Chhindwara is a city and a Municipal Corporation in Chhindwara district in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. It is the administrative headquarters of Chhindwara District. Chhindwara is reachable by rail or road from adjacent cities Nagpur and Jabalpur. The nearest airport is in Nagpur (130 km); a small airport (air-strip) is available at Chhindwara for landing charter aeroplanes/helicopters. The population of the district is 2,090,306; most of them are tribals with a growth rate of 13%, a sex ratio of .966 male/female. The literacy rate is 81.46%. The town itself has population of 260,575, with 89% literacy rate..
Chhindwara is one of the largest cities in the Satpura range. It is on a plateau, surrounded by lush green fields, rivers and by dense forest with diverse flora and fauna. The town is built around the Bodri Stream, a tributary with the Kulbehra River.
- Geographical area: 11,815 km2
- Height above MSL 1,550 to 3,820 feet (470–1,160 m)
- Latitude: 21.28 to 22.49 N, Longitude: 78.40 to 79.24 E.
- Temperature (min.): 4 to 6 deg. Celsius, (max.): 38 to 44 deg. Celsius
- Average rainfall: 1,183 mm
It was believed that Chhindwara District was full of "Chhind" (date palm or khajoor) trees many years ago, and the place was named "Chhind"-"Wada" (wada means place). There is another story that because of the population of lions (called "sinh" in Hindi), it was considered that making entry into this district is akin to entering the lions' den. Hence it was called "Sinh Dwara" (means through the entrance of lion). In due course it became "Chhindwara".
It is said that one Ratan Raghuwanshi, who came from Ayodhya and killed the Gaoli chief of this region, founded Chhindwara. Then he let loose a goat and on the place where it lay down built a house, burying the goat alive under its foundations. A platform was erected afterward on the spot. It is worshiped as the tutelary deity of the town. There is a ruined mud fort at Chhindwara, within which there is an old stone house, supposed to have been that of Ratan Raghuwanshi. A military force was stationed at Chhindwara before the Great Revolt of 1857-58. For a short period the house was used as a sanatorium for the Kamptee garrison.
The Gole Gunj market of the city, with its two large gateways (known today as Kamania Gate), was built by Captain Montgomery, who administrated the district as a regent of Richard Jenkins (1818–1830). The municipality of Chhindwara was founded in 1867.
As per 2011 census, Chhindwara urban agglomeration had a population of 190,008, out of which 97,040 were males and 92,968 were females. The literacy rate was 89.25 per cent. Chhindwara urban agglomeration included Chhindwara (M), Khajari (OG), Khapabhat (OG), Kukadajagat (OG), Chandangaon (OG), Seoni Pranmoti (OG), Emaliya Bohata (OG) and Lonia Karbal (CT).
Chhindwara is home to brands like Raymond's & Hindustan Unilever. The city has rich market areas such as Mansarover Complex, Fawwara Chowk, Nagpur Road, Gole Gunj & Gandhi Gunj. Looking the spending capability of the local population all major automobile brands have made their presence in the city. Apart from this Parasia
area is known for its coal fields and majority of population in this region is associated with Western Coalfields Limited for their employment.
Coal Mines is run by Western coal fields limited (WCL)
The city is home to old industries of pottery, leather moots and ornaments of zinc, brass and bell metal. On the outskirts, vegetables, especially potatoes, are raised in large quantities for export to nearby districts. The town, which is a center for local trade and a market for the sale of cattle, grain and timber, also contains a grain market near the railway station. Following are some recognizable industries that have contributed to the industrial development of Chhindwara:
- Hindustan Unilever is a multinational company, originally from England. Earlier this company's name was Hindustan Lever Limited. Chhindwara Hindustan Unilever Limited is situated at village Lahgadua, 5 km from Chhindwara. This company completed 75 years in 2008. There are 210 workers in Hindustan Unilever, who work in three shifts. The Chhindwara factory produces three main products: Rin washing soap, Wheel washing powder and Surf Excel washing powder. It is the only factory of Hindustan Unilever in Madhya Pradesh. In 2007 the production was 70,000 units.
- Raymond Group: The Raymond Chhindwara plant, set up in 1991, is a state-of-the-art integrated manufacturing facility located 65 km from Chhindwara. Built on 100 acres (0.40 km2) of land, the plant produces premium pure wool, wool blended and polyester viscose suiting.
- Tech Packs: The only corrugated paper box manufacturing plant, Tech Packs is at Industrial Area, Imlikheda, and 7 km from Chhindwara city on Nagpur road. Tech Packs is a part of India's largest corrugated box manufacturing group, Horizon Packs.
