District Bilaspur lies between 31°12'30'' and 31°35'45'' North Latitude and between 76°23'45'' and 76°55'40'' East Longitude in the outer hills of the Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh. It is bounded on the North by Mandi and Hamirpur districts, on the West by Hamirpur and Una districts, on its South lies Nalagarh area of Solan district. It is encircled on the East and North-East by Solan and Mandi districts. Bilaspur formerly the seat of the ruler of the State is now submerged in the Gabind Sagar,it was situated on the south east side of the Satluj. Bilaspur Township is situated just above the old town of Bilaspur at an height of 670m. above in sea level. The new Bilaspur Township can be truely described as the first planned hill town of the country. The pleasure of a visit will be enhanced manifold when a motor launch is preferred as the means of travel, gliding through cool and enchanting waters of the lake.The Nalwari or annual cattle fair is held at Bilaspur for four or five days in March / April, the occasion is marked by wrestling and other amusements. Cattle are brought from Nalagarh and neighboring parts of Punjab. Bilaspur is one of the hottest places in Himachal Pradesh. But because of lake, evening become very soothingly pleasant.
Bilaspur Himachal Pradesh
Bilaspur formerly the seat of the ruler of the State is now submerged in the Gabind Sagar, it was situated on the south east side of the Satluj. Bilaspur Township is situated just above the old town of Bilaspur at an height of 670m. above in sea level. The new Bilaspur Township can be truely described as the first planned hill town of the country. The pleasure of a visit will be enhanced manifold when a motor launch is preferred as the means of travel, gliding through cool and enchanting waters of the lake.The Nalwari or annual cattle fair is held at Bilaspur for four or five days in March / April, the occasion is marked by wrestling and other amusements. Cattle are brought from Nalagarh and neighboring parts of Punjab. Bilaspur is one of the hottest places in Himachal Pradesh. But because of lake, evening become very soothingly pleasant.
Tourism in Bilaspur is mainly related with religious activities and water sports at famous Gobind Sagar Lake. The temple of Shri Naina Devi is the main attraction for people from near and far. Tourism in Bilaspur is also useful for people interested in looking one of the highest straight gravity dam in the world know as Bhakhra Dam. Bilaspur is also famous for its old forts. Bilaspur has a very planned city structure making it easy to move around. One of the main attractions of Bilaspur is the famous and vast Gobind Sagar Lake which is an artificial lake formed as a result of the world famous Bhakra Dam on the river Sutlej in district Bilaspur. It is one of the world's highest gravity dams, the Bhakra rises 225.5 m above its lowest foundations. Water sports are available - as are speed-boat and ferry rides. In october and November, when the water and water level of the reservoir is at its peak, a series of regattas are also organised by the Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation. Water-skiing, sailing, kayaking and water-scooter racing become available at this time.
Bilaspur is easily accessible from Punjab and Chandigarh and from other important places of Himachal Pradesh. The temperature is somewhat hot but not very hot around the lake. Bilaspur has a number of famous and important fairs i.e. Nalwari Fair, Gugga Fair, Baisakhi Fair, Shahtlai Fair etc. and some important festivals i.e. Chet, Baisakhi, Basant Panchami, Janam Ashtami, Sair etc. which make Bilaspur a nice place to visit during these fais and festivals. Bilaspur also has a number of famous temples i.e. Shri Naina Devi Temple, Baba Balak Nath Ji temple at Shahtlai, Vyas Gufa, Lakshami Narayan Temple, etc. which provide a pleasing experience to religious minded people.
Bilaspur has a number of famous places to visit i.e. the famous Bhakra Dam ( one of the world's highest gravity dams ), Tiun or Tyiun Fort, Bahadurpur Fort, Sariun Fort, Vyas Cave, Swarghat, Markandeya, War Memorial etc. which provide a good experience to people exploring Bilaspur area. Besides these attractions, Bilaspur has some famous Wildlife Sanctuaries i.e. Shri Naina Devi Sanctuary, Gobind Sagar Sanctuary, Darlaghat Sanctuary etc. to provide tourists with good experience, especially for those who are looking to explore wild life aorund Bilaspur area. Because of all these attractions, Bilaspur qualifies well as a worthy tourist spot for various types of people. The overall weather of Bilaspur makes it suitable to visit Bilaspur at almost any time of the year.
