|Area||1,36,034 sq. km|
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History and Geography
Chhattisgarh, carved out of Madhya Pradesh came into being on 1 November 2000 as the 26th State of the Union. It fulfills the long-cherished demand of the people. In ancient times the region was known as Dakshin-Kausal. This finds mention in Ramayana and Mahabharata also. Between the sixth and twelfth centuries Sarabhpurias, Panduavanshi, Somvanshi, Kalchuri and Nagvanshi rulers dominated this region. Kalchuris ruled in Chhattisgarh from 980 to 1791 AD. With the advent of the British in 1845, Raipur gained prominence instead of capital Ratanpur. In 1904 Sambalpur was transferred to Odisha and estates of Sarguja were transferred from Bengal to Chhattisgarh.
Chhattisgarh is bounded by southern Jharkhand and Odisha in the east, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra in the west, Uttar Pradesh and western Jharkhand in the north and Andhra Pradesh in the south. Areawise Chhattisgarh is the ninth largest State and population-wise it is seventeenth State of the nation.
Agriculture and allied activities account for nearly 80 per cent of the work force in the State. Out of the geographical area 13,790 thousand hectares, gross cropped area is about 35 per cent of the total geographical area. Kharif is the main cropping season. Rice is the predominant crop of the state. Other important crops are maize, wheat, niger, groundnut and pulses. The State has one of the biggest collections of rice germplasm. Horticulture crops are grown in an area of about 540 thousand hectares.
Chhattisgarh was recently awarded "Krishi Karman Award" for first position in Paddy production in India for the year 2010-11. Paddy production increased from 50 lakh MT to 91 lakh MT in 2011.
Irrigation and Power
When the State came into being, the total irrigation capacity was 13.28 lakh hectares, which has now increased to 18.09 lakh hectare. Major completed projects are Mahandai Reservoir project, Hasdeo Bango project, Tandula, Kodar, Jonk D/S, Kharung, Maniyari Tank and Pairy (Sikasar) project, Jonk project, Kharang project, Maniyani project.
Installed capacity of state sector is 1924.70 MW out of which 1786 MW is thermal and 138.7 MW is hydro electric. By December 2012, Power from 500 MW Korba west TPS and 1000 MW Madwa TPS shall be available.
In Chhattisgarh 97 per cent of villages and 67.5 per cent of Majra/ Tola (hamlets) are electrified. Per capita electricity consumption has increased from 317 unit in 2001 to 1547 units in 2011.
Chhattisgarh has the perfect geological set up to host a number of economically crucial minerals. Large deposits of coal, iron ore, limestone, bauxite, and dolomite are found in various parts of the state. Districts of North Chhattisgarh such as Surguja, Raigarh, Koriya and Bilaspur are known for huge coal deposits. The state has 46682 million tones reserve in coal. In 2009-10 the state produced 110 million tones of coal. In fact Chhattisgarh ranks first among states in production of coal. The rich deposits of coal has attracted huge investment in power sector and in the coming years the state will emerge as major power supplier to the national grid.
The economy of Chhattisgarh is largely natural resource driven and it leverages the state's rich mineral resources. The key sectors where Chhattisgarh has a competitive advantage include cement, mining, steel, aluminium and power. One of the most mineral-rich states in India, Chhattisgarh provides a lucrative opportunity for cement production at the most competitive prices.
E-Governance in Chhattisgarh is oriented towards ensuring people access to government. This makes the government even more responsive and transparent. Chips (Chhattisgarh Infotech and Biotech Promotion Society) was setup with a high powered governing council under the Chief Ministers chairpersonship, to act as a prime mover for IT and Biotechnology in the State. All citizen services of e-governance are under one umbrella project called CHOICE (Chhattisgarh On-line Information for Citizens Empowerment). Chhattisgarh got the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Award 2007 for its Human Development Report, using Information technology for the betterment of citizens.
Roads: The total length of the roads in the State under PWD is 33448.80kms. The length of National Highways is 2226 kms; State highways 5240 kms; 10,539.80 kms; main district roads; and 15443 kms other district and rural roads. The length of roads in Chhattisgarh has increased from 17.75 kms to 21.40 kms per 100 kms.
984 kms of roads have been constructed and the work of 265 km roads is in progress under Chhattisgarh State Road Development Project.
18,906 kms of roads have been constructed under the Pradhan Mantri Grameen Sadak Yojna. To connect interior areas of State, not covered under the PMGSY, State Government has started Mukhya Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna and 4000 kms of roads worth Rs.2000 crores is under construction.
Railways: Raipur, Bilaspur, Durg, Rajnandgaon, Raigarh and Korba are important railway stations.
Chhattisgarh situated in the heart of India, is endowed with a rich cultural heritage and attractive natural diversity. The State is full of ancient monuments, rare wildlife species, carved temples, Buddhist sites, palaces, water-falls, caves, rock paintings and hill plateaus. Bastar, with its unique cultural and ecological identity; Chitrakote Falls, a spot where the river Indravati has an abrupt fall of 96 ft; Tirathgarh Falls, the picturesque waterfall of Kanger river from a height of 100 ft in the form of steps; Keshkal valley; Kangerghati National Park; Kailash caves; Sita Bongara and Kutumbsar caves are rich in natural beauty.
Mahamaya Temple, Ratanpur
Other important places of tourist interest are: In Bilaspur, Mahamaya temple at Ratanpur, Bambleshwari Devi Temple at Dongargarh, Danteshwari Devi Temple at Dantewada, Sirpur an important centre of Buddhism from 6-10th century, Champaran the birth place of Mahaprabhu Vallabhacharaya, Khutaghat waterfall, Dindneswari Devi Temple of Malhar and the Achanakmar sanctuary, Udanti sanctuary near Raipur, Pali and Kendai waterfall of Korba district are important places of tourist interest. The Sabari temple of Kharod Janjgir-Champa; Nar Narayan temple of Sheorinarayan; Vishnu Temple of Janjgir are important religious places. The State has set up a State Tourism Promoting Board as the nodal agency for the sustained development of interrelated sectors in tourism.
* As per 2011 Census (Provisional Data)
Source: India Book 2012 - A Reference Annual