- Western Coalfields Limited is the major company of Chhindwara approximate ten thousands people work together here.
CII at Chhindwara
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) started their operations in August 2007 at Chhindwara with opening of a secretariat at Madhuvan Colony. Initially CII worked largely upon small agricultural conferences, "Kisan Goshthis" as the district is predominantly an agrarian economy. In September 2008 CII inaugurated first of its kind the National Center of Excellence for Skill Development catering to the need of skilled workforce for the Indian industry. Companies such as Punj Lloyd, JCB India Ltd. and Toyota Kirloskar Motors (TKM) are imparting training in trades.
Initially Ambuja Cement and L&T ECC division started trades of masonry and bar bending respectively but had to wind up as the trades were not very well taken by the masses. However, Ambuja Cement has recently started a training center at Amarwara and L&T ECC is constantly picking up youth from the rural areas for training at their well-established centers at Chennai and Hyderabad. As of now, the CII's National Center of Excellence for Skill Development is operating out of WCL's Campus, Parmanand Rehabilitation Center at Chakkar Road near Satpuda Club. Some 600 trainees have been trained in trades such as welding and fitting by Punj Lloyd, backhoe loader operation by JCB and TTEP (a motor mechanic course) by TKM. CII has got ambitious plans about the CoE; in near future the center will move to its own campus at Imlikhera where it will operate out of a 10 acres (40,000 m2) of premises with 20 acres (81,000 m2) extra completely devoted for driving. Companies such as CAT, Cummins, Mahindra & Mahindra and GMR will start their training here. The center is under the aegis of Mr. Kamalnath, the MP from Chhindwara and the Minister for Road Transport and Highways. The future is very bright for this unique center as it is helping the cause of Indian government's skill development program.
The main tourist attractions in and around Chhindwara include:
- Devgarh Fort: This famous historical fort is 24 miles (39 km) south of Chhindwara beyond Mohkhed. It is built on a hill which is fortified by a deep valley clothed with dense reserve forest. The fort is approachable up to its foot by motor road. The nature is bountiful here. Devgarh Fort was built by King Jatav of Gond. It was the capital of Gondwana dynasty until the 18th century. The architecture is somewhat similar to that of Mughal. There are a big fort palace and beautiful buildings. It is believed that there was a secret underground passage connecting Devgarh to Nagpur. Here is a tank called "motitaka" and there is famous saying that the water in this tank never finishes. At present, Devgarh village is a small inhabitant's area. The ruins at this place speak of its past glory.
- Patalkot, in the hilly block 'Tamia' of Chhindwara District, has acquired great importance because of its geographical and scenic beauty. Patalkot is a lovely landscape located at a depth of 1200–1500 feet in a valley. Because of the great depth, this place is christened as 'Patalkot' (patal menas very deep, in Sanskrit). When one looks down from the top of the valley, the place looks like a horseshoe in shape. Earlier, people believed it as the entrance to 'Patal'. There is one more belief that after worshiping 'Lord Shiva' Prince Meghnath had gone to Patal-lok through this place only. People say that this place was ruled by kings in 18th and 19th centuries and that there was a long tunnel connecting this place to 'Pachmarhi' in Hoshangabad District. Because of the inaccessibility of this area, the tribals of this region were totally cut off from the civilized world. But, with the constant efforts being made by the government, tribals of this area started tasting the advantages of adopting civilized life. 'Patalkot' is attracting many tourists because of its geographical location, scenic beauty, culture of the people who live here, and the immense and rare herbal wealth. Deepak Acharya has done exceptionally good work in the field of herbal medicines and tribal life of Patalkot.
- Tamia hills are around 45 km from Chhindwara. The steep hills, dense forests, and big winding ghats have all combined to make Tamia a beauty spot and a tourist place. A PWD rest house is picturesquely situated on a steep hill commanding an extensive view of the deep forests and mountainous ranges of Satpura notably Mahadeo and Chaura Pahad in the background. The view from the rest house is noted for its constantly shifting natural scenery which is inspiring to visitors. The government postal bungalow in Tamia is a pleasant place as it is in hilly range at 3,765 feet (1,148 m) height above Mean Sea Level surrounded by dense forest. The sunrise and sunset scenes give a breath taking experience to the visitors. About 1.5 km from this bungalow there is a cave where in the holy 'Shivling' (the deity of Lord Shiva) of 'Chota Mahadev' exists. Just beside the cave is a small water fall. Both of these provide a feast to the eyes of the visitors.
