Nomenclature:-The name of town Bilaspur was earlier Viaspur. It was named Viaspur after the name of Rishi Vyas, who meditated in a cave on the left bank of river Satluj, popularly known as "Vias Gufa". The present name of Bilaspur has degenerated from Viaspur.
Location and Regional Setting:- Bilaspur town is located on 31'-19'-00" North Latitude and 76-5'-00"East Longitude, on the left bank of river Satluj, at a distance of 85 kilometer North-West of Shimla, it is a district headquarter of District Bilaspur. It has an altitude of 447 Meter from mean sea level. The town is located at a break of slope on the left bank of river Satluj. Having undulating topography, it gives a facinating look from distance. The site has led to a linear shape of town along the Chandigarh-Bilaspur-Manali National Highway-21.
Evolution: Pre-Independence:- The erstwhile rulers of Bilaspur hailed from Chanderwanshi Rajputs, who ruled in Chanderi in Bundelkhand region, which now forms part of Guna district of Madhya Pradesh. It is said that the seventh ruler of Chanderi Kingdiom, Harihar Chand had a dream of Goddess Jawalamukhi and decided to seek his fortune in a shrine. Consequently, he handed over the kingdom to his youngest son and proceeded towards Jwalamukhi along with his remaining four sons. He established them at Jhandbhari, where they constructed a fort. He stayed there for sometime and then again proceeded to Jawalamukhi. Later on, his eldest son Bir Chand got himself settled at Jhandheri, which is now Hosiarpur district. It is Bir Chand who later constructed the temple of Shri Naina Devi Ji and made his capital nearby this temple known as Kahlur. Until 1600 AD, the capital of Bilaspur dynasty continued at Kot-Kahlur. Thereafter it was shifted to Sunhani. Subsequently, in 1650 AD, it was shifted by Raja Deep Chand to Bilaspur. Eversince then the capital of Bilaspur ruling dynasty continued at old Bilaspur town.
Post Independence:- The princely State of Bilaspur was taken under the Central Government administration in October 1948. Subsequently, by an Act of Parliament, this was merged in Himachal Pradesh on 1st. July 1954, which thereafter was converted into a district. Initially, it consisted of two Tehsils namely Ghumarwin and Bilaspur Sadar. Now the third Tehsil at Jhandutta and a Sub-Tehsil at Shri Naina Devi Ji, have also been created. On the completion of Bhakra Dam, old town submerged in the Govind Sagar Lake. Situated on level ground popularly known as "Sandu ra Maidan"on left bank of river Satluj, the old Bilaspur town had a picturesque setting. In striking contrast to the historic town, which according to a legend was founded by Rishi Vyas, the buildings were mostly built in stone and cement. People had to leave their homes and hearths and shifted to new Bilaspur, when old Bilaspur town submerged. Even, the deities have suitably been rehabilitated in a nicely built Luxmi Naryan temple near the bus stand.
Nagar Parishad:- Notified Area Committee for Bilaspur town was constituted on 10th. October 1961. Initially it consisted of nine wards. Later on two more wards were added. There are 9 wared in Nagar Parishad area of Bilaspur, which is solely responsible for providing civic amenities to the inhabitant of the town.
Status of Bilaspur Town:- Bilaspur was classified as a town in 1891 and 1901 Census. It however, remained declassified until 1931 Census, when it was again classified as a town. As per 2001 Census the total population of Bilaspur town is 13058 and it has been ranked as class-iv towns of Himachal Pradesh. It is directly connected with major cities of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi. It is also well linked with State headquarter Shimla and all District headquarters of Himachal Pradesh. Being amidst seven hills namely Naina Devi, Kot, Tuini, Bandla, Jhingiar, Ratanpur and Bahadurpur. Amidst the Bandla hill in the East and famous Govind Sagar Lake in the West, it serves as vantage point.