CHHATTISGARH – THE ALLURING WORLD OF TRIBAL INDIA

CHHATTISGARH – THE ALLURING WORLD OF TRIBAL INDIA

CHHATTISGARH – THE ALLURING WORLD OF TRIBAL INDIA

CHHATTISGARH – THE ALLURING WORLD OF TRIBAL INDIA

Chhattisgarh, situated in Central India, is a state known for its significant size and population. With approximately 30 million inhabitants, it ranks as the seventeenth most populous state and is the ninth largest by area.

Bordered by seven states, including Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra, it gained statehood on 1st November 2000, separating from Madhya Pradesh, with Raipur as its capital.

Boasting rapid development, Chhattisgarh has emerged as one of India's fastest-growing states. Its Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) is estimated at ₹5.09 lakh crore (US$64 billion) with a per capita GSDP of ₹152,348 (US$1,900).

Abundant in resources, it holds the nation's third-largest coal reserves and contributes significantly to the country's electricity, coal, and steel industries. Moreover, Chhattisgarh is renowned for its extensive forest cover, ranking third in the country after Madhya Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh, with over 40% of its land area enveloped by forests.

Join us as we delve into the enchanting story of Chhattisgarh!

Tracing the History of Chhattisgarh

The origin of the name "Chhattisgarh" holds various theories, dating back to ancient times when it was called Dakshin Kosala, associated with Rama's mother Kausalya. However, the term gained popularity during the Maratha Empire era and was officially used in 1795.

One theory suggests that it comes from the presence of 36 ancient forts in the region, although historians dispute this claim. Another view suggests it might derive from "Chedisgarh," meaning the Raj or "Empire of the Chedis," referring to the Chedi dynasty of Kalinga in Odisha. 

<div class="paragraphs"><p><strong>History of Chhattisgarh</strong></p></div>

History of Chhattisgarh

History of Chhattisgarh

The region's history is rich, with mentions in ancient epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata, and evidence of early civilisations found in artefacts like the Sitabengra caves. From medieval to modern times, various dynasties ruled Chhattisgarh until it came under Maratha rule in the 18th century.

Under British administration, it was part of the Central Provinces and Berar until demands for statehood emerged in the 1920s, culminating in the formation of the separate state of Chhattisgarh on November 1, 2000, under the Madhya Pradesh Reorganisation Act.

Diverse Geography and Biodiversity

Chhattisgarh's geography encompasses diverse terrains, from hilly regions in the north and south to fertile plains in the centre. With nearly 44% forest cover, it ranks third in India for forested areas. The state's outline resembles a sea horse, with hills dividing river basins.

The Mahanadi River, along with its tributaries like the Shivnath, sustains extensive rice cultivation. The other important rivers are Hasdeo, Rihand, Indravati, Jonk, Arpa and Shivnath.

<div class="paragraphs"><p><strong>Geography and Biodiversity</strong></p></div>

Geography and Biodiversity

Geography and Biodiversity

Notably, Chhattisgarh boasts rich biodiversity, housing the van bhainsa (wild Asian buffalo) as its state animal, the pahari myna (hill myna) as its state bird, and the Sal (Sarai) as its state tree, particularly found in the Bastar division.

Additionally, the state prides itself on its expansive forest cover, hosting various National Parks and Tiger Reserves, including the UNESCO-recognized Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve, spanning over 383,551 hectares. 

In terms of climate, Chhattisgarh experiences a tropical climate with hot and humid summers, reaching temperatures of up to 49°C, while monsoons from late June to October bring relief. Winters are pleasant, with cooler temperatures and lower humidity, particularly notable in places like Ambikapur, Mainpat, Pendra Road, Samri, and Jashpur.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>CHHATTISGARH – THE ALLURING WORLD OF TRIBAL INDIA</p></div>
Hyderabad- The City Of Pearls

Transport Infrastructure in Chhattisgarh

Chhattisgarh boasts a robust transport network, including roads, railways, and airways. The state features 20 national highways spanning 3,078 kilometres, along with an extensive network of state highways and major district roads totalling over 8,000 kilometres.

Railway connectivity, primarily managed by the South East Central Railway Zone, covers almost the entire state, with key junctions in Bilaspur, Durg, and Raipur.

Chhattisgarh holds the highest freight loading in the country, contributing significantly to Indian Railways' revenue. Swami Vivekananda Airport in Raipur serves as the primary domestic hub, supported by regional airports in Bilaspur, Jagdalpur, and Ambikapur.

Reduction in sales tax on aviation turbine fuel (ATF) has led to a notable increase in passenger flow, indicating growth in air travel within the state.

Governance and Administration

Chhattisgarh's governance structure is characterised by its legislative assembly, consisting of 90 members, and representation in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha with 11 and five members, respectively. 

The state is administratively divided into five divisions: Bastar, Durg, Raipur, Bilaspur, and Surguja, each further subdivided into districts. Chhattisgarh comprises 33 districts, each headed by a district headquarters. Major cities in the state include Raipur, Bilaspur, Durg, Korba, Raigarh, Rajnandgaon, and Jagdalpur, among others, with Raipur and Bhilai-Durg being the largest urban centres.

These cities serve as vital hubs for governance, commerce, and cultural activities, contributing significantly to the state's development and growth.

Thriving Economy and Vibrant Media Landscape

Chhattisgarh's economy is flourishing, boasting a nominal gross state domestic product (GSDP) of 5.09 lakh crore (US$64 billion) in 2023-24, ranking it as the 17th largest state economy in India. The impressive growth rate of 11.2% during the same period is attributed to advancements in agriculture and industrial production. 

