District Bilaspur in Himachal Pradesh 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. 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 History : The area that is now Bilaspur district was formerly known as Kahlur, a princely state of British India. The ruler acceded to the Government of India on October 12, 1948, and Bilaspur was made an Indian state under a chief commissioner. The state of Bilaspur was merged with Himachal Pradesh on July 1, 1954, and became Bilaspur District.
Bilaspur Travel attractions
Naina Devi temple, one of the most important Shakti Peeths of India, is situated in Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh. Raja Bir Chand got this temple constructed in the 8th century. The popular hill resort located in Himachal Pradesh known by the name of Nainital has been named after the famous Naina Devi Temple. This temple is dedicated to Goddess Naina Devi and is located on top of the Naina Hill in Bilaspur.
The Naina Devi Temple is an important pilgrimage and attracts thousands of devotees from far and near every year. The temple has an interesting legend behind it. It is said that the eye of Goddess Sati fell over here and hence it has been named as Naina Devi. Naina means eye and this temple is regarded as one of the most important Shakti Peeth in India.
It is said that the Goddess is worshipped here in the form of a self-born Pindi. There are two more Pindis here; one of Lord Ganesha and one established by the Pandavas. The temple is surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty. The scenic natural surroundings provide solace and peace for all those visiting this abode of devotion and faith. Naina Devi Temple is definitely the place to be if are looking for some quiet moments and introspection.
Bhakra Dam : The most popular tourist destination of the place, Bhakra Dam sprawls on an area of 170 sq. kilometer. It is situated in the Bhakra village of Bilaspur, about 13-km upstream from Nangal township. The dam is one of the highest straight gravity dams in the world. The lake is about 90-km long and the view of vast dam and green jungles around is fascinating and rejuvenating.
Markandeya temple : Located 25 kilometer from Bilaspur, Markand gets its name from sage Markandeya who performed his penance here. The sage underwent severe austerities on his body in pursuit of eternal knowledge. Local people believe that a dip in the sacred waters over here cures infant diseases and sterility. Another attraction at the place is a shrine, located around 20 kilometers from Bilaspur and named after sage who dwelt and worshipped here.
Vyas Cave : Named after the old sage Vyas, the cave is situated at the foot of the new township. According to the legend, Vyas Rishi meditated in this cave. Vyaspur town derived its name from the same cave. Located on the bank of the river Satluj, the place has religious importance for Hindus and is a popular pilgrim destination.
Fort of Tiun Bilaspur : Relics of this fort is situated on the top of a hill known as the TiunFort Tyun 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
The New Town : The hydropower project and colossal construction has led to development of the new town, which is inhabited by the people working in the project. The hydropower project generates thousands KW of electric energy. The Gobindsagar reservoir behind the dam, on whose banks the new township of Bilaspur has sprung, is 80-km long. Two big generating stations, each with a capacity of 600 millions watts, have been built just below the Bhakra Dam.
Bahadurpur Fort : The highest point of the place, at the altitude of 1980 meters, Bahadurpur Fort attracts many tourists. The fort is located near Tepra Village in Paragana Bahadurpur. It is about forty kilometer away from Bilaspur and is full of beautiful woods of deodar and ban trees.
Fort of Kotkahlur : Raja Bir Chand built fort of Kotkahlur as a fort-palace. It is a double-storied building with each story about 15 m high. The fort is square in shape, each side measuring 30 meters. It is made up of stones and each of its walls is about 2 meters thick. On the upper storey, there is a small temple with the stone idol of Naina Devi. The floor of the second storey is supported on stone pillars and it has windows about 12 meters high to aim the guns at any possible external attackers.
Fort of Bachhretu : Bachhretu is a town in Bilaspur district situated on the western slope of Kotdhar hill at an altitude of 3000 ft. The small ancient fort provides excellent views of Gobind Sagar Lake and the panoramic hills. Raja Ratan Chand of Bilaspur built the fort about 600 years ago. This rectangular shaped edifice has one-meter thick walls tapering to the top and about fifteen rooms or compartments that can still be traced out. It is also believed to have a tank once. The fort also houses a small temple of Goddess Asht Bhuja and some other deities.
Achanakmar Wildife Sanctuary : Setup under the Wildlife Protection Act, this sanctuary acts as home to guar (Indian Bison) and tigers. Other animals include the leopard, chital, panthera, striped hyena, canis, sloth bear, dhole, sambar deer, nilgai, Indian four-horned antelope and chinkara. The sanctuary is 55 km (34 mi) away form Bilaspur and is closed Wildlife Sactuaries near Bilaspur during the monsoon season. Trips to the sanctuary can be organized via private taxi operators. A place to stay is the Panther Cottage, Malhaar where there is a beautiful stone carved historical temple ruin.
Laxmi Narayan Mandir : This temple near the bus stand in the present Bilaspur town was built to compensate for the temple in old Bilaspur town, which was submerged in the Gobind Sagar Lake. It was built in Shikhar style and houses the Linga of Shankeshwar (Lord Shiva) and idols of deities such as Lord Laxmi Narayan, Lord Rangnath, Goddess Durga and Baba Bengali.
Deoli Fish Farm, which comes under the Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh, came into existence in the year 1962. It is spread over an area of 4.4 hectares and has 14 nursery ponds and 2 big brood stock tanks.
Shivalaya Bachhretu : 3 kilometers from Shahtalai and 3000 ft above sea level, Shivalaya Bachhretu is situated on the western slope of Kotdhar. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the huge statue of ox in the courtyard is of Nandi, the sacred vehicle of the Lord.
Kandror Bridge : Situated twenty-two kilometer away from the downtown of Bilaspur, Kandror Bridge is said to be the second highest bridge in the world. The bridge that was built to facilitate easy pass way for travelers is one the major tourist attractions for the tourists visiting Bilaspur.
Swarghat : Situated at the distance of forty kilometers from the city of Bilaspur, Swarghat is an ideal destination. The place is located on Bilaspur-Chandigarh road, at the altitude of 1,220m, and provides excellent view from above to downtown. One can also visit the nearby temple, dedicated to Lakshmi Narayan.
Fairs and Festivals of 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.
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.
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.
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.
How to reach Bilaspur
By Air : The nearest airport from Bilaspur will be that of Bhuntar, situated at a distance of approximately 131 km. The next closest air link will be provided by Chandigarh airport, which falls 135 km away and is well connected with all the major destinations in India. After getting down at the airport, you will easily get taxis for reaching Bilaspur.
By Rail : From Bilaspur, the nearest broad gauge railway station will be the one at Kiratpur Sahib. The nearest narrow gauge railway link, on the other hand, will be formed by Shimla. From both the places, you will conveniently get buses for traveling to Bilaspur. Apart from that, you can also avail of the services of the numerous taxis lined up at the stations.
By Road : A good network of roads connects Bilaspur with the rest of the country. The district is easily approachable by road from the cities of Shimla and Chandigarh. Tourists can easily get taxis as well as buses to and from the major cities in and around Himachal Pradesh. In fact, coming by road, you will also be able to explore the enticing scenery of the area, from a much closer angle.
Bilaspur map [mappress mapid=”22″]