Bilaspur is a city in Bilaspur District in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh, situated 114 km (70.83 miles) north of the state capital, Raipur. With a population of 331,030, it is the fourth largest city in the state.
The Chhattisgarh State High Court, located at village Bodri, District Bilaspur is the administrative headquarters of Bilaspur District. This city is the commercial center and business hub of North East Chhattisgarh region. It is also an important city for the Indian Railways, as it is the headquarters for South East Central Railway Zone and the Bilaspur Railway Division. Bilaspur is 3rd cleanest and 4th longest railway station in India. Bilaspur is also the headquarters of South Eastern Coalfields Limited.
Location in Chhattisgarh, India
|Named for||Bilasa bai|
|• Body||Nagar nigam (Municipal Crop.)|
|• Mayor||Mr. Kishor Rai (BJP)|
|• District Collector||Mr. P. Dayanand (IAS)|
|• Total||255 km2 (98 sq mi)|
|Elevation||262 m (860 ft)|
|• Rank||4th in state|
|• Official||Hindi, English|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
Historically, Bilaspur was controlled by the Kalachuri 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 East India Company in 1818 after Bhosale lost territory in Third Anglo-Maratha War. Under Bhosale of the Nagpur kingdom there were 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 against idol-worship, and instead stressed that God is synonymous with truth. His community was a farming community, though in the Hindu caste hierarchy they would be placed 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 Chhattisgarh with considerable historical significance. Located in the eastern part of Chhattisgarh, 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 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.
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.
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. Arpa river passes from the center of city in which river view area is built with an aim to attract peoples to spend times.
Bilaspur District is surrounded by Koria District in the north, Anuppur District of Madhya Pradesh, Mungeli and kabirdham District in the west, Balauda Bazar-Bhata Para District in the south and Korba and Janjgir-Champa District in the east.
Major metro cities around Bilaspur are:
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
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||20
|Source: Bilaspur Weather|
As of 2011 India census, Bilaspur Municipal Corp had a population of 365,579. Bilaspur urban area population was estimated at 452,851. Nearby or suburban areas will soon be included in the city limits and then it will pass 5 lacs limit. Males constitute 51% of the population and females 49%. Bilaspur has an average literacy rate of 91.29%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with male literacy of 92.94% and female literacy of 88.33%. 15% of the population is under 6 years of age.
According to the 2011 census, Bilaspur district, Chhattisgarh has a population of 2,662,077, roughly equal to the nation of Kuwait or the US state of Nevada. This ranks it 152nd in India (out of a total of 640). The district has a population density of 322 inhabitants per square kilometre (830/sq mi) . Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 33.21%. Bilaspur has a sex ratio of 972 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 71.59%.
The city has a Cosmopolitan and multicultural mix of people that have migrated from other areas of India. People from every state of India live here. People migrated from other parts of country love this city
Bilaspur City runs under the administration of the Bilaspur Municipal Corporation (BMC). Kishor Rai is mayor of Bilaspur. He is from the Bhartiya Janata Party.
Bilaspur is rich in its cultural heritage. Bilaspur has its own dance styles, cuisine, music and traditional folk songs, of which Sohar songs, Bihav songs and Pathoni songs are very famous. Sohar songs are related to child birth, and Bihav to marriage. The parts of Bihav songs are Chulmati, Telmati, Maymouri, Nahdouri, Parghani, Bhadoni and other songs related to Bhanver, Dowery and Vidai songs. Pathoni songs are about Gouna or Bidaaee (the departure of a bride to the bridegroom's home). In rural areas, women wear garlands made of one rupee coins. This has gone out of fashion in recent times. The city celebrates all the major festivals of India. There are some local festivals such as the colorful Rout Dance (November), harley, and pola. The Rawat Nach Mahotsav is the folk dance festival of Bilaspur celebrated by Rawat tribes.
The town has been the home of some famous literary personalities including Bimal Mitra.
Over the years, Bilaspur has developed many 4 - lane and 6 - lane roads, 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 indifferent officials and politicians. There is a master plan for the city and surrounding areas.
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.
Bilaspur is home to more than 100 hospitals & nursing homes, some run by the state government and others by the private sector. City has a government medical college named Chhattisgarh Institute of Medical Science(CIMS- web site www.cimsbilaspur.ac.in) which is around 500 bedded. There is Apollo Hospitals in the private sector, which is 300 bedded super speciality hospital. A new mental hospital is established in village Sendri(Ratanpur Road) which provides quality treatment. More than 25 Sanjivni express and Mahatari express are running in city. It also has private dental colleges in the city area.
