Chhattisgarh, a state in central India, was formed when the sixteen Chhattisgarhi-speaking southeastern districts of Madhya Pradesh gained statehood on November 1, 2000. It is the 10th largest state of India by area. It has a total area of 135,194 km² (52,199 sq mi) and its population is 20,795,956.
Raipur is its capital. It borders Madhya Pradesh on the north-west, Maharashtra on the west, Andhra Pradesh on the south, Orissa on the east, Jharkhand on the north-east and Uttar Pradesh on the north.
The Chhattisgarhi language, part of the East-Central group of Indo-Aryan languages, is the predominant language in the region. People in southern Chhattisgarh, Bastar, speak dialects of Dravidian languages. Other languages spoken in Chhattisgarh are Hindi, Oriya, Marathi and tribal languages.
The northern part of the state lies on the edge of the great Indo-Gangetic plain: The Rihand River, a tributary of the Ganges, drains this area. The eastern end of the Satpura Range and the western edge of the Chota Nagpur Plateau form an east-west belt of hills that divide the Mahanadi River basin from the Indo-Gangetic plain.
Chhattisgarh has a very rich cultural heritage. Chhattisgarh has its unique style of dance, cuisine, and music. This has made Chhattisgarh a favorite of anthropologists and sociologists due to its relevant profile. Raut Nacha (The folk dance of cowherds), Panthi "Karma" and Soowa dance styles are very popular in the region.
Pandavani is a musical narration of the epic Mahabharata. Teejan Bai, the Pandavani artiste was awarded Padma Bhushan in 2003, for her contribution to Pandavani. Ritu Verma is also a well known name. Chhattisgarh has rich traditional folk songs among which the sohar, bihav and Pathoni songs are very famous.
Facts at a glance
Time zone – IST (UTC+5:30). Area – 135,194 km² (52,199 sq mi). Capital – Raipur. Largest city – Raipur. District(s) – 18. Population – 20,795,956 (17th). Density – 108/km² (280/sq mi). Language(s) – Chhattisgarhi, Hindi. Established – 2000-11-01. Legislature (seats) – Unicameral (90). ISO abbreviation – IN-CT.