Bilaspur was a orderly princely state known as Kahloor before it merged with the Indian union after the country attained independence. It became a part of Himachal Pradesh in 1954 and was made into a district. The princely state came into being in 7th century AD, with the ruling dynasty tracing their roots to Chanderwanshi Rajputs of Bundelkhand in Madhya Pradesh.
Kot Kahloor till 1650 AD remained the capital, when ruler Deep Chand decided to shift it to the left bank of River Satluj. What used to be the historic Old Bilaspur, capital of the princely state, got completely submerged with the completion of Bhakra Dam in 1963. The sprawling new Bilaspur town has come up on higher ground near the old capital.
Gobind Sagar is one of the largest manmade lakes of the country that has reshaped the identity of Bilaspur and turned into a attractive tourist destination. It has become a hub for water sports activities, boating and an excellent site for game fishing. Being a district headquarter, the town is well connected and can easily be reached from Hamirpur, Una, Shimla, Mandi, Kullu-Manali and Chandigarh. There are plenty of popular destinations and offbeat locations around to explore for a fun-filled visit.
English and Hindi are understood and used by people engaged in tourism and other professional trades. Locals speak Bilaspuri or Kahloori, dialects belonging to the Western Pahari group of languages.
Bilaspur has moderate temperatures in spring and autumn but can get hot for May-June, the peak summer days. By evening the lake does fan cool breezes over the habitation. Light cotton clothing is most suited for these days but in winter, a dense fog cover that lingers well into the afternoon gets the place to experience some real cold days and nights. A need for heavy woollens is felt in winter.
Air: The closest airports for Bilaspur are at Chandigarh and Shimla.
Rail: The nearest railway station at Kiratpur is 65 kms away.
Road: Bilaspur can only be reached by road. It is 88 km from Shimla, 135 km from Chandigarh and 360 km from Delhi. It is well served by public and private transport services. Taxis are readily available for travelling in comfort.
|Places to visit
||Distances from Bilaspur (Km)
|Naina Devi temple
- Visit the Markandeya Temple.
- Visit Bhakra Dam, the largest dam of India.
- Visit famous Shakti Peeth Shree Naina Devi ji.
There are many fine restaurants and clean dhabas that serve good Indian food. The Lake View Cafe near Bilaspur, overlooking the Gobind Sagar lake, is a good place to try out Indian cuisines.
State and privately owned buses are the primary mode of public transport to the district and from other nearby destinations. Taxis are readily available for travelling in comfort.
Bilaspur is equipped with good medical care facilities. There is a government run regional hospital and there are also decent private run hospitals that meet the needs of tourists passing through the city.
Internet connectivity in the town and the nearby destinations is good. All national mobile phone services providers have a presence in Bilaspur.
In April for Baisakhi a fair at Rishi Markandeya temple complex, near Bilaspur, is a big draw that attracts a lot of pilgrims. The belief goes that Markandeya was doomed to die at the age of 12, in accordance to a prophecy at his birth. The boy prayed and won the grace of Lord Shiva who blessed him with a long life on Baisakhi. The boy became a sage and the fair is held in his honour. Devotees take a dip at a spring in the temple complex that is believed to have started following the day Markandeya was blessed with a long life. Stalls set up for the fair do sell local craft and handicraft products.
The temple is 20 km from Bilaspur.
Nalwari Cattle Fair
Rural way of life in Himachal holds many festivals that are connected with farm activities. Nalwari of Bilaspur as a cattle trade fair is one of them. It was W Goldstein as Shimla Superintendent in 1898, who impressed by native breeds of cattle got the fair started to spread them to other parts. Nalwari has kept the tradition alive ever since.
Not just trading of farm animals, the annual week long festival in March has become famous for holding rural games, particularly wrestling. The fair is a good opportunity to be among a rural people. The venue wears a decorative look, people are out in their best clothes, and the stalls that are set up sell local artefacts, handicrafts, jewellery, toys, and eatables. Wrestling bouts add to the days excitement.
Best time to visit Bilaspur is in spring, autumn and winter – when temperatures are mild and the weather is pleasant. In summers, the valley experiences high temperatures.
||March – June
||23°C – 36°C
||July – September
||20°C – 29°C
||December – February
||9°C – 23°C
|STD Code Bilaspur
|Deputy Commissioner Bilaspur
|District Tourism Development Office, Mandi & Bilaspur at Mandi.