Bilaspur is the home to many temples and archaeological sites that have long been forgotten. Today, it has become a hub for electric power generation and thus the beauty of its past remains over shadowed by modernisation.
There are tourists who come here to relive these ancient wonders that still stand here and await those who are yet to see them. It also has scenic spots for nature lovers like Khutaghat. The Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the renowned eco tourist spots in Bilaspur.
Sonmuda is another tourist attraction which gives panoramic views of the valleys, hills and forest. Here is a guide to the places to visit in Bilaspur which otherwise remains forgotten and lost in the past.
Photo Courtesy: Rksande
Among the many places to visit in Bilaspur, one is Malhar. Also known as Saravpur, it was once the capital of Chattisgarh. It is famous for its archaeological sites and the Pataleshwar temple. Devri temple and Dindeshwari temple are some of the ancients temples belonging to the 10th and 11th century that are found here. Memorials of Jain religion have been excavated from this place. Vishnu's four handed idol is what attracts tourists here. Pataleswar Kedar temple has a Gomukhi Shiv Lingam which is the centre of attraction. Didneswari temple belongs to the Kalchuri regime. Also visit the Deor temple, which has spellbinding artistic idols.
Photo Courtesy: Prithwiraj Dhang
Located at a distance of 25 km from Bilaspur, Ratanpur has witnessed vast historical changes brought by different rulers of various dynasties. Mahamaya Temple in Ratanpur is a renowned tourist spot in Bilaspur. There is a pond along with few ancient temples by the bank. Devout devotees are found here offering prayers and seeking blessings at the temple. Bhudha Mahadev, Ratneswar Mahadev Temple and Laxmi Temple are other temples of Ratanpur.
Tala or Talagram is situated at a distance of 25 km from Bilaspur. It is a famous tourist spot in Bilaspur due to the Deorani-Jethani temple, which belong to 5th century. Talagram is also known as Ameri-kapa gram. An amazing statue with a height of 7 ft and width of 4 ft is present in the temple. People from around the globe, come to view this statue. Even after so many years the deity here has not been named. Talagram is also famous for Rudra Shiva and the Maniyari River which flows by Talagram.
Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary
Photo Courtesy: Koshy Koshy
Apart from archaeology and pilgrimage sites, Bilaspur also nestles wildlife. Some of the impenetrable forests along with hills and rivers are found in this area of the country. Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the famous sanctuaries of Chhattisgarh. It houses innumerable endangered species like leopards, Bengal tigers, and wild bison. Other animals include the Chital, striped hyena, Canis, sloth bear, Dhole, Sambar deer, Nilgai, Indian four-horned antelope and Chinkara.
How to Reach Bilaspur
By Air: Bilaspur Airport is located at Chakarbhatta though not served by regular flights. It is 10km from Bilaspur. Raipur is the nearest airport active airport situated 115km from this place. Flights to all the big cities are available from Raipur.
By Train: Bilaspur railway station is the zonal head of South East Central Railway. It is thus the busiest station of Chhattisgarh and the hub of regional railway. It is the fourth busiest junction in India. Rajdhani Express which runs via Bhopal connects New Delhi. Bhopal - Bilaspur Express, Bilaspur Rajdhani, Chhattisgarh Express and Narmada Express are some other superfast trains which runs across Bilaspur. Chakarbhata, Dadhapara and Gatora have local-passenger trains running through them.
By Road: NH200 connects Raipur and Raigarh with Bilaspur. Kolkata and Mumbai are connected by National Highways. Ambikapur and Varanasi are connected by NH111. State Highways running through Bilaspur connect other states of India. Bus and taxis are available for internal transportation.