Profile of Chhattisgarh

Known as the ‘Rice Bowl of Central India,’ Chhattisgarh came into existence on November 1, 2000. It was earlier part of Madhya Pradesh and after separation became 26th State of India. Located in central India it covers an area of of 135,194 sq.kms. Raipur is the capital of Chhattisgarh. Chhattisgarh is bordered by Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh in the north, Andhra Pradesh in the south, Odisha in the east and Madhya Pradesh in the west. The state lies at 17°46' N to 24°5'N latitude and 80°15' E to 84°20' E longitude.

Source: Creative Brothers

Chhattisgarh is a land of opportunities. It is the richest state in mineral resources with all major minerals including diamonds available in abundance. Major industries in steel, aluminium and cement are present in the state. Chhattisgarh contributes substantially to the economy and human resources of the country.The major crops produced in the state are rice, sugarcane, banana, pulses, and wheat.
The forest products that are produced are teak, sal, bamboo, sheeshal, mahua, tamarind, haldu, saja, sheesham, and various herbs.

About 80 percent of the total population of Chhattisgarh depends on agriculture. Wheat, paddy, maize and groundnut are the major crops produced in the region. Chhattisgarh is also rich in mineral resources and about 20 percent of the country’s steel and cement are produced here. Chhattisgarh has large supply of power which can be easily transmitted to any of the four grids of India. About 90 percent of the villages in Chhattisgarh have been electrified.

History of Chhattisgarh

Chhattisgarh is a young and a new state but the reference of this state can be traced in ancient texts, and inscriptions. In ancient times Chhattisgarh was known as Dakshin Kosala and it is said that Lord Rama has spent some time here when he was on his 14 years exile.The unbroken history of Chhattisgarh of South Kosala can be traced back to fourth century AD. In the 10th century the region was ruled by a powerful Rajput family who called themselves as Haihaya dynasty. This dynasty continued ruling Chhattisgarh for six centuries and about the 14th century it split into parts. The Chalukya Dynasty established its rule in Bastar in the middle ages.The Marathas attacked Chhattisgarh in 1741 and destroyed the Haihaya power.

History of Chhattisgarh
Archeological Site in Malhar

In 1745 AD after conquering the region, they deposed Raghunathsinghji, the last surviving member of the Ratanpur house. In 1758, the Marathas finally annexed Chhattisgarh. It came directly under Maratha rule and Bimbaji Bhonsle, was appointed the ruler. After the death of Bimbaji Bhonsle, the Marathas adopted the Suba system.In 1818 Chhattisgarh came under some sort of British control for the first time. In 1854, when the province of Nagpur lapsed to the British government, Chhattisgarh was formed into a deputy commissionership with its headquarters at Raipur.The First war of independence in 1857 was spearheaded in Chhattisgarh by Vir Narain Singh who was a benevolent zamindar of Sonakhan.

Chhattisgarh was first used in an official document in 1795, and became popular during the Maratha period. There are three popular stories about the origin of the name.Perhaps the most popular one is that since Chattisgarh means "36 forts", it denotes the number of forts in the region. Experts do not agree with this explanation as thirty-six forts cannot be identified in the region.An explanation popular with experts and historians, is that Chhattisgarh is the corrupted form of "Chedisgarh", which means "Stronghold of the Chedis", Chedis being another name for the Kalchuri dynasty.According to British Chronicler, J.B. Beglar, "the real name is Chhattisghar (36 houses) and not Chhattisgarh. There is a saying that ages ago, about the time of Jarasandha, thirty six families of dalits (leather workers) emigrated southwards from Jarasandha's kingdom and established them in country, called Chhattisghar".

