Location of Chhattisgarh in India
Coordinates (Bhilai): 21°16′N 81°36′E / 21.27°N 81.60°E / 21.27; 81.60Coordinates: 21°16′N 81°36′E / 21.27°N 81.60°E / 21.27; 81.60
Country  India
Region Central India
Formation 1 November 2000
Capital Naya Raipur (legislative) , Bilaspur (judiciary)
Largest city Raipur
Districts 27
  Governor Balramji Das Tandon
  Chief Minister Raman Singh (BJP)
  Legislature Unicameral (90 seats)
  Parliamentary constituency 11 (year 2010)
  High Court Chhattisgarh High Court, Bilaspur
  Total 135,194.5 km2 (52,198.9 sq mi)
Area rank 10
Population (2015)
  Total 27,928,015
  Rank 17th
  Density 210/km2 (540/sq mi)
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)
ISO 3166 code IN-CT
HDI Increase 0.537(Medium)
HDI rank 23rd (2005)
Literacy 71.04% (23rd)
Official language Hindi
State symbols of Chhattisgarh
Language Chhattisgarhi (a dialect of Hindi)
Animal Van Bhainsa (Wild Buffalo)
Bird Pahari Myna (Hill Myna)
Tree Sal or Sarai
River Mahanadi river

Chhattisgarh (Chatīsgaṛh, literally 'Thirty-Six Forts') is a state in central India. It is the 10th largest state in India, with an area of 135,194 km2 (52,199 sq mi). With a population of 28 million, Chhattisgarh is the 17th most-populated state of the nation. It is a source of electricity and steel for India, accounting for 15% of the total steel produced in the country.[1] Chhattisgarh is one of the fastest-developing states in India.[2]

The state was formed on 1 November 2000 by partitioning 16 Chhattisgarhi-speaking southeastern districts of Madhya Pradesh.[3][4] Raipur was made its capital city. Chhattisgarh borders the states of Madhya Pradesh in the northwest, Maharashtra in the southwest, Telangana in the south, Odisha in the southeast, Jharkhand in the northeast and Uttar Pradesh in the north. Currently the state comprises 27 districts.


Chhattisgarh comprises 27 districts, including Balod, Baloda Bazar, Balrampur, Bastar, Bemetara, Bijapur, Bilaspur, Dantewada, Dhamtari , Durg, Gariaband, Janjgir-Champa, Jashpur, Kanker, Kabirdham, Kondagaon, Korba, Koriya, Mahasamund, Mungeli, Narayanpur, Raigarh, Raipur, Rajnandgaon, Surguja, Sukma, and Surajpur.


There are several opinions as to the origin of the name Chhattisgarh, which in ancient times was known as Dakshina Kosala (South Kosala).[5] "Chhattisgarh" was popularized later during the time of the Maratha Empire and was first used in an official document in 1795.

It is claimed that Chhattisgarh takes its name from the 36 ancient forts in the area[5] (chhattis—thirty-six" and garhfort). The old state had 36 demesnes (feudal territories): Ratanpur, Vijaypur, Kharound, Maro, Kautgarh, Nawagarh, Sondhi, Aukhar, Padarbhatta, Semriya, Champa, Lafa, Chhuri, Kenda, Matin, Aparora, Pendra, Kurkuti-kandri, Raipur, Patan, Simaga, Singarpur, Lavan, Omera, Durg, Saradha, Sirasa, Menhadi, Khallari, Sirpur, Figeswar, Rajim, Singhangarh, Suvarmar, Tenganagarh and Akaltara.[6] However, experts do not agree with this explanation, as 36 forts cannot be archaeologically identified in this region.

Another view, more popular with experts and historians, is that Chhattisgarh is the corrupted form of Chedisgarh which means Raj or "Empire of the Chedis".[5] In ancient time Chhattisgarh region was also part of Chedi dynasty of Kaling,modern Odisha.In medieval period up to arrival of 1803 major partion of present eastern Chhattisgarh was part of Chauhan rulers of Hirakhand or Sambalpur Kingdom of Odisha.


The northern and southern parts of the state are hilly, while the central part is a fertile plain. The highest point in the state is the Bailadila Range.[7] Deciduous forests of the Eastern Highlands Forests cover roughly 44% of the state . The state animal is the van bhainsa, or wild water buffalo. The state bird is the pahari myna, or hill myna. The state tree is the Sal (Sarai) found in Bastar division.

Sal- The State Tree of Chhattisgarh

In, the north lies the edge of the great Indo-Gangetic plain. The Rihand River, a tributary of the Ganges, drains this area. The eastern end of the Satpura Range and the western edge of the Chota Nagpur Plateau form an east-west belt of hills that divide the Mahanadi River basin from the Indo-Gangetic plain. The outline of Chhattisgarh is like a sea horse.

The central part of the state lies in the fertile upper basin of the Mahanadi river and its tributaries. This area has extensive rice cultivation. The upper Mahanadi basin is separated from the upper Narmada basin to the west by the Maikal Hills (part of the Satpuras) and from the plains of Odisha to the east by ranges of hills. The southern part of the state lies on the Deccan plateau, in the watershed of the Godavari River and its tributary, the Indravati River. The Mahanadi is the chief river of the state. The other main rivers are Hasdo (a tributary of Mahanadi), Rihand, Indravati, Jonk, Arpa and Shivnath. It is situated in the east of Madhya Pradesh.

