Raipur (रायपुर) is the capital city of the state of Chhattisgarh, India. The city is the administrative headquarters of Raipur District. It was formerly a part of Madhya Pradesh before the state of Chhattisgarh was formed on November 1, 2000. At the time of the 2011 census, the population of the Municipal Corporation area was 1,010,087.
Raipur district is important in historical and archeological point of view. This district was once part of southern Kosal and considered to be under Mourya Kingdom. Raipur city had been the capital of the Haihaya kings, controlling the traditional forts of the Chhattisgarh for a long time. The town of Raipur has been in existence since the 9th century; the old site and ruins of the fort can be seen in the southern part of the city. Satawahana kings ruled this part till the 2nd–3rd century. In the 4th century AD the king Samudragupta had conquered this region and established his domination till fifth–sixth century when this part had come under the rule of Sarabhpuri kings.
For some period in the fifth-sixth century, Nala kings dominated this area. Later on Somavanshi kings had taken the control over this region and ruled with Sirpur ("City of Wealth") as their capital. Mahashivgupt Balarjun was the mightiest emperor of this dynasty. His mother, the widow queen of Harshgupta of the Somavansh, Rani Vasata built the famous brick temple of Lakshman. The Kalchuri kings of Tumman ruled this part for a long time making Ratanpur as capital. The old inscriptions of Ratanpur, Rajim and Khallari refer to the reign of Kalchuri kings. It is believed that the King Ramachandra of this dynasty established the city of Raipur and subsequently made it the capital of his kingdom. Another story about Raipur is that King Ramachandra's son Brahmdeo Rai had established Raipur. His capital was Khalwatika (now Khallari).
The newly constructed city was named after Brahmdeo Rai as 'Raipur'. It was during his time in 1402 that Hajiraj Naik the temple of Hatkeshwar Mahadev was constructed in the banks of river Kharun. The decline of this dynasty's rule came with the death of King Amarsingh Deo. This region had become the domain of Bhosle kings after the Amarsingh Deo's death. With the death of Raghuji the III, the territory was assumed by the British government from Bhonsla'a of Nagpur and Chhatisgarh was declared a separate commissionery with its headquarters at Raipur in 1854. After independence Raipur district was included in Central Provinces and Berar.
Raipur has a tropical wet and dry climate, temperatures remain moderate throughout the year, except from March to June, which can be extremely hot. The temperature in April–May sometimes rises above 48°C (118°F). These summer months also have dry and hot winds. The city receives about 1,300 millimetres (51 in) of rain, mostly in the monsoon season from late June to early October. Winters last from November to January and are mild, although lows can fall to 5°C (41°F).
Historically, when Raipur was a part of Madhya Pradesh, it was the second major commercial centre in Madhya Pradesh after Indore. Traditionally, Raipur's economy has been based on agricultural-processing and saw-milling. The city is located centrally in the state of Chhattisgarh, and now serves as a regional hub for trade and commerce for a variety of local agricultural and forest products. The traditional face of city has changed with Raipur becoming an important regional commercial and industrial destination for the coal, power, steel and aluminium industries. Raipur is Largest market of Steel in India. Raipur is among the richest cities and India’s biggest iron market; there are about 200 steel rolling mills, 195 sponge iron plants, more than 6 steel plants, 500 agro-industries and more than 35 ferro-alloy plants.
There are more than 800 rice milling plants, and all major and local cement manufacturing companies have a presence in the city. Raipur also has a big chemical plant which produces formalin and distributes throughout the country. Raipur has a Wagon repair shop, where wagons of goods trains are repaired. A heavy machinery plant of Jindal group is situated in raipur. Sponge iron plants of major steel companies including Monnet, NECO are situated in raipur.L.P.G BOTTLING Plants of Bharat Petrolium and Hindustan Petrolium are also present in the city. The Industrial Areas of Raipur are:Urla and Siltara(heavy and medium scale industries), Bhanpur, Birgaon, Gondwara (medium and small scale industries). A World class engineering consulting group "Spongytech consulting Engineers Private limited" head office in Raipur.
Some Prominet Religious Places:
Hatkeshwar Mahadev Temple, Dudhadhari Montesary and Temple, Mahamaya Temple, Banjaari Mata Dham, KaliBadi, St Paul Church, Sadani Darbar, St Joseph Cathedral, Jagannath Temple, Gayatri nagar, Baba budhasahib Gurudwara, (opp Telibandha lake), Choti Masjid, Byron Bazar.
Attractions Around Raipur:
Kanha National Park, Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary, Amarkantak, Bhoramdeo Temple, Dongargarh, Sirpur, Champaran, Rajim, Chitrakoot Falls, Indravati National Park, Kanger Ghati National Park, Gangrel Dam, Murrum Silli Dam, Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary, Jatmai-Ghatarani Waterfalls.
Attractions In The City:
- Mahant Ghasidas Museum - It was built in 1875 by Raja Mahant Ghasidas, King of erstwhile Rajnandgaon state.
- Guru Tegh Bahadur Museum - It was built in honour of Sikh Guru Tegh Bahadur situated near Ghasidas museum.
- Sushilpikangan - The Art Gallery:Gallery of Chhatisgar/Bastar art where you can find Dhokra arts with finest workmanship.
- Shabari handicrafts emporium and Chhattisgarh Haat - These are famous for uplifting the local artist and craftsman.
- Mahakoshal Kala Parishad - This is a historic place for the exhibit of arts and paintings.
- Purkhauti Muktangan Museum - This is being developed by Government of Chhattisgarh, Culture Department under Ministry of Tourism. It is spread over 18 hectares exhibiting entire Natural Resources with existing infrastructures, industries, places of tourists attraction, etc.
- Vivekananda Sarovar (Burha Talab) - It is a very old lake which is as old as the city. A 37 ft high statue of Swami Vivekananda has been build in between the lake. This statue has been added in Limca Book of Records for being the 'largest model for a statue'.
- Nandanvan - It is a mini zoo in the western fringes of the city on the banks of river Kharoon
- Nagar Ghadi (City Clock Tower) - It is a clock tower situated in one of the busiests squares of the city. This clock plays a different local folk tune every hour (24 tunes in a day).
- Gaurav path (The pride way) - This is a stretch of G.E road within the city which has been decorated with beautiful sculpture and plantation on both sides.
- Rajiv Smriti Van and Urja Park (Energy Park) - This is a theme park built in the memory of Rajiv Gandhi. The unique feature here is that everything runs on solar energy.
- Shaheed Smarak Bhavan - A huge and beautiful building with an art gallery and an auditorium dedicated to the freedom fighters of India.
- MM Funcity - A water cum amusement park in the eastern outskirts of the city .
- Water World Resort - A water park on the banks of river kharoon in the south-western part of the city.
- Raipur Municipal Corporation Building (White House) - The new building of the Raipur Municipal Corporation is a latest attraction in the city. It a 7 storeyed building built with a mix of ancient and modern architecture. The building is illuminated in blue light at night.
- Mahavir Park (Anupam Garden) - This is the most beautiful park in the city with illuminated trees and fountains. It also has a battle tank provided by Indian Army for display.