Bilaspur is a city in Bilaspur District in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh, situated 111 km (69 mi) north of the state capital, Raipur. It is the second-largest city (after Raipur) in the state. It is the administrative headquarters of Bilaspur District. Chhattisgarh State High Court at Bilaspur privileges it to host the name ‘Nyayadhani’ Â of the state.
Bilaspur is known for its aromatic Doobraj rice, handloom woven colorful soft Kosa silk saris, and more for its rich, varied and colorful culture. After the formation of Chhattisgarh state Bilaspur has emerged as the most favorable place to live in the state and developed city townships.
HOW TO REACH
The nearest International Airport from Bilaspur is Swami Vivekanand Airport, Raipur, roughly three hour drive from Bilaspur. It is well connected with major cities like Bangalore, Bhopal, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Chennai, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai etc. via Air India , IndiGo airlines , Jet Airways and Jet Lite.
There are many ways to reach Bilaspur. It is 113 Kms from Raipur, 129 Kms from Hyderabad, 256 Kms from Mohala, 402 Kms from Nagpur and 814 Kms from Kolkata.Moreover, NH 111 starts from Bilaspur which connects the city to Ambikapur and Varanasi. Bilaspur is well connected by other cities like Amarkantak, Shahdole, Allahabad, Jabalpur, Mungeli, Kawardha and Mandla. There is a good bus service from Bilaspur to other nearby cities.
Bilaspur is on the main Mumbai-Kolkata Railway Line and there are many trains that connect Bilaspur to Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bhopal, Indore, Chennai, Patna, Chattisgarh, Tirunelveli, Kolkata, Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Roorkee, Haridwar, Vishakapatnam and Rourkela. Bilaspur is one of the busiest junctions of Chhattisgarh.
WHAT TO SEE
Ratanpur is a town located about 25 km from Bilaspur City on NH-200 towards Ambikapur. This city was founded by King Ratnadev and was previously named Ratnapur. It was the capital of the Kalchuri Dynasty in 1000 AD and remained an important place for several centuries. The restoration work of the Ratanpur Fort has been completed by the Archaeological Survey of India, whose findings have been put on the National Archaeological Map.Â King Ratnadev built the Mahamaya Temple here, which has a dual idol of Goddesses Saraswati and Laxmi. This temple is recognised as a Sidh Peeth and is the most popular religious place in Chattisgarh. Tourists from different parts of the country visit this temple year-round to offer prayers and seek blessings. Several new temples, dedicated to different Gods and Goddesses have been built in the campus of the Mahamaya Temple.
Malhar, a small town of archaeological importance, is located in the Bilaspur District, just 30 km away from Bilaspur City. Ruins of temples, dating back to 10th and 11th century, have been excavated here. The Archaeological Survey of India has marked several other sites for excavation within the attraction.Â Malhar was once an important centre during the Kalchuri regime. A museum has been setup by the Archaeological Department to display the artefacts that have been excavated. Malhar and Budikhar are the two villages where several old artefacts have been found. Among these, the most prominent ones are the temples of Didneshwari, Pataleshwar and Dewari. At the popular Didneshwari temple.
Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary:-
Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1975 under the Wildlife Protection Act. This dense forest, which spreads over an area of 555 sq. km, is about 40 km from Bilaspur City. This sanctuary houses wild animals including tiger, leopard, chital, sambar, bear and various other animals.Â Several watch towers are erected at different places inside this sanctuary, from where tourists can clearly see the wild animals roaming in their natural habitat. From Bilaspur, tour for this jungle is organised by the forest department. Tourists can also use their own vehicles to tour the jungle.
Khuntaghat dam built on the Kharung River is located about 33 km from Bilaspur City on the Bilaspur-Ambikapur Highway. Over the years, it has developed into a wonderful picnic spot. It also comprises a beautiful garden and boating facility recently set up by the administration department.Â The irrigation department maintains a rest house, which can be booked by tourists to view the sight when water is released into the canal for irrigation.