Amrit Dhara Waterfall. The natural beauty of Koriya includes dense forests, mountains, rivers and waterfalls. Amrit Dhara Waterfall in Koriya is among the most famous waterfalls in Koriya. Koriya in Chhattisgarh was a princely state during the British rule in India. Koriya is also known for the rich mineral deposits. Coal is found in abundance in this part of the country. The dense forests are rich in wildlife.

The Amrit Dhara Water fall, Koriya is a natural waterfall which originates from the Hasdo River. The fall is situated at a distance of seven kilometers from Koriya. The waterfall is ideally located on the Manendragarh-Baikunthpur road. The Amrit Dhara Waterfall in Koriya in Chhattisgarh in India falls from a height of 27 m. The waterfall is about 3–4.5 m wide. The point where the water falls, there, a cloudy atmosphere is formed all around. Chirimiri Is The Jannat Of Chhattisgarh.


The climate of Chhattisgarh is tropical. It is hot and humid because of its proximity to the Tropic of Cancer and its dependence on the monsoons for rains. Summer temperatures in Chhattisgarh can reach 45 °C (113 °F). The monsoon season is from late June to October and is a welcome respite from the heat. Chhattisgarh receives an average of 1,292 millimetres (50.9 in) of rain. Winter is from November to January and it is a good time to visit Chhattisgarh. Winters are pleasant with low temperatures and less humidity.[8]


The temperature varies between 30 and 45 °C (86 and 113 °F) in summer and between 0 and 25 °C (32 and 77 °F) during winter. However, extremes in temperature can be observed with scales falling to less than 0 °C to 49 °C.



National Highway 43 (India)

Chhattisgarh has coverage of mostly 2-lane or 1-lane roads which provides connectivity to major cities. 11 national highways passing through the state which are together 3078.40 km in length. However most national highways are in poor conditions and provides only 2-lanes for slow moving traffic. Many national highways are on paper and not fully converted into 4-lane highway. This includes 130A New, 130B New, 130C New, 130D New, 149B New, 163A New, 343 New, 930New.. Other national highway includes NH 6, NH 16, NH 43, NH 12A, NH 78, NH 111, NH 200, NH 202, NH 216, NH 217, NH 221, NH30NH 930 NEW.[9][10] The state highways and major district roads constitute another network of 8,031 km.

Chhattisgarh has one of the lowest densities of National Highway in Central and South India (12.1 km/100,000 population) which is similar to the North Eastern state of Assam.

Rail network

Raipur Railway Station Entrance

Almost the entire railway network spread over the state comes under the geographical jurisdiction of the South East Central Railway Zone of Indian Railways centred around Bilaspur, which is the zonal headquarters of this zone. The main railway junction is Raipur, Durg and Bilaspur Junction, which is also a starting point of many long distance trains. These three junctions are well-connected to the major cities of India.[11]

The state has the highest freight loading in the country and one-sixth of Indian Railway's revenue comes from Chhattisgarh. The length of rail network in the state is 1,108 km, while a third track has been commissioned between Durg and Raigarh.[12] Construction of some new railway lines are under process. These include Dalli-Rajhara–Jagdalpur rail line, Pendra Road-Gevra Road Rail Line rail line, Raigarh-Mand Colliery to Bhupdeopur rail line and Barwadih-Chirmiri rail line.[13] Freight/goods trains provide services mostly to coal and iron ore industries in east-west corridor (Mumbai-Howrah route) . There is lack of passenger services to north and south of Chhattisgarh. Current train stations are mostly over crowded and not maintained well for passengers.

Rail Network Expansion [14]

Presently, Chhattisgarh has 1,187 km long railway line network, which is less than half of the national average of rail density.

The construction of new 546 km long rail network includiRajhara-Rowghat rail project, 311 km long East and East-West Rail Corridors and 140 km long Rowghat-Jagdalpur rail project are underway in the state.

The Chhattisgarh government has now decided to form a joint venture company with the Ministry of Railways for the expansion of railway tracks in the state. The decision to form a joint venture company with Ministry of Railways was taken during a meeting of the state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister on 5 February 2016. An MoU will shortly be signed between the state Commerce and Industries Department and the railway ministry in this regard. Under the MoU, the state government will have 51% share and the railways remaining 49% share. The proposed joint venture company will identify viable rail projects in the state and implement them.

Major Railway heads are Raipur, Bilaspur, Durg, Champa, Raigarh, Rajnandgaon


Swami Vivekananda Airport Raipur

The air infrastructure in Chhattisgarh is small compared to other states. Swami Vivekananda Airport in Raipur is its sole airport with scheduled commercial air services. A massive reduction in sales tax on aviation turbine fuel (ATF) from 25 to 4% in Chhattisgarh in 2003 has contributed to a sharp rise in passenger flow. The passenger flow has increased by 58% between 2011 and November 2012.[15]

Other major areas in the north and south of state, and industrial cities such as Bilaspur, Korba, Raigarh are not served by any airline. The majority of population in these area is not able take advantage of low cost airlines due to poor road connectivity and high cost of taxi fares. The State Government has signed a MOU with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) in July 2013 to develop Raigarh Airport as the state's second airport for domestic flights.[16]

