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About Bilaspur

Bilaspur is a city and district of Himachal Pradesh, known for its natural beauty and holy shrine of Goddess Naina Devi. This can be your ideal destination to experience nature's bounty and witness human engineering. Let's plan your one day trip in and around Bilaspur. It is smallest district in Himachal Pradesh and second largest city in the state. Situated near lower Himalayas, Bilaspur has many places of interest and pilgrim centers. It is an abode of Goddess Naina Devi shrine, one of the Shakthi Peeths out of 51.

About Bilaspur

History of Bilaspur

Bilaspur in Himachal Pradesh has a great history that dates back to 16th century. It was the capital city of Kahlur state from mid 16th century to 19th century, ruled by the descendants of Chanderwanshi family. Harihar Chand was the seventh king of Chanderi who had five sons. Chanderi belonged to Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh. The family expanded their rule to north by conquering kingdoms. The king and his princes moved north in search of sanctity and three princes were bestowed with kingdoms by the goddess Jwalamukhi. King Harihar and his eldest son lost their lives in battles. King Bir Chand, the second descendant expanded his reign and settled down in Kahlur region, on the banks of Satluj River. He built Sunhani capital city on right side of the river that did not interest him and sought help to build a capital on left side. This region was called Beas Gufa that was later renamed as Bilaspur. The name Bilaspur was coined after the great Sage Vyas. It was found in 7th century and served as princely state of British India, under Punjab Province. Reportedly, in 1665, a Sikh Guru, Tegh Bahadur, bought some land from the Queen of Bilaspur and named one of the city after his grandmother. Thus, Bilaspur has almost equal number of Sikh community along with Hindus. After India was declared independent erstwhile Bilaspur town got submerged in Sultaj only to pave way for the creation of new town upslope of the old.

Geography of Bilaspur

Bilaspur is a south-western district of Himachal Pradesh. It is located at foot of Bandla Hills, near Gobind Sagar reservoir on Satluj River. The district is spread out in an area of 1,167 km2. Since it is located at the bottom of the valley, the summers are hot and winters are cold. The district is more than 2000 feet above sea level. The temperatures shoot up to 40 degree celsius on few days in months of May and June with an average of 37 celsius. The hills surrounding the district keep the nights cool in summer. They also bring a lot of rain between July and September every year. The best time to visit this district is after rainy season when the lake is full and there is lot of greenery around.

Administration in Bilaspur

Information on BilaspurOverall in charge of administrative affairs in Bilaspur rests in the hands of District Commisioner who has numerous roles to play. He administers the district, takes routine tours, inspects developmental works in Bilaspur and coordinates with junior officials in managing the affairs of the designated region. Various local bodies have supported the farmers and other workers during tough times with help of welfare schemes from state government. Education is also given importance for both men and women that reflects in literacy rate numbers. Get to know more about various administration bodies in Bilaspur and their work towards overall development of the district through this article.

Deputy Commissioner of Bilaspur
Manasi Sahay Thakur, IAS
Office of The Deputy Commissioner
Bilaspur District, Himachal Pradesh
Pincode: 174001
Contact: +91-01978-224155
Website: http://himachal.nic.in/index.php?lang=1&dpt_id=198

Superintendent of Police, Bilaspur
Sh. Ashok Kumar, IPS
Office of the Superintendent of Police
Bilaspur District, Himachal Pradesh.
Pin code: 174001
Contact: +91-01978-224500

Economy of Bilaspur

Agriculture is the major contribution to economy of Bilaspur. The farmers of Bilaspur grow food and cash crops. Wheat, maize, and rice are the main food crops. Wheat is harvested in April, maize in October, and rice during the rainy season. As the rains are adequate, all these crops are cultivated in large areas. Sugarcane, mustard, gram, and ginger are the other food crops cultivated in Bilaspur. Interestingly, mangoes have become a major crop in the district over the past few years. Bilaspur is the leading producer and supplier of mangoes in the state and thus, boosting the economy too. Apart from agriculture, locals rely on dairy farming for livelihood. There are few major industries and government establishments that offer range of job opportunities for people of the district.

Art and Culture of Bilaspur

Fairs are common during festive seasons in Bilaspur. The Nalwari and Naina Devi fairs prominently display culture of the region. Nalwari fair is famous for cattle trade. Owners decorate their cattle and bring them to the fair for best deals. This fair is very popular across India.The fair also has wrestling as one of the main fun activities. Naina Devi is the most popular place of worship in the state. Naina Devi is one of the 51 shakthipeeths in India. Piligrims throng this place throughout the year. There are huge crowds especially during Shravan Ashtami and Navratras of Chaitra and Ashwin.Naina Devi Navratra are holy days of worship. Kehluri and Bilaspuri are the local languages. Majority of the population belong to Hindu, Sikh, and Islam religions. Baisakhi is also celebrated as it is a state wide festival.

