[Himachal GK] Important Details and History of District Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh

Details About District Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh:

  • Headquarter: Bilaspur
  • Altitude: 610 meters
  • Languages spoken: Bilaspuri (Kahluri), Hindi, Punjabi etc.
  • The District Bilaspur lies between 31°12’30” and 31°35’45” North Latitude and between 76°23’45” and 76°56’40” East Longitude.
  • There are seven ranges in Bilaspur i.e. Naina Devi, Jhanjiar, Tiun, Bandla, Bahadurpur and Ratanapur.
  • There are three prominent valleys in District Bilaspur i.e. The Satluj Valley, The Chaunto Valley and The Danwin Valley.
  • The River Satluj enters the district Bilaspur at ‘Kasol’ hamlet and leaves the district at village ‘Naila’.
  • The average annual rainfall of district Bilaspur is 1373 mm.
  • There are two sacred springs in Bilaspur i.e. Luhnd Spring (Swarghat) and Bassi Spring (Bassi).
  • There is a fish breeding farm in Deoli (Ghagas), district Bilaspur. This is the largest fish breeding farm in Asia.
  • ACC cement factory is located in Barmana, district Bilaspur.
  • Nalwari fair was conceived by W. Goldstein in A.D. 1889, has been declared as state fair now.
  • Seer Khad in Bilaspur is the largest tributary of River Satluj.
  • Naval National Cadet Corps Unit was established in March, 1963 in Bilaspur.


     Fig: Bilaspur District 



Some Important Details : 

Population(As per 2011 Census)

Rular Population                                :356827
Urban population                               :25129
Total                                                   :381956
Male                                                   :192764
Female                                                :189192
Sex Ratio                                            :981/1000(F/M)
Population Density (Per Square km)  :327

People And Culture
Major Religions                             :Hindu,Muslim,Sikh.
Language Spoken                          :Kehluri or Bilaspuri(Written script is Devnagiri),Hindi.
Traditional Food                            :Maize,Rice,Wheat.
Economy                                        :Agriculture based and Services.

Higher Education
Total Number of GSSS                : 92
Total No of GHS                          : 46
Total No of Pvt. SSS                    : 41
Total No. of Pvt HS                     : 29

Elementry Education
Total  No. of GPSS                       : 591
Total  No. of GMS                        : 114
Total No. of Pvt School                :130


Literacy Rate Aggregate

Male Literacy                               :92.39%
Female Literacy                           :78.90%
Total                                             :85.67%


Graphical Area

Total(In Hectares)                       :11776
Forest Area                                  :14013
Cultivated Ares                            :56011
Unusable Area                             :72423
Altotude                                       :610m(above sea level)
Major River                                 :Satluj.

Climate

Rainfall                                            :Max62mm Min 1.5mm.
Temperature                                 :Max37°c Min 5°c.

Distances

From State Capital Shimla              :85 kms.
Nearest Railway Station                  :65kms.
Nearest Airport Shimla                   :85kms.

SC/ST Population

Scheduled Caste Population             :98989
Scheduled Tribe Population             :10693


Villages

Inhabited Villages                           :953
Un-Inhabited Villages                     :108
Total Villages                                 :1061
Villages having Drinking water Facility:100


Total Worker

Cultivators                                     :127169
Household Industry                       :2561
Agriculture Laborer                       :4318
Other Workers                               :72003
Marginal Workers                         :102465


History of Bilaspur:


  • The founder of Bilaspur state was Raja Bir Chand (A.D. 900).
  • Raja Bir Chand built the temple of Goddess Naina Devi.
  • Raja Kharak Chand’s (1824 – 1839 A.D.) reign marks the darkest page in the history of Bilaspur.
  • Raja Hira Chand’s (1857 – 1882 A.D.) period is remembered by the people as the golden age.
  • Rang Mahal in Bilaspur was built by Raja Bijai Chand.
  • On 9, October 1948, Bilaspur was made a Part ‘C’ state. Raja Anand Chandwas the first Chief Commissioner of the Part ‘C’ state Bilaspur.
  • During the independence of India, Raja Anand Chand was the Chief of Bilaspur.
  • On 1, July 1954, Bilaspur was merged into Himachal Pradesh to form a district.