Other airstrips

Proposed airstrips

  • Kanker
  • Kabirdham
  • Surajpur
  • Dantewada
  • Bijapur
  • Korba
  • Balrampur
  • Rajnandgaon


Ancient and medieval history

In ancient times, this region was known as Dakshina Kosala. This area also finds mention in Ramayana and Mahabharata. Between the sixth and twelfth centuries, Sarabhpurias, Panduavanshi, Somavanshi, Kalachuri and Nagavanshi rulers dominated this region. The Bastar region of Chhattisgarh was invaded by Rajendra Chola I and Kulothunga Chola I of the Chola dynasty in the 11th century.[17][18][19]

Colonial and Post Independence history

Chhattisgarh was under Maratha rule (Bhonsales of Nagpur) from 1741 to 1845 AD. It came under British rule from 1845 to 1947 as the Chhattisgarh Division of the Central Provinces. Raipur gained prominence over the capital Ratanpur with the advent of the British in 1845. In 1905, the Sambalpur district was transferred to Odisha and the estates of Surguja were transferred from Bengal to Chhattisgarh.

The area constituting the new state merged into on 1 November 1956, under the States Reorganisation Act, 1956 and remained a part of that state for 44 years. Prior to its becoming a part of the new state of Madhya Pradesh, the region was part of old Madhya Pradesh State, with its capital at Nagpur. Prior to that, the region was part of the Central Provinces and Berar (CP and Berar) under the British rule. Some areas constituting the Chhattisgarh state were princely states under the British rule, but later on were merged into Madhya Pradesh.[20]

Separation of Chhattisgarh

Mantralaya in Naya (New) Raipur

The present state of Chhattisgarh was carved out of Madhya Pradesh on 1 November 2000.[3][4] The demand for a separate state was first raised in the 1920s. Similar demands kept cropping up at regular intervals; however, a well-organized movement was never launched. Several all-party platforms were formed and they usually resolved around petitions, public meetings, seminars, rallies and strikes.[21] A demand for separate Chhattisgarh was raised in 1924 by the Raipur Congress unit and also discussed in the Annual Session of the Indian Congress at Tripuri. A discussion also took place of forming a Regional Congress organization for Chhattisgarh. When the State Reorganisation Commission was set up in 1954, the demand for a separate Chhattisgarh was put forward, but was not accepted. In 1955, a demand for a separate state was raised in the Nagpur assembly of the then state of Madhya Bharat.[21]

The 1990s saw more activity for a demand for the new state, such as the formation of a statewide political forum, especially the Chhattisgarh Rajya Nirman Manch. Chandulal Chadrakar led this forum, several successful region-wide strikes and rallies were organized under the banner of the forum, all of which were supported by major political parties, including the Indian National Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party.[21]

The new National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government sent the redrafted Separate Chhattisgarh Bill for the approval of the Madhya Pradesh Assembly, where it was once again unanimously approved and then it was tabled in the Lok Sabha. This bill for a separate Chhattisgarh was passed in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, paving the way for the creation of a separate state of Chhattisgarh. The President of India gave his consent to the Madhya Pradesh Reorganisation Act 2000 on 25 August 2000. The Government of India subsequently set 1 November 2000, as the day the state of Madhya Pradesh would be divided into Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.[21]

Governance and administration

The State Legislative assembly is composed of 90 members of the Legislative Assembly. There are 11 members of the Lok Sabha from Chhattisgarh. The Rajya Sabha has five members from the state.


Districts of Chhattisgarh state in 2007

Chhattisgarh state consists of 27 districts and 5 divisions:[22][23][24][25][26]

Bastar Division Durg Division Raipur Division Bilaspur Division Surguja Division

Major cities

Human Development Indicators (HDIs)


As of 2011 Chhattisgarh state had a Human Development Index value of 0.358, the lowest of any Indian state. The national average is 0.467 according to 2011 Indian NHDR report.[30]

Standard of living

Chhattisgarh has one of the lowest standard of living in India as per the Income Index (0.127) along with the states of Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Rajasthan. These states have incomes below the national average, with Bihar having the lowest income per capita.

These poor states, despite low absolute incomes, have witnessed high Net State Domestic Product (NSDP) growth rates especially Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Uttarakhand which had growth rates above 10 per cent per annum during the Tenth Five Year Plan period (2002–07).

Education Index

School children in Chhattisgarh

Chhattisgarh has an Education Index of 0.526 according to 2011 NHDR which is higher than that of the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, although lower than the national average of 0.563.

With respect to literacy, the state fared just below the national average. The recent estimates from Census (2011) are also similar, with the literacy rate of 71% (81.4% Males & 60.5% Females), which is close to the all India literacy rate of 74%.

According to NSS (2007–08), the literacy rate for Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Scheduled Castes (SCs) was better than the corresponding national average.

Among the marginalized groups, STs are at the bottom of the rankings, further emphasizing the lack of social development in the state. Bastar and Dantewada in south Chhattisgarh are the most illiterate districts and the drop out ratio is the highest among all the districts. The reason for this is the extreme poverty in rural areas.

Health Index

Health Index of Chhattisgarh is less than 0.49, one of the lowest in the country. The Health Index is defined in terms of life expectancy at birth since a higher life expectancy at birth reflects better health outcomes for an individual.

