Bilaspur

Destinations Covered: Koldam Dam – MarkandeyaJi Temple – Kandrour Bridge – Vyas Cave Bilaspur – Deotshidh Forest
Bilaspur Tour Duration: 04 Day / 05 Nights

Introduction

Bilaspur is noted for BhakraNangal Dam, which isone of the highest dams in Asiaand one of the biggest multipurpose projects in the world.Bilaspur came into existence in 1663 and have evolved into a highly developed city. The newly established Bilaspur Townis known as the first planned hill town in India. Crafted in the middle of the gigantic Himalayan peaks of Himachal PradeshBilaspur is blessed with exquisite natural beauty. The hill town is located on the serene banks of river Satluj. Come to Bilaspur to experience the charm of natural beauty with the majestic combination of the mountain beauty.

The Bhakra Dam was the brainchild of our First Prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru and can be easily called one of the world’s largest multi-utility project providing irrigation and electricity to millions in the country. The most beautiful lake in Himachal Pradesh, GobindSagar Lake is the reservoir of this dam, which is a very popular sightseeing, adventure activities and fundestination. The lake is a primary attraction for nature lovers and adventure seekers.

Bilaspur has extensive forest cover nurturing a varied kind of wildlife including some endangered ones such as Panther, Wolf, Chausinga, Sambar, Hyena, Sloth bear, Nilgai, Chinkara and wild boar. These can be spotted in the green coverbeside GobindSagarLake. The lake is also known as the Waterfowl Refuge.

Bilaspuris known for the several sacred temples and caves such as the MarkandeyaJi and Naina Devi Temples. Bilaspur has other interesting attractions such as the Vyasa Caves, Sariun Fort and Kotkahlur Fort.

How to reach Bilaspur

Bilaspur by Air

The nearest Airport to the city of Bilaspur is Shimla or JubbarhattiAirport, which is about 42 km away. It takes around one and half hour to reachBilaspur from the airport by road. Daily/regular flights are available from Delhi to Shimla and Chandigarh. Chandigarh Airport is the second nearest airport and is a four-hour drive from Bilaspur. Bilaspuris well connected to the major Indian cities of Amritsar, New Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and Jaipur.

Bilaspur by Bus

Bilaspur has very well developed road network that is connected to all major cities of India. If we look at the road travel distance from a few cities nearby, it is around 67 km from Mandi another city in Himachal Pradesh and 88 km from the famous hill station of Shimla. Chandigarh is a good 141 km away and Kalka 121 km away. Kalka is located 121 km and Kullu 134 km. Delhi is about 372 km.

Bilaspur by Railways

The nearest Railway Station to Bilaspuris Kiratpur Sahib Railway Station 65 km from away Bilaspur. Kiratpuris well connected to the major cities of New Delhi, Chandigarh, Manali, Kullu and Shimla.

Places to visit

Bhakra Dam: Bhakra Dam is one of the chief attractions of Bilaspur. It is a pure concrete gravity dam that is built across the famous Sutlej River. The dam forms a huge fresh water reservoir known as the GobindSagar dam. The gorge beside the Bhakradam is filled with water. The dam measures 518.25 meter in height from the road beside it and is 9.1 meter in width and stores an amazing 9.34 billion cubic metres of water. The reservoir is a massive 90 km long and is spread over an area of 168.35 square km. Bhakra reservoir is the third largest reservoir in India.In terms of the quantity of water it holds,BhakraDam attracts visitors and tourists from all across India due to its easy accessibility. It is situated just 15 km from Nangal city and 20 km from Naina Devi town.

The immense power generated by theBhakra Dam supplies power to the states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and Delhi. It is an architectural marvel that commands a great view and exhibits anarchitectural marvel holding an immense body of clean green water. A refreshing boat ride skimming across the lake waters and the mesmeric scenic beauty is worth visiting for.