- Gotmar Mela of Pandhurna: 98 km from Chhindwara, in the headquarters of Pandhurna tahsil, a unique fair (mela in Hindi) by name 'Gotmar Mela' is celebrated every year on the second day to 'Bhadrapad' New Moon day on the banks of the river Jam. A long tree is erected in the middle of the river with a flag at its very top. The residents of the villages Savargaon and Pandhurna gather on either bank and start pelting stones ('got') at the persons of the opposite village who try to cross into the mid of the river and remove the flag on top of the tree trunk. The village whose resident succeeds in removing the flag is considered victorious. The whole activity happens amidst the chanting of the sacred name of 'Maa' Durgaji. Several people have been wounded in this celebration and the district administration made elaborate arrangements for the smooth conduct of this rare fair. People have been left dead or injured, so the festival has now been banned.Administration is now fail to stop the activity.
- The Tribal Museum started in Chhindwara on 20 April 1954 and acquired 'State Museum' status in 1975. On 8 September 1997 the Tribal Museum's name was changed to "Shri Badal Bhoi State Tribal Museum". This museum is maintained by a Museum In-charge Officer with the help of artists and peons. It comprises 14 rooms, 3 galleries and two open galleries. It depicts the tribal cultures of 45 (approx.) tribal communities living in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh states. It is the oldest and the biggest tribal museum in Madhya Pradesh. It is a treasure house, storing antique and rare collections of items related to the tribal living in the district. One can find items related to the houses, clothes, ornaments, arms, agriculture tools, art, music, dance, celebrations, the deities worshiped by them, religious activities, herbal collections, and so on. The museum throws light on the rich traditions and ancient cultures of the tribal communities. It has depicted the family living styles of the ground and Baiga, the principal tribes living in the district. Also it has shown how the Agria tribes mould iron and shows Patalkots Deha agricultural systems. These exhibits attract the tourists. The museum is a one-stop collection-cum-information centre on the tribes of this district.
- Shashti Mata Mandir is located at Kapurda, almost 45 km north of Chhindwara. This temple is very old and famous for its cultural influence on the region. It attracts a number of tourists almost every day, but Tuesday is considered to be the best day for worship. It is believed that if Shrashti Mata is invoked with faith, she dispels disease. Some visitors come for the mundan ceremony (the first hair cutting ceremony) of their children and offer their crop of hair at the altar of goddess. Among other visitors, married couples come to invoke the blessings of the goddess for a happy married life. This temple was built by late B.L. Shrivastava in 1939. At present the temple management is taken care of by his sons L.L. Shrivastava and S.S. Shrivastava and well supported by all villagers but specially Mishra family has huge impact on that and managed all events, functions with them. The temple can be reached by local buses or taxis from Chhindwara.
- Waterfalls of Kukdi-khapa and Lilahi[DAHNORA] The picturesque location of Kukdi khapa waterfall is found along the Chhindwara to Nagpur narrow gauge railway line, between the stations of Umaranala and Ramakona. The waterfall is situated in the panoramic 'Sillevani' mountain range. The height of this fall is approximately 60 feet (18 m). The location is more beautiful and picturesque immediately after a spell of good rains. While travelling in the train along the narrow gauge railway toward Nagpur one can see this beautiful picnic spot. The Lilahi[DHANORA]waterfall is located in the downstream of the District's second biggest river, 'Kanhan'. This fall is situated on the route from Mohkhed to Pandhurna via Devgarh. It is close to the 'Narayan Ghat,' near dhanora village on the Kanhaan river. The lovely sight of the waterfall surrounded by mountain rocks and colorful nature is indeed a feast to the visitor. The waterfall will have a sufficient flow of water from July to January.
- Anhoni village is near Mahuljhir Police Station and at a distance of 2 miles (3.2 km) from the village Jhirpa on Chhindwara-Piparia road. A hill stream with hot and boiling sulphur springs flows near the village. These springs, at a further distance, assume the form of a nullah (short stream). The water is believed to be beneficial for skin diseases and for certain impurities of the blood.
- Neelkanthi: Some ruins of a temple can be seen by the side of Siphna stream which flows at some distance of Neelkanthi, a village which is 14 miles (23 km) south-east of Chhindwara town. The entrance gate to the main temple is said to date back between 7th and 10th century. It is believed that at one time an area of 264 x 132 sq ft (12.3 m2) inside the gate was surrounded by a rampart. The stone slabs of the gate are fastened together with iron hooks. An illegible inscription can be found on one of the stone pillars of the temple. There is a reference to Raja Krishna III of Rashtrakut kingdom. The design of the gate is in Bahmanic style.
