Sambalpur District, Odisha: Tourist Attractions, Culture, and More

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Sambalpur District is a district in the western part of the state of Odisha, India. The historic city of Sambalpur is the district headquarters. The district is located in the Mahanadi River basin. It has a total area of 6,702 km², of which almost 60% of the district is covered in dense forest.

History

Sambalpur has a rich history dating back to ancient times. It is mentioned in the book of Ptolemy as Sambalaka on the river Manada. The district was ruled by various dynasties over the centuries, including the Mauryas, Guptas, Cholas, and Mughals. In the 19th century, Sambalpur became a part of the British Indian Empire.

Geography and Climate

Sambalpur District is located between 20 degree 40’ to 22 degree 11’ North Latitude and 82 degree 39’ to 85 degree 15’ East Longitude. The district experiences an extreme type of climate with hot and dry summers followed by humid monsoons and cold winters.

Economy

The economy of Sambalpur District is basically dependent on agriculture and secondly on forests. Forests play an important role in the economy in terms of contribution to revenue, Domestic Product as well as dependence of people for livelihood. In the past Sambalpur has been a great centre of diamond trade. Kendu leaf (Diospyros Melanoxylon) is also produced in Sambalpur. Tendu leaf is one of the most important non–wood forest products of Sambalpur and is also called as green gold of Odisha. Lately industrialisation has started in the district and the prime industries of power, alumina and steel have been established. The place is famous for its globally renowned textile bounded patterns and fabrics locally known as Baandha. Sambalpur is famous for its Hand loom textile works, popularly known as Sambalpuri Textile. It has earned international fame for its unique pattern, design and texture. Apart from textiles, Samabalpur has a rich tribal heritage and fabulous forestlands.

Education

The literacy rate of Sambalpur District is 76.91 percent. Indian Institute of Management, Sambalpur University, Gangadhar Meher University, IIM, Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology(VSSUT), VSS Intitute of Medical Science and Research(VIMSAR), Gayatri College of Pharmacy, Dr P.M Institute of Advanced studies in Education, Gayatri College of Management, Gayatri College of Pharmacy, Lajpat Rai Law College, Sambalpur Nursing college are the famous educational institutes in the District.

Culture

Sambalpur District has a rich cultural heritage. The district is home to a number of tribal communities, each with its own unique culture and traditions. The district is also known for its handicrafts, including Sambalpuri sarees, which are famous all over the world.

Festivals

The District experiences many beautiful festivals round the year. Sital Sasthi is observed in the month of June. This festival is the marriage ceremony of Lord Shiva and Parvati. Nuakhai is the most important social festival of the District. Bhaijiuntia festival is celebrated on the Mahastami Day of Durga Puja. The Puajiuntia festival is observed by mothers to invoke the grace of Lord Dutibahana for the long life and prosperity of their sons. Other religious festivals which are observe include Shiva Ratri, Dola Yatra, Durga Puja, Janmanstami, Diwali, Ganesh Puja and Saraswati Puja.

Eminent Personalities

Many eminent personalities have taken birth on the soil of the Sambalpur District. Bir Surendra Sai (freedom fighter), Gangadhar Meher (Poet of nature), Bhama Bhoi (celebrated religious and poet), Satya Narayan Bohidar (Pioneer of Sambalpuri language and grammer), Swapneswar Das (accomplished poet and eminent journalist), Gokulanand Panda (Poet of extraordinary caliber), Sunil Mishra (renowned writer of humour and social satire), Braja Mohan Panda (Educationist of repute) and Laxmi Narayan Mishra (Eminent freedom fighter) are the famous personalities of this soil.