Tourist Spots in Bilaspur

Bilaspur is home to some of the most attractive tourist destination for nature lovers. Situated near lower Himalayas, Bilaspur district has many places of interest and pilgrim centers. It is an abode of Goddess Naina Devi shrine, one of the Shakthi Peeths out of 51. Located in Shivalik range of lower Himalayas it remains cool during winters. However, summers are hot in May and June. Ideally, winters and rainy season would be a better time to plan your trip. Weather would be much favourable and you can enjoy the greenery and richness of River Sutlej. Goddess Naina Devi shrine, Deodar, Laxmi Narayan temple are some of the pilgrim centers of the district.

Tourist Attractions in Bilaspur
Naina Devi Temple

Naina Devi temple is situated on Naina Hill and from hill top you can enjoy the beauty of Gobind Sagar Lake and its various streams flowing across the city of Bilaspur. Heritage lovers can explore to several forts and monuments built by Raja Bir Chand. The tallest Kahlur Fort would surprise your imagination with its intelligent architecture. Bhakra Dam and Gobind Sagar Lake make you feel wonderful and satisfied. Bhakra Dam is the world’s highest gravity and Asia’s tallest dam. You can enjoy the water flow during rainy season. Not to forget thrilling water sports offered on Gobind Sagar Lake. Historical places like Vyas Gufa and Markendeya would help you appreciate and respect the significance of great Sages of India. Kandrour Bridge is another wonder. Historical and sight-seeing places are abundant in Bilaspur.

Fort of Kotkahlur - It was built by King Bir Chand on Naina Devi Hill in 16th century. This fort is located few kilometres away from hydro power station of the district.

Fort of Bachhretu - You can get the best view of Gobind Sagar from top of this fort as it is 3000 ft above sea level on Kot Hill. It is situated on western slope of Kotdhar. This fort is just three kilometres away from Shahtalai town. One can get a panaromic view of the dam from top of the fort. It was constructed in 13th century by king Ratan Chand.

Fort of Tiun - This fort is situated 45 km from Bilaspur on a hill in Tiun Range. King Raja Kahn Chand built it in 11th century. This fort has huge granary for storing food. It was once a prison for the king's uncle. It is little difficult to reach the fort by road as it is not repaired.

Thakurdwara of Auhar - Queen Naggar Devi built this temple kind of structure in heart of the district so that travellers can take shelter. There is a water tank also on the roof. The structure has beautiful mural paintings of Narsingha and Shaligram. This structure is funded by Language and Culture department of the state to maintain it.

Bhakra Dam, Gobind Sagar Lake, and Kandrour Bridge are few places for sight-seeing within Bilaspur district.

Bhakra Dam - This is a must visit place for its global prominence. It is world's highest dam. Sir Louis Dane initiated the project in late 1930s as Rohtak and Hissar districts were drought hit and resulted in great loss of cattle and human lives. The construction of dam kicked off post independence, in 1948 and was completed by end of 1962. The height of the dam is 226 m. It was named after Bhakra and Nangal villages situated at foot of Himalayan range.

Gobind Sagar Lake - The reservoir of Bhakra Dam is called Gobind Sagar Lake. It is named after tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh. Tourists can enjoy ferry ride, and speed boat ride in the huge water body. The tourism department also organizes water sports when the reservoir is full. Water sports like water-skiing, kayaking, and sailing are common to the eye.

Kandrour Bridge - This bridge across Satluj River and situated eight kilometres from Bilaspur. It was constructed in 1965. It is the highest bridge in Asia and ranked high amongst others in the world that were constructed on a river body. The length of the bridge is 280 metres. This bridge connects Bilaspur with Ghumarwin and Hamirpur districts by road.

Vyaas Gufa, Nahar Singh Dhaulra, and Naina Devi Temple in Bilaspur are places of worship.

Vyaas Gufa - The local believe that Rishi Vyaas of Mahabharata fame lived in this den and there are a few citings that support the statement. It is located half a kilometer from the city and at a height of 600 metres above sea level.