Koldam Dam: Koldam is the Koldam Dam Hydropower Project built across the Satluj River. It is built upstream ofDehar Power House at a distance of 18 km from Bilaspurand is easily accessible from the Chandigarh-Manali Highway. The Koldam Dam Hydropower Project is maintained by the NTPC Limited and is a popular tourist attraction ofBilaspur. Theconstruction of the dam started in 2004 and is currently under construction accessible via National Highway 21. Immense natural beauty lends this place a unique charm and makes it a delightful picnic spot. The huge machinery and equipment that are used in generating electricity in this massive hydroelectric project fascinate the tourists and travellers.

MarkandeyaBilaspur: This is a beautiful temple dedicated to MarkandeyaJi Temple located in a very picturesque destination. This temple is frequented especially by childless couples to seek blessing for bearing child. This temple has been named after the famous sage Rishi Markanday who used to live and meditate in this place. The temple is situated around 20 km from Bilaspur and can be reached by private cars or buses. Couples also pray for safety and long life of their children.

Kandrour Bridge Bilaspur: The Kandrour Bridge situated in the village of Kandrour in BilaspurconnectsBilaspur and Hamirpur Districts and was built long back in the year 1965. This beautiful bridge is one of the highest bridges of the world and due to the beauty of its natural setting it is definitely worth a visit. Situated 8 km away from Bilaspur on the National Highway 88, it is a gorgeous bridge across the sparkling Sutlej River. It is 80 meters high from the river bed and 280 meters long. The lush green vegetation around the bridge area adds charm to its natural splendour.

Vyas Cave Bilaspur: Vyas Cave is another attractive tourist destination in Bilaspur that draws in a large number of tourists from every corner of India. This cave is named after the respected sage Vyasa, who is said to have meditated in this cave for several years. SageVyasDev is famed to have composed the humongous epic Mahabharata. Bilaspur was originally known as Vyaspur named after this famous sage Vyas Dev. Later on it came to be called Bilaspur. The Cave lies on the bank of River Sutlej and is a striking place to visit. This famous and ancient religious place is situated at an altitude of 610 meters above sea level. The cave extends over a large region on the banks of river Saraswati. Here Saraswati meets River Alaknanda. The Maharishi Vyas statue is present in the caves and is worshipped by the pilgrims reverently.

Deotshidh Forest: The thickly covered forested area of Deotsidh is a trekkers’ paradise. It is a nice cool experience to go around the forest area. There is ample natural beauty and the solitude and greenery makes for a charming tourist attraction, especially for those who would like to escape the madness of crowd of a busy city life. The narrow roads, the prevailing calmness and the freshness of nature charm every traveller’s heart.

GobindSagar Lake: This beautiful lake on the Sutlej River is best visited in the months of March to October when the weather is at its best. GobindSagarLake is a huge manmade reservoir that was built in 1976 as a hydel dam at Bhakra. It is one of the world’s highest gravity dams at a height of 225.5 metres. GobindSagaris an astounding 90 km long and covers an area of around 170 square km. This beautiful water body is famous for sightseeing, adventure activities and water sports. With its lovely setting in the middle of the Himalayan ranges and the lush greeneryGobindSagarLake is a frequented tourist spot and the variety of the flora and fauna adds to the charm.

ShriNaina Devi Ji Temple Bilaspur: This temple of ShriNaina Devi Ji is one of the most prominent places of worship in Himachal Pradesh. This temple is dedicated to Goddess Sati, who is looked upon as an incarnation of Goddess Durga. The temple is one of the 51 Shakti peethas and it is at this place where the eyes of Sati fell. As the mythological story goes, Sati’s body was cut to pieces by into 51 pieces to save the Earth from Shiva’s wrath. Devotees from all parts of the India visit this holy place to seek blessings of MaaDurga or Shakti especially during ShravanAshtami and Navratras of Chaitra&Ashwin. This temple was built by Raja Bir Chand in the eight century on the top of a hill.

