lands, rivulets and
streams. In the Vyas Gufa,which draws a continuous
host of tourists and pilgrims, the Rishi who penned the Mahabharata, lived
as he prepared himself for the arduous task, which he was about to
perform latter in another Gufa in the Uttrakhand way up in the
celestial heights of the mighty Himalayas.
Lakshmi Narayan and Radheyshyam temples, along with the Vyas Gufa,
escaped being submerged by the swirling water of the dam as modern
man's monument to nature clashed with the old. The Satluj, which
rises in the snows of the Tibet, after crossing the Dhauladhar in
the lower regions of the Himalayas above Rampur, create wide
terraces, in the highly developed and populated town of Bilaspur.
The 225m high Bhakra dam is the highest in the world. A link with
the past is still provided by Nalwari, the most important fair of
Bilaspur, which is held every year in the third week of March.
Bilaspur, formerly the seat of the ruler of the State is now
submerged in the Gabind Sagar, it was situated on the south east
side of the Satluj. Bilaspur Township is situated just above the old
town of Bilaspur at a height of 6,70m above in sea level. The new
Bilaspur Township can be truely described as the first planned hill
town of the country. The pleasure of a visit will be enhanced
manifold when a motor launch is preferred as the means of travel,
gliding through cool and enchanting waters of the lake.
The New Town:
ultimate effects of the colossal construction were to generate many
thousands KW of electric energy, which combined with a canalization
of the waters has extended irrigation over ten million acres, to
help in feeding the teeming millions. The Gobindsagar reservoir
behind the dam is 80-km long on whose banks has sprung the new
township of Bilaspur. Two big generating stations have been built
just below the Bhakra Dam, each with a capacity of 600 millions
biggest mirror carp hatchery is situated here, at a distance of
13-km from the town. Kandror Bridge: While the town is situated on
the lake created by the highest bridge in India, Kindror Bridge is
the second highest bridge in the world and is 22-km from Bilaspur.
always been the favourite stamping grounds of the ancient Rishis or
Sage. Here they performed penances and sought cures for mankind in
their orisons or prayers. Markand is 25-km from Bilaspur, is where
Maharishi Markand performed the strictest austerities on his body to
delve into the secrets unknown to man. A dip in the sacred waters
over here is a sure cure, it is believed, for infant diseases and
sterility. There is also a famous shrine about 20-km from Bilaspur,
in tehsil Sadar named after renowned Rishi Markandeya, who lived and
worshiped there. According to a legend, a tunnel connected Markand
and Vyas cave and the two rishis, Vyas and Markand used to visit
each other through this sub-terrain path. In addition to a shrine
there is also a water spring of ancient fame where a night fair is
held annually on Baisakhi day.
On the top of a hill known as Bahadurpur the highest point
(1,980m) in the district near Tepra Village in Paragana Bahadurpur,
after covering a distance of about 40-km from Bilaspur. The
beautiful woods of deodar and ban trees embellish this range. It is
just 6-km above Namhol, from this high place the Ratanpur Fort,
Swarghat, the Fatehpur Fort, the Naina Devi hill, plains near Ropar
and the mountains of Shimla can be seen. This Fort was built prior
to 1835, but now is in its ruins.
Shri Naina Devi Ji:
A notable place of
worship in the district is the temple of Shri Naina Devi Ji,
situated on the hill top which rises some 9,15m above the sacred
town of Anandpur Sahib in Ropar. The temple stands on the very
summit of the hill above a small bazar and is reached by a long
flight of stone steps or by a cable car. Sariun Fort: To the eastern
side of the Tiun range, on the lifty range and peak of Sariun like
this stronghold at an elevation of about 1,500m above M.S.L and is
about 58-km.from Bilaspur. Tradition holds that the fort was
originally built by the same Raja of the erstwhile Suket State and
was subsequently wrested by the ruler of Bilaspur, the local people
entertain a superstition according to which, the stones once forming
part of the Fort are not used in any residential building.
Relics of this
fort is situated on the top of a hill known as the Tiun range, at
distance of about 55-Km.from Bilaspur, on the Ali Khad crossing
Ghumarwin-Ladraur motorable road and about 10-km from Ghumarwin.
Vyas Cave: The name of sage Vyas is well known in this part.
Situated at the foot of the new township, the belief is that Vyas
Rishi meditated in this cave. The origin of the town, Vyaspur is
believed to have been derived from this cave. Lying on the left bank
of river Satluj, this place is famous as a pilgrimage too.
ideally situated about 40-km.off Bilaspur on the Bilaspur-Chandigarh
road. Perched at an elevation of about 1,220m from sea level, Naina
Devi temple and Bhakra Dam, are also approachable from here. There
is also a temple dedicated to Lakshmi Narayan.
Situated at Bhakra village of
Bilaspur, about 13-km upstream from Nangal township, it is one of
the highest straight gravity dams in the world. The lake is about
90-km long, covering an area of about 168-sq-km of which 90% is in
Bilaspur and 10% in Una district. The dam was dedicated to nation by
late Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru on November 20th, 1963. The view of vast
dam and green jungles around is fascinating indeed.
HOW TO GET THERE
Chandigarh and Bhuntar are the nearest
airports, located at 135-km and 131-km from Bilaspur.
The nearest broad
gauge railway station is at Kiratpur Sahib and nearest narrow gauge
railway station is at Shimla, which are connected by regular bus
is approachable by road from Shimla and Chandigarh.
WHERE TO STAY
Accommodation options in
and around Bilaspur vary from luxurious hotels such as HTPDC's Hotel
at Swarghat to reasonable budget hotels.
the hot temperature zone
the climate of Bilaspur ranges from high temperature to sub tropical
and snow rarely falls over here.
The Nalwari or Annual cattle fair is
held at Bilaspur for four or five days in March / April months, the
occasion is marked by wrestling and other amusements. Cattle are
brought from Nalagarh and neighboring parts of Punjab to sell over