Raipur is the former capital and also the largest city in Raipur district of Chhattisgarh. Naya Raipur (New Raipur) is the new capital city of Chhattisgarh spread over 8000 hectares land area and lies between NH 6 and NH 43, about 17 km south-east direction from the previous capital Raipur. Naya Raipur would be India's fourth planned city after Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, and Bhubaneswar and has been constructed in phases incorporating world class architecture and design. Naya Raipur is also planning as the business, cultural and educational hubs of the Indian state Chhattisgarh. Greater Raipur is an urban agglomeration comprising the city of Raipur along with the new city of Naya Raipur and the industrial city of Bhilai-Durg. Raipur was a city of Indian state Madhya Pradesh, before Chhattisgarh was formed on 1st November 2000.
Raipur also serves as the administrative headquarter of Raipur District. Raipur District is bordered by Bilaspur by the North, Bastar & Orissa by the South, Raigarh & Orissa by the East and the Durg to the West. The district is divided into two major divisions, namely, the Chhattisgarh plain and the Hilly Areas. Raipur City is situated at the center of Raipur District. It covers an area of 180 sq. km. and it maintains a height of 298.16 meters above mean sea level. According to the census report 2011, the city has a population of 1,010,087. As on 2016, Raipur is the 45th largest populous metropolis in India with an approximate population of 1,456,406.
Once, Raipur was a part of the Dakshina Kosala Kingdom, later it was a part of the Maurya Kingdom and the capital of the Haihaya kings who controlling the traditional forts of the Chhattisgarh for a long time. The town of Raipur has been in existence since the 9th century. Archaeological evidence and ruins of the fort can be seen in the southern part of Raipur city, which have historically important in the ancient Indian History.
Mahant Ghasidas Museum was established in 1875 by Raja Mahant Ghasidas. It is listed amongst the leading museums in central India located near D. K. Hospital in Raipur, Chhattisgarh. Later in 1953, the museum was renovated and restored by Queen Jyoti Devi and her son Digvijay Das.
Vivekananda Sarovar 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". The lake has color-light fountains.
Nandanvan is a mini zoo covers an area of 10 - hectares of land. It is located about 15 km away from Raipur city. The main objective to establish such a nature park is to provide shelter to stray wild animals. This zoo also acts as a biological park and maintains some common forestry plants.
Doodhadhari Monastery is located to the south of Raipur on the banks of Maharajbandh River. There have also an ancient temple which isdedicate to Lord Rama, built in 17th century by King Jaitsingh. The monastery was named after Swami Balbhadra Das who only take ‘Doodh’ (milk) as his food.
Hatkeswar Mahadev temple and Mahadev Ghat is located about 5.1 km away from Raipur City Center on the banks of river Kharun. The temple was built in 1402, by Hajiraj Naik during the rule of Bramhdeo Rai. Brahmdeo Rai’s monumental script in Sanskrit is still preserved at the Mahant Ghasidas memorial museum.
Some other tourist spots in Raipur are Mahamaya Temple, Urja Park, Mahavir Park, 5D shows, Shaheed Smarak Bhavan, Nagar Ghadi, Gaurav path, Guru Tegh Bahadur Museum, Sushilpikangan Art Gallery, Shabari handicrafts emporium and Chhattisgarh Haat, Mahakoshal Kala Parishad, Purkhauti Muktangan Museum, etc.
Travel by Railways
Raipur City is under Mumbai-Howrah railway line service. The city is well connected with almost all the major cities of India like Delhi, Mumbai, Bhopal, Jabalpur, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Kota, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, etc. Raipur Junction is the main railway station of the city situated at the heart of the city. There have also 8 small railway stations in the city for local trains.
There are several National Highways run over the Raipur city which connected the city maximum major points of India. NH 6 connects Raipur to Hajira, Dhule, Nagpur, Sambalpur, Baharagora and Kolkata. NH 43 connects Raipur to Vizianagaram and Natavalasa. NH 200 connects Raipur to Bilaspur, Raigarh, Kanaktora, Jharsuguda, Kochinda, Deogarh, Talcher and Chandhikhol. NH 217 connects Raipur to Gopalpur and NH 12A connects the city to Jhansi.
Swami Vivekananda Airport is located just 14 km away from the Raipur City center. It is the second busiest airport in central India after Nagpur. It operates lots of flights to maximum major points of India. Major flights operators from the airport are Indian Airlines, Indi-Go, Jet Airways, Jet-Konnect, etc.