Sambalpur, the gateway to the bewitching western zone of Orissa
abounding in lush green forests, colourful wild life, captivating
waterfalls; rich tribal culture, folk songs and dances and a variety
of monuments finds mention in the works of Ptolemy (2nd century
A.D.) as "Sambalaka". Associated with the celebrated name
of its ruler Indrabhuti , the teacher-propounder of the Vajrayana
Buddhism, Sambalpur has earned a place in the cultural history of
India. Here, one can visit the temples of Samaleswari, Patneswari,
Budha Raja, Brahmapura and the Gopaljee monastery.
One of the longest Dam in the world, Hirakud stands in its lone
majesty across the great river Mahanadi which drains an area of
1,33,090 Sq. km more than twice the area of SriLanka. The bulk of
this Dam contains earth, concrete and masonry materials, "sufficient
to make a road 8 metres wide and pave it from Kanyakumari to Kashmir
and Amritsar to Dibrugarh in Assam. From horizon to horizon the
reservoir forms the largest artificial lake in Asia with an area
of 746 Sq.km having a shore line over 640 km. A twenty-one kilometres
drive on the dyke affords a unique experience of calm serenity and
majesty of nature. One can enjoy the sight of the mighty Hirakud
Dam and the fantastic expanse of water from the top of the revolving
minaret called Gandhi Minar on the north end and comfortably stay
at Ashok Nivas,a luxury Guest House adjoining the Nehru Minar at
the other end of the Dam. As the largest multipurpose river valley
project of the world, it is a real gift to the nation "all
for happiness and prosperity".
The famed wildlife sanctuary at Badrama has already gained prominence
among the international tourists as a place of destinational tour.
Among various fauna of tropical forests, the sanctuary preserves
elephant, tiger,gour,sambar, black-panther,deer, wild boar and many
other species. One could have a sight of these animals from the
watch towers near the saline tank or the water/holes. One could
as well drive along the forest roads and watch them.
Ushakothi is on the N.H.No.6.A forest rest house at Badrama (3
Km) provides accommodation whose reservation authority is D.F.O.,Bamra,district
The place has gained prominence as the second Hydro-Electric Project
of the Hirakud Dam. A natural fall of 80 ft. (24.39 metres) high
in the river Mahanadi is made use for generating electricity. The
place is mostly inhabited by fishermen whose deity Ghantlei
is very popular in the neighboring areas. The State Live Stock Breeding
Farm and an Agricultural Farm are located here.
The temple of Vidala-Nrusimha stands at the foot of the picturesque
Gandhamardan hills. On the other slope of this hill are the famous
Harisankar temple and the captivating waterfalls. It gained a place
in history in the early part of Christian Era being famous as Haranapapa
(destroyer of Sins) among the ancient pilgrims. In his account Hiuen
Tsang referred to this place as Po-lo-mo-lo-ki-li or Parimalagiri
which was a renowned seat of Buddhist culture. The ruins found on
the plateau at the hill/top, about sixteen km long, speak volumes
in mute voice. Local traditions ascribe that this is a part of Gandhamardan
Hill which Hanuman carried on his shoulders from Himalayas to save
the life of Laxmana. The hill is also rich in medicinal herbs and
the entire surrounding is very pleasant in summer. This place is
100 Km from Bargarh.
Famous as the abode of Lord Siva, Huma contains the lone leaning
temple of Orissa and also famous as a scenic spot of great excellence.
The river Mahanadi flowing close by abounds in fish (Kudo fish)
which are never caught. The popular belief is that they belong to
Lord Vimaleswar. Facility for cruising in the river by country boat
is available for a nominal price.
To the west of Jharsuguda Railway Station, it is a cave containing
Pictographic Inscription (1,500 B.C. or even earlier) of great antiquity.
This pre-historic find is of remarkable importance and is yet to
be deciphered. The plaster-cast of the inscription can also be seen
in the Orissa State Museum at Bhubaneswar. Vikramkhol is 88 km by
road which is unmetalled.
The Pradhanpat hill with its picturesque waterfalls offers a rare
scenic beauty. These falls are close to Deogarh town which is attractively
situated with the background of wooded hills. Two beautiful guest
houses named Basanta Nivas and Lalita Basanta have been constructed
by the ex-rulers of Bamra and are now under the management of the
Works Department, provide accommodation. Reservations are made by
the Executive Engineer, National Highway Division, Sambalpur. There
are a number of temples in the town of Deogarh notable among which
are of Gopinath, Jagannath and Gokarneswara. Deogarh is 96 Km from
Sambalpur on N.H.No.6.
Handicrafts of the Region
Center of internationally famous Handloom Textiles popularly known
as "Sambalpuri Textiles".
General Information & Accomdation info on Sambalpur city of Orissa - India