Despite different health related schemes and programmes, the health indicators such as percentage of women with BMI<18.5, Under Five Mortality Rate and underweight children are poor. This may be due to the difficulty in accessing the remote areas in the state. The prevalence of female malnutrition in Chhattisgarh is higher than the national average—half of the ST females are malnourished. The performance of SCs is a little better than the corresponding national and state average. The Under Five Mortality Rate among STs is significantly higher than the national average. The percentage of under-weight children in Chhattisgarh is also higher than the national average, further underlining the appalling health condition of the state’s population.

Net state domestic product (NSDP)

Chhattisgarh is one of the emerging states with relatively high growth rates of NSDP (8.2% vs. 7.1% All India over 2002–2008) and per capita NSDP(6.2% vs. 5.4% All India over 2002-2008). The growth rates of the said parameters are above the national averages and thus it appears that Chhattisgarh is catching up with other states in this respect. However, the state still has very low levels of per capita income as compared to the other states.


The demographic profile shows that about 80 per cent of the total population lived in rural areas.

Sex ratio

There are more than 13 million males and 12.9 million females in Chhattisgarh, which constitutes 2.11% of the country’s population. The sex ratio in the state is one of the most balanced in India with 991 females per 1,000 males, as is the child sex-ratio with 964 females per 1,000 males (Census 2011)

Fertility rate

Chhattisgarh has a fairly high fertility rate (3.1) as compared to All India (2.6) and the replacement rate (2.1). It has rural fertility rate of 3.2 and urban fertility rate of 2.1.

SC and ST population

With the exception of the hilly states of the north-east, Chhattisgarh has one of highest shares of Scheduled Tribe (ST) populations within a state, accounting for about 10 per cent of the STs in India. Scheduled Castes and STs together constitute more than 50 per cent of the state’s population. The tribals are an important part of the state population and mainly inhabit the dense forests of Bastar and other districts of south Chhattisgarh. The Scheduled Caste (SC) population of Chhattisgarh is 2,418,722 as per 2001 census constituting 11.6 per cent of the total population (20,833,803).The proportion of Scheduled Castes has increased from 11.6 per cent in 2001 to 12.8% in 2011. The percentage increase in the population of the scheduled list of tribals during the 2001-2011 decade had been at the rate of 18.23 per cent. The share of the tribal population in the entire state had been 30.62 per cent which was 31.76 per cent during 2001.


Tendu Patta (Leaf) collection in Chhattisgarh, India.

The incidence of poverty in Chhattisgarh is very high. The estimated poverty ratio in 2004–5 based on uniform reference period consumption was around 50 per cent, which is approximately double the all India level. The incidence of poverty in the rural and urban areas is almost the same.

More than half of the rural STs and urban SCs are poor. In general, the proportion of poor SC and ST households in the state is higher than the state average and their community’s respective national averages (except for rural SC households). Given that more than 50 per cent of the state’s population is ST and SC, the high incidence of income poverty among them is a matter of serious concern in the state.

This indicates that the good economic performance in recent years has not percolated to this socially deprived group, which is reflected in their poor performance in human development indicators.

Access to drinking water

In terms of access to improved drinking water sources, at the aggregate level, Chhattisgarh fared better than the national average and the SCs of the state performed better than the corresponding national average. Scheduled Tribes are marginally below the state average, but still better than the STs at the all India level.

The proportion of households with access to improved sources of drinking water in 2008–9 was 91%. This proportion was over 90% even in states like Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. This was largely because these states had over 70% of their households accessing tube wells/ handpumps as sources of drinking water.


Sanitation facilities in the state are abysmally low with only about 27 per cent having toilet facilities, which is far below the all-India average of 44%.[31][32] The STs are the most deprived section in this regard with only 18 per cent of the ST households having toilet facilities, which is lower than the all India average for STs. The SCs also have a lower proportion of households with toilet facilities as compared to the all India average.

States with low sanitation coverage in 2001 that improved coverage by 4-10% points are [Chhattisgarh], Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Himachal Pradesh, Daman and Diu, Haryana, Sikkim, Punjab, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Goa and Uttarakhand registered increased coverage by more than 20 percentage points.[31]


Across states, it has been found that teledensity (telephone density) was below 10 per cent in 2010 for Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, reflecting a lack of access to telephones in these relatively poorer states. On the other hand, for states like Delhi and Himachal Pradesh and metropolitan cities like Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai, teledensity was over 100 per cent in 2010 implying that individuals have more than one telephone connection.

Road density

The road length per 100 km2 was less than the national average of 81 km (81,000 m) per 100 km2 in Chhattisgarh. The rural areas of Chhattisgarh failed to meet their targets of constructing new roads under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) plan.[33]


Chhattisgarh is primarily a rural state with only 20% of its population (around 5,1 million people in 2011) residing in urban areas. According to a report by the government of India,[36] at least 34% are Scheduled Tribes, 12% are Scheduled Castes and over 50% belong to the official list of Other Backward Classes. The plains are numerically dominated by castes such as Teli, Satnami and Kurmi; while forest areas are mainly occupied by tribes such as Gond, Halbi, Halba and Kamar/Bujia and Oraon. A large community of Bengalis has existed in major cities since the times of the British Raj. They are associated with education, industry and services.