Chronology of events

  • 10th century- The region was ruled by a powerful Rajput family Haihaya dynasty.
  • 1741- The Marathas attacked Chhattisgarh and destroyed the Haihaya power
  • 1818- Chhattisgarh came under British control for the first time
  • 1-11-2000 – Chhattisgarh became a separate state

Chhattisgarh as a separate state

Separate state demands began as early as in 1920. A lot of demands kept mushrooming at regular time intervals with respect to the separation of the state. In 1924, the Raipur Congress unit demanded a separate Chhattisgarh in the Annual session of the Indian congress in Tripuri. Again in 1954, when the State Reorganisation Commission was set up, the demand for the separation of the state was put forward. Again in 1955, Nagpur assembly came up with the quest of a separate state of Chhattisgarh. Even in the 1990’s, there was an active demand that was progressing regarding the separation. However, later the new National Democratic Alliance or NDA government sent a Separate Chhattisgarh Bill for the approval of the Madhya Pradesh assembly. It was approved and sent to Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. The then President of India, K.R. Narayanan, gave a nod of approval for the Madhya Pradesh Reorganisation Act 2000 on the 25th of August, 2000. Later on the 1st of November, 2000, Government of India separated the state of Madhya Pradesh into Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.

Geography of Chhattisgarh

Geography of ChhattisgarhChhattisgarh is the 10th largest state in India. The capital of this state, Raipur, is situated on the fertile plains of Chhattisgarh. Strategically, the state is in the central part of India. The northern and southern areas of the state are hilly, and the central part is fertile. The outline map of the state resembles a sea horse. In the north is the end of Indo-Gangetic plain, where the Rihand River drains. The east side of the Satpura range and the west of the Chota Nagpur plateau comprise beautifully to form the hills that divide the great Mahanadi river basin from the Indo-Gangetic plain. The southern part of Chhattisgarh rests with elegance on the Deccan plateau. Mahanadi is the leader of rivers of the state, while other rivers that follow suit in this state are Rihand, Indravati, Jonk, Arpa and Shivnath. Chhattisgarh is located between 21.27° N latitude and 81.60° E longitude.

Climate of Chhattisgarh

The climate of Chhattisgarh is mainly tropical. It is hot and humid because of its proximity to the Tropic of Cancer. It is dependent completely on the monsoons for rains. Summer in Chhattisgarh is from April to June, and can be uncomfortably hot, with the mercury hitting the high 40's. Monsoon season is from middle and late June to October and is a wonderful time to visit Chhattisgarh. The rains provide a welcome relief from the scorching summer heat and the whole state is covered with greens and waterfalls are at their best.Winter season is from November to January is also a good time to visit Chhattisgarh. Winters are pleasant with low temperatures and less humidity.

Flora And Fauna Of Chhattisgarh

Chhattisgarh enjoy deep forest cover with 44% area of lush green areas. It accounts for 12% in terms of forest areas in India. The dense forests home to various species of flora and fauna. Moreover different flora and fauna, but also house more than 80 types of medicinal value plants. The state animal is Van Bhainsa or Wild Water buffalo and the state bird is pahari myna or the hill myna. The state tree is Sal or Sarai that is found extensively in the Bastar division. Unique in its wildlife properties, there are 3 national parks and 11 wildlife sanctuaries to protect the exquisite flora and fauna of the state. The unparalleled natural beauty of the flora and fauna are put into sanctuaries like Barnawapara Sanctuary, Kanger Ghati National Park, Udanti Sanctuary, Sitanadi Sacntuary, Bhoramdeo Sanctuary, Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary, Indravati National Park and the like. These house several wild animals like leopard, fox, bear, tiger, wild buffalo, nilgai, hyena and the like. This beautiful and lush green state is a sanctuary to many of the wild animals and rare and exotic plants.

Economy of Chhattisgarh

The major source of economy in Chhattisgarh is agriculture. Owing to its fertile lands, agriculture thrives as a vital economical indicator in this state. Nearly 80% of the masses of the state are from the rural sector and their main livelihood is agriculture and small industry work based on the same. Chhattisgarh is known as the "rice bowl" of central India. Chhattisgarh used to produce over seventy percent of the total paddy production in the state. Apart from paddy, cereals like maize, kodo-kutki and other small millets, pulses like tur and kulthi and oilseeds like groundnut, soyabean, niger and sunflower are also grown.