Things to do

  • Enjoy thrilling water sports in the GovindSagar reservoir in Bilaspur. The reservoir offers a varied mix of joyful activities such as swimming, surfing, water-skiing, kayaking, rowing, canoeing and white water river rafting.
  • Eat, drink and have fun while in vacation in Bilaspur. Some of the notable restaurants that offer lip-smacking delicacies are Sikhar Restaurant on NH21, BanarasiJuice Centre at the Bus Stand Road, Pine Valley Restauranton NH21 and Hill View Restaurant on NH21.

  • Bilaspur offers beautiful sites to enjoy the natural beauty of the gorgeous Himalayas. The mountain ranges remain snow covered and offer site for adventure activities such as rock climbing, hand gliding, trekking and paragliding. The activities are organised by the department of tourism of Uttaranchal government and are quite organised.
  • Go for an adventurous trek across the rugged and wild terrain in the Deotshidh Forest area. The trekking path that leads from Shahtalai to Deotsidh through thick forest makes for an excellent and thrilling trekking expedition.

Where to stay (Best 5 Hotels)

Hotel East Park: It is a busy but very cosy hotel. The property has large spacious rooms. The rooms are well furnished and the hotel is located in the heart of the city of Bilaspur. There is a well-stocked bar and a large parking facility. The quality of food is good and service is prompt. The hotel maintains star facilities and upkeep of the hotel is very good. It is a good choice to go for a meal, lunch, breakfast and dinner. The washrooms are clean and the hospitality is enjoyable.

Courtyard Bilaspur: This property makes for a comfortable stay and memorable vacation. The rooms are tidy and very spacious. This hotel is a five star property. It is located inside the city of Bilaspur and is easily approachable. The staff is very courteous and helpful. The property has a very good ambience and even boasts of a swimming pool and a gym. The meals are well laid out and have a lot of variety.The entire staff is quite friendly and takes care of the guests very well to make them feel pampered. It is a perfect destination to stay with friends and family and is ideal for all purposes whether it is for business, leisure or relaxation and a short break.

Hotel Jeet Continental: This property makes for a comfortable stay in very spacious rooms that are well maintained with good interiors. The décor of rooms are tastefully done and there is a wide array of choice in the meal spreads. The staff is trained and competent and offers prompt service. They are polite and helpful. The hotel has free wi-fi connection with good speed. They also offer complementary drop to the railway station. Maintenance of the property is good and restrooms are very clean. Tasty meals are served and are quite reasonably priced. This hotel is suitable for both family and corporate stay.

Hotel Silver Oak: This is a very decent property with good, clean and spacious rooms. It is situated in the main city of Bilaspur approximately 4.5 km away from the railway station. The ambience of the hotel setting is nice and the buffet breakfast spread is awesome. Discipline and punctuality is maintained when it comes to check-in and check-out. This property is a good place to arrange personal and corporate meetings and the ambience is okay for family stay.

Hotel Jay Bee Inn: The hotel is decent with moderate rooms and provides limited option I food. The staff is polite and eager to help out. It is a clean hotel with very clean rooms. The management is cooperative. It is centrally located and not very far from the facilities and tourist attractions. This hotel makes for a good stay option with family and friends.

How to go around

The entire city f Bilaspur is very well connected to the other districts and neighbouring states and also with the major cities of India by road, rail and air. Buses ply at regular intervals on every route. Buses are both state-run and private ones. Private taxis can be hired to go around. Tour and travel operators run private tours for sight-seeing for the benefit of the thousands of tourists and travellers travelling to Bilaspur and adjoining attractions from various parts of the country and beyond.

Fests & Fairs

  • A big and pompous fair is organised at Bilaspur near the Markandeya Temple on the auspicious day of Baishakhi every year. This fair draws a huge crowd of tourists and pilgrims. These people come here to seek the blessings of MarkandeyaJi for the welfare and safety of their children.
  • A special fair is organized on the temple site of ShriNaina Devi Ji Temple Bilaspur during the month of Chaitra, Shravan and AshwinNavratri. Millions of devotees flock at this pilgrimage site from adjacent states such as Punjab, Haryana, Delhiand Uttar Pradesh. The excitement of the fair and festivities can be felt in full gusto at Naina Devi Ji Temple. Devotees choose to take the steep trek to the top of this hill while chanting Jai Mata Di. People who cannot walk take Palkisto reach the peak. During the trek, there are intermittentresting facilities available on the way. Pilgrim and tourists relax and have refreshments at these points.