Religion in State (2011)[37]

  Hinduism (93.2%)
  Islam (2.01%)
  Christianity (1%)
  Sikhism (0.27%)
  Buddhism (0.27%)
  Jainism (0.24%)
  Sarnaism or not religious (3.01%)

According to the 2011 census, the 93.2% of Chhattisgarh's population practiced Hinduism, while 2% followed Islam, 1% followed Christianity and smaller number followed Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism or other religions.[37] Sarnaism is the indigenous religion followed by the indigenous tribes of the state.


In order to bring about social reforms and with a view to discourage undesirable social practices, Chhattisgarh government has enacted the Chhattisgarh Tonhi Atyachar (Niwaran) Act, 2005 against witchery.[38] Much has to be done on the issue of law enforcement by judicial authorities to protect women in this regard, bringing such persecution to an end.[39]

Some sections of tribal population of Chhattisgarh state believe in witchcraft.[39] Women are believed to have access to supernatural forces and are accused of being witches (tonhi) often to settle personal scores.

As of 2010, they are still hounded out of villages on the basis of flimsy accusations by male village sorcerers paid to do so by villagers with personal agendas, such as property and goods acquisition.[39] According to National Geographic Channel’s investigations, those accused are fortunate if they are only verbally bullied and shunned or exiled from their village.

Social Mission Against Blind Faith


The official language of the state is Hindi and is used by non-rural population of the state. Chhattisgarhi, a dialect of Hindi language, is spoken and understood by the majority of people in Chhattisgarh. Among other languages, Odia is widely spoken by a significant number of Odia population in the eastern part of the state.Telugu, Marathi is also spoken in parts of Chhattishgarh. Chhattisgarhi was known as "Khaltahi" to the surrounding hill-people and as "Laria" to Odia speakers.

In addition to Chhattisgarhi, there are several other languages spoken by the tribal people of the Bastar region, geographically equivalent to the former Bastar state, like Halbi, Gondi and Bhatri.[40][41][42][43][44]

Status of women

Adivasi woman and child

Chhattisgarh has a high female-male sex ratio (991)[45] ranking at the 5th position among other states of India. Although this ratio is small compared to other states, it is unique in India because Chhattisgarh is — the 10th largest state in India.

The gender ratio (number of females per 1000 males) has been steadily declining over 20th century in Chhattisgarh. But it is conspicuous that Chhattisgarh always had a better female-to-male ratio compared with national average.

Year 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001 2011
India 972 964 955 950 945 946 941 930 934 927 933 940
Chhattisgarh 1046 1039 1041 1043 1032 1024 1008 998 998 985 989 991
Young women in Chhattisgarh

Probably, such social composition also results in some customs and cultural practices that seem unique to Chhattisgarh: The regional variants are common in India's diverse cultural pattern.

Rural women, although poor, are independent, better organized, socially outspoken.[46] According to another local custom, women can choose to terminate a marriage relationship through a custom called chudi pahanana, if she desires. Most of the old temples and shrines here are related to 'women power' (e.g., Shabari, Mahamaya, Danteshwari) and the existence of these temples gives insight into historical and current social fabric of this state. However, a mention of these progressive local customs in no way suggests that the ideology of female subservience does not exist in Chhattisgarh. On the contrary, the male authority and dominance is seen quite clearly in the social and cultural life.

Detailed information on aspects of women's status in Chhattisgarh can be found in 'A situational analysis of women and girls in Chhattisgarh' prepared in 2004 by the National Commission of Women, a statutory body belonging to government of India.

Adivasi Woman at Farasgaon Market
Natives of Kamar Tribe


A carving in the 10th- or 11th-century Hindu temple of Malhar village. This area, 40 km from Bilaspur, was supposedly a major Buddhist center in ancient times.

The state hosts many religious sects such as Satnami Panth, Kabirpanth, Ramnami Samaj and others. Champaran (Chhattisgarh) is a small town with religious significance as the birthplace of the Saint Vallabhacharya, increasingly important as a pilgrimage site for the Gujarati community.

Chhattisgarh has a significant role in the life of lord Rama. Lord Rama along with his wife Sita and his younger brother Lakshaman had started his Vanvas (exile) in the Bastar region (more precisely Dandakaranya region) of Chhattisgarh. They lived more than 10 years of their 14 years of Vanvas in different places of Chhattisgarh. One of the remarkable place is Shivrinarayan which is nearby Bilaspur district of Chhattisgarh. Shivrinarayan was named after an old lady Shabari. When Ram visited Shabari she said "I do not have anything to offer other than my heart, but here are some berry fruits. May it please you, my Lord." Saying so, Shabari offered the fruits she had meticulously collected to Rama. When Rama was tasting them, Lakshmana raised the concern that Shabari had already tasted them and therefore unworthy of eating. To this Rama said that of the many types of food he had tasted, "nothing could equal these berry fruits, offered with such devotion. You taste them, then alone will you know. Whomsoever offers a fruit, leaf, flower or some water with love, I partake it with great joy."

The Odia culture is prominent in the eastern parts of Chhattisgarh bordering Odisha.


Chhattisgarh is a storehouse of literature, performing arts and crafts — all of which derives its substance and sustenance from the day-to-day life experiences of its people. Religion, mythology, social and political events, nature and folklore are favourite motifs. Traditional crafts include painting, woodcarving, bell metal craft, bamboo ware and tribal jewellery. Chhattisgarh has a rich literary heritage with roots that lie deep in the sociological and historical movements of the region. Its literature reflects the regional consciousness and the evolution of an identity distinct from others in Central India.


