Sambalpur serves as the gateway to the bewitching western zone of Odisha, abounding in lush green forests, colorful wild-life, exquisite array of hills and waterfalls, folk songs and dances and a number of monuments. Sambalpur has its own contribution to the cultural diversity of our country. Sambalpur with its vicinity has earned international fame for the traditional handloom fabrics, popularly called the Sambalpuri textiles. The region is rich in folk art and culture. The rhythmic Sambalpuri dances accompanied by lyrical music in various forms are vigorous and inspiring.
How to Reach Sambalpur
By Air : Nearest airport is at Bhubaneswar, 321 kms and Raipur 292 kms.
By Rail : Sambalpur is a railhead with three stations on the East Coast Railways.
By Road : On NH 6 and 42 Sambalpur is well connected with all major cities by regular inter state and itra state bus services .
Internal Transport : Taxies, Auto Rickshaws, Town Buses and Cycle Rickshaws.
Fairs and Festivals of Sambalpur
Dhanuyatra – Bargarh – December – January
Maha Sivaratri – Huma – February – March
Nrusimha Chaturdashi – Nrusimhanath – May – June
Sitalasasthi – Sambalpur, Barpali – May – June
Viswakarma Puja – Hirakud – September
16 Km from Sambalpur
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”.
48 Km from Sambalpur
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 Sambalpur.
36 Km from Sambalpur
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.
165 Km from Sambalpur
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 T’sang 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.
A Panthashala (Tel. No. 2436) here provides accommodation to the tourists.
32 Km from Sambalpur
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.