Climate

Summers temperature of Bilaspurranges from 22°C to 38°C and the season in general is hot and humid. The peak summer months are from April to June. Monsoon begins in July and continues till September. After the rains, Bilaspur looks particularly fragrant and fresh with the rain-washed nature shining and sparkling under the rays of the mild sun. Winters inBilaspurlasts from November till February. The climate in winters is pleasantly cool and the temperature ranges from 19°C to 32°C.

Ideal Itinerary

Bilaspur Itinerary (4D/3N)

Day 1Bhakra Dam, Fort Kotkahlur and Sri Naina Devi jee Temple

Arrival at Bilaspur and warm welcome by our representative. You shall be escorted to the hotel/resort of your choice. After you take in a lavish meal and relaxation in your appointed room proceed for the day trip to Bhakra Dam, Fort Kotkahlur and Sri Naina Devi jee Temple.

  • Visit the architectural splendour of Bhakra Dam built across the river Sutlej. The concrete and magnificent dam is an engineering marvel and attracts curious visitors from all across the world. Go for a refreshing water adventure such as speed boat ride or kayaking and enjoy the whole day in the lap of nature.

  • Make a brief visit to the ruined fort of Kotkahlur and satiate your historical curiosity of the ancient Indian heritage and glory.

  • Visit the mythology steeped Naina Devi Jee Temple perched at the top of a hill. Reach the temple by road that winds up the curvy mountains and then cover the final lap by means of some concrete steps. Avail the adventurous cable car ride from the hill base to the hill top. Take in the mesmeric view of the huge GobindSagar Lake spread below along with the Bhakra-Nangal Dam.

After return to the hotel, have a delightful dinner in the cosy corner of the hotel restaurant and retire to your rooms for an overnight peaceful stay at the calm and quiet Bilaspur.

Day 2 Koldam Dam, MarkandeyaJi Temple and Kandrour Bridge

Wake up early to enjoy a serene walk around the property among the hills and watch the enthralling sunrise with your loved one. Soon after a sumptuous breakfast proceed for a day trip to the choicest location of the day guided by our representative.

  • Day 2 starts off with a visit Koldam Dam: Koldam is the Koldam Dam Hydropower Project built across the Satluj River. Explore the dam area and take in the breath-taking beauty of the catchment area and the mountain ranges beyond.
  • From the Koldam area proceed for a religious sojourn to the beautiful MarkandeyaJi Temple and pray for the well-being and protection of the children.

  • Visit the marvellousKandrour Bridge built across river Sutlej and watch the reflection of the majestic Himalayas on the waters of the river.

Return to the hotel in Bilaspur for a calm and peaceful overnight stay. Candle light dinners can be arranged for couples on special request.

Day 3 Vyas Cave Bilaspur and Deotshidh Forest

Start of your Day 3 in a frenzy and prepare for a visit to some mystic caves and dense deep woods of the Deotshidh Forest.

  • Visit and be enamoured by the mysterious and ancient Vyas Cave of Bilaspur. Go around the banks of the River Sutlej where the caves are located and get familiarised by the mythological stories wrapped around the caves and statue of Vyasa Dev.
  • Go for a relaxed walk across the enchanting Deotshidh Forest. Trek across jungle paradise and find some cosy private moments to click gorgeous photographs and enjoy serene mountain beauty. Take in the beauty of solitude.

Reach back Bilaspur to the warm corner of your hotel for an overnight stay.

Day 4 Departure from Bilaspur

Time to leave the fairy tale land of Bilaspur with all its lovely mountains, streams and valleys, lush greenery and deep woods! Carry off a heavy heart but wonderful memories. Our representative will accompany you to see you off for your journey back home.

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