Bilaspur is a city in Bilaspur District in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh, situated 133 km (83 miles) north of the state capital, Naya Raipur. It is the second-largest city after raipur in the state. Chhattisgarh State High Court at village Bodri, District Bilaspur privileges it to host the name ‘Nyayadhani’ Law Capital) of the state. It is the administrative headquarters of Bilaspur District. Bilaspur 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. It is also the headquarters of South Eastern Coalfields Limited It is one of the most favourable city in india. Some people had compared it even to bhubaneshwar and indore, it has more than 100 tourist spot in city.
Bilaspur is known for its aromatic Doobraj rice, handloom woven colorful soft Kosa silk saris, and more for its rich, varied and colorful culture and also famous for samosas of nitti and parotha of chikka.
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 22.09°N 82.15°E. 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.
Bilaspur District is surrounded by Koria District in the north, Shahdol District of Madhya Pradesh, Mungeli District in the west, Balauda Bazar-Bhata Para District in the south and Korba and Janjgir-Champa District in the east.
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.
As of 2011 India census, Bilaspur Municipal Corp had a population near 452871. Bilaspur urban area population is estimated at 452,851. Nearby or suburban areas will soon be included in the city limitsand then it will pass 10 lacs limit. Males constitute 51% of the population and females 49%. Bilaspur has an average literacy rate of 90.29%, higher than the national average of 59%; with male literacy of 92.94% and female literacy of 88.33%. 15% of the population is under 6 years of age.
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.
The people of Bilaspur also have a great tendency towards adopting new trends and life styles. Bilaspur thus is multicultural, for people from all over the world have come and settled in this region. People of Bilaspur are also known for their simplicity, kindheartedness and adaptability.
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). The people of this region are very fond of colors. The dresses they wear are all colorful. Women wear sarees with Kardhani. In rural areas, women wear garlands made of one rupee coins. This has gone out of fashion in recent times. The people of this region are also known for creating humor out of language. Comedy dramas are very popular and are worth watching. 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.
Bilaspur is home to more than 100 hospitals, some run by the state government and others by the private sector.