Rajnandgaon is the primary town of Rajnandgaon District, in the state of Chhattisgarh, India. As of the 2011 census the population of the city was 163,122. Rajnandgaon district came into existence on 26 January 1973, as a result of the division of Durg district. The district headquarters of Rajnandgaon is on the Bombay-Howrah line of southeastern railways. National Highway 53 (old NH 6) (Great Eastern Road) also passes through the town. The nearest airport is at Raipur, about 80 kilometres (50 mi) away.
Originally known as Nandgram, Rajnandgaon State was ruled by Somvanshis, Kalchuris and Marathas. The palaces in the town of Rajnandgaon reveal their own tale of the rulers, their society and culture, and the traditions of those times. The city was ruled by a dynasty of Hindu caretakers (mahants), who bore the title Vaishnav and Gond rajas (chiefs). Succession was by adoption. Its foundation is traced to a religious celibate, who came from the Punjab towards the end of the 18th century. From the founder it passed through a succession of chosen disciples until 1879, when the British government recognized the ruler as an hereditary chief and it came to be known as princely state of Raj Nandgaon. Afterwards conferred upon his son the title of Raja Bahadur. The first ruler Ghasi Das Mahant, was recognized as a feudal chief by the British government in 1865 and was granted a sanad of adoption. Later the British conferred the title of raja on the ruling mahant.
As of the 2011 India census, Rajnandgaon had a population of 163,122. Males constitute 50.19% of the population and females 49.81%. Rajnandgaon has an average literacy rate of 76.97%, male literacy is 87.19%, and female literacy is 66.98%.
As of 2001 India census, Rajnandgaon had a population of 143,727. Males constitute 51% of the population and females 49%. Rajnandgaon had an average literacy rate of 73%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 80%, and female literacy is 65%. In Rajnandgaon, 13% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Hindi and Chhattisgarhi are main spoken languages in Rajnandgaon.
Govt. Multipurpose Higher Secondary School (State School), which was established in 1886, is the oldest school in Chhattisgarh.
There are many English medium schools in Rajnandgaon such as Mci Public School, Balod Road, Haldi, Yugantar Public School, Neeraj Public School, Gayatri Vidya mandir, Weidner Memorial Senior Secondary School, Wesleyan English Medium School an ICSE board school, the Royal Kids’ Convent.shri gurunanak higher secondaryr school.
Diwali is perhaps the most well-celebrated festivals in the town, it is known as the “festival of lights & crackers” in the honors of Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. Ganesha Chaturthi is very joyfully celebrated with Lord Ganesha’s idols installed in every corner, every street and every homes, with arrangements for lighting & flower-decoration. Similar to Mumbai Ganpati Visarjan is very popular in Rajnandgaon. Celebrations include “Mohara Mela” (a fair organized on the bank of the river Shivnath), “Bull Run” (a competition of running bulls in festival Pola), and the Mina Bazaar(organised only for a few months in a year) .
There are many temples in the city such as Gayatri Mandir, Sitla Mandir, Jalaram Mandir, Ganesh Mandir and Barfaani Dham. A new Gurudwara is being on construction and to be open in 2005.
Rajnandgaon railway station is on the Howrah-Nagpur-Mumbai line. Local trains provides frequent service west to Dongargarh and Nagpur Station, and east to Raipur, while direct express trains are available for all the metros New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, and Pune.
Rajnandgaon has two bus stands, Old Bus Stand and New Bus Stand. Bus connectivity is good for transportation to nearby cities and villages, however long distance bus connectivity is practically non-existent. MSRTC under Bhandara Division provides Bus services to Rajnandgaon from its various Depot that interconnect Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh. Bhandara and Rajnandgaon have connected under same link of NH6
Nearest Airport is Swami Vivekananda Airport which is situated at Raipur and is 87 km away.