Fairs in Bilaspur
Nalwari Fair : This fair is held in the month of march every year. The idea of this fair was conceived by W. Goldstein. He was the Superintendent of Shimla Hill States in 1889. The idea was motivated by a shortage of the good breed cattle, especiaaly bullocks. Now this fair has become more a business opportunity event. It is a state fair.
Gugga Fair : It begins from Gugga Navami (August / September). To commemorate Gugga, a Hindu Rajput young prince who overcame his enemies heroically. It is generally believed that the worships of Gugga saves from the danger from the snakes. Group of singers praise the heroic deeds of Gugga.
Baisakhi Fair : This fair is held at various places in the state. People carry village deity with music procession from one place to another. In upper hills, people perform 'Mala Dance' by joining hands to form a large circle. During day time, some games like archery and wrestling are also played. In Bilaspur, it is held at Markand Jukhala. There is a natural spring at this place and married couples come to have a bath in sacred water which is believed to cure certain infant diseases and sterility is changed into fertility.
Shahtlai Fair : It is held at Shahtlai, Jhandutta. It begins in the month of June. Worship of Baba Balak Nath Ji last for one month. Fair are held through out the month. It is a famous fair and attracts a lot of crowd.
Famous Lakes in Bilaspur
Gobind Sagar Lake : The beautiful and vast Gobind Sagar Lake starts from district Bilaspur and extends into district Una. It is an artificial lake formed as a result of the world famous Bhakra Dam on the river Sutlej in district Bilaspur. It is one of the world's highest gravity dams, the Bhakra rises 225.5 m above its lowest foundations. Under the supervision of the famous American dam-builder, Harvey Slocum, work began in 1955 and was completed in 1962. Incidently, Slocum had no formal training as an engineer, but his conceptions and designs had been proven successful. To maintain the level of water, the flow of the river Beas was also channelled to the Gobind Sagar by the Beas-Sutlej Link whish was completed in 1976. Today, this dam feeds electricity and water to several states of north India. Its reservoir - the Gobind Sagar - is 90 km long and encompasses an area of approximately 170 sq. km.
As far back as 1962, the Gobind Sagar was declared a 'water fowl refuge' and even today, hosts a variety of water and shore birds. Fishing is a regular activity and fifty-one-species and sub-species have been recorded. The varities found, include Labeo Dero (Gid), Tor Putitora (Mahasheer), Mystus Seenghala (Singhara) and mirror carp and allied species. Fishing licences may be obtained from the Department of Fishers at Bilaspur.
Water sports are available - as are speed-boat and ferry rides. In october and November, when the water and water level of the reservoir is at its peak, a series of regattas are also organised by the Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation. Water-skiing, sailing, kayaking and water-scooter racing become available at this time.
Other Attractions : Connected by a rop-way, the shrine of Naina Devi overlooks the Gobind Sagar. The adjoining wildlife sanctuary holds Sambhar, wild boar, barking deer and red jungle fowl. Several old forts and the towns of Swarghat and Bilaspur are near the Gobind Sagar. Bilaspur has a large sports complex. The mirror carp hatchery is also accessible from the lake.
Famous places in Bilaspur
Bhakra Dam : Situated at Bhakra village of Bilaspur, about 13 km upstream from Nangal township, it is one of the highest straight gravity dams in the world. The lake is about 90 km long covering an area of about 168 sq km of which 90 percent is in Bilaspur and 10 percent in Una district. The dam was dedicated to nation by late Pt. Jwahar Lal Nehru on November 20th, 1963. The view of vast dam and green jungles around is fascinating indeed.
Tiun Fort : Relics of a fort on the top of a hill known as Tiun range, at distance of about 55 Km. from Bilaspur, on the Ali Khad crossing Ghumarwin - Ladraur motorable road and about 10 Km. of Ghumarwin proper still serves to remind of the ancient turbulent times when wars in this area were perhaps a routine feature.
