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List of State in Central India

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Chhattisgarh at a glance

The origin of Chhattisgarh dates back to thousands of years. Recently, anthropologists have uncovered evidences of some of the initial human habitations in the rocks and caves of this mythological land. Chhattisgarh has also been mentioned in the legends of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. In these legends, the region was recognized as Dakshina Kosala, a place where Lord Rama spent some time of his exile period.

Besides the anonymous past, the known history of Chhattisgarh stretches back to the 4th century AD. The kingdoms, like that of the Sarabhpurias, Panduvanshi, Somvanshi, Kalchuri, and Nagvanshi, reigned the land during the 6th-12th centuries. Earlier Known as South Kosala, Chhattisgarh came to be known as Gondwana in the medieval period. Later it became part of the realm of the Kalchuris, who dominated the region until the late-18th century AD. The Muslim raconteurs, of the 14th century AD, have explained in detail about the dynasties, which ruled over the county.

Somewhere around the 16th century, Chhattisgarh was swayed by the Mughals and then, by the Marathas. By the year 1758, the entire region came under the territory of the Marathas, who harshly ransacked its natural resources. Actually the term 'Chhattisgarh' was popularized during the times of Marathas. In 1795, the term was utilized for the first time in an official document. In the early 19th century, the British entered and subsumed most of the territory into the Central Province. Past 1854, the British managed the region like a deputy commissionership with its control center at Raipur.

Chhattisgarh took active part in the Revolt of 1857, when Vir Narayan Singh (a landlord of Sonakhan) stood up to challenge the biasness of the British rule. After an extended battle with the British, Vir Narain Singh was eventually hanged in the same year. In 1904, the British restructured the region, wherein the estates of Surguja were added while Sambalpur was transferred to Orissa. In 1924, the initial demand for a separate state was raised by the Raipur Congress Unit at the meeting of the Raipur District Congress.

Without any outcome of the protest, Chhattisgarh got independence from the British like the entire country, but as the part of Madhya Pradesh. It was comprehended that the region was culturally and historically different from M.P.; it must get special recognition of its own. After independence, in 1955, the demand for a separate state recurred in the Nagpur Assembly though it didn't materialize. At last, on 1st November 2000, Chhattisgarh was constituted as the 26th state of India.

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  • Area 135,194.5 km2
    Capital Raipur
    Population 25,545,198
    Official Languages Hindi, Chhattisgarhi
    Boundary Chhattisgarh shares boundaries with the states of Madhya Pradesh on the north-west, Jharkhand on the north-east, Andhra Pradesh on the south, Maharashtra on the west, Orissa on the east and Uttar Pradesh on the north.
  • Bhagoriya Festival

    The literal meaning of the term Bhagoriya is elopers. Are you wondering why it has been named so Then get prepared for a real surprise. The most striking characteristic of this festival is that here one is officially given the permission to elope with one’s lover. You have to apply gulal on the girl you have liked and if she reciprocates you are at complete liberty to elope with her. You can also offer her a betel leaf as an expression of your love. If she accepts the token you can rest assure that she has agreed to your proposal and is equally keen on spending the rest of her life with you. Then you can follow the tradition which has been so long followed and run away with your beloved. The marriage will be eventually solemnized. On the occasion of this festival, Bhagoradev or the God of Dancing is worshipped religiously by the people of the Bhil community. The eldest member of the village supervises over the ceremony. Sweets are offered to the god and later these are distributed amongst the members of the tribe. The fun is indeed unlimited. Everybody dances to the beat of the drums and the thalis. There is joyousness in the atmosphere and notes of Shahnai and Bansuri fill the air. You will also start tapping your foot and crave to be a part and parcel of this merriment.

  • Hariyali, Kora, Navakhani and Cherta Festivals

    The Hariyali, Kora and Navakhani Festivals are celebrated when the new crops are gleaned. It is a mark of thanksgiving to the lord for bestowing them with plenty. It is a token of their gratitude as well as a sign of their joy. After the hard work of so many days, their efforts have finally paid off and so they are elated. The term Navakhani literally means eating of the new crop. They consume the grains themselves and offer it along with liquor to their forefathers. The grains are the fruits of their toils. They want to share their success with their predecessors who have blessed them and this small gesture is perhaps the best way to show their thankfulness. Even when the Cherta Festival is celebrated, the people consume pulse which is their agricultural product. They too remember their ancestors on this auspicious day and raw urda pulse is offered to them as well.