Chhattisgarh is known for "Kosa silk" and "lost wax art". Besides saris and salwar suits, the fabric is used to create lehengas, stoles, shawls and menswear including jackets, shirts, achkans and sherwanis. Works by the internationally renowned sculptor, Sushil Sakhuja's Dhokra Nandi, are available at government's Shabari handicrafts emporium, Raipur.


Panthi, Rawat Nacha, Pandwani, Chaitra, Kaksar, Saila, Khamb-swang, Bhatra Naat, Rahas, Raai, Maao-Pata and Soowa are the several indigenous dance styles of Chhattisgarh.


Panthi, the folk dance of the Satnami community, has religious overtones. Panthi is performed on Maghi Purnima, tbla he anniversary of the birth of Guru Ghasidas. The dancers dance around a jaitkhamb set up for the occasion, to songs eulogizing their spiritual head. The songs reflect a view of nirvana, conveying the spirit of their guru's renunciation and the teachings of saint poets like Kabir, Ramdas and Dadu. Dancers with bent torsos and swinging arms dance, carried away by their devotion. As the rhythm quickens, they perform acrobatics and form human pyramids.[47]


Pandavani is a folk ballad form performed predominantly in Chhattisgarh. It depicts the story of the Pandavas, the leading characters in the epic Mahabharata. The artists in the Pandavani narration consist of a lead artist and some supporting singers and musicians. There are two styles of narration in Pandavani, Vedamati and Kapalik. In the Vedamati style the lead artist narrates in a simple manner by sitting on the floor throughout the performance. The Kaplik style is livelier, where the narrator actually enacts the scenes and characters.[48]


Raut Nacha

Raut Nacha, the folk dance of cowherds, is a traditional dance of Yaduvanshis (clan of Yadu) as symbol of worship to Krishna from the 4th day of Diwali(Goverdhan Puja) till the time of Dev Uthani Ekadashi (day of awakening of the gods after a brief rest) which is the 11th day after Diwali according to the Hindu calendar . The dance closely resembles Krishna's dance with the gopis (milkmaids).[49][50]

In Bilaspur, the Raut Nach Mahotsav folk dance festival is organized annually since 1978. Tens of hundreds of Rautt dancers from remote areas participate.[51]

Raut Nacha

Soowa Nacha

Soowa or Suwa tribal dance in Chhattisgarh is also known as Parrot Dance. It is a symbolic form of dancing related to worship. Dancers keep a parrot in a bamboo-pot and form a circle around it. Then performers sing and dance, moving around it with clapping. This is one of the main dance form of tribal women of Chhattisgarh.[52]

Sua Nacha at Khudmudi Village, Chhattisgarh


Tribal groups like Gonds, the Baigas and the Oraons in Chhattisgarh have Karma dance as part of their culture. Both men and women arrange themselves in two rows and follow the rhythmic steps, directed by the singer group. The Karma tribal dance marks the end of the rainy season and the advent of spring season.[53][54]

Festivals of Chhattisgarh


Theater is known as Gammat in Chhattisgarh. Pandavani is one of the lyrical forms of this theater. Several acclaimed plays of Habib Tanvir, such as Charandas Chor, are variations of Chhattisgarhi theater.

Natya Samaroh by IPTA

Film Industry

Chhollywood is Chhattisgarh's film industries. Every year many Chhattisgarhi film produced by local producers.

Traditional food

The State of Chhattisgarh is known as the rice bowl of India and has a rich tradition of food culture.[56][57][58][59][60][61]

Red Velvet Mite is used as Medicine in Traditional Healing of Chhattisgarh


Chhattisgarh's gross state domestic product for 2010 is estimated at INR 60,079 crore in current prices. The economy of Chhattisgarh has grown rapidly in recent years with a growth rate of 11.49 per cent in GDP for 2009–2010.[62] Chhattisgarh’s success factors in achieving high growth rate are growth in agriculture and industrial production.

Tea production

Chhattisgarh State is ranked as the 17th largest tea production state in India. The districts of Jashpur and Surguja are favorable tea production areas. In Jashpur district, the first tea plantation, Brahmnishthajaya Sogara Ashram was established under the direction of Pujya Pad Gurupad. Tea production started after two years at the Sogara Ashram. A tea processing unit was established in Sogara Ashram and the unit name set as the Aghor Tea Processing Plant. The forestry department has also started a tea plantation motivated by the Sogara Ashram. In Surguja district, a tea nursery is being developed by the Margdarshan Sansthan Agriculture College in Ambikapur, Surguja.


Agriculture is counted as the chief economic occupation of the state. According to a government estimate, net sown area of the state is 4.828 million hectares and the gross sown area is 5.788 million hectares.[63] Horticulture and animal husbandry also engage a major share of the total population of the state.[64] About 80% of the population of the state is rural and the main livelihood of the villagers is agriculture and agriculture-based small industry.

The majority of the farmers are still practicing the traditional methods of cultivation, resulting in low growth rates and productivity. The farmers have to be made aware of modern technologies suitable to their holdings. Providing adequate knowledge to the farmers is essential for better implementation of the agricultural development plans and to improve the productivity.[65]

Chloroxylon is used for Pest Management in Organic Rice Cultivation in Chhattisgarh, India

Considering this and a very limited irrigated area, the productivity of not only rice but also other crops is low, hence the farmers are unable to obtain economic benefits from agriculture and it has remained as subsistence agriculture till now.