Bahadurpur Fort : On the top of a hill known as Bahadurpur the highest (1980 mt.) point in the district near Tepra Village in Paragana Bahadurpur, distance about 40 km. from Bilaspur. The range is embellished by a beautiful wood of deodar and ban trees. It is just 6 km. above Namhol, from this high place the Ratanpur Fort, Swarghat, the Fatehpur Fort, the Naina Devi hill, plains near Ropar and the mountains of Shimla can be seen. This Fort was built prior to 1835, But is in ruins now.
Sariun Fort : To the eastern side of the Tiun range, on the lifty range and peak of Sariun like this stronghold at an elevation of about 1500 mt. above MSL. It is about 58 Km. from Bilaspur. Tradition holds that the fort was originally built by same Raja of the erstwhile Suket State and was subsequently wrested by the ruler of Bilaspur, the local people entertain a superstition according to which the stones once forming part of the Fort are not used in any residential building.
Vyas Cave : The name of sage Vyas is well known in these parts. It is situated at the foot of the new township, the belief is that Vyas Rishi meditated in this cave. The origin of the town, Vyaspur is believed to have been derived from this cave. The Vyas Rishi of Mahabharata fame philosophy of life in meditation in this cave, which lies on the left bank of river Satluj. It is a place of pilgrimage.
Swarghat : Swarghat is ideally situated about 40 km. off Bilaspur on the Bilaspur-Chandigarh road. Perched at an elevation of about 1220 mt. from sea level. Naina Devi temple and Bhakra Dam, are also approachable from here. There is a temple dedicated to Lakshmi Narain. An ideal spot for a quiet overnight's stay for the tourists. HPTDC, has recently constructed a 8 room Hotel here.
Makandeya : This is a famous shrine about 20 km from Bilaspur, in tehsil Sadar named after renowned 'rishi' Markandeya who lived and worshiped there. According to a legend a tunnel connected Markand and Vyas cave and the two 'rishis', Vyas and Markandeya used to visit each other through this sub-terrain path. In addition to a shrine there is also a water spring of ancient fame where a night fair is held annually on 'Baisakhi' day.
Famous Temples in Bilaspur
Shri Naina Devi Temple : A notable place of worship in the district is the temple of Shri Naina Devi Ji, situated on the hill top which rises some 915 mt. above the sacred town of Anandpur Sahib in Ropar, The temple stands on the very summit of the hill above a small bazar and is reached by a long flight of stone steps or by a cable car.
Shahtalai ( Baba Balak Nath Ji ) Temple : Talai named region is situated about 55 kms. ahead from Bilaspur on Bhager- Badser road. This place is only 4 km to Deotsidh temple. Ancient name of this place was Changer Talai. Baba Balak nath’s worship and grazing maa ratno’s cattles, later returning her mattress of chach-it got famous by the name of chahtalai which later turned to Shahtalai. Existing ancient remnants like banyan tree and dhunnah under it and gurna shrubs on the one side of talai bazaar are almost 500 years old. Every year in Chaitra (March-April) fairs are held through out the month. Devotees come from far-off places to offer rot as prasad.
Vyas Gufa Temple : The oldest and the most famous religious place is the Vyas Gufa which lies on the left bank of river Satluj. It is about 610 Mt. height from sea level. It is situated between the old and new Bilaspur Township. There is a common belief that Vyas Rishi of Mahabharta fame lived in this Gufa in penance. The name of the present Bilaspur town traces its origin to Rishi Vyas which was originally known as Vyaspur. It is a place of pilgrimage. It is about 0.5 Km. distance from district head quarters.
Laxami Narayan Temple : Old Bilaspur town was known as town of temples. There were many temples having various styles of paintings. But due to construction of Bhakhara Dam the town is now submerged in the Gobind Sagar Lake. After the new town came into existence the Laxami Narayan Temple was built near the bus stand. This temple is of Top Style (Shikhar Shailly). The Shiva Linga of Shankeshwar (Lord Shiva) brought from the old town has been established here. This temple has idols of Laxami Narayan, Lord Shiva, Rangnath, Maa Durga and Baba Bangali. The idol of Rangnath has also been brought from the old town. Special functions are organized on Janmashtmi and Shivaratri in this temple.
