Chhattisgarh State General Information
Capital : Raipur
Languages: Hindi, English
Introduction to Chhattisgarh
Chhattisgarh, located in Central India, has been carved out of Madhya Pradesh to become the 26th state of the Indian Union. It is endowed with huge mineral deposits and forest resources.
Chhattisgarh also has the largest concentration of Schedule Tribes in the country.
Its cities, especially Raipur are full of migrants from other parts of the country.
The state has tropical climate with hot summer and cold winters. Most of the precipitation occurs during the monsoon (July to mid-September). Day temperature during the summers (mid-April to June end) can touch a high of around 45°C while in the winters the temperature may fall well below 10°C.
Geography of Chhattisgarh
Chhattisgarh is located in central India, Chhattisgarh is one of the few landlocked states of the country. Uttar Pradesh and Bihar bind the State in north, in the east it is bound by Orissa, in the south by Andhra Pradesh and in the West by Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. A large part of the state comes under Vindhyachal range that divides the Indian subcontinent into two.
Mahanadi and Narmada are the principal rivers of the state. Narmada has its origin in Amarkantak, which lies in Chhattisgarh.
Brief History of Chhattisgarh
A major part of the Chhattisgarh as we know today was known as Dandakaranya in the ancient times. Other parts were known as Dakshina Koshal. In the medieval period, the region, which falls south of the Vindhyas, came to be known as Gondwana.
Earliest human settlements were established in this region much before they came into existence in any other part of the country. Historians and anthropologists are trying to establish the exact date for the earliest human settlement in this region.
Right from the beginning, Chhattisgarh has been swarmed with migrants from nearby places, who now constitute a major part of the population. Right from the days of great Magadha Empire, Chhattisgarh remained part of every empire that ruled the country from north to south, but their dominance was political only.
As the region was extremely inaccessible, not much interference could be made in the lifestyle of the tribes. Kalchuris were the first rulers who ruled clearly over this region till 19th century. After the fall of Kalchuris, it was time for the Bhonsles of Nagpur to dominate over this region for a brief period in the 19th century. However with the decline of the Marathas, there prevailed complete lawlessness throughout the region and many tribal chieftains established rule over small tracts of land.
The English recognized the mineral wealth of the region and established a vast network of mines and railway track throughout the region, which marked the beginning of a new phase in the tribal history of Chhattisgarh.
Today, the state is a heterogeneous mix of races from all over the country working together to create a prosperous Chhattisgarh.
Government of Chhattisgarh
Raman Singh is the current Chief Minister of Chhatisgarh, from the Bharatiya Janata Party. He has been chief minister since December 7, 2003. He banned naxalite organisations in Chattisgarh in 2005, a move supported by the opposition party as well, led by Mahendra Karma.
Districts of Chhattisgarh
Chhattisgarh has 16 districts: Bastar, Bilaspur, Dantewada (South Bastar), Dhamtari, Durg, Janjgir-Champa, Jashpur, Kanker (North Bastar), Kawardha, Korba, Koriya (Korea), Mahasamund, Raigarh, Raipur, Rajnandgaon, and Surguja.
Economy of Chhattisgarh
The state has immense Mineral and forest resources. Substantial deposits of limestone, iron-ore, copper-ore, rock phosphate, manganese-ore, bauxite, coal, asbestos and mica exist in the newly formed state. Major industries of the state are iron and steel, power generation, and mining.
The state has a good network of roads and rail connecting every part.
It also has lot of potential for power generation.
Agriculturally it is a very productive area. The soil and climate here are suitable for rice, which is grown here in large quantities. Chhattisgarh supplies food grain to almost 600 rice mills.
Another bigger source of income for the state is forest revenue.
Chhattisgarh Travel Information
Major tourist centers in the state are Amarkantak, Banjari Baba, Bhoramdev, Champaranya, Chitrakoot, Dudhadharimath, Indrawati National Park, Kangerghati National Park, Jagdalpur, Bastar, Danteswari Temple, and many more.
Raipur is the capital of the newly formed State of Chhattisgarh, carved out of Madhya Pradesh on 1st November 2000.
The city believed to be founded in the 14th century AD by the Kalchuri King Ram Chandra is centrally located in Chattisgarh.
Raipur is the biggest city of the region and a fast developing important industrial center.
Rivers of Chhattisgarh
The main river of this area is Mahanadi. Godavari, Rihand, Hatkul, Chinar, Doodh, Sendoor, Nakti, Shivnath, Hasdo, Mand, Eb, Pary, Jonk, Kelo, Udanti, Sukha and Doori are the other rivers of the area. Godavari is the second laergest river. Rihand is main river in northern side of Chhattisgarh.
Education in Chhattisgarh
The rate of development in the field of education is slow still the state has committed to spread the knowledge and freedom of thought among its citizens, which is reflected in its policy.
The overall literacy rate for the state as per census 2001 is 65.12%, with male literacy rate at 77.86% and female literacy rate at 55.28%. The state has been providing free and compulsory education to its children until they complete the age of fourteen years.
The state government is emphasizing more on the educational interests of the underprivileged sections, particularly, the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to raise their literacy standards.
The state follows a uniform system of school education i.e. the 10+2 pattern. Schools in Chhattisgarh are either run by the state government or privately by trusts and individuals.
The higher educational status of the state is no less encouraging. The state has 8 universities, 3 medical colleges and a number of professional colleges.
Students after completion of their +2 (class XII) prepare to go for higher study. They continue their study with the subjects taken in +2 level or switch over to professional degrees like engineering, management and medical.
The state is stepping forth with focused growth on education particularly at the primary and secondary levels.
Food of Chhattisgarh
Rice is the principal crop of the area, and forms the main part of the diet of these people. Interestingly red ants, flying ants, mushrooms, squirrels, and rats are some of the other special delicacies.
Liquor, brewed from mahuwa is an important delicacy among the tribal people. They are fond of fish as well.
Pork is a major item in their diet and almost every major ceremony commences with the sacrifice of a pig
Arts & Culture of Chhattisgarh
Majority of the population in Chhattisgarh comprises of the local tribal groups.
Gonds form the largest group among these natural residents of the land followed by Oraon, Kanwar, Baiga, Kamar, Birhar Saura, Role and so many other tribes. It also has a good percentage of schedule castes and other backward classes. This apart, it also has a sizable migrant population with migrations taking place from all over the country through centuries. Now these migrant groups are a part of the cultural milieu that the state presents.
Religiously, majority of the people are Hindus, Christians and Muslims comprise only a small part.
Dance & Music of Chhattisgarh
Chhattisgarh often resounds and reverberates with the beats of the drum.
Country-dances are the chief source of amusement. Dance and music forms of this state have very close relation to its tribal heritage and culture that they are practicing from the time immemorial. Major music forms of the state are Pandwani singing, Chandeni, and Bharthari.
Some of the popular dance forms of the state are Panthi Dance, Nacha, Gond, and Muria.
Ghotul is a better-known event in tribal life and they have aroused considerable interest from anthropologists to study the tradition. Both boys and girls are allowed to spend a night out in the ghotul (kind of rest house), every week. Ghotuls are regarded as a shrine, built by Lingo Pen, a Gond (a tribe) cult hero. Here, the unmarried boys of the village learn songs and dance from their leader. Besides, every week, there is a dance carnival as well in which the girls also take part. Moreover, It is treated like a pilgrimage.
Festivals of Chhattisgarh
Dussehra is celebrated with much enthusiasm in Jagdalpur every year.