Medicinal Rice of Chhattisgarh used as Immune Booster
Herbal Farming in Chhattisgarh: Aloe vera
Herbal Farming in Chhattisgarh: Gulbakawali
Herbal Farming in Chhattisgarh: Safed Musli with Arhar

Agricultural products

The main crops are rice, maize,[66] kodo-kutki and other small millets and pulses (tuar[67] and kulthi); oilseeds, such as groundnuts (peanuts), soybeans[68] and sunflowers, are also grown. In the mid-1990s, most of Chhattisgarh was still a monocrop belt. Only one-fourth to one-fifth of the sown area was double-cropped. When a very substantial portion of the population is dependent on agriculture, a situation where nearly 80% of a state's area is covered only by one crop, immediate attention to turn them into double crop areas is needed. Also, very few cash crops are grown in Chhattisgarh, so there is a need to diversify the agriculture produce towards oilseeds and other cash crops. Chhattisgarh is also called the "rice bowl of central India".[63]

Kodo Millet is used as Life Saving Medicine in Chhattisgarh, India
Bastar Beer prepared from Sulfi


In Chhattisgarh, rice, the main crop, is grown on about 77% of the net sown area. Only about 20% of the area is under irrigation; the rest depends on rain. Of the three agroclimatic zones, about 73% of the Chhattisgarh plains, 97% of the Bastar plateau and 95% of the northern hills are rainfed. The irrigated area available for double cropping is only 87,000 ha in Chhattisgarh plains and 2300 ha in Bastar plateau and northern hills. Due to this, the productivity of rice and other crops is low, hence the farmers are unable to obtain economic benefits from agriculture and it has remained as subsistence agriculture till now, though agriculture is the main occupation of more than 80% of the population.[65]

In Chhattisgarh region about 22% of net cropped area was under irrigation as compared to 36.5% in Madhya Pradesh in 1998-99, whereas the average national irrigation was about 40%. The irrigation is characterized by a high order of variability ranging from 1.6% in Bastar to 75.0% in Dhamtari. Based on an average growth trend in irrigated area, about 0.43% additional area is brought under irrigation every year as compared to 1.89% in Madhya Pradesh and 1.0% in the country as a whole. Thus, irrigation has been growing at a very low rate in Chhattisgarh and the pace of irrigation is so slow, it would take about 122 years to reach the 75% level of net irrigated area in Chhattisgarh at the present rate of growth.[65]

Chhattisgarh has a limited irrigation system, with dams and canals on some rivers. Average rainfall in the state is around 1400 mm and the entire state falls under the rice agroclimatic zone. Large variation in the yearly rainfall directly affects the production of rice. Irrigation is the prime need of the state for its overall development and therefore the state government has given top priority to development of irrigation.[63]

A total of four major, 33 medium and 2199 minor irrigation projects have been completed and five major, 9 medium and 312 minor projects are under construction, as of 31 March 2006.

Industrial sector

Power sector

Chhattisgarh is one of the few states of India where the power sector is effectively developed. Based on the current production of surplus electric power, the position of the State is comfortable and profitable. The Chhattisgarh State Electricity Board (CSEB) is in a strong position to meet the electricity requirement of the new state and is in good financial health. Chhattisgarh provides electricity to several other states because of surplus production.

In Chhattisgarh, National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (|NTPC) has Sipat Thermal Power Station with a capacity of 2,980 MW at Sipat, Bilaspur; GMR Power in Tilda and Korba Super Thermal Power Station with a capacity of 2,600 MW at Korba, while CSEB's units have a thermal capacity of 1,780 MW and hydel capacity of 130 MW. Apart from NTPC and CSEB, there are a number of private generation units of large and small capacity. The state government has pursued a liberal policy with regard to captive generation which has resulted in a number of private players coming up.[69]

The state has potential of 61,000 MW of additional thermal power in terms of availability of coal for more than 100 years and more than 2,500 MW hydel capacity. To use this vast potential, substantial additions to the existing generation capacity are already under way.[69]

Steel sector

The steel industry is one of the biggest heavy industries of Chhattisgarh. Bhilai Steel Plant, Bhilai operated by SAIL, with a capacity of 5.4 million tonnes per year, is regarded as a significant growth indicator of the state. More than 100 steel rolling mills, 90 sponge iron plants and ferro-alloy units are in Chhattisgarh. Along with Bhilai, today Raipur, Bilaspur, Korba and Raigarh have become the steel hub of Chhattisgarh. Today, Raipur has become the center of the steel sector, the biggest market for steel in India.[70]

Aluminium sector

The aluminium industry of Chhattisgarh was established by Bharat Aluminium Company Limited, which has a capacity of around one million tonnes each year.[70]

Natural resources


Forests occupy 41.33% of the total area (as per the latest report by the Indian Forest Service) and the rich forest resources include wood, tendu leaves, honey and lac. Approximately 3%is under very dense forest,25.97% is moderately dense,12.28% is open forest and 0.09%is scrub

Flora of Kabirdham District
Indian Luna Moth in Chhattisgarh Forest
Ventilago in Biodiversity Rich Chhattisgarh Forest
Mineral deposits

Chhattisgarh is rich in minerals. It produces 20% of the country's total cement produce. It has the highest output of coal in the country with second highest reserves. It is third in iron ore production and first in tin production. Limestone, dolomite and bauxite are abundant. It is the only tin-ore producing state in India. Other commercially extracted minerals include corandum, garnet, quartz, marble, alexandrite and diamonds.