Economy of Chhattisgarh
Blast Furnace at Bhilai Steel Plant

Chhattisgarh produced nearly half of all food grains, and one third of all major crops were grown in the undivided Madhya Pradesh during the kharif season. The main rabi crops of Chhattisgarh are jowar, gram, urad, mong and moth. Chhattisgarh produces 45 percent of the jower and over eighty percent of the gram which was produced in undivided Madhya Pradesh. It produces very little wheat. A quarter of all produce of pulses in Madhya Pradesh during the rabi season comes from Chhattisgarh.The crops sown in addition to rice are maize, millets, Kodo kutki, pulses like Tuvar and Kulthi, oilseeds like peanuts, sunflower and soybeans. The state is ranked 17th in tea production, and its districts Jashpur and Surguja are favorable for tea production. Herbal farming is a popular one amongst the locals of Chhattisgarh. Agro based jobs are the most sought for in Chhattisgarh. Agriculture, steel and handicrafts are the major source of economical sector in Chhattisgarh.

Industries in Chhattsigarh

Chhattisgarh is a developing state with numerous mega industrial units located here. It is self reliant in terms of power resources. There is a lot of surplus electric power, and the state is in a profitable mode in terms of electricity. Due to its excess electricity, it provides power to other states as well. The core strengths of power production for Chhattisgarh are Korba and Bilaspur. Due to its ample availability of power, there are a lot of government as well as private sectors that have established their base here in Chhattisgarh. Further it is home to numerous rice mills, cement and steel plants. Durg, Raipur, Korba and Bilaspur are the leading districts in the field of industrial development in the State. The Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) in Durg district happens to be the largest integrated steel plant of the country. The establishment of BSP in the 1950’s led to the development of a wide range of industries at Raipur and Bhilai.

Raipur district has got the rare distinction of having the largest number of big and small-scale cement plants. Bilaspur and Durg districts, too, are home to a number of large-scale cement plants. Korba, with a number of power generating units established by NTPC and MPEB, is among the leading power generation centers in the country. Aluminum and explosive plants are also located in Korba district. There are a number of industrial growth centers in the State which host hundreds of industrial units. The principal growth centers in the State are - Urla and Siltara (Raipur); Borai (Durg) and Sirgitti (Bilaspur).There are very few cash crops grown in Chhattisgarh, and there is a need to diversify the agriculture produce towards oilseeds and other cash crops.

Mineral Resources in Bialspur

Chhattisgarh accounts for more than 13 per cent of India's total mineral production, worth around Rs.4, 000 crore a year. Twenty-three per cent of the country's iron- ore deposits, 14 per cent of the dolomite deposits, and 6.6 per cent of the limestone deposits are found here.Chhattisgarh has 18 percent of coal reserves of the country, and the state is ranked third after Jharkhand and Orissa.

Forest Resources of Chhattisgarh

12% of India's forests are in Chhattisgarh, and 44% of the State's land is under forests. Identified as one of the richest bio-diversity habitats, the Green State of Chhattisgarh has the densest forests in India, and rich wildlife., Over 200 non-timber forest products, with tremendous potential for value addition are produced in the state.The Mahanadi is the main river of the state. Other rivers are Hasdo (a tributary of Mahanadi), Rihand, Indravati, Jonk and Arpa.

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Culture of Chhattisgarh

The state of Chhattisgarh lives in harmony amidst its differences in language, religion and the like. The traditional richness and royalty still prevails in the state. The deep rooted culture stays alighted even though there are changes and the society is crawling towards modernism. Though most of the places are rural in Chhattisgarh, they have a sense of modernism and urbanity. Since Odisha borders the eastern side of Chhattisgarh, the Oriya culture is sprinkled through the state.