Nahar Singh Dhaulra - Local people worship Baba Nahar Singh and this place of worship is in Dholra town of Bilaspur district. 'Baija', 'Peepal Waala', and 'Dalian Waala' are some of his other names.

Hotels in Bilaspur

No better place than new Bilaspur town in the district that fits any tourists' bill perfectly. There are a good number of hotels located within driving distance from Bilaspur. Here are few hotels listed where tourists can stay during their visit.

The Lake View
Address: Bilaspur Ho, Bilaspur-Himachal Pradesh - 174001
Contact: +(91)-1978-222838, +(91)-1978-224538

Hotel Sagar View
Address: Jhandutta, Village Badhyat, P.O. Bamta, Sadar, Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh - 174031
Contact: +(91)-1978-223095, +(91) - 9817089239

Hotel Panchawati
Address: Sungal, Delhi Chandigarh Manali Highway, Bilaspur Ho, Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh - 174001
Contact: +(91)-1978-223191, +(91)-9459-008191

Hotel Highway Inn
Address: Bilaspur Ho, Ghagas, Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh - 174001
Contact: +(91)-9816044243, +(91)-1978-244243

Paul Hotel
Address: Bilaspur Ho, Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh - 174001
Contact: +(91)-1978-223653

Saket Guest House
Address: Bilaspur Ho, Badhyat, Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh - 174001
Contact: +(91)-1978-222922, +(91)-9418072922

Kwality Hotel
Address: Bilaspur Ho, Main Market, Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh - 174001
Contact: +(91)-1978-222291, +(91)-9816765440

Food in Bilaspur

Due to favorable conditions for cereals and legumes, local people consume them in big servings. Followed by cereals and legumes, food and beverages made from fruits, vegetables and milk based products are highly popular. Staple meal of the region include: Dal, Rice, Broth, Roti and Vegetable dish. Each and every delicacy is prepared with rich gravy and local spices and herbs for aroma. Snacks made with cereals such as, Chilra, Marchu and Bhatooru are mouthwatering. Dairy products like Lassi, Jhol (Buttermilk), Kulu (Buttermilk with Wheat Flour), Rehru (Buttermilk and Rice) and Tchaku Cha (Butter Tea) are some of the famous and delicious beverages to relish upon.

Food in Bilaspur
Bilaspur Food Thali

Dham is traditional food occasion, where a particular community of the region prepares dishes like Rice, Rajma Dal cooked in Yogurt, Kadi (Curd and Basan), Moong Dal (Green Lentil Broth), Khatta (Sweet and Sour Sauce) and Mittha (Sweet Rice with Raisins and Dry Fruits). Dham is enjoyed during food and regional festivals. Pickles made from vegetables and fruits such as, Bottle Guard, Pear, Peach, Plum, Brinjal etc., act as appetizers and have nutritional value. Due to closure acquaintance with Shivalik ranges, near Himalayas, the region has some influence of Tibetan food traditions in some areas. Some of the other relishing vegetable dishes include, Auriya Kadoo (Pumpkin with mustard seeds), Masala Fried Okra, Aloo Palda, Channa Madra and Spicy Lotus Stems. Kali Dal is another special recipe to enjoy with Maize Roti. Fish food is highly available in the district due to proximity with River Sutlej and Gobind Sagar Lake. In fact, fish is supplied to other districts and states due to nature’s abundance. Red meat is also available in most of the places. Hence, you can have some really munching verities, while on tour.

Transportation in Bilaspur

Bilaspur is near to all the famous hill stations of the state like Shimla, Mandi and other cities like Chandigarh. Road is the main mode of transportation. You can take a flight up to Chandigarh or Shimla and hire any vehicle or board a bus to reach Bilaspur and nearby areas. Bilaspur is just one of half drive away from Shimla and two-and-half hours from Chandigarh. It is located at a distance of 85 km from Shimla. The nearest railway station is Shimla, located at 65 km from the town. The nearest domestic and international airport is Shimla. Delhi is about 400 km from Bilaspur. The district is located on National Highway-21, which is also Delhi-Manali or Chandigarh-Manali highway. In fact, Bilaspur is first major town that you pass through enroute to Manali. Chandigarh is other major airport located 190 km from Bilaspur. All buses going to Manali from Delhi or Chandigarh pass by the town.

Bilaspur at a glance

Country: India
State: Himachal Pradesh
District: Bilaspur
Geographical location: 31.33°N 76.75°E; 2000 ft. above sea level
PIN: 174001
Telephone code: +91-1978
Official Languages: Hindi, Kehluri, Bilaspuri

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