Sambalpur District Tourist Attractions

Sambalpur District is located in the western part of Odisha, India. It is known for its rich cultural heritage, natural beauty, and wildlife sanctuaries. The following are some of the most popular tourist attractions in Sambalpur District:

Sambalpur Town

Samaleswari Temple: Samaleswari Temple: Sambalpur is known for its presiding deity Goddess Samaleswari. The temple of the Goddess has been built in 16th century A.D. by Balaram Dev, the 1st Chouhan ruler of Sambalpur Chouhan dynasty. Even prior to the Chouhan rule Sambalpur has been a pilgrimage centre well know far and wide. In Odia Mahabharata, its poet Adikabi Sarala Das referes to Samaleswari pitha as a famous Shaktipitha in Odisha. Samaleswari temple has been built in Chouhan style of Temple Architecture. It has resemblances with the temples of Khajurao in Madhya Preadesh. The tapering tower of the temple is its unique feature. The socio cultural life of Western Odisha has been greatly influenced by the cultural activities that the temple of Samaleswari involves throughout the year. Among the noted festivals of the temple mention may be made of festival like

(i) Dhabalabesa in Aswina

(ii) Nuakhai in Bhadraba

(iii) Pua Juntia and Bhai Juntia in Aswina etc.

The Light & Sound Show regularly held in the evening at the temple complex (7 pm to 7.40 pm) is an added attraction of the place.

Budharaja Hill:

Budharaja Hill is a small hillock located in the heart of Sambalpur city, Odisha, India. It is a popular tourist destination, known for its scenic beauty, religious significance, and recreational activities.

On top of the hill is a 18th-century temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, known as the Budharaja Temple. The temple is a popular pilgrimage site for Hindus from all over the country. Visitors can climb the 220 steps to the top of the hill to reach the temple.

The hill also offers panoramic views of the city and the surrounding countryside. On a clear day, visitors can see the Mahanadi River, the Hirakud Dam, and the Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary.

In addition to its religious and scenic significance, Budharaja Hill is also a popular spot for recreational activities such as hiking, picnicking, and birdwatching. There is a children’s park at the base of the hill, and a number of food stalls and restaurants.

Here are some things to do at Budharaja Hill:

  • Visit the Budharaja Temple and offer your prayers.
  • Enjoy the panoramic views of the city and the surrounding countryside.
  • Go for a hike in the surrounding forest.
  • Have a picnic with your family and friends.
  • Go birdwatching.
  • Visit the children’s park.
  • Have a meal at one of the food stalls or restaurants.

Budharaja Hill is a must-visit for anyone visiting Sambalpur. It is a place where you can enjoy the beauty of nature, the serenity of a religious site, and the fun of recreational activities.

Wild Animal Conservation Centre:

The Wild Animal Conservation Centre (WACC) Sambalpur, also known as Sambalpur Zoo and Rescue Centre, is a zoological park located in the heart of Sambalpur city, Odisha, India. It is one of the oldest zoos in the state and the biggest in western Odisha. The zoo was established in 1980 on 13 hectares of land and is home to over 330 animals of 20 different species.

Some of the animals that can be seen at the zoo include:

  • Leopards
  • Sloth bears
  • Chousingha (four-horned antelope)
  • Python
  • Peacock
  • Sambhar deer
  • Spotted deer
  • Barking deer
  • Monkeys
  • Ratel
  • Civet
  • Various species of birds, including parrots, peacocks, and pheasants

The zoo also has a botanical garden with over 6,000 plants of different varieties. The botanical garden serves as a greenbelt for the animals and also adds to the beauty of the zoo.

The WACC Sambalpur plays an important role in the conservation of wildlife. The zoo is involved in various conservation programs, including breeding and rehabilitation of endangered species. The zoo also conducts educational programs to raise awareness about wildlife conservation.

The WACC Sambalpur is a popular tourist destination, especially for families with children. Visitors can enjoy seeing the animals, exploring the botanical garden, and learning about wildlife conservation.

Here are some tips for visiting the WACC Sambalpur:

  • The best time to visit the zoo is in the morning or evening, when the animals are most active.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and clothing, as you will be doing a lot of walking.
  • Carry a hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun.
  • Bring water and snacks, as there are limited food and beverage options available inside the zoo.
  • Be respectful of the animals and their environment. Do not feed the animals or throw anything into their enclosures.
  • Enjoy your visit and learn as much as you can about wildlife conservation!

