History of Bilaspur
How Bilaspur got its name?
We get information about the name of this place from Imperial Gazetteer of India, Vol 8, 1908, which is a very old historical record. It is said that Bilaspur name comes from fisher-women named “Bilasa” in 17th century. According to a tale, the then king had a developed liking towards a fisher woman named Bilasa. But Bilasa was very strong character wise. She did not surrender herself to the desires and wishes of the King and burnt herself alive to get rid off the king. From that time the king named the place as ‘Bilasa Ki Nagari’, the name stuck and later on became Bilaspur.According to another tale, fishermen of the region under the leadership of Bilasa revolted against the autocratic rule of the king. Soon the revolt was crushed king and Bilasa was killed.
History of Bilaspur
The district faced severe famine in the year of 1828- 1829, 1834- 1835 and 1845-1846. The situation of famine was recorded by the then ruling British empire. During the years of 1868- 1869 and 1899- 1900 the region received scanty rainfall. This resulted in starvation, death, mass migration and dissertation of several villages. In 1896, there was a scarcity of food due to poor harvest of crops due to the absence of rain. The famine went on till 1897. As a consequence death became inevitable. The foundation for modern day Bilaspur city was laid during late 19th century when the Bengal Nagpur Railway was being constructed. This place on the banks of River Arpa was selected as a major station and became one of the divisional headquarters.
Effect of Satnami Movement
History behind Bilaspur Railway Station
government started to make plans on bringing railway services to Bilaspur and soon after the Bengal Nagpur Railway was ready Bilaspur was also connected with a railway service. The very first railway track to Bilaspur came from Rajnangaon in 1888 with the help of Mistri Jagmal Gangji and other Mistri Railway Contractors. Another railway line came to Bilaspur from Jharsuguda in the same year which also gave Bilaspur a bridge over the Champa River. Contractor Jagmal Gangji gave a great contribution to the development of the railway service of Bilaspur as well as his son Mulji Jagmal Sawaria.
For his contribution Mulji Jagmal Sawaria was awarded with the title of “Rao Sahib” by the British.