Detailed History of Bilaspur:

Pre Independence : The erstwhile ruling family of Bilaspur claims its descent from Chanderwanshi  Rajputs who reigned at Chanderi in the Bundelkhad region of Madhya Pradesh.  The place now forms part of Guna district.  It is said that the seventh ruler of Chanderi Kingdo m Harihar Chand had a dream of Goddess Jawalamukhi. Thereafter, he decided to seek his fortune in a shrine.   As a result of this, he handed over the kingdom to his youngest son Govind and then proceeded towards Jawalamukhi along with his remaining four sons and established themselves at Jindbari where they constructed a fort and settled there for some time before proceeding to Jawalamukhi.  They paid a visit to Nadaun the then capital of Kangra.  The Raja of Kangra arranged a tent pegging contest and promised his  daughter to the men who succeeds in taking a certain peg.  In reality this peg was the trunk of a tree, entered the fray.  Sabir Chand lost the  control of his horse and was killed and the deception practiced by the Kangra Raja was discovered.  Thereafter the battle ensued and the Kangra forces were defeated. Kangra Tikka and the Chanderi King Hari Chand were both among the slain.

The remaining three Chanderi princes retired to the Jawalamukhi shrine.  The reigning Goddess appeared and promised each of them a kingdom.  In the fulfillment of her prophecy one of the three princes was adopted by the Raja of Kumaon and other prince  Gambhir Chand took possession of Chamba and the eldest son Bir Chand got Jindbari at present in tehsil Anandpur Sahib in Rupnagar district of Punjab.  It was Bir Chand who constructed the Naina Devi temple.  He extended the Jurisdiction of his kingdom Kahlur during his 33 years of rule and subjugated about 15 neighboring princely states.  His ambition of extending jurisdiction was ultimately halted by the Raja of Sirmaur with whom he concluded treaty of peace.  Thus, he carved out a kingdom of Kahlur for himself.  Bir Chand was followed by a number of his successors and last of them was Kahan Chand who conquered the Hindur state (Nalagarh) and gave it to his second son Surjeet Chand from whom the present ruling family of Nalagarh descends.

The Capital of ruling dynasty continued to be located at Kotkahlur till 1600 A.D. when the heir apparent Bir Chand fled to Sunhani across the river Satluj along with mother where he settled.  His father,the then ruler, Gyan Chand embraced Islam at the behest of Mughal ruler at Sirhand who was so impressed with his fine appearance that he gave his own daughter in marriage.   He returned to Kotkahlur after conversion.   After the death of Raja Gayn Chand, Bir Chand returned to Kotkaklur and got himself installed as the King.  He kept his capital at Sunhani on the right side of river Satluj.   In 1650 A.D. when Deep Chand of the same dynasty succeeded as Raja of Kahlur state, he decided to shift his capital as he developed strong disliking for the place.  It is generally said that accompanied by 2 Hindus and 2 Mohammdan faquirs he sought new site for the capital and finally settled at a place on the left bank of Satluj river traditionally called “Beas gufa” after the name of Rishi Vyas.  He built a palace called ‘Dholar’ over looking the river and founded a town on the river bank which was named after Beas gufa and was later on called Bilaspur.  Since then the capital of Bilaspur continued to be at Bilaspur though the original town which was established by the Chandel dynasty was submerged in the ’Govind Sagar’ on 1st July, 1954.  A new township above the old one has come up at an elevation of 673 metres above sea level.

Post 
Independence : Himachal Pradesh came into being as a part ‘C’ State of the Indian Union on 15th April, 1948 as result of merger of 30 Punjab and Shimla Hill State in the Indian Union viz.  Baghat, Bhajji, Baghal, Beja, Balson, Koti, Kumarsain, Kunihar, Kuthar, Mandi, Bushahr, Chamba, Darkoti, Delath, Dhadi, Dhami, Ghund, Jubbal, Khaneti, Keonthl, Madhan, Mahlog, Mangal, Ratesh, Rawringarh, Sangri, Sirmaur, Suket,Tharoach, Theog.  At that  time the state had 4 districts viz. Chamba, Mahasu, Mandi, Sirmaur and its area was 2,716,850 hectares.   The State was taken  over under the Central administration on the12th October, 1948.By an act of Parliament the 31st state of Bilaspur which was till then a separate entity under the control of Chief Commissioner, was integrated with Himachal Pradesh on 1st July, 1954 thereby adding one more district with an area of 106,848 hectares.