Regional Art Gallery:

The Regional Art Gallery, Sambalpur is a state government-run art museum located in Sambalpur, Odisha, India. It was established in 1982 and is housed in a beautiful building that was once the residence of the Collector of Sambalpur.

The gallery houses a collection of over 3,000 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, and handicrafts from Odisha and other parts of India. The collection includes works by renowned artists such as Rabindranath Tagore, Jamini Roy, and Nandalal Bose.

The gallery also has a collection of traditional Odia handicrafts, such as Pattachitra paintings, stone carvings, and metalwork. The gallery regularly organizes exhibitions of art and handicrafts, as well as cultural events such as workshops and seminars.

The Regional Art Gallery, Sambalpur is a popular tourist destination and an important cultural institution in the region. It is a great place to learn about the rich artistic heritage of Odisha.

Here are some of the highlights of the Regional Art Gallery, Sambalpur:

  • A large collection of paintings by Odia artists, including Rabindranath Tagore, Jamini Roy, and Nandalal Bose.
  • A collection of traditional Odia handicrafts, such as Pattachitra paintings, stone carvings, and metalwork.
  • Regular exhibitions of art and handicrafts, as well as cultural events such as workshops and seminars.

If you are interested in art and culture, I highly recommend visiting the Regional Art Gallery, Sambalpur. It is a great way to learn about the rich artistic heritage of Odisha.

Hirakud Dam:

Hirakud Dam is a multipurpose dam on the Mahanadi River in Odisha, India. It is the longest earthen dam in the world and the second largest dam in India in terms of volume. The dam is located about 15 kilometers from Sambalpur, the headquarters of Sambalpur district.

The dam was constructed in two phases, the first phase from 1948 to 1957 and the second phase from 1961 to 1967. The dam was built to control floods, generate hydroelectricity, and provide irrigation.

The dam has a length of 4.8 kilometers and a height of 61 meters. It is flanked by 21 kilometers of earthen dykes on both the left and right banks. The dam and dykes together measure 25.8 kilometers.

The dam has a reservoir capacity of 5,896 million cubic meters, which is the largest artificial lake in Asia. The reservoir is home to a variety of wildlife, including crocodiles, turtles, and fish.

Hirakud Dam is a major tourist attraction in Odisha. Visitors can enjoy boating, fishing, and bird watching at the dam. The dam also has two observation towers, Gandhi Minar and Jawahar Minar, which offer panoramic views of the dam and the reservoir.

APJ Abdul Kalam Planetarium & Science Park:

The APJ Abdul Kalam Planetarium & Science Park, located 4 kilometers from Hirakud Dam in Burla, is an added attraction for tourists. The right dyke endpoint is the entry point to the famous Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary in the Bargarh district. Tourists can conveniently reach the sanctuary by taking the right dyke road.

Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary:

Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary located in the Bargarh district of Odisha, India. It is about 37 km from Sambalpur, the nearest major city. The sanctuary is situated on the banks of the Hirakud Reservoir and covers an area of 346.91 km².

Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a variety of wildlife, including tigers, leopards, elephants, sloth bears, gaur, sambar deer, chital deer, barking deer, wild boars, and monkeys. The sanctuary is also a birdwatcher’s paradise, with over 200 species of birds recorded.

Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary is a popular tourist destination, and visitors can go on safari rides to see the wildlife. The sanctuary is also a good place for trekking, camping, and birdwatching.

Here are some tips for visiting Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary:

  • The best time to visit the sanctuary is from October to March, when the weather is pleasant.
  • The sanctuary is open from 6:00 am to 5:00 pm.
  • Visitors can book safari rides online or at the sanctuary gate.
  • It is important to carry sunscreen, a hat, and insect repellent.
  • Visitors should also carry water and snacks, as there are no shops inside the sanctuary.

Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary is a beautiful and important place for wildlife conservation. It is a great place to visit for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.