Festivals in Bilaspur
Chet : (Dholru) is the first month of the lunar year and the first day of the month is cellebrated with a belief to bring hapiness and prosperity. This festival is known as Chatrali in Kullu and Dholru in Bharmaur area of Chamba district. In district Kangra, Hamirpur and Bilaspur, first day of Chet month hold special importance.
Baisakhi : This festival is generally celebrated on 13th of April. Preparation for the festival starts much early. The houses are white washed. People take holy dip at Haridwar, Tattapani near Shimla, Banganga near Kangra, Markanda near Bilaspur. During day time, Baisakhi fair is held at many places with traditional gaiety and attraction. Women's participation in large number add special color to the festive mood of the people.
Basant Panchami : It is festivals of colours. People usually put on yellow clothes, cook yellow rice and other sweat preparations. This festivals bids farewell to winter and welcomes the spring. There is usually a strong wind blowing these days and Boys fly kites on this very special day.
Janam Ashtami : A festival dedicated to Lord Krishna. Janam Ashtmi the birthday of Lord Krishna is celebrated in the month of August/September every year. People worship in the temples for long hours and religious songs are sung. Many people mostly elderly and ladies fast on this day.
Sair : The Sakranti of Kartika, worshiping is done usually by a barber with citrus fruit (galgal), walnuts and stalks of paddy, who is paid some annuity. The next day all offerings are consigned to the khad or river flowing nearby. This is a Bara-Din (Big day) of the hillmen. Rich food is prepaired on the first day of the month and people worship their local deity for prosperous future.
Wildlife Sanctuaries in Bilaspur
Shri Naina Devi Sanctuary :
Altitude : varies from 500 meters to 1019 meters.
Annual Snowfall : mean annual snowfall is around 1155 mm.
Annual Rainfall : mean annual rainfall is 1430 mm.
Temperature : temprature varies from -2 to 40°C.
Area : 12,268 hectares ( 122.68 sq. km. ).
Location : nearest town is Nangal.
Approaches : Bilaspur to inside sanctuary
It was first notified as a sanctuary on 15th December 1962 and re-notified on 27th March 1974. This sanctuary is located in the inner Shivalik Hills, harbours flora and fauna more akin to that found in the forests of the northern plains of India than in the Himalayas. It adjoins the Govind Sagar Sanctuary to the North-East and its North-West boundary is close to the Bhakra Dam.
Flora : Forest types include Northern dry mixed deciduous, Shivalik chir pines and dry bamboo brake forests.
Fauna ( Mammals ) : Indian Wild Bear, jungle Cat, Indian Fox, Goral, Indian Hare, Jackal, common Langur, Leopard, Rhesus, Macaque, Himalayan yellow throated Marten, common Mongoose, Indian Porcupine, Sambar, Serow and common giant flying Squirrel.
Reptiles : Indian Cobra, north house Gecko, common Indian Krait, common Indian monitor and common Ratsnake.
Gobind Sagar Sanctuary :
Altitude : varies from 350 meters to 500 meters.
Annual Rainfall : mean annual rainfall is 1155 mm.
Temperature : temprature varies from 2 to 45°C.
Area : 10,034 hectares ( 100.34 sq. km. ).
Location : constituted out of Bhakra Dam reservoir.
Approaches : Bilaspur to Bhakra Dam to inside sanctuary
It was first notified as a sanctuary on 5th December 1962 and re-notified on 27th March 1974. It is controlled by the Bhakra Management Board. The sanctuary is constituted out of the Bhakra Dam reservoir and forms a habitat for several species of fish and a winter refuge for migratory waterfowl. The area adjoining the South-West boundary of the reservoir has been notified as the Naina Devi Sanctuary.
Flora : Primarily wet land. Forest types on the periphery include Northern Dry Deciduous forest.