Initially, it consisted of two tehsils namely, Ghumarwin and Bilaspur Sadar.  In January, 1980 the state government created a separate sub-tehsil called Naina Devi with headquarters at Swarghat out of Bilaspur Sadar Tehsil.  In 1984 one new sub-tehsil namely, Jhandutta was created by carving out some areas of tehsil Ghumarwin. Jhandutta sub-tehsil was given full tehsil status in January, 1998. Administratively, the district is divided into two sub-divisions, 3 tehsils, 1 sub-tehsil, 3 community development blocks, 136 panchayats, 2 municipal committees and 2 notified area committees.
Bilaspur had been a town in 1891 and 1901 Censuses but was declassified thereafter in the year 1911.  In 1931 Census, it was again classified as town and has been continuing  as such since then.  Naina Devi a place of religious importance was declared as town for the first time in 1953.  A small town committee was setup to look after the affairs of this place till 1960.  In the year 1961 it was notified as municipal committee.  After 1981 Census, one more place Shah Talai  has been classified as notified area committee.


Fair & Festivals of Bilaspur:
  
Fair and festivals are interwoven in the daily lives of the people of this district. It is rather a cultural heritage of the people. It celebrated here exhibit a high civic sense of associations and social discipline. Various type of fairs and festivals are celebrated almost around the year. The fairs and festivals observed throughout the year are given here under :

Nalwari Fair (Cattle Fair) : 
Bilaspur town of Himachal witnesses the four-five day long Nalwari or annual cattle fair each year in the month of March or April. In this festival, people enjoy wrestling and several other fun activities. Cattle are brought from Nalagarh and neighboring areas of Punjab, for this celebration. The owners across the country bring their beautifully decorated cattle to the spot because the time is supposed to be of very lucrative deals for them.
The Nalwari Cattle Fair of Bilaspur is considered among the most exciting events of the beautiful state. A large number of visitors come from far and wide to enjoy the excitement of the fair.Wrestling is an important part of the event and is among the many activities done in the around 5-day affair. The local athletes get a platform to showcase their gymnastic skills and physical prowess.
The cultural carnival held in Bilaspur displays not only the arts, culture and entertainment of the state but also the lifestyle of the society. In Nalwari fair, families along with children come to the spot and get engrossed in the cultural rendezvous and dramatic.

Navratri Fair (At Shri Naina Devi Ji.): Shri Naina Devi Ji is one of the most notable places of worship in Himachal Pradesh. Located in Distt Bilaspur, it is one of the 51 Shaktipeeths where limbs of Sati fell on Earth. This holy place witnesses the huge crowd of pilgrims and devotees round the year and especially during Shravan Ashtami and in the Navratras of Chaitra & Ashwin.

Special fair is organized during Chaitra, Shravan and Ashwin Navrati, which attracts millions of visitors from Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and other corners of the country.


Some Other Important things Related to Bilaspur :
Places of Historical Interest :

Fort of Kotkahlur : The fort is situated at a distance of few Kms. from Ganguwal Hydro Electric Station. Its lies in Naina Devi Hill. Amongst the places of historical interest, the fort of Kotkahlur occupies the first position. Raja Bir Chand, an ancestor of Raja Kahal Chand, built a palace-cum-fort called Kot Kahlur. It is in ruin now. The state was called Kahlur till such time the seat of Government was shifted to Bilaspur. Among the local population the district is still known as Kahlur.

The fort is a square structure built of stones, each side about thirty meters long and as much high. Its walls are about two metres thick. It has two storeys each about fifteen metres high. The floor of the second storey, supported on numerous high stone pillars. About twelve meters above the floor of the second storey there were certain window shaped places with small peeping holes for the garrison to reconnoitre and, if need be to shoot at besiegers. Most of these hollows have now been closed with cement or iron-mesh. Within the fort, in the upper storey, is a small temple to Naina Devi with a stone idol. There are seven small ancient fortresses in the district at Bacchretu, Bahadurpur, Basseh, Fatehpur, Sariyun, Swarghat and Tiun. Sunhani is small village on the bank of Seer Khad is yet another place which claims the distinction of being a state headquarters for some period.