Maikal Hills in Chhattisgarh
Mineral Wealth from Chandidongri, Chhattisgarh
Information and technologies

In recent years, Chhattisgarh is also getting exposure in information technology (IT) projects and consultancy. Its government is also promoting IT and has set up a body to take care of the IT solutions. The body, known as CHIPS, is providing large IT projects such as Choice, Swan, etc.

Major companies

Major companies with a presence in the state include:


Chhattisgarh’s total exports were US$353.3 million in 2009-10. Nearly 75% of exports comes from Bhilai and the remaining from Urla, Bhanpuri and Sirgitti. The major exports products include steel, handicrafts, handlooms, blended yarn, food and agri-products, iron, aluminium, cement, minerals and engineering products. CSIDC (Chhattisgarh State Industrial Development Corporation Limited) is the nodal agency of the Government of Chhattisgarh for export promotion in the state.


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, exquisitely carved temples, Buddhist sites, palaces, water falls, caves, rock paintings and hill plateaus.

There are many Waterfalls, hot springs, caves, temples, dams and National parks and wildlife sanctuaries in Chhattisgarh.


According to the census of 2011, Chhattisgarh's literacy, the most basic indicator of education was at 71.04 percent. Female literacy is at 60.59 percent.

Absolute literates and literacy rate

Data from Census of India, 2011.[71]

Description 2001 census 2011 census
Total 20,833,803 25,540,196
Male 10,474,218 12,827,915
Female 10,359,585 12,712,281
% Total 64.66 71.04
% Male 77.38 81.45
% Female 55.85 60.59


Bastar Vishwavidyalaya, is one of the new universities erected at the same time as Surguja university. Bastar University is bifurcated from Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur.

Premier institutes in Chhattisgarh

There are a number of premier professional institutes in the state of Chhattisgarh.


  1. Indian Institute of Management Raipur
  2. Indian Institute of Technology Bhilai
  3. All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Raipur
  4. Hidayatullah National Law University
  5. National Institute of Technology Raipur[72]
  6. Bhilai Institute of Technology , Durg[73]
  7. Christian College of Engineering and Technology, Bhilai[74]
  8. Shri Shankaracharya Institute of Technology & Management, Bhilai
  9. Shri Shankaracharya College of Engineering and Technology, Bhilai
  10. Shri Shankaracharya Engineering College, Bhilai
  11. Shri Shankaracharya Institute of Professional Management and Technology, Raipur
  12. Shri Shankaracharya Institute of Engineering & Technology, Bhilai
  13. Guru Ghasidas University[75]
  14. Indira Kala Sangeet University, Khairagarh
  15. Government Engineering College, Jagdalpur

Other universities

  1. Ayush & Health Sciences University Chhattisgarh
  2. Bilaspur University
  3. Chhattisgarh Swami Vivekanand Technical University
  4. Dr. C. V. Raman University
  5. Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya
  6. Kalinga University
  7. Pandit Ravishankar Shukla University
  8. Pandit Sundarlal Sharma (Open) University
  9. Sarguja University

Guru Ghasidas University

Guru Ghasidas Vishwavidyalaya is the Central University of the Chhattisgarh state. Established in the year 1983, the university was centralized under the act 2009. The first Vice Chancellor of the University after it got centralized was Dr. Lakshman Chaturvedi, who retired on 28 February 2014. At present, Prof. Anjila Gupta is the Vice Chancellor. The university provides hons degree in various courses like BA, B.Sc., B.Tech, B.E., etc.

Sarguja University

Surguja Vishwavidyalaya was established and incorporated by Chhattisgarh Vishwavidyalaya Adhiniyam No. 18 of 2008. The territorial jurisdiction of the University is the entire Surguja division comprising the revenue districts of Koriya, Surguja, and Jaspur. It started functioning from 2 September 2008. Surguja is a fast-growing industrial area, having a large number of small industrial units. The jurisdiction is the nerve centre of business, especially coal, forestry, and natural resources, including medicinal trees. The region has a very rich historical and cultural heritage. The university is situated in a tribally enriched, socially and economically challenged area of Chhattisgarh. At present the university is partially residential and fully one, having its jurisdiction spread over the Surguja revenue division. At present the university has 65 affiliated colleges offering various courses in arts, science, commerce, education, law, management, and social science as well as multidisciplinary courses such as Environmental Sciences, Biotechnology, Farm Forestry, Computer Science and Information Technology. Ambikapur town is a Municipal Corporation and is well connected with all parts of the country by road and rail also. This town is connected with Durg, Raipur, Bilaspur and Anuppur of the South East Central Railway Zone (SECR). The railway station is 4 km from town. Frequent local transport is available for reaching the university. The nearest railway zone and main railway is Bilaspur in the SECR, 235 km away. Raipur, the capital of Chhattishgarh is 350 km away which is the nearest airport. An airstrip in Darima, which is just 10 km away is still in its developing stage and will cater to air traffic for the entire region.[76]

Media and communications




See also


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