- Hinglag Mata Mandir, at Ambada (Mohan Colliery, Muari road) almost 40 km (by the Parasia road) south of Chhindwara is one of the notable temples in Chhindwara. It attracts a number of tourists almost every day, but Tuesday and Saturday are considered to be the best days for worship.
- Ram Mandir, a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Ram, located at the heart of the city, is considered the oldest temple of the city. It was constructed with the old beam and bracket system. In front of Ram mandir there is Badi Mata Mandir, dedicated to goddess Durga.
- Jama Masjid is located at Gole Ganj area, almost at the centre of Chhindwara. It is considered as a historical place because it was constructed by famous freedom fighters, the Shaukat Ali Brothers. The Masjid is decorated by Arabic calligraphy, in Mughal and Turkish style
- Simariya Kalan- 101 feet Statue of Hanuman built by former union minister and current M.P of Chhindwara Shri Kamal Nath.
- Sahaja Yoga Thousands of followers of Sahaja Yoga  come every year to Chhindwara to visit the birthplace of H.H.Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, founder of Sahaja Yoga. She was born on March 21, 1923 to a Christian family in Chhindwara, India (http://www.chhindwara.org). Her parents were Prasad Salve and Cornelia Salve, direct descendants of the royal Shalivahana dynasty. Seeing the beauty of this child who was born with a spotless brilliance, they called her Nirmala, which means 'Immaculate'. Later on, she came to be known by the multitudes by the name of H.H.Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi — the revered Mother — who was born with her complete Self Realization and knew from a very young age that she had a unique gift which had to be made available to all mankind. Her parents played a key role in India's Liberation Movement from under British rule. Her father, a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi, was a member of the Constituent Assembly of India and helped write free India's first constitution. He was a renowned scholar, master of 14 languages, and translated the Koran into Marathi. Her mother was the first woman in India to receive an Honors Degree in Mathematics.
Chhindwara District has a majority of tribal population. The tribal communities include the Gond, Pardhan, Bharia, Korku. Hindi, Gondi, Urdu, Korku, Musai, etc., so many languages/dialects are in use in the district. The majority of the tribal people speak in Gondi and Hindi mixed with Marathi.
Among the most celebrated cultural functions/festivals in the district are Pola, Bhujalia, Meghnath, Akhadi, Harijyoti etc. The 'Gotmar Mela' of Pandhurna is a unique and world-renowned fair. On Shivrathri day 'Mahadev Mela' is celebrated each year on "chougadhh"
Chhindwara is the home of many famous temples and mosques. Many festivals and dances are celebrated in Chhindwara and nearby villages. Sela dance, Gedi dance, Nagpanchmi dance to name a few. Famous festivals in nearby villages include Chouth ka dangal and panchmi ka mela.
- Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Singodi
- Arihant international school
- Balaji Public H.S. School
- Danielson H M School Chhindwara
- Delhi public school
- Gyan Ganga public school
- Jai Gurudev international School
- Podar International SchooL
- Vidya bhumi public school
- Nirmala English Medium Sen. Sec. School
- First Step School
- Kendriya Vidyalaya
- Maharshi Vidya Mandir School
- Bharat Bharati School
- Sunrays School
- Rose Public School
- Danielson English Medium School
Some of notable Hindi medium schools:-
- Vidya Niketan School
- St. Joseph School
- Excellence School
- MLB Girls School
- Saraswati Shishu Mandir
- Bharti Vidya Mandir School
- shri nath higher secondary school
- Gyan Bharti Higher Secondary School Chandangaon
- Edify international school
Chhindwara is relatively developed from its neighboring districts in terms of education and there are opportunities available for students in almost all disciplines.
- CHHINNDWARA GOVERNMENT MEDICAL COLLEGE
Government of India has proposed to establish New Medical Colleges to promote and enhance Medical Education as well as to minimize the shortage of doctors in the country.
Under this scheme, it was proposed that Government Medical College Chhindwara will be established for 100 M.B.B.S students admissions annually.
For this purpose District Hospital Chhindwara which is functioning as multi-specialty 426 bedded Hospital is being upgraded to 600 beds which will more than fulfill the norms of the Medical Council of India.
Space earmarked for further New 750 bedded hospital.
- Annie Institute of Technology & Research Centre Chhindwara (AITRC) is the first engineering college of Chhindwara city.
- Jaypee Engineering College, Village Ner, Chhindwara, is the second engineering college of Chhindwara city. It's a not for profit educational institute by Jaypee group.