Fort of Bachhretu
 : 
Bachhretu is a peaceful, nice place located on western slope of Kotdhar just 3 kms southward to Shahtalai. It is 3000 ft above sea level. There is small ancient fort in the district Bilaspur at Bacchretu.The well Known fort of Bacchretu lies in Kot Hill. Kot Hill is 30 Kms in length. The site commands a magnificent and sweeping view of Gobind Sagar and the surrounding hills. The fort was constructed by Raja Ratan Chand of Bilaspur who ruled from 1355 to 1406. Obviously the relics are as old as about six hundred years and indicate that the stronghold was of a rectangular shape, the longer arms about 100 metres and shorter about 50 meters, built of hammer-dressed stones. From the portions of the enclosing walls, still existing here and there, it can be assumed to have been about 20 meters in height. The thickness of its walls must have been one metre tapering towards the top. The space inside was, perhaps, divided into numerous room-shaped compartments out of which about fifteen can be traced even now. Walls of one of the room are exceedingly high, measuring about ten to twelve metres. A water tank is also said to have existed. A very interesting small temple, housing two busts of the goddess Asht Bhuja (eight armed) and some other deities is still extant. A pipal tree has now grown within the fort.

Fort of Tiun : 
Relics of this fort is situated on the top of a hill known as the Tiun range,17 Kms. in length, at distance of about 45-Kms.from Bilaspur, on the Ali Khad crossing Ghumarwin-Ladraur motorable road. It is about 10-km from Ghumarwin proper still serves to remind of the ancient turbulent times when wars in this area were perhaps a routine feature. Raja Kahn Chand got it constructed in 1142 Vikrami. The area of the fort around 14 hectare. It is rectangle in shape. The length of the fort was 400 meters with a breadth 200 meters. The height of the wall is varies from 2 meters to 10 meters. The main gate of the fort is 3 meters height and 5 and a 1/2 meters breadth. There were two water tanks inside the fort. Also there were two granary which contains 3000 kg grain. The fort is said to have once served as a prison to an uncle of Raja Kharak Chand.

Thakurdwara of Auhar
 : 
Auhar is a town situated in the middle of the district Bilaspur. It was an important town of the princely state Bilaspur. Due to its importance Rani Naggar Dei built the famous Thakurdwara of Auhar. She also constructed on water tank with roof known as chhatwain and an inn for the stay of the travelers. In the Thakurdwara idols of ‘Shaligram’ and ‘Narsingha’ were installed. The walls of the temple have beautiful mural paintings. The Language and Culture department has given financial assistance for the repair of the Thakurdwara.

Carp Fish Farm, Deoli

Deoli Fish Farm is situated at a distance of 15 Kms from New Asia’s biggest Carp Fish Farm, Deoli (Ghagus) Bilaspur township towards Mandi just below the Shimla-Mandi Road. It comprising 4.4 hectares comes in existence 1962. It consists of two big brood stock tanks and 14 nursery ponds. The total outlay on setting up this hatchery was 3.68 lacks. In beginning the farms activities were limited to meet the seed stocking requirements of Gobind Sagar reservoir, but its targets were increased year to year and research, training, technique and demonstration brought under the farm programmed. During 1978 fish species being record at the farm were demonstrated to the people by constructing a small aquarium and its aim was to apprise the popular. During 1989 a training center and Hostel were constructed within the farm premises so that training course be imparted to the departmental personnel and interested fish farmers. Now training camps are being conducted with modern fish breeding and culture technique training are imparted.

This farm has not only historic importance but is can be known as a center breeding Water Chanel of Deoli Fish Farm, Ghagus excellent training in fish culture and research programmed. Keeping in view the commendable work done in the field of breeding, the Punjab University extended its recognition for undertaking research work at this farm. The Deoli fish farm has played a major role in breeding fish population in Gobind Sagar reservoir, income of the reservoir fishermen and their lives prosperous. For the first time Silver Carp fish was stocked in Gobind Sagar reservoir from Deoli farm. Every year 30-40 lacks mirror carp fingerlings are being produced at the farm and these are stocked in Gobind Sagar reservoir and other water bodies in the State and distributed to the private fish farms. Due to regular stocking in Gobind Sagar reservoir for the last decade at has a unique capacity of fish production per hectare in the country and this credit goes to Deoli farm.

The scientists of ICAR and State Fisheries Department initiated a joint research project viz. ‘Genetic Rejuvenation of Fish Stock in HP’. The ‘Bio-Science Department’ started this project entire funded about 18.00 lacks. A quality strain of fish is being reared under this project and distributed to the fish farmers.