Chhattisgarh is a mixture of literature, arts and crafts. The favorable themes of the locals are religion, social and political events, nature, mythology, folklore, and the like. The most traditional crafts are paintings, bell metal craft, bamboo, wood carving and tribal jewelry. Chhattisgarhi Kosa silk and lost wax art are prominent through the state as well as the nation. Not just for saris and salwar suits, the fabric is also used in the creation of the lehanga, shawls, stoles and the like. Menswear like jackets, shirts, sherwanis and the like are also made from this fabric.

The traditional forms of dance would include Rawat Nacha Pandwani, Chaitra, Panthi, Kaksar, Soowa, Saila and the like. The official language of the state is Hindi. A dialect of Hindi, Chhattisgarhi is majorly spoken in many parts of Chhattisgarh. In some parts of the state, Telugu is spoken, as it is bordered by Andhra Pradesh on one side. The tribal people versed Chhattisgarhi as Khaltahi, while Sambalpuri and Oriya speakers know it as Laria. Since Odisha borders one side of Chhattisgarh, Kosali and Oriya are also spoken by a countable number of the populace. Not just this, even Bhojpuri is spoken by a lot of people here in Chhattisgarh.

Also Read Culture of Raipur | Bhilai | Jagdalpur | Bilaspur | Raigarh

Administration in Chhattisgarh

Administration in ChhattisgarhGovernment of Chhattisgarh is the governing and administrative authority of the state and the districts concerning it. There are a quantitative 27 districts in Chhattisgarh. Raipur, one of the largest cities, is the capital of Chhattisgarh. The State Government comprise of an executive, led by the governor, a judiciary and a legislative branch. For the uninformed, executive is the only part of the government that has authority and accountability for the daily administration of the state. The Governor is selected by the President of India, based on the advice of the central government. The head of the government of the state is the Chief Minister, who is the one adorned with executive powers. The legislative assembly of Chhattisgarh is unicameral, that is, it has only one legislative chamber. The assembly consists of 91 MLA’s and its term is 5 years.

Tourism in Chhattisgarh

Every place in Chhattisgarh is filled with uniqueness and charm that is awe-inspiring. The places in Chhattisgarh are filled with rich legacy and culture and attract the tourists as well as give a sense of pride for the localities. The place has a concoction of traditionalism and modernism. The entire state is lush green and is a pleasant site for the public. More than 40% are dense forests and hold in a lot of flora and fauna for the people. Known as the Niagara Falls of India, Chitrakot waterfalls are a scenic beauty, which is located 38 kms from the city of Jagdalpur. Other breathtaking waterfalls in the state are Akuri Nala and Amrit Dhara waterfalls, Ramdaha waterfalls; Tiger point waterfalls and the like.

Tourism in Chhattisgarh
Chitrakot Waterfalls in Chhattisgarh

Not just the cool effect of waterfall, but Chhattisgarh also accommodates the hot spring called the Taat Pani in the Balrampur district. This hot spring flows through the entire year and is believed to have medicinal properties. The government is planning on developing a geothermal power plant in this place, which is known to be the first one in India. Gadiya Mountain, Kotumsar cave, Kailash Gufa, Sita Bengra are some of the caves with historic drawings and paintings inscribed on them. Ancient temples in Chhattisgarh which are a must visit are Bhoramdeo temple, Rajivilochan temple, Champaran, Chandrahasini Devi temple, Vishnu Temple, Damudhara, Sivarinarayana Laxminarayana temple, and the like. MM Funcity is a theme park that has one of its kind fun rides and water rides in the state. Sirpur, a historical town in Mahasamund district in Chhattisgarh is proposed world heritage site.

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Transport in Chhattisgarh

Being one of the most important states of central India, Chhattisgarh is widely connected with almost key places through road, rail and air transport. Chhattisgarh enjoys nationwide connectivity with other states and cities as well. There are a total of 11 national highways that pass through the state and measure about 2184 km in length altogether. The state highways and the vital roads to the districts comprise of a distance of 8031 kms together. There are about 2400 roads in Chhattisgarh and about 7000 vehicles ply on them. There are 22 transport offices in the state that are computerized and the transport is coordinated through them. Additionally, there is a motor and driving school establishment being proposed of late.