Other Attractions

Gudguda Waterfall:

Gudguda Waterfall is a beautiful waterfall located about 115 kilometers from Sambalpur town in Odisha, India. It is a popular tourist destination, known for its scenic beauty and cascading waters.

The waterfall is situated in the midst of dense forest, and visitors can take a short hike to reach it. The waterfall has seven tiers, and the water cascades from a height of about 100 meters. The pool at the bottom of the waterfall is a popular spot for swimming and picnicking.

The best time to visit Gudguda Waterfall is during the monsoon season, from July to September, when the waterfall is at its fullest. However, the waterfall is also beautiful during the winter months, when the surrounding forest is lush and green.

Here are some tips for visiting Gudguda Waterfall:

  • The best way to reach the waterfall is by car or taxi.
  • There is a small parking area at the base of the waterfall.
  • Visitors can take a short hike to reach the waterfall. The hike is relatively easy, but it can be slippery during the monsoon season.
  • Visitors should wear comfortable shoes and clothing.
  • It is important to carry sunscreen, a hat, and insect repellent.
  • Visitors should also carry water and snacks, as there are no shops near the waterfall.

Gudguda Waterfall is a beautiful and refreshing place to visit. It is a great place to escape the heat and noise of the city and enjoy the peace and quiet of nature.

Kandhara Village: A Place of Spiritual Significance

Kandhara village, located in the Rairakhol sub-division of Sambalpur district, Odisha, India, is associated with the famous Odia saint poet Bhima Bhoi. It is said that Bhima Bhoi spent his boyhood in this area.

According to legend, Bhima Bhoi fell into a well in Kandhara village. He was rescued by Mahima Gosain, the founder of the Mahima cult. The holy well where Bhima Bhoi was rescued is still existing and is an attraction for the followers of the Mahima cult and for tourists as well.

Kandhara village is located about 80 km from Sambalpur town. It is a small village, but it is a place of great spiritual significance for the followers of the Mahima cult. The village is also popular with tourists who come to see the holy well and to learn about the life and teachings of Bhima Bhoi.

Things to do in Kandhara village:

  • Visit the holy well where Bhima Bhoi was rescued.
  • Learn about the life and teachings of Bhima Bhoi.
  • Visit the Bhima Bhoi temple in the village.
  • Take a walk through the village and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.

How to reach Kandhara village:

Kandhara village is well-connected by road to Sambalpur town and other nearby towns and cities. Regular buses and taxis ply between Sambalpur and Kandhara village.

Best time to visit Kandhara village:

The best time to visit Kandhara village is during the winter months (October to March), when the weather is pleasant.

Huma: A Village with a Leaning Temple

The small village of Huma, located 26 km from Sambalpur town in Odisha, India, is known for its Bimbaleswar (Shiva) Temple of the 17th century. The temple is unique because it has a leaning position, similar to the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy.

The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and it is a popular pilgrimage site for Hindus from all over the country. Visitors can climb the 200 steps to the top of the temple to reach the sanctum sanctorum.

In addition to the temple, Huma is also known for its Kuda fish, which are found in abundance in the nearby Mahanadi River. These fish are known for their unique appearance and their ability to eat from the hands of humans.

Huma is a beautiful and peaceful village, and it is a great place to visit for those who are interested in history, religion, and nature.

Things to do in Huma:

  • Visit the Bimbaleswar Temple and offer your prayers.
  • Climb to the top of the temple for panoramic views of the surrounding area.
  • Take a boat ride on the Mahanadi River and see the Kuda fish.
  • Visit the Huma fish market and buy some fresh fish to take home.
  • Enjoy the peaceful and serene atmosphere of the village.

How to reach Huma:

Huma is well-connected by road to Sambalpur town and other nearby towns and cities. Regular buses and taxis ply between Sambalpur and Huma.

Best time to visit Huma:

The best time to visit Huma is during the winter months (October to March), when the weather is pleasant.

Ghanteswari: A Temple of Bells

Ghanteswari is a village located 18 km from Sambalpur town in Odisha, India. It is situated on the right bank of the Mahanadi River and is known for its Ghanteswari Temple, which is dedicated to the goddess Ghanteswari, who is believed to be a deity of local fishermen.

