Chandrapur is a municipal corporation in Chandrapur district, Maharashtra state, India. It is the centre of governance of Chandrapur district. Chandrapur was a fort city founded by Khandakya Ballal Sah, a Gond king of the 13th century The city is situated at the confluence of the Irai and Zarpat rivers. The area around the city is rich in coal seams. Hence, Chandrapur is known as "black gold city".
|Nickname(s): City of Black Gold|
Location in Maharashtra, India
|Named for||Chandrapur Fort|
|• Type||Municipal Corporation|
|• Body||Chandrapur Municipal Corporation|
|• Mayor||Anjali Ghotekar|
|• Municipal Commissioner||Sanjay Kakade|
|• Additional Municipal Commissioner||Bhalchandra Behere|
|• Total||56.40 km2 (21.78 sq mi)|
|Elevation||188 m (617 ft)|
|• Density||4,161/km2 (10,780/sq mi)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Telephone code||(+91), 7172|
|Vehicle registration||MH 34|
The local people relate the name "Chandrapur" to the words Chandra (the moon) and pur (a settlement) after a legend. Scholars see the name as a derivative of "Indupur" (city of the moon) which stood near the Jharpat in the Treta Yuga. Chandrapur is nicknamed the "black gold city" after nearby coal mining.
From ancient times, Chandrapur has fallen under the control of many different rulers. Between 322 BCE and 187 BCE, much of India, including Maharashtra, was part of the Maurya Empire. From 187 BCE to 78 BCE, Chandrapur was part of the Shunga Empire which controlled much of central and eastern India. The Satavahana Empire controlled Chandrapur from the 1st century BCE to the 2nd century CE. The Vakataka dynasty ruled from the area from the mid 3rd century CE to 550 CE. The Kalachuri dynasty ruled in the area in the 6th and 7th centuries CE. The Rashtrakuta dynasty followed, controlling the Chandrapur region between the 7th and 10th centuries. The Chalukya dynasty ruled in the region to the 12th century CE. The Seuna (Yadava) dynasty of Devagiri ruled a kingdom, including the Chandrapur area, in approximately 850 CE and continued until 1334 CE.
The Gond people are part of the Adivasi (indigenous people) of India. In ancient times, the Gond diaspora spread throughout central India. After the passage many kings, who were largely subservient to other rulers, Khandkya Ballal (1470 – 1495) came to the throne. He founded Chandrapur and died there. Gond rule was lost in 1751 to the Maratha period. The last ruler of the Maratha dynasty, Raghuji Bhonsle III died in 1853 without issue.
The Gond king, Khandkya, who founded Chandrapur, was covered in tumours. His wise and beautiful wife nursed him. She asked him to leave Sirpur and move to the north bank of the Wardha River. There, the king built a fort he named "Ballalpur". One day, while hunting north-west of Ballalpur, the king became thirsty and rode up to the dry bed of the Jharpat river in search of water. He discovered water trickling from a hole, and after drinking, washed his face, hands and feet. That night he slept soundly for the first time in his life.
On his return the queen was delighted to see that many of the tumours on her husband's body had disappeared. The king said it was the water that had cured him and took his wife to see the water hole. On clearing the grass and sand, they found five footprints of a cow in the solid rock, each filled with water. The water source at the spot was inexhaustible and considered holy. The place was called "Tirtha of Acalesvar of the Treta Yuga". When the king bathed in the water all the tumours on his body vanished. That night at the water hole, Acalesvar appeared to the king in a dream, and spoke comforting words. A temple was built over the water hole.
One morning, at the water hole, the king saw a hare darting out of a bush and chasing his dog. Eventually, the dog killed the hare. The king found a white spot on the forehead of the hare. The queen said it was a good omen and a fortified city should he built with its layout based on the chase of the dog and hare. She said the place where the hare was killed would be unlucky for the city. The king's officers, the "Tel Thakurs" built the fortified city. The city became Chandrapur.
In 1853, Chandrapur was annexed to British India. During the British colonial period the area of Chandrapur was called "Chanda district". By 1871, Anglican and Scottish Episcopal missionaries had arrived in the city.
