Rajnandgaon is the primary town of Rajnandgaon District, in the state of Chhattisgarh, India. As of the 2011 census the population of the city was 163,122.Rajnandgaon district came into existence on 26 January 1973, as a result of the division of Durg district.The district headquarters of Rajnandgaon is on the Bombay-Howrah line of southeastern railways. National Highway 53 (old NH 6) (Great Eastern Road) also passes through the town. The nearest airport is at Raipur, about 80 kilometres (50 mi) away.
Originally known as Nandgram, Rajnandgaon State was ruled by Somvanshis, Kalchuris and Marathas.The palaces in the town of Rajnandgaon reveal their own tale of the rulers, their society and culture, and the traditions of those times.The city was ruled by a dynasty of Hindu caretakers (mahants), who bore the title Vaishnav and Gond rajas (chiefs). Succession was by adoption. Its foundation is traced to a religious celibate, who came from the Punjab towards the end of the 18th century. From the founder it passed through a succession of chosen disciples until 1879, when the British government recognized the ruler as an hereditary chief and it came to be known as princely state of Raj Nandgaon. Afterwards conferred upon his son the title of Raja Bahadur. The first ruler Ghasi Das Mahant, was recognized as a feudal chief by the British government in 1865 and was granted a sanad of adoption. Later the British conferred the title of raja on the ruling mahant.
The district covers an area of 8222 km2.
The district is bounded by Kabirdham district in the north, Durg district in the east, Bastar district in the south, Gadchiroli and Bhandara districts of Maharashtra state and Balaghat district of Madhya Pradesh state in the west.
A tehsil headquarters, Dongargarh, is the main tourist as well as pilgrimage site of the district. The famous temple of Goddess Bamleshwari, on a hilltop of 1,600 feet (490 m) in the town of Dongargarh, is referred to as Badi Bamleshwari. Another temple, at ground level, is situated about 1/2 km from the main temple complex. This temple is known as Chhoti Bamleshwari. Many hundreds of thousands of people from in and around Chhattisgarh flock to the shrine during the navratris of Kavar (during Dussera) and Chaitra (during Ramnavmi). During these navratris, melas (fairs) which run 24 hours are organised in the premises of the temple.
Another site of interest is the ancient place of Mata Sheetala Devi Shakti Peetha. This temple, which dates from 2200 years ago, lies 1.5 km from the railway station. The Mandir Trust has organised the Mela of Maa Bamleshwari and a lot of devotees visit during mela period. Chotti mata mandir reconstruction in famous pink Send stone and marble stone. Pragyagiri, a famous Buddhist Vihara is another attraction of this district. Barfani dham at Rajnandgaon town is another place of pilgrims widely visited. Other places are: Ambagarh Chowki, Ambagarh Devi Mandir, Mongara Dem, Sankar Dahara Tipagarh Pahadi.
Rajnandgaon is associated with many famous political leaders .