- Apparel Training & Design Centre, Chhindwara (ATDC) Apparel Training & Design Centre (ATDC) has emerged as India’s Largest Vocational Training Network for the Apparel Sector with over 150 ATDCs. Nearby FDDI, Chhindwara.
- District Learning Center (DLC), NIIT Foundation Chhindwara Situated at NIIT District Learning Center National Highway 69A, Emalia Bohta, Chhindwara, Madhya Pradesh, India.
- Footwear Design and Development Institute, Chhindwara Situated at Corner Plot, Khasra No. 31, Nagpur-Baitul Road, Immlikhera Chawk, Chhindwara, Madhya Pradesh, India.
- Danielson Degree College, situated at Nagpur Road, came into existence in July - 1970 under the guidance and initiative of Late Rt. Rev. Rubin Israelson (Bishop Of Chhindwara).
- Government PG College, it is situated at Dharam Tekri near Khajri. It was started in 1961 and affiliated to Rani Durgawati Vishwavidyalaya, Jabalpur which previously with Harisingh Gaur University, Sagar.
- Government Polytechnic College, ( Situated in Khirsadoh, Chhindwara, established in the year 1958. At present the college has six diploma branches Mining, Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, Electronics & Telecommunication, Computer Science & Engineering. )
- Indira Priyadarshini College, Indira Priyadarshini College, situated at Parasia Road, is offering some professional courses like B.B.A, B.C.A, M.Sc.& B.Sc. Microbiology, Biotechnology, and Botany. This was established in 2001.
- R.S. Government Girls College is situated at the heart of the town. Established in 1982, this college has now a strength of around 2500 girl students.
- Satpura Law College, which was established by the Satpura Education Society, Chhindwara, in 1961-62, is located in Mohan Nagar near the Bus Stand.
Chhindwara is connected to its neighboring districts by rail and road both. The nearest airport is Nagpur Airport (130 km). A small air strip is also available at Chhindwara for landing small airplanes of 5 to 10 passengers. Chhindwara is connected to nearby big cities like Nagpur, Jabalpur and Bhopal with frequent buses and taxi services round the clock.
National Highway 69 National Highway 69 (NH 69) is a National Highway in central India goes through Chhindwara. It connects Nagpur in Maharashtra to Obedullaganj near Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh . It connects NH 12 and NH 6, NH 7.National Highway 69-A links Chhindwara with NH-69 at Saoner.
The other local state highways are:
Chhindwara railway station is part of the Satpura Railway and is shown on the Bilaspur-Nagpur section of Howrah-Nagpur-Mumbai line. It has the following trains running daily:
- Panchvalley Express between Chhindwara and Indore Junction
- Patalkot Express between Chhindwara and Dehli Sarai Rohila via Bhopal - Bina Mathura
- Amla Passenger between Chhindwara and Amla
- Nainpur Passenger between Chhindwara and Nainpur (narrow gauge)
- Nagpur Passenger between Chhindwara and Nagpur (This narrow gauge train covers the distance of 147 km in around eight hours and travels through some beautiful scenic valleys)
The 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge railway track is being converted to 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge between Chhindwara and Nagpur. This is expected to change the current face of Chhindwara Junction. Electrification of Chhindwara-Amla section is under progress.
Chhindwara has a few print publications which include Hindi newspapers such as, Dainik Bhaskar, Lokmat Samachar, Patrika, Jabalpur Express, Divya Express
There are few FM stations broadcasting from Chhindwara:Vividh Bharati and Gyan Vani.
- ^ 2011 census
- ^ List of cities in Madhya Pradesh by population
- ^ Russell, R. V., ed. (1907). Chhindwara District. Volume 9, Part 1 of Central Provinces District Gazetteers. Bombay: Times Press for Gazetteer Department, Government of Maharashtra. p. 209. OCLC 733692877.
- ^ "Urban Agglomerations/Cities having population 1 lakh and above" (PDF). Provisional Population Totals, Census of India 2011. Retrieved 2012-04-16.
- ^ "Constituents of urban Agglomerations Having Population 1 Lakh & above" (PDF). Provisional Population Totals, Census of India 2011. Retrieved 2012-04-16.
- ^ "Cities having population 1 lakh and above" (PDF). Provisional Population Totals, Census of India 2011. Retrieved 2012-04-16.
- ^ http://www.hul.co.in/mediacentre/newsandfeatures/2012/HULs-factory-in-Chhindwara-wins-National-Safety-Award.aspx
- ^ http://www.raymondindia.com/off_worst.asp#.U0BQOvmSyrB
- ^ "Villages' killer stoning festival banned". AFP. 20 August 2009. Archived from the original on 27 August 2009.
- ^ Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi
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