In 1874, three tehsils were created: Viz Mul, Warora and Bramhpuri. The upper Godavai district of Madras was abolished and four tehsils were added to Chandrapur to form one tehsil with Sironcha, approximately 150 km to the south, as its centre of governance. In 1895, the headquarters was transferred to Chandrapur. In 1905, a new tehsil with headquarters at Gadchiroli was created through the transfer of zamindari estates from Bramhpuri and Chandrapur tehsil. In 1907, a small area of land was transferred from Chandrapur to the newer districts and another area of about 1560 km2, comprising three divisions of the lower Sironcha tehsil (Cherla, Albak and Nugir) were transferred to Madras State. Between 1911 and 1955, no major changes occurred in the boundaries of the district or its tehsils.
In 1956, with the reorganization of Indian states, Chandrapur district was transferred from Madhya Pradesh to Bombay state. In 1959, part of Adilabad district of Hyderabad state, was transferred to Chandrapur district. In May 1960, Chandrapur district became part of the Maharashtra state. Following the 1981 Census of India, Chandrapur district was divided into Chandrapur district and Gadchiroli district. This was for administrative convenience and industrial and agricultural development.
Chandrapur is located in central India in the eastern part of Maharashtra state at 19.57°N latitude and 79.18°E longitude. The nearest major city is Nagpur, 100 kilometres (62 mi) to the north. To the east is Gadchiroli district including the Gadchiroli forest reserve and the Sundarnagar range. To the south is the Wardha River with villages scattered along its banks. To the west of Chandrapur lies the Painganga river and the Maharashtra State Highway 6. Chandrapur is situated at 189.90 meters above the mean sea level.
Chandrapur lies at the confluence of the Erai and Zarpat rivers. The Erai river has a history of flooding. Flood marks are seen on the walls of the city. In the north of the city, a dam is constructed on the river Erai, having the capacity of 207 million cubic meters. The Gaontideo Nala originates from the uplands of the Chandrapur Super Thermal Power Station. The Macchhi Nala originates from uplands of Central Forest Rangers College.
Chandrapur lies on terrain rich in coal. Chandrapur is called a "geological museum" as there is a large variety of rocks as well as commercially valuable minerals and fossils. Samples of such rocks are collected at the Suresh Chopane Rock Museum.
The area of the city is about 70.02 km². The north-south length of the city is about 10.6 km, while the east-west length is about 7.6 km. The city slopes from the north to the south. The old city is surrounded by walls called parkots. The walls have four gates: Jatpura Gate, Anchaleshwar Gate, Pathanpura Gate and Binba Gate. There are also four khidki (windows): Bagad Khidki, Hanuman Khidki, Vithoba Khidki and Chor Khidki.
Chandrapur has a hot and dry climate. December is the coldest month, with a minimum average temperature of 9 °C and a maximum average temperature of 23.2 °C. May is the hottest month with a mean maximum temperature of 43 °C and a mean minimum temperature of 28.2 °C. On 2 June 2007, there was a highest recorded temperature of 49 °C. On January 1899, there was a lowest recorded temperature of 2.8 °C.
|Climate data for Chandrapur (1971–2000)|
|Record high °C (°F)||35.8
|Average high °C (°F)||30.3
|Average low °C (°F)||14.5
|Record low °C (°F)||2.8
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||12.7
|Average precipitation days||0.8||1.0||1.0||1.4||1.5||8.9||15.2||15.0||9.0||3.8||1.0||0.6||59.2|
|Source: India Meteorological Department|
Marathi is spoken by majority of the people in Chandrapur. The native Gondi is spoken by most of the Gonds in Chandrapur. Telugu is also spoken widely by Telugu people in Chandrapur. People are also fluent in Hindi. A large section of population also speaks English.
Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan, the conference on Marathi literature, has been held twice in Chandrapur, in 1979 (Chair Vaman Krushna Chorghade) and in 2012 (Chair Vasant Aabaji Dahake).