Devotees from all over the country come to the Ghanteswari Temple to offer brass bells to the goddess. As a result, the temple is surrounded by hundreds of bells hanging from the branches of trees. When the wind blows, these bells create a tinkling sound that is both soothing and charming.

In addition to the temple, Ghanteswari is also known for the weaving village of Kardola, which is located 2 km away. Kardola is a traditional weaving village where visitors can see live demonstrations of weaving in traditional Tanta style.

Here are some things to do in Ghanteswari:

  • Visit the Ghanteswari Temple and offer a brass bell to the goddess.
  • Enjoy the tinkling sound of the bells as the wind blows.
  • Visit the weaving village of Kardola and see live demonstrations of Tanta weaving.
  • Take a walk through the village and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.

How to reach Ghanteswari:

Ghanteswari is well-connected by road to Sambalpur town and other nearby towns and cities. Regular buses and taxis ply between Sambalpur and Ghanteswari.

Best time to visit Ghanteswari:

The best time to visit Ghanteswari is during the winter months (October to March), when the weather is pleasant.

Usakothi (Badram Wildlife Sanctuary):

Usakothi Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area in Sambalpur district, Odisha, India. It was established in 1962 and covers an area of 304.03 square kilometers. The sanctuary is home to a variety of wildlife, including tigers, elephants, leopards, sloth bears, gaur, and sambar deer.

Usakothi is a popular tourist destination, and visitors can enjoy a variety of activities in the sanctuary, including:

  • Jungle safaris: Jungle safaris are the best way to see the wildlife of Usakothi. Visitors can book safaris in jeeps or on elephants.
  • Nature walks: Nature walks are a great way to experience the beauty of Usakothi’s forests and to spot wildlife such as birds and butterflies.
  • Birdwatching: Usakothi is home to a variety of birds, including peacocks, hornbills, and kingfishers. Birdwatching is a popular activity in the sanctuary, and visitors can book guided birdwatching tours.
  • Camping: Camping is a great way to experience the wilderness of Usakothi. Visitors can camp at designated campsites in the sanctuary.

Usakothi is a beautiful and biodiverse wildlife sanctuary, and it is a great place to visit for those who are interested in nature and wildlife.

Here are some tips for visiting Usakothi Wildlife Sanctuary:

  • The best time to visit Usakothi is during the winter months (October to March), when the weather is pleasant.
  • Book your jungle safaris in advance, especially if you are visiting during peak season.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and clothing, and carry a hat, sunscreen, and water with you.
  • Be respectful of the wildlife and the environment.
  • Do not litter or disturb the animals.

Picnic Spots

Devjharan

Devjharan is a picnic spot located about 25 km from Sambalpur town in Odisha, India. It is known for its waterfall and small dam. The waterfall is about 50 meters high and cascades down a series of rocks into a pool below. The dam is located at the base of the waterfall and creates a small reservoir.

Devjharan is a popular spot for picnics, swimming, and boat rides. Visitors can also take a short hike to the top of the waterfall for panoramic views of the surrounding area.

Here are some things to do at Devjharan picnic spot:

  • Take a swim in the waterfall pool.
  • Go for a boat ride on the reservoir.
  • Hike to the top of the waterfall for panoramic views.
  • Have a picnic with your family and friends.
  • Visit the nearby village of Jujo to learn about the local culture and traditions.

How to reach Devjharan:

Devjharan is well-connected by road to Sambalpur town and other nearby towns and cities. Regular buses and taxis ply between Sambalpur and Devjharan.

Best time to visit Devjharan:

The best time to visit Devjharan is during the winter months (October to March), when the weather is pleasant. However, the waterfall is at its most spectacular during the monsoon season (July to September).

Pitapali

Pitapali is a picnic spot located on the shoreline of Hirakud Reservoir, about 17 km from Sambalpur town in Odisha, India. It is a popular spot for picnics, boating, and fishing. Visitors can also enjoy the scenic views of the reservoir and the surrounding hills.

