Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Chhattisgarh At A Glance

chattisgarh mapAlthough a newly formed young state, Chattisgarh is an ancient land that has been talked about in ancient Indian literary works, texts, inscriptions and accounts of foreign travelers, referred as 'Dakshin Kosala'. Chhattisgarh derives its name from the 36 princely states that constitute this territory. 'Chhattis' means thirty-six and 'Garh' means Fort in English. The state came into being when the sixteen Chhattisgarhi-speaking districts of Madhya Pradesh acquired statehood on November 1, 2000. Primarily a rural state, approximately 80% of its population resides in villages.

Endowed with rich mineral resources, Chhattisgarh produces 30% of the output of the old Madhya Pradesh state. Chhattisgarh's economy is further accelerated by the presence of S.E.C. Railway Zone, BALCO Aluminium Plant (Korba), S.E.C.L. (South Eastern Coalfields Limited), Bhilai Steel Plant and NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd) at Korba and Sipat (Bilaspur). Electricity produced in Bilaspur and Korba plants is supplied to several other Indian states. The southern region of Chhattisgarh is rich in iron ore, which is being mined by NMDC to meet iron demand in India as well as for the purpose of export. The state is in the process of launching an ambitious plan that will make it biofuel self-sufficient by 2015 (by planting jatropha crops).


Chhattisgarh is an ancient land where Lord Rama is said to have spent a part of his exile. With the start of the 17th century, the land witnessed a number of socio-religious reform movements which emphasized on establishment of a more equitable society. The end of 18th century marked the start of several tribal rebellions that continued till the first few decades of the 20th century. A few of these were localized, whereas others were more widespread. However, all of these protested against the exploitative laws and practices and interference with local way of life, and fought for the rights of the tribal people with regard to use of resources and the land. These persistent movements and rebellions eventually resulted in the creation of the state of Chhattisgarh.

Geography & Climate

Chhattisgarh is the tenth largest state of India, covering an area of 135,133 sq km. It is bordered by the state of Madhya Pradesh on the northwest, Maharashtra on the west, Orissa on the east, Andhra Pradesh on the south, Uttar Pradesh on the north and Jharkhand on the northeast. About 44% of the land is under forest cover. The north and south regions of Chhattisgarh are hilly, while its central area is a fertile plain. As is the case with much of India, there are three seasons in Chhattisgarh- summer, monsoon and winter.


Raipur is the capital city of Chhattisgarh. The state has a population of about 20,795,956. Hindi is the official language of Chhattisgarh, however, Chhattisgarhi language-a dialect of eastern Hindi, is the predominant language in the region. It has been recognized along with Hindi as the official language of Chhattisgarh.

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Further, nearly 3 million people in the state speak Sambalpuri (Kosali) language. Also, numerous tribal and some Dravidian influenced dialects or languages are used in various parts of the state. Chhattisgarh hosts religious sects comprising Kabirpanth, Satnami Panth, Ramnami Samaj and others. The eastern part of the state is primarily under the influence of Oriya culture.

Heritage & Culture

Chhattisgarh has a rich culture and has been a land of importance in the Indian history. Champaran in Chhattisgarh, is a small district with religious significance as the birth place of the Saint Vallabhacharya. It is especially of great importance for the Gujarati community as a pilgrimage site.

The popular dance styles of Chhattisgarh are Raut Nacha "Karma", Panthi and Soowa. Amongst the rich traditional folk songs of the state, the more famous ones are Bihav, Sohar and Pathoni songs. Bihav songs are linked to marriage celebrations and Sohar songs are linked to child birth. The important parts of Bihav songs are Telmati, Maymouri, Chulmati, Nahdouri, Bhadoni and Parghani.


Chattisgarh is renowned for its Kosa silk. A crisp, paper-like fabric, Kosa silk is famous not only in India but abroad too. Besides sarees and salwar suits, the fabric is used to in lehengas, shawls, stoles and menswear like sherwanis, shirts, jackets and achkans.

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