  • Bhoramdeo Festival

    The architecturally brilliant Bhoramdeo temples, built by King Ramachandra of the Nag dynasty, in the Satpura hills on the banks of river Sankari, form the backdrop for the annual Bhoramdeo Festival.

  • Pola Festival

    Pola follows Hareli. It is celebrated by worshipping bullocks. Children play with idols of Nandi bull (the vehicle of Lord Shiva) made of clay and fitted with clay wheels. A bull race is a major event of the festival.

  • Teeja Festival

    This festival is celebrated by married women - they pray for the welfare of their husbands. The custom is to perform this prayer at ther parents' home.

  • Goncha Festival

    This comes alive every year during the "Rath Yatra" in Jagdalpur. The tribes participate in the festivity using a goncha (a sort-of pistol made from bamboo) and tukki (a fruit as the bullet) to shoot at each other, in fun, of course.

  • Champaran Mela

    Held every year during January and February in a town 10 km from Rajim, this fair reflects the rich culture of the region. Mahaprabhu Vallabhacharya was born here and the mela attracts Vaishnavas from all over the country.

  • Narayanpur Mela

    In month of February, right after Jagdalpur Dassera, various Bastar tribes gather, with their deities, for the Narayanpur Mela. The fair is marked by worship and celebration.

  • Fagun Wadai

    This festival takes place in March, starting 7-8 days before Holi and ending a few days after Holi. The main attractions of this festival are the deities and the dances based on various tribal and folk stories. The madai (fair), marking the end of the festival, is attended by tribals from all over India.

  • Koriya Mela

    This fair was first held by Ramanuj Pratap Singh Judeo, King of Koriya State, on Mahashivratri, in 1936. The tradition follows even today.

  • Madai festival (February)

    The festival of Gonds, an old tribal community in Chhattisgarh, Madai Festival is a means to meet relatives settled in different villages and purchase yearlong supplies of daily needs such as salt and cooking oil. Devotees sacrifice a goat beneath the sacred village tree to honor the tribal goddess; the night is marked with non-stop drinking and dancing. The best place to visit to attend the festival is Narayanpur in Bastar.

  • Bhagoria Festival (March)

    Held a week ago Holi, a Hindu festival, the Festival that originated in the Bhils dominated Jhabua district allows you to officially elope with your lover. The devotees worship the god of dance Bahgoradav on this occasion.

  • Ganga Dusshera (June)

    The Ganga Dusshera Festival is celebrated on Bhim Sen Ekadashi to mark the sowing of Kharif crops. Tribal dances, colorful processions and endless rounds of drinking mark the Ganga Dusshera festival, which are similar to Dusshera celebrations in Chhattisgarh.

  • Chakradhar Samaroh

    This music festival, is organised by the Ustad Allaudin Khan Sangeet Academy and the Chakradhar Lalit Kala Kendra, to commemorate the memory of Maharaja Chakradhar Singh. This former ruler, a great tabla player and dancer, wrote many books on music and dance. He developed a new form of Kathak and established the Raigarh Gharana.

  • Charta Festival (Hindu month of Paush in December end)

    A harvest festival that is celebrated by all tribal communities in Chhattisgarh, Charta Festival has kids going around the village collecting rice from each household. The married girls then cook the collected rice on the banks of the nearby water body as men and women sing and dance, eagerly awaiting the community feast to be served.

  • Navakhana Festival (9th Day of Navmi) (The First Fruits Festival)

    Another festival celebrated by all the communities to mark the rice harvest, Navakana festival begins with offerings of the harvested rice (new for the season) to the family deity on Navami. Some communities may even have dances and liquor during the night after the family consumes the first of the newly harvested rice.

  • Surhul Festival (April)

    A festival that has nothing to do with harvest, Surhul Festival is dedicated to the worship of Mother Earth and is held on the day when the Sal Trees flower. The fields are left untouched through the whole day and the farmers offer prayers at the village Sarna (a small forest within the village).

  • Mati Puja (The Earth Festival )

    Mati Puja festival is celebrated with great excitement and enthusiasm in Bastar district of Chhattisgarh. The festival is called by different names in different regions of Bastar district like Maati Ti'aar in central Bastar and Beeja Pandum in South Bastar. People worship the mother Earth on the occasion for getting blessed with ample yield of crops for the coming season. The festival holds the special importance in this region as people earn their living by farming and totally dependent on their crop yield every year.