Here are some things to do at Pitapali picnic spot:

  • Have a picnic with your family and friends.
  • Go for a boat ride on the reservoir.
  • Go fishing.
  • Enjoy the scenic views of the reservoir and the surrounding hills.
  • Visit the nearby Hirakud Dam, which is one of the largest dams in Asia.

How to reach Pitapali:

Pitapali is well-connected by road to Sambalpur town and other nearby towns and cities. Regular buses and taxis ply between Sambalpur and Pitapali.

Best time to visit Pitapali:

The best time to visit Pitapali is during the winter months (October to March), when the weather is pleasant. However, the picnic spot is popular throughout the year.

Zero Point:

Zero Point, a popular picnic spot in Sambalpur district, Odisha, now offers water sports activities to its visitors. M/s Royal Retreat has recently started offering a variety of water sports, including parasailing, banana boat rides, bumper boat rides, jet ski rides, and speed boat rides.

Zero Point is located just 5 kilometers from the main Hirakud Dam, and it is a popular spot for both locals and tourists. The government has developed basic infrastructure for picnickers, such as picnic shelters and plantations.

With the addition of water sports activities, Zero Point is now an even more attractive destination for visitors. Whether you are looking for a relaxing picnic or an adrenaline rush, Zero Point has something to offer everyone.

Brubuda Mahavir Dham:

Brubuda Mahavir Dham, also known as Mahavir Parbat, is a picnic spot located on the slope of Mahavir Mountain in Bamra, Sambalpur district, Odisha, India. It is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, and is known for its scenic beauty and religious significance.

The picnic spot is located at an altitude of about 1,000 feet above sea level, and offers stunning views of the surrounding hills and valleys. There is a small temple dedicated to Lord Shiva at the top of the mountain, and visitors can also enjoy trekking and hiking in the area.

Brubuda Mahavir Dham is a great place to visit for a day trip from Sambalpur or other nearby towns. There are a few basic amenities available at the picnic spot, such as restrooms and drinking water. Visitors can also bring their own food and drinks, or purchase them from the local vendors.

Here are some of the things you can do at Brubuda Mahavir Dham:

  • Enjoy a picnic with your family and friends.
  • Visit the temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
  • Go for a trek or hike in the surrounding hills and valleys.
  • Take in the scenic views of the countryside.
  • Relax and enjoy the fresh air and natural beauty of the place.

If you are looking for a picnic spot in Sambalpur district, Brubuda Mahavir Dham is a great option. It is a beautiful and peaceful place where you can relax and enjoy the company of your loved ones.

Chakdarha:

Chakdarha is a picnic spot located in Sambalpur district, Odisha, India. It is about 15 kilometers from the town of Sambalpur. The picnic spot is known for its small deep circular water body, which is surrounded by lush greenery.

There are a few basic amenities available at the picnic spot, such as restrooms and drinking water. Visitors can also bring their own food and drinks, or purchase them from the local vendors.

Chakdarha is a popular spot for both locals and tourists alike. It is a great place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of Odisha. Visitors can go for a swim in the water body, or simply relax on the shore and enjoy the scenery.

Here are some of the things you can do at Chakdarha:

  • Enjoy a picnic with your family and friends.
  • Go for a swim in the water body.
  • Relax on the shore and enjoy the scenery.
  • Take a walk around the water body and explore the surrounding area.
  • Visit the nearby temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Chakdarha is a great place to visit for a day trip from Sambalpur or other nearby towns. It is a beautiful and peaceful place where you can relax and enjoy the company of your loved ones.

Please note that the water body at Chakdarha is deep, and it is important to be careful when swimming. Visitors are advised to avoid swimming alone, and to always supervise children when they are swimming.

Ranjanaa Picnic Spot:

Ranjanaa Picnic Spot is a beautiful picnic spot located in Sambalpur district, Odisha, India. It is about 7 kilometers from the town of Rairakhol. The picnic spot is known for its stream and greenery, and is a popular spot for both locals and tourists alike.

