Land of temples and waterfalls
Famous for its carved temples, caves and waterfalls, this state is India’s ninth largest in terms of area and the 17th in terms of the population.
1845: Chhattisgarh was under Maratha rule (Bhonsales of Nagpur) from 1741 to 1845. It came under British rule from 1845 to 1947 as the Chhattisgarh Division of the Central Provinces.
1956: When the States Reorganisation Commission was set up, the demand for a separate Chhattisgarh state was put forward, but the demand was not accepted.
2000: The then President, KR Narayanan, gave his consent to the Madhya Pradesh Reorganisation Act. The present state of Chhattisgarh was carved out of Madhya Pradesh on November 1, 2000 as India’s 26th state.
AGRICULTURE: Chhattisgarh is often called the rice bowl of central India. The main crops in this state are rice, maize, kodo kutki and other millets as well as pulses like tuar and kulthi. Oilseeds such as groundnuts (peanuts), soybeans and sunflowers are also grown in the state.
AIRPORTS AND RAILWAY STATIONS: The main airport is situated in Raipur, the capital city. Major railway stations include Raipur, Bilaspur, Durg, Korba and Raigarh.
CULTURE: The state is famous for Relo music of the Maria tribe and Dhankul songs. Panthi, Raut Nacha, Rawat Nacha, Pandwani, Chaitra, Kaksar, Saila, Khambswang, Bhatra Naat, Rahas, Raai, Maao-Pata and Soowa are among the state’s indigenous dances. Lentils form an important part of the cuisine.
GEOGRAPHY: The northern and southern parts of the state are hilly, while the central part is a fertile plain. The Mahanadi is the state’s main river. Other rivers are Indravati, Pairi, Hasdo, Son, Sabari. The distinct seasons in the state are summer, winter, and the intervening rainy months of the southwest monsoon (June to September).
FAMOUS PEOPLE: Businessman and seasoned investor Madhusudan Kela, RTI activist and whistle blower Mujibur Rehman, late playwright, late theatre director and poet Habib Tanvir, filmmaker Anurag Basu, former squad commander Naik Kaushal Yadav and folk artist Teejan Bai etc. Habib Tanvir: One of the most popular Urdu and Hindi playwrights, theatre director, poet and actor, he wrote plays such as Agra Bazar and Charandas Chor. He was known for his work with Chhattisgarhi tribals at Naya Theatre, a company he had founded in Bhopal in 1959. He was conferred many national & international awards.
PLANTS AND ANIMALS:The most valuable hardwoods are teak and sal. A type of tree called salai yields a resin used for incense and in medicine, while leaves from tendu trees are used for rolling bidi. Bamboo is found in abundance. The forests in the state are home to tigers, striped hyenas, blackbucks, chital (spotted deer), gaur (a type of wild buffalo), sambar deer, sloth bear, wild bear and four-horned antelope. The state animal is the van bhainsa or wild Asian buffalo.
STEAMED BAFAURI :If you are a health-conscious foodie, here’s something for you. A lentil snack made during festivals in Chhattisgarh, steamed bafauri is a very good alternative to fried pakoras and very delicious too. Why not prepare the dish and savour it?
EASY TO PREPARE
Soak chana daal for 3-4 hours. Then place in a colander and drain out the excess water. Chop green chillies, coriander, ginger and onion. Transfer the chana daal in a mixer jar and add in salt, chillies, ginger, turmeric powder and red chilli powder. Grind it into a coarse mixture. Transfer this mixture to a bowl and add carom seeds, asafoetida, onion and coriander. Mix well. Make medium-sized balls out of this mixture. Place a steamer pot on heat and bring the water to a boil. Grease the steamer plate and place the balls on it. Let the balls steam for 20 minutes or until well cooked. Serve it hot with green chutney.
DID YOU KNOW?
‘Niagara Falls of India’: Chitrakoot Falls, located to the west of Jagdalpur in Bastar district, is known as the ‘Niagara Falls of India’. The picturesque horseshoe-shaped waterfall located on the Indravati River is the widest of its kind in India and is at most spectacular during the monsoon.
Asia’s first music university: Established in 1956, the Indira Kala Sangeet Vishwavidyalaya is situated in Khairagarh, Chhattisgarh. The then rulers of the princely state of Khairagarh, King Birendra Bahadur Singh and queen Padmavati Devi Singh, donated their ancestral palace to establish a university of music and fine arts as a tribute to their daughter Princess Indira. It is Asia’s first university that is fully dedicated to various forms of music, dance, fine arts and theatre.