Located nearby Chattisgarh, Bilaspur is one of the largest cities of the state. It is a very well-known commercial centre of India acting as an indispensable asset for the Indian railways. Apparently, the railway station of Bilaspur is the 4th longest railway line in India. It is a great place to casually visit and explore for the purpose of knowing Indian heritage and urban culture.
What is noteworthy is the fact that Bilaspur is also known for its aromatic variety of rice namely the Doobraj rice. It is intriguing to know that the city of Bilaspur has also been selected as one of the 100 Indian cities to be developed like a smart city under the Smart Cities Mission.
In earlier times, the city of Bilaspur was under the Kalachuri dynasty which belonged to Ratanpur. And it was in 1741, that this city actually came into prominence. In 1818, the management of Bilaspur was taken over by the British East India Company after the Bhonsale's lost their territory with the conclusion of the Third Anglo Maratha War. And in the year 1828-29, 1834-35, 1868-69, 1899-1900 there were famines recorded in this district. The rains had failed which had resulted in severe geographical distress as well as the desertion of the villages. The mortality rate had gone up and nothing seemed to be in place.
During the timeline of 1880-90, railways arrived in Bilaspur. Around 1888, it was Mistri Jagmal Gangji and other Mistri Railway contractors who had laid the very first railway track from Rajnandgaon to Bilaspur. In the same year, a fellow Kutchi contractor had built a railway line from Bilaspur to Jharsuguda.
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Then in 1890, the present railway station and yards were constructed by the Gujarati railway contractor Jagmal Gangaji. His son Mulji Jagmal Sawaria had been given the title of ‘Rao Sahib’ by the Britishers. It was majorly owing to his contribution to the development of the town. In 1901, the population of Bilaspur was around 18,937 and at that time, it was considered as the eighth largest town in the Central Provinces of British India.
Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary - Explore the dense green forests, situated away from the hustle-bustle life of the city. This sanctuary is quite famous among the tourists owing to its natural abundance. A large variety of wild animals and birds can be seen here sprawling over an area of 555 sq. km. and located at 40 km. away from the city. Here you also get to explore the rich species of flora and fauna that will keep your senses mesmerized.
Ratanpur - Positioned at 25 km away from the main city; this city was founded by great king Ratandev and later the city got renamed as Ratanpur. Here you can visit the Mahamaya temple which is devoted to the goddess Saraswati and Lakshmi who are appreciated as the sacred deities amongst the locales.
Khuntaghat - This place was constructed on the Kharung river and is situated at a distance of 33 km. away from the main city. It is positioned in between the Bilaspur-Ambikapur highway and is popular as a wonderful picnic spot among the locales.
Talagaon - Placed on the banks of Maniyari river, this small village is another famous spot for pilgrims; sited just 30 km. away from Bilaspur. There is a Deorani-Jethani temple that was found recently and which also has various Hindu-myths attached to it. One can appreciate the idols of different snakes, animals, and insects along with different faces.
Rajim Lochan Mohatsav - This festival attracts a very large number of people. Here the tourists also get a chance to not only witness the architectural beauty of this place but also get to indulge themselves in the celebrations at the Rajimlochana temple which are inclusive of various folk performances. Lately, there has been a lot of progressive initiative taken by the Ministry of Tourism to organize the Rajim Kumbh Mela. (Read more)
Chakradhar Samaroh - This festival is celebrated in the home of music and dance forms - Raigarh. The place has made its own identity due to the birth of few known musicians and artists and has proved its worth in the state of Chhattisgarh. For anyone with a great taste in music, this festival is a must-visit. (Read more)
Madai Festival- The Madai festival is unique, exciting and full of knowledge at the same time. It is celebrated by the Gond community in the months from December to March. Furthermore, the Charama, Kurna tribes along with the people of Bhanupratappur, Narayanpur, Kondagaon celebrate this festival with great enthusiasm. (Read more)
October to March is the best time to visit Bilaspur as the temperature remains at its best.
By Air - The Swami Vivekananda Airport is the nearest airport. You can easily get any major flight such as Air India, Indigo, Jet Airways to reach Bilaspur. One can get on-board on a direct flight to Bilaspur from major and nearby Indian cities such as Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Indore etc. After getting off-board from the airport one can take a cab or some other means of transportation to further reach your destination in Bilaspur.
By Road - Bilaspur has got very good road connectivity via other major and nearby cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Banglore etc. For travelling via road, you can either choose NH-130, NH-49, NH-12A which connects the city of Bilaspur to other cities. Apart from this, people can also take private tour buses for travelling to Bilaspur.
By Train - Travelling to Bilaspur via train is a great option to spend time with your loved ones. Bilaspur railway station is the nearest railway station to reach this city. You can easily get a train from major cities such as Delhi, Pune, Bangalore, Mumbai etc. It will take you approximately 22 hrs, 18 hrs, 24 hrs and 18 hrs respectively to reach Bilaspur from these places.