In 2016, the inaugural All India Gondi Religious Convention was convened by the Central Provinces and Berar Gondwana Samaj Sewa Samiti in Warora, 30 km north west of Chandrapur. The Chair was Birshah Krushnashah Atram, a descendant of Khandkya Ballal Sah.
71.84 percent of people in Chandrapur are Hindu. 15.64 percent are Buddhist. 10.07 percent are Muslims; 0.94 percent are Christians; 0.54 percent follow Jainism; and 0.44 percent are Sikhs. 0.47 percent follow other religions and 0.05 percent identify with no particular religion.
Mahakali mandir (temple) is an often frequented temple in Chandrapur. Tuesdays are a particularly significant day to visit. Within the mandir there is a small Ganesh temple and a Hanuman temple. At the two temple entrances, there are small shops for puja (worship) supplies such as coconut, flowers and cloth. Items for home décor and puja décor are sold near the temple. Near the rear entrance there is a Shani temple.
Within the mandir are two murtis (idols). One associated with Shiv Ling is a standing idol decorated with red, yellow and orange cloths. The other is in a reclining position below the ground level, and devotees must walk in a tunnel to reach it. Inside the temple, a priest is present to assist visitors with puja and offerings. A trust administers the temple. Dharmashalas provide accommodation for pilgrims. The annual yatra (fair) takes place in April, entertaining the followers of Mahakali and the citizens of Chandrapur.
The Anchaleshwar mandir celebrates a form of the Lord Siva. It is situated near the Anchaleshwar Gate on the banks of the Zarpat river. The official samadhi (mausoleum) of the Gond kings is located within the temple complex.
On 16 October 1956, B. R. Ambedkar (Babasaheb) gave the deeksha (the embracing of Buddhism) to many followers at a place near Chandrapur since known as Deekshabhoomi. Ambedkar chose only Nagpur and Chandrapur for the conversion of the people to Buddhism. Rajabhau Khobragade, a barrister established the Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar College of Arts, Commerce and Science on the Deeksha Bhoomi premises. A transplanted branch of the Bodhi Tree (a sacred fig from Bodh Gaya) is growing at the Deekshabhoomi. On 15 and 16 October, there is an annual pilgrimage of followers and monks to Deekshabhoomi for the Dhamma Chakra Pravartan Din.
Chandrapur lies on major state highways MH MSH 6, MH MSH 9 and state highways MH SH 233, MH SH 243 and MH SH 264. Chandrapur is connected to many cities in Maharashtra by the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation bus service.
Chandrapur railway station is managed by the Nagpur CR railway division of the Central Railway. Chandrapur lies on the New Delhi to Chennai line. The Chanda Fort railway station is managed by the Nagpur SEC railway division. It lies on the Bangalore to Gorakhpur line.
Chandrapur Airport, operated by the Maharashtra Airport Development Company, is situated near Morwa village on MH SH 264, about 12 km from the city. The airstrip is 950 m in length. Development of the airport is limited by surrounding obstructions, particularly the thermal power plant. The nearest airport with scheduled flights is the Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport in Nagpur.
Other industries include cement making, paper manufacturing, and ferro alloy manufacturing.
The Chandrapur Super Thermal Power Station, a 3,340 MW power station complex which is owned by the Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Limited, occupies an area of 12,212 hectares (122.12 km2) about 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) from the city. It employs approximately 3,460 people and supplies more than 25 percent of the state's electricity. A masonry dam on the Erai river, 15 km from the station provide water to the station and to Chandrapur. On 16 January 1977, the station's foundation stone was laid by the Central Energy Minister, K. C. Pant.
The Karmavir Dadasaheb Kannamwar High School (previously known as the Zilha Parishad Jubilee High School) was established in 1906. The Lokmanya Tilak Vidyalaya was founded in 1932 by Bal Gangadhar Tilak. The Chanda Sikshan Prasarak Mandal is a large educational institution with a number of campuses in Chandrapur.
The Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve is located approximately 30 km north of Chandrapur near the Erai dam.