Bilaspur railway station is a regional hub for the railway system.
It is the busiest junction of Chhattisgarh and second busiest of central India after Itarsi . It is 3rd cleanest Railway Station in India after Surat and Rajkot. 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. Bilaspur railway station has the 4th longest railway platform in India after Gorakhpur, Kollam and Kharagpur. 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.
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 Indore Jaipur, Bikaner, Udaipur, Ajmer 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, Guwahati and many other cities and towns in India. Many local trains are running here daily for small station passengers
Other railway stations present near Bilaspur city are:
Uslapur is the other Major city station which is 8 km from the main junction station and here is loco training centre for loco drivers in which trainees from various part of the central comes and express trains in Bilaspur-Katni rail line stop at Uslapur, while the other three are for local-passenger trains only and Godam is for goods trains.
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 National Highway network. Bilaspur is on NH-130 connecting Raipur and Ambikapur.While NH-49 starts from Bilaspur and ends at KharagpurAnother National Highway NH 130 A is newly announced which starts from Bilaspur and end at Podi via Mungeli Kawardha merging with NH 12A to connect Bilaspur with Jabalpur. Other state highways are SH 7 and SH 5. All highways are well maintained 2 lane roads while Raipur highway is 4 lane. There are regular buses and taxies available to all nearby major cities and towns. Bilaspur bus stand is known as Hi-tech bus stand.More than 22,000 people come here daily.
For local transportation three-wheeled, black and yellow auto rickshaws, referred to as autos, are popular. No diesel auto are allowed in railway limits due to large pollution created by it. Large no. of private bus operators runs their buses on various routes. It is well connected with other cities by road. Bus services available for Allahabad, Jashpur, Ambikapur, Raipur, Jagdalpur, Korba, Nagpur, Durg-Bhilai, Mungeli, Kawardha, Jabalpur, Raigarh, Narayanpur, Kondagaon, etc. In short, it is connected with all 27 districts of state and some major cities of other states like Jabalpur, Varanasi, Allahabad, Nagpur, Gondia, Mandla, Anuppur, Shehdol, Jharsugda, Sambalpur, Bhawanipatna, Hyedrabad etc. More than 2500 Buses are running through Bilaspur. Buses for NH 49 are available from Gandi chowk, Jagmal chowk and Gurunanak chowk. Buses for NH130A are available from Nehru chowk, Mungeli naka, 27 kholi chowk and Mangla chowk. Buses for NH130 are available from Nehru chowk, Manfir chowk, Rajeev Gandhi chowk and maharana pratap chowk. Buses for NH111 are available from Nehru and Mahamaya chowk. Ola cabs are also running in metropolis area. Local transportation also includes man-powered cycle rickshaw. Bilaspur city has many city buses, more than 85 city buses are running in city. 60 big luxurious sml bus, 10 Tata starbus mini bus, 10 red coloured world class AC Tata Marcopolo city bus, and 5 pink city bus which are only for females are running successfully. Citt has quality city bus stops. More rhan 35 city bus stops are developed in city and surrounding area. All 85 city buses are world class international level bus which have gps, CCTV camera and digital naming board. City buses are allowed to run 20kmph faster than other buses. All city buses starts from Bilaspur junction railway station and at night they stays at Koni city bus terminal. The city buses runs from the Railway station to connect with various parts of city facilitating easy and cheap conveyance to the people. These bus services are available from 06.30 AM to 8.00 PM. City bus services facilitates the people even to reach near by cities like Ratanpur, Takhatpur, Kota, Malhar(A holy place famous for Mata Didneshwari Devi Temple), Seepat(NTPC colony Sipat), Bilha & Chakarbhata.
The nearest commercial airport is the (Swami Vivekananda Airport Raipur), approximately 131 km away. At that airport, Indigo, Jet Airways and Air India have regular flights to/ from Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Goa, Nagpur, Kochi, Hyderabad, Indore, Kolkata, Patna, Bhopal and Visakhapatnam.
Bilaspur also has an airport at Chakarbhatta for VIP and military operations (Bilaspur Airport).
There are two additional airstrips on Kota Road - Mohanbhata and Mulmula - that have been lying unused since the Second World War. These are under the Defence Ministry.