Fauna ( Fish ) : Singhara, Chilwa, Catla, Jhalli, Mrigal, Grass crap, Misror crap, Topra, Silver crap, Beta, Gid, Kuni Rohu, Guj, Ticto, Sarena, Gungli and Mahseer or Mahasheer.
Darlaghat Sanctuary :
Altitude : varies from 1075 meters to 2070 meters.
Annual Rainfall : mean annual rainfall is 1040 mm.
Temperature : temprature varies from 1 to 30°C.
Area : 9,226.80 hectares ( 92.27 sq. km. ).
Location : nearest town is Shimla.
Approaches : Bilaspur to Shimla to Darlaghat to inside sanctuary.
It was first notified as a sanctuary in 1962 and re-notified on 27th March 1974. A heavily disturbed area with some small population of Kaleej pheasant and Chukor partridge. Much of the area is under cultivation. Majathal Sanctuary adjoins the North-East boudary.
Flora : Forest types include Tropical Euphorbia Scrub and Ban Oak forests.
Fauna ( Mammals ) : Indian Wild Bear, Himalayan Palm Civet, barking Deer, red Indian Fox, Goral, Indian Hare, Jackal, Leopard, Marten and Indian Porcupine. Locally threatened species are Chukor Pertridge and barking Deer.
Location of Bilaspur
Located in eastern part of Chhattisgarh, Bilaspur is one of the most famous and important historical cities of Chhattisgarh. Bilaspur, approximately 400 years old city, is famous for many ancient historic sites, temples and enchanting dams. Bilaspur district is also famous for special varieties of rice and popularly referred as the 'Rice Bowl of Chhattisgarh'. Visit and explore various attractions of Bilaspur on your Chhattisgarh Tour and get rewarded with an unforgettable experience
Bilaspur Quick Facts
Location : District Bilaspur lies between 31°12'30'' and 31°35'45'' North Latitude and between 76°23'45'' and 76°55'40'' East Longitude in the outer hills of the Himalayas. It is bounded on the North by Mandi and Hamirpur districts, on the West by Hamirpur and Una districts, on its South lies Nalagarh area of Solan district. It is encircled on the East and North-East by Solan and Mandi districts.
Headquarter : Bilaspur ( altitude 610 meters )
Altitude : varies from 290 meters to 1,980 meters.
Important Distances : Chandigarh 135 km. Shimla 76 km. ( via - Sallaghat )
Area : 1,155 sq. km.
STD Code : +91-1978 or 01978
Police Assistance : +91-1978-222656
Fire Services : +91-1978-222227
Ambulance Service : +91-1978-222666
DFO Forest Department ( headquarter ) : +91-1978-222372
Climate : The temperature usually remain between 5° C and 37° C depending upon the season and altitude.
Population : Total population of Bilaspur is 3,40,735 (according to Census 2001)
Best time to visit : All seasons however March to May and September to November is the best time to visit Bilaspur
Bilaspur Access Routes
Delhi to Bilaspur : this access route leads via Chandigarh - Solan - Shimla - Bilaspur
Delhi to Bilaspur : this access route leads via Chandigarh - Solan - Brahmpukhar - Bilaspur
Delhi to Bilaspur : this access route leads via Chandigarh - Ropar - Kiratpur - Swarghat - Bilaspur
Delhi to Bilaspur : this access route leads via Sonipat - Karnal- Kurukshetra - Ambala - Ludhiana - Jallander - Pathankot - Jassur - Nurpur - Gaggal - Kangra - Jwalaji - Hamirpur - Bilaspur
Delhi to Bilaspur : this access route leads via Sonipat - Karnal- Kurukshetra - Ambala - Chandigarh - Hoshiarpur - Phatankot - Jassur - Nurpur - Gaggal - Kangra - Jwalaji - Hamirpur - Bilaspur
Delhi to Bilaspur : this access route leads via Sonipat - Karnal - Kurukshetra - Ambala - Chandigarh - Ropar - Nangal - Una - Talwara - Jassur - Nurpur - Gaggal - Kangra - Jwalaji - Hamirpur - Bilaspur