Bilaspur boasts of a rich history of about 400 years old and is named after a fisherwoman, Bilasa. Historically, it was a part of the Kalchuri dynasty of Ratanpur. The legends suggest that the king of the region got impressed by the beauty of a young fisherwoman named Bilasa but the lady didn’t agree to the wishes of the king and sacrificed herself. From the day, the place was known as Bilasa ki nagri which was later renamed as Bilaspur.
In the year 1741, the city of Bilaspur came into limelight when one of the Maratha rulers invaded the place and tried to construct a fort there which however could not get completed. Then, in 1854 the British took over the reign of Bilaspur. It was declared a district in 1861 and municipality in 1867. However, the city experienced a number of famines and poor harvesting in the later years but by the end of 18th century, great developments took place in Bilaspur and it flourished as the second largest city of the state.