Agriculture remains the backbone, with rice, maize, and millets as primary crops, yet modernisation is essential for higher yields. However, limited irrigation, with only 20% of the area irrigated, hampers productivity. The state's power sector is robust, with surplus electricity production, driven by major players like NTPC and private enterprises.

Additionally, the steel and aluminium industries significantly contribute to the economy. Chhattisgarh's abundant natural resources, particularly coal and minerals, fuel its mining industry. 

Moreover, the state's media landscape is vibrant, with prominent print media outlets such as Hari Bhoomi, Dainik Bhaskar, Patrika, Navabharat, and Nai Duniya. With growing investments, export opportunities, and a dynamic media presence, Chhattisgarh's economy is on a path of sustained growth and development.

Chhattisgarh's HDI: Urban-Rural Gap & Challenges

Chhattisgarh's HDI is 0.613, ranking 31st among Indian states. Urban areas like Raipur and Bhilai boast high standards, but rural regions face resource challenges. Educational gaps exist, with Bhilai having an 86% literacy rate compared to Bastar's 54%.

Raipur is rapidly growing, with Atal Nagar becoming a financial hub. Despite progress, poverty and literacy issues persist, especially among STs. Socio-economic reforms are needed to ensure equitable development. Witchcraft accusations remain a concern, requiring legal and social interventions to protect vulnerable communities.

Demographics Overview

Chhattisgarh's population is diverse, with around 23.4% living in urban areas. Scheduled Tribes make up about 34%, Scheduled Castes 12%, and over 50% are from Other Backward Classes. The major plains' castes include Teli, Satnami, and Kurmi, while forest areas are mainly occupied by tribes like Gond, Halba, and Kamar/Bujia.

Hinduism is the predominant religion, followed by Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, and others. Chhattisgarhi, along with Hindi, is the official language, spoken by most residents. The state maintains a high female-male sex ratio, ranking fifth among Indian states, with rural women often displaying independence and social activism.

Traditional customs like chudi pahanana offer women agency in marital matters. Temples dedicated to goddesses reflect the state's historical and contemporary social fabric, although male dominance persists in societal structures.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>CHHATTISGARH – THE ALLURING WORLD OF TRIBAL INDIA</p></div>
Arunachal Pradesh, The land of the dawn-lit mountains

Chhattisgarh's Vibrant Culture

<div class="paragraphs"><p><strong>Vibrant Culture</strong></p></div>

Vibrant Culture

Vibrant Culture

Chhattisgarh's culture is vibrant and diverse, with a rich religious heritage including sects like Satnampanth and Kabirpanth. The state holds significance in the life of Lord Rama, particularly in places like Shivrinarayan. Odia culture influences the eastern regions.

Literature, crafts like Kosa silk and Dhokra metal art, and indigenous dances like Panthi and Raut Nacha thrive here. Chhattisgarh's cuisine, known for dishes like Aamat and Bafauri, reflects its status as the rice bowl of India. Major festivals such as Bastar Dussehra and Rajim Kumbh Mela add to the cultural vibrancy of the state.

Must-Visit Destinations

Chhattisgarh, nestled in central India, boasts a rich cultural heritage and diverse natural beauty. From ancient monuments to rare wildlife, the state offers a wealth of experiences, including exquisitely carved temples, waterfalls, caves, and rock paintings.

Notable attractions include Maitri Bagh, the largest zoo in the region, and Mainpat, known as the "mini Shimla" of Chhattisgarh. With waterfalls, hot springs, and national parks, adventure awaits at every turn. Raipur hosts India's first man-made jungle safari, offering a unique wildlife encounter. 

<div class="paragraphs"><p><strong>Must-Visit Destinations</strong></p></div>

Must-Visit Destinations

Must-Visit Destinations

Some other places to visit in Chhattisgarh include Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary, Shri Rajiv Lochan Mandir, Chitrakot Waterfalls, Rajeev Smriti Van, Mahakoshal Art Gallery, Purkhauti Muktangan, Bhoramdeo Temple, Tirathgarh Falls, and Mahant Ghasidas Memorial Museum, etc.

Additionally, sports enthusiasts flock to events like the Abujhmad Peace Marathon and the annual Chhattisgarhiya Olympics, celebrating traditional Indian games.

Education Landscape in Chhattisgarh

In Chhattisgarh, education plays a vital role in shaping the state's future. According to the 2011 census, the literacy rate stood at 71.04%, marking a significant increase from previous years. However, there remains a gender disparity, with female literacy trailing behind at 60.59%.

The census data also reveals a substantial rise in absolute literates, reflecting the growing emphasis on education across the state. In 2011, the total number of literate individuals surpassed 25.5 million, with both males and females contributing to this positive trend.

These figures underscore the importance of continued efforts to promote education and literacy for all, ensuring a brighter and more equitable future for Chhattisgarh.

In conclusion, Chhattisgarh stands as a beacon of progress and promise in Central India. With a rich history, diverse geography, thriving economy, and vibrant culture, the state offers a tapestry of experiences for visitors and residents alike.

As Chhattisgarh continues to evolve and embrace modernity while preserving its heritage, concerted efforts in governance, education, and socio-economic development will be pivotal in ensuring a prosperous and inclusive future for all its inhabitants.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>CHHATTISGARH – THE ALLURING WORLD OF TRIBAL INDIA</p></div>
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