Under this technique demonstration programme a new scheme namely ‘Fish Culture in Running Water’ was introduced for the first time at the farm. This scheme was observed suitable especially in high altitude of Himachal Pradesh on the basis of success of this technique the Govt of India incorporated this scheme under the Centrally Sponsored Fish Farmers’ Development Agency subsidy programme. The NABARD Bank has also approved this scheme namely ‘Fish Culture in Running Water’ which resulted in setting up of about 1000 units in the State.

In recent years sport fisheries is fostering in the Gobind Sagar reservoir which clearly indicates vast potential of attracting tourists. The Deptt regularly organizes angling completions every year. In Gobind Sagar and Mahseer fish which is a famous and most liked fish of the anglers is an important fish of this reservoir. As the breeding of Mahseer fish is not a easy job hence the Punjab University and State Fisheries Department jointly prepared a project of Rs. 19.00 lacks it was got approved from ICAR. Present hatchery set up at the Deoli farm has been constructed under this scheme. Under this scheme matured Mahseer fish would be brought from his habitat and bred in comfortable situation.

Para-Gliding in Bilaspur : 

History of Para-Gliding and Hang-Gliding : Most of us have had dreams of flying at one time or the other. Psychologists may pose heavy symbolism on such dreams, but how many psychologist leave their stuffy rooms and offices to give a longing lingering look at the windswept hills or watch a hzawk soar silently on gentle currents of study winds? We contend that an urge to fly and sour high in to blue silky sky is an end itself and mankind has always had a profound desire to chase the flying birds above.

In times past, this burning usage was thwarted by lack of flying machines, lack of money, lack of time and zeal. Not anymore. We now have new method of taking to the air that combines latest in technology with low cost and simplicity to bring the reality of flight accessible to everyone. Para-Gliders and Hang-gliders have made all this possible and brought about long cherished flying within reach of a common man and woman.

We fly through invisible fluid (Air) that must be understood in order to thoroughly know the capabilities and limitations of flying wings to gain control. Once one gains the understanding and masters the beginning skill, he yearns to expand the horizon by flying higher and further. Thus the newly trained pilot enter the new realms, where the dreams come true.

Today the state of Himachal Pradesh is playing a lead role in the field of Paragliding, in our country. One can see the skies of billing (Kangra), Solang (Manali) and Bandla   (Bilaspur) over cast with colourful butterflies (Paragliders). Joy sides have become great attractions for tourists visiting the state. The credit goes to the State Government especially the department of Tourism, which has played a key role in promotion of Paragliding in the State.

Para-Gliding in Bilaspur : Before the year 1994, there was hardly any para-gliding or hang gliding pilot in Himachal Pradesh, excepting one, Roshan Lal Thakur from Manali, who had acquired some skill in flying from foreign pilots, often visiting Manali as tourist. Mean while R.P. Gautam who had come on retirement from Central Reserve Police Force as Commandant, visualised the vast potential in paragliding from Bandla mountain. To make his dream come true, he got in contact with Shakti Singh Chandel, the then Director Tourism and Civil Aviation, to extend all possible help to promote paragliding not only in Bilaspur, but also in whole in Himachal Pradesh. The Director Tourism, who himself belonged to Bilaspur, took keen interest in approving Bandla top as take off site, gave financial assistance to run para gliding courses for Bilaspur under Himachal Aero Adventure Institute Bilaspur, which under expert guidance of Mr. Bruce Mills from New Zealand and Alexi Garisimov from Russia, got the pilots trained. Thus Bilaspur was brought on World Map in Paragliding.

What is special about Bilaspur, which is not there in flying sites at other places, is that it gives you almost eight hours of flying time as against 3 to 4 hours maximum at Billing or Manali. More over it has vast and safe landing grounds on the bank of Govind Sagar Lake at LUHNU. From training point of view,  Bilaspur can be considered the best in whole of Asia. It is laid down in the training manual that training in instability maneuvers during advance pilot course  i.e. Dynamic Stall, deep stall, spiral drive, spin reovery, assymmetric tuck, front tuck and deployment of Reserve Parachute, should be carried out over a broad base of water for reasons. For this, there is hardly any place, where there is any huge lake just beside the landing site. Bilaspur has the privilege of having unique combination of Air Sports in one stretch, which is very rare. 

1 comment:

  1. Bilaspur is smallest district of Himachal Pradesh.
    But even being a smallest district of Himachal, Bilaspur have a special place in history of state.

    ReplyDelete

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