Population: 20,795,956 (Census 2001)
Climate: 40° C to 45° C (summers) and 10° C (winters)
Geographical Location:17° 46'N to 24° 5'N latitude and 80° 15'E to 84° 20' E longitude
Topography: Fertile plains interspersed with hilly areas
Topography: Raipur, Bastar, Amarkantak, Banjari Baba, Bhoramdev, Champaranya, Chitrakoot, Dudhadhari Math, etc.
Chhattisgarh is the 10th largest state in India with an area of 135,190 sq-km. It is a state in central India. Chhattisgarh was carved out of Madhya Pradesh on November 1st, 2000 with its 16 Chhattisgarhi speaking districts. Its capital is Raipur. Chhattisgarh is the 16th largest state in India in terms of its population. It is an important hub for the production of steel and electrical power in India, producing about 15% of the total steel produced in India. Chhattisgarh is located to the northwest of Madhya Pradesh and is surrounded by five other states: Maharashtra to the west, Andhra Pradesh to the south, Orissa to the east, and Jharkhand to the northeast
The genesis of the word Chhattisgarh attracts many opinions. It isn't an old name but it become popular in the past few decades. In ancient times, this region was called Dakshin Kosala (South Kosala). The name Chhattisgarh was popularized during the Maratha period and was first used in an official document in 1795. The old state had 36 demesnes (feudal territories): Ratanpur, Vijaypur, Kharound, Maro, Kautgarh, Nawagarh, Sondhi, Aukhar, Padarbhatta, Semriya, Champa, Lafa, Chhuri, Kenda, Matin, Aparora, Pendra, Kurkuti-kandri, Raipur, Patan, Simaga, Singarpur, Lavan, Omera, Durg, Saradha, Sirasa, Menhadi, Khallari, Sirpur, Figeswar, Rajim, Singhangarh, Suvarmar, Tenganagarh and Akaltara. However, experts do not agree with this explanation, as 36 forts cannot be archaeologically identified in this region.
A BRITISH HISTORIA J.B. BEGLAR provides an alternate story explaining the origins of the name Chhattisgarh. According to Beglar, "The real name is Chhattisghar and not Chhattisgarh. According to tradition, ages ago during the time of Jarasandha, thirty-six families of Dalits migrated southwards from Jarasandha's kingdom and established themselves in country, which after them is called Chhattisgarh." An explanation popular with the experts and historians is that Chhattisgarh is the corrupted form of 'Chedisgarh' or the political seat of the Chedis. According to Dr. Shrikant Khilari, the name Chhattisgarh comes from the time of Guru Ghasidas. Guru Ghasidas, a saint, named Chhattisgarh and the name was officially applied by the Marathas in 1795. A parallel opinion is that Chhattisgarh is home for 36 tribal clans:""CHHATTIS" STANDING FOR 36 AND "GARH" STANDING FOR HOME. ACCORDING TO THE 2001 CENSUS, CHHATTISGARH HAS A POPULATION OF 2,08,00,000 OUT OF WHICH 94.7% ARE HINDUS, 2% ARE MUSLIMS AND 1% ARE CATHOLICS.
THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGE OF THE STATE IS HINDI AND IS USED BY THE NON-RURAL POPULATION OF THE STATE. CHHATTISGARHI, A DIALECT OF HINDI LANGUAGE, IS SPOKEN AND UNDERSTOOD BY THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE IN CHHATTISGARH. TELUGU IS ALSO SPOKEN IN PARTS OF CHHATTISGARH. THE STATE HOSTS MANY RELIGIOUS SECTS SUCH AS SATNAMI PANTH, KABIRPANTH, RAMNAMI SAMAJ AND OTHERS. CHAMPARAN (CHHATTISGARH) IS A SMALL TOWN WITH RELIGIOUS SIGNIFICANCE AS THE BIRTHPLACE OF THE SAINT VALLABHACHARYA, INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT AS A PILGRIMAGE SITE FOR THE GUJARATI COMMUNITY. THE ORIYA CULTURE IS PROMINENT IN THE EASTERN PARTS OF CHHATTISGARH BORDERING ODISHA.
THE PRESENT STATE OF CHHATTISGARH WAS CARVED OUT OF MADHYA PRADESH ON 1ST NOVEMBER, 2000. THE DEMAND FOR A SEPARATE CHHATTISGARH STATE WAS FIRST RAISED IN THE 1920S. SIMILAR DEMANDS KEPT CROPPING UP AT REGULAR INTERVALS; HOWEVER, A WELL-ORGANISED MOVEMENT WAS NEVER LAUNCHED.
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