There are a few basic amenities available at the picnic spot, such as restrooms and drinking water. Visitors can also bring their own food and drinks, or purchase them from the local vendors.

Ranjanaa Picnic Spot is a great place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of Odisha. Visitors can go for a swim in the stream, or simply relax on the banks and enjoy the scenery. There are also a few walking trails in the area, which visitors can explore.

Here are some of the things you can do at Ranjanaa Picnic Spot:

  • Enjoy a picnic with your family and friends.
  • Go for a swim in the stream.
  • Relax on the banks of the stream and enjoy the scenery.
  • Take a walk along one of the walking trails in the area.
  • Visit the nearby temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Ranjanaa Picnic Spot is a great place to visit for a day trip from Sambalpur or other nearby towns. It is a beautiful and peaceful place where you can relax and enjoy the company of your loved ones.

Please note that the stream at Ranjanaa Picnic Spot is can be deep and fast-flowing, especially during the monsoon season. It is important to be careful when swimming, and to always supervise children when they are swimming.

Culture & Heritage

Sambalpur, a district in western Odisha, is a cultural epicenter renowned for its dance, music, handicrafts, beliefs, social values, and traditional practices. From this humble rural area, Sambalpuri songs have crossed national borders and gained worldwide acclaim. The region’s people value simplicity, unity, and nature, as evidenced by their tribal dances to the beats of Dhole, Madal, and Nishan, and their Nuakhai-Bhet Ghat family and friend gatherings. Sambalpur is also renowned for its handloom textiles, particularly its Sambalpuri sarees, which have earned international acclaim for their unique designs and textures.

In short, Sambalpur is a cultural melting pot that offers a glimpse into the rich traditions and heritage of Odisha.

Sambalpuri Language

Sambalpuri is the primary language spoken in the western Odisha district of Sambalpur. It is a dialect of Odia, but it has its own unique features, such as a different vocabulary and pronunciation. Sambalpuri is also spoken in neighboring districts, such as Bargarh and Jharsuguda.

In addition to Sambalpuri, many other languages are spoken in Sambalpur District, including Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Telugu, Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil, and tribal languages such as Kisan, Kui, Oraon, and Kharia. This reflects the diversity of the district’s population, which includes people from all over India.

The people of Sambalpur are proud of their unique culture and heritage. This is reflected in their language, music, dance, food, and festivals. For example, the Sambalpuri saree is a world-renowned textile known for its intricate designs and vibrant colors.

Sambalpur District is a truly multicultural place, where people from all walks of life live together in harmony. The district’s diverse languages are a reflection of its rich culture and heritage.

Dance in the District of Sambalpur

Sambalpur District in Odisha is known for its vibrant and colorful dances, which are mostly performed by tribal communities. These dances are often connected with religious festivals or other special occasions.

Dalkhai Dance – The Dalkhai dance is performed by young girls of the Binjhals, Soura, and Mirdha tribes during Dussehra, Bhaijuntia, and other festive occasions. The dancers stand in a line or in a semicircular pattern and sing Dalkhai songs. The dance is characterized by its graceful movements and rhythmic steps.

Karma Dance – The Karma dance is the most popular dance in Sambalpur District. It is a tribal dance performed in honor of Karam Sain, the deity who grants children. The dancers enter the dancing arena in two rows, accompanied by drummers and singers. The dance is characterized by its energetic movements and colorful costumes.

Humo & Bauli – Humo and Bauli are two playful dances performed by young and unmarried girls on special occasions. The dancers sing and dance in groups, and the stepping and movements of the dance are very slow.

Koisabadi Dance – The Koisabadi dance is prevalent among the Gond and Bhuyan tribes. Male dancers take part in the dance, holding a two-feet-long stick. The songs that accompany the dance are mainly based on the immortal love story of Radha and Krishna.