  • Heritage and Culture

    Chhattisgarh, a little paradise in central India, is not only known for its exceptional scenic beauty, but the region also has a history of its own. Famous for its unique and varied tribal populations, including the world-famous Gonds tribes of Bastar region, Chhattisgarh has a rich cultural heritage, dating back to thousands of years. Chhattisgarh has its own unique form of dances, music, religious beliefs (each tribe has their own gods), cuisine, tribal festivals and more, offering a cultural destination with a difference. The Dusshera Festival at Bastar is famous in all over India and celebrated by tribes with great fanfare.

    Chhattisgarh is also known for its rich and unique architectural monuments including temples, caves, palaces, providing insights into the rich cultural heritage of the region. There are number of important heritage sites, which you can visit on your cultural tour of Chhattisgarh. Bhoramdeo, Dantewada, Deepadih, Dongargarh, Jogibhatta, Rajim, Sirpur, Malhar, Sita Bhengra, and Sheorinarayan are the major sites for heritage tourism in Chhattisgarh. The rock-paintings of Singhanpur, Sita Bhengra, and Kabra mountains are worth visiting on your cultural tour of Chhattisgarh.

    Chhattisgarh is also rich in arts and crafts. The tribes of Bastar were amongst the earliest to work with metal in India. The wooden figurines of gods, animals, oil lamps, carts and bamboo furniture, clay pieces made by tribes are very famous and worth purchasing souvenirs.

  • Cuisine

    Chhattisgarh is popularly known as the “rice bowl of India” for it produces rice on a large scale. Other staple food of the people of Chhattisgarh is jowar, maize and wheat. The food of the Chhattisgarh people are classified into two categories namely the tribal and the non-tribal diet. The tribal food includes fish, pork, red ants, flying ants, squirrels, field rats and wild mushrooms and plants. The fruit got from the mahuwa tree is very famous in Chhattisgarh. The fruit is small, white and creamy which is further fermented into a strong brew and consumed by the people. Among lip smacking delicacies jalebis, rakhia badi and petha are most favourites of the people. The meal of these people are complete only with a sweet after their food and so jalebi has become an integral part of the food menu of the state. Bafauri a special recipe made of chana dal is also a favourite among the people of the state. The people of the state have a liking towards tangy recipes and sweet dishes.

  • Crafts of Chhattisgarh

    Chhattisgarh is a state renowned for its rich metal crafts and other traditional craft products made out of bamboo, wood etc. The folk paintings of Chhatisgarh depict the living expressions of the people, intrinsically linked with the socio-cultural ambiance of the area. They are not mere decorations but also spontaneous outpourings of religious devotions. The main craft produce of the State include Bamboo work, Wood carving, folk painting and folk Jewelry.

  • Bamboo Work

    Bamboo thickets are common sight in the State and tribals of Chhattisgarh have been putting their craftmanship to work. Craftsmanship of Chhattisgarh tribals can be seen from varying articles of craft produce they make out of bamboo. Articles for daily as well as decorative use are produced by these artisans. Some of the will known Bamboo produce include agricultural implements, fishing traps, hunting tools and baskets.

  • Wood Carving

    The woodcarving art has been flourishing in Chhattisgarh from time immemorial and one can find beautifully carved wooden products designed by the craftsman of the State. The skillful craftsmen of the State carve beautiful wooden ceilings, doors, lintels etc using different kinds of wood like shisham, teak, dhudi, sal and kikar. The craftsmen also make pipes, masks, doors, window frames and sculptures.

  • Painting

    Traditional wall paintings of the State is associated with rituals. Floors and walls are painted with colours and in almost every instance the depiction being associated with some ritual. Pithora paintings is a common traditional art form. These paintings originated in the tribal area of the Central India which is presently Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and depicts the offering to gods. These paintings are usually done on the occasion of marriages, childbirth and other occasions of fulfillment of wish etc.
    Most of these paintings has a horse as it was considered auspicious to sacrifice a horse. In most of these tribal houses one can find pithora paintings. They are colorful and use natural colors.

  • Ornaments

    Jewelry from Chhattisgarh is available in a variety of gold, silver, bronze and mixed metal. Ornament made out of beads, cowries and feathers are part of tribal costumes. Tribal men and women wear traditional ornaments.

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