Various archeological sites and temples in Bilaspur attract tourists from all over the world. Achanakmar Wildlife sanctuary is one of the renowned ecotourism spots in Chhattisgarh. Hasdev Bango Dam is 105 km from Bilaspur. Malhar and Ratanpur are the centre of archeology. Ruins of forts to ancient temples are found here. Talagram is famous for "Deorani-Jethani" temple. Bubble Island and Radhika water park are the parks which amuse the local people as well as tourists. Belpan has a huge pond as well as samadhi. Khutaghat is a scenic spot and is wanted by nature lovers. Forests, dam and hills comprise the surrounding of Khutaghat. Kabir Chobutara at a distance of 41 km from Bilaspur is a hub for mahatmas (saints). Bilaspur is situated on the banks of the Arpa, the main river. Leelagar and Maniyari are other small rivers of the district. Sonmuda is another tourist attraction which gives a panoramic view of valleys, hills and forest. The River Sone originates from Sonmuda. Places of interest in and around Bilaspur include:
According to holidayiq.com Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve is ranked no. 2 of 19 places to visit in Bilaspur. 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 Wildlife Sanctuary, is the Ghongapani Jalashya (dam) with beautiful panoramic views. Although there is no place to stay, it can be visited in the daytime on the 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.
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, tamatar fatka(tomato chutney) etc.
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:
The city publishes print media newspapers in Hindi languages.
The following electronic media channels deliver local news 24*7:
Bilaspur city has 5 FM Radio Stations which are-
|90.4 FM||Radio Raman (Community Radio Station of Dr. C.V. Raman University - Kota, Bilaspur)|
|91.1 FM||FM Tadka||Sound's Good|
|91.9 FM||Radio Orange||Kuch Khatta Kuch Meetha|
|92.7 FM||Radio Rangila||Jam Ke Suno|
|94.3 FM||My FM||Jiyo Dil Se|
|103.2 FM||All India Radio Bilaspur & Vividh Bharti||Desh Ki Surili Dhadkan|
|Bilaspur- Government Website||http://bilaspur.gov.in/||Official government website for the city. Land records and other e-governance projects are available from here.|
|Bilaspur- CIMS Medical College||http://cimsbilaspur.ac.in/||Official government website for the CIMS-Chhattisgarh MEdical College, Bilaspur|
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. Chhattisgarh is also known as "The Rice Bowl" – Dhan ka katora. Bilaspur is the centre of agri products. There are approx. 500 rice and dall mills in the surrounding area. Bilaspur (South East Central Railway) is the highest revenue generating railway zone in India among 17 zones. The Bilaspur railways zone comprises the divisions of Bilaspur, Nagpur and Raipur. South Eastern Coalfields 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. An integrated action plan for development of civic infrastructure, including hi-tech water purifier system, proper drainage facilities and cleanliness, is being planned by the state government for cities and towns, while the proposed 'Arpa Project' would give a new life to the city of Bilaspur, minister for urban administration and health Amar Agrawal said in an interview to the Times of India, a leading newspaper of India. The State Government has drawn up an ambitious plan of Rs2,000 crore to develop the Arpa river bank in Bilaspur district during the next seven years. For this, the Government has constituted a ‘Special Area Development Authority’ (SADA) for the development of the Arpa river bank near Bilaspur city.
The Government has invited proposals from interested national and international institutions for the development of the river bank on a PPP model. The Authority has prepared a project for the development of the river and is now in search of organisations that would be interested in developing the river on a Public Private Partnership (PPP).
According to SADA, about 653 hectares of area on the banks of the river would be developed. This area is 13.4 km in length. Commercial, residential, entertainment and other institutional facilities would be developed in this area. On both the sides of the river, 13.4-km-long retaining wall, houses and commercial complexes would be constructed, besides bridge, roads and walkways. Water supply, sewerage, drainage, electricity supply would be provided in the area.
The estimated cost of all the works is Rs2,000 crore. The development works would be taken up in phases during the next seven years.
Of the total 653-hectare area, some of the land is owned privately. In lieu of acquisition of private land, the affected people would be given land at other areas. After development about 267 hectares of land will be made available for sale. By selling this land, the developer could recover the invested amount. 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).
The census has been taken from Hari Bhoomi Bilaspur Bhaskar Edition dated 23/12/2013.