Railways in Chhattisgarh

Railways in Chhattisgarh
Raipur Junction

The rail network in Chhattisgarh is centered on Bilaspur, which is the zonal headquarters of South East Central Railway of Indian Railways. Other main railway junctions include Raipur, Durg, and Champa. These junctions are well connected to all the major cities of India. Other most important and vital junction of the state is its capital, Raipur. Durg is also an important station. . These junctions are the starting points for many long distance trains to other states and cities across the nation. These three imperative junctions have a strong network with the other foremost cities of India. About one-sixth of the revenue for the Indian Railways comes from the state of Chhattisgarh. There is also a feasibility of metro line coming up, which would be started with the Bhilai-Raipur line.

Air Transport in Chhattisgarh

The air transport is minimal when compared to other major states in India. Swami Vivekananda International Airport bearing the code RPR, formerly called Mana Airport, is the prime air hub serving Chhattisgarh. This airport comprises of an elevation of 317 m. This airport is located in Mana, 15 kms south of Raipur. The major airlines that ply in this state are Air India, IndiGo, Jet airways and Jet Konnect. These airlines have scheduled flights to destinations like Delhi, Mumbai, Nagpur, Vishakhapatnam, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Lucknow. In the non-metro category, this airport is ranked as the number one in terms of customer satisfaction. Last year, this airport was awarded the best airport award in the non-metro category. Located near Kondatarai is the Raigarh Airport which is an air strip that is mainly used for smaller aircrafts and choppers.

Healthcare in Chhattisgarh

Healthcare in ChhattisgarhAs far as the health index is concerned, it measures less than 0.49, which is one of the lowest in the nation. Health index is the term of life expectancy at the time of birth. If there is higher life expectancy at birth it means that the individual will have better health. There are a lot of women with BMI lower than 18.5, under five mortality in children, underweight and nutrition deficiency children in the state. Half of the women belonging to the ST are malnourished. Same way, the under five mortality rate is high than that of the national average. According to the demographic profile, about 80 percent of the people live in rural areas. Sanitation facilities in the state are very low as only 27 percent have access to toilet facilities. As far as drinking water is concerned, there is a bit of improvement in this sector, and many households have got access to clean and neat drinking water.

Also Read Healthcare Services in Raipur | Bhilai | Jagdalpur | Bilaspur | Raigarh

Theatre & Films in Chhattisgarh

The Chhattisgarh film industry is called as Chhollywood. A lot of Chhattisgarhi films are produced by the local producers. Not just Chhattisgarhi, but films from languages like Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and the like are also successful blockbusters. In Chhattisgarh, theatre is known as Gammat. One of the lyrical forms of theatre is Pandavani.

Media in Chhattisgarh

Chhattisgarh is well aware to different forms of media. Telecasting is done from the Doordarshan Kendra Chhattisgarh. DD Chhattisgarh is a television channel owned by the state government. There are a lot of other private channels that are major players in the state. As far as news is concerned, IBC24 brings about the regional news from Chhattisgarh as well as Madhya Pradesh. Newspapers are an important form of media for this state. There are a lot of newspapers that are published in Chhattisgarh, of which the important ones are Hari Bhoomi, NaiDunia, Nava Bharat and Deshbandhu. Hindi newspapers are more famous here, however, there are also English leading dailies akin to Times of India, Hindustan Times, and the like available in the state. In the radio division, All India radio, 94.3 MYFM, Radio Rangeela, Radio Mirchi and Radio Tadka are the important ones.

A beautiful and a well formed state, Chhattisgarh, is one of the rapidly developing states in India. It is known for its beautiful collaboration of traditionalism that remains unchanged even with the influence of modernism.

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