In addition to these dances, there are many other folk dances performed in Sambalpur District. Some of these dances include:

  • Rasarkeli
  • Maila Jada
  • Bayamana
  • Gunchikuta
  • Sajani
  • Chhata
  • Daika
  • Bhekani

The folk dances of Sambalpur are a reflection of the rich culture and heritage of the district. The dances are performed with great enthusiasm and passion, and they are a delight to watch.

Use of Musical Instruments in Sambalpur

The folk instruments of Sambalpur are an integral part of the district’s culture and heritage. These instruments are used in a variety of ways, including in religious ceremonies, festivals, and social gatherings.

Dhole

The Dhole is a double-headed drum that is used in many different types of Indian folk music. The Sambalpuri Dhole is slightly different from Dholes from other parts of India. It is made from the trunk of a tree and both sides of the drum are the same size. The Sambalpuri Dhole can be used to play any type of Sambalpuri folk song.

Madal

The Madal is a clay-pot drum that is used in many different types of Indian folk music. The Sambalpuri Madal is different from Madals from other parts of India. It is made out of fired clay and is shaped like a cylinder. The Sambalpuri Madal is used to play slower rhythms and is often used to accompany non-dance songs.

Nishan

The Nishan is a large, metal gong that is used in religious ceremonies and festivals. The sound emitted by the Nishan is loud and piercing. It is often used in the worship of Kali or Durga, and it is also used on the battlefield.

Tasha

The Tasha is a pair of small cymbals that are played with two thin bamboo sticks. The sound of the Tasha is sharp and piercing. It is often used to create an atmosphere of excitement and suspense.

Other musical instruments that are popular in Sambalpur include:

  • Pakhoj (a barrel drum)
  • Bansi (a flute)
  • Bir-Kahali (a reed pipe)
  • Gini (a string instrument)
  • Ektara (a one-stringed instrument)
  • Muhuri (a double-reed instrument)
  • Ghulgula (a percussion instrument)
  • Ghunguru (ankle bells)
  • Jhanj (cymbals)

These instruments are used in a variety of ways, depending on the occasion. For example, the Dhole and Madal are often used in folk dances, while the Nishan and Tasha are used in religious ceremonies and festivals. The other instruments are used in a variety of musical settings, including solo performances, group performances, and accompaniments to singing and dancing.

The musical instruments of Sambalpur are an important part of the district’s culture and heritage. They are used to create a variety of different sounds and moods, and they add a richness and diversity to the district’s musical landscape.

Festivals of Sambalpur

Sambalpur District in Odisha is known for its vibrant and colorful festivals. The festivals are a reflection of the district’s rich culture and heritage, and they are celebrated with great enthusiasm and passion.

Sital Sasthi

Sital Sasthi is a festival that celebrates the marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. It is observed in the month of June with great pomp and ceremony in Sambalpur. The festival is celebrated for a week, and pilgrims from neighboring districts and states also participate.

Nuakhai

Nuakhai is the most important social festival in Sambalpur. It is generally celebrated in the months of August and September. The festival begins with the harvest of the first paddy crop. The grains are cooked into various dishes and offered to the deities. After that, the eldest member of the family distributes the new rice to the younger members of the family. All the household articles are cleaned, and people greet each other. Nuakhai is a community festival celebrated by all Hindu families, regardless of social status.

Bhaijiuntia

Bhaijiuntia is a festival that is mostly celebrated in the region of Western Odisha. It is celebrated on the Mahastami Day of Durga Puja. Girls and women undertake a total fast for the whole day and night to seek Goddess Durga’s blessing for the long life of their brothers.

Puajiuntia

Puajiuntia is another fasting Puja of similar austerity for women of the area. It is observed by mothers to invoke the grace of Lord Dutibahana for the long life and prosperity of their sons.

In addition to these festivals, other religious festivals are also observed in Sambalpur District. These include Shiva Ratri, Dola Jatra, Durga Puja, Janmastami, Dipavali, Ganesh Puja, and Saraswati Puja. The Shiva Ratri Mela at Huma attracts a large number of devotees. Ratha Jatra is held at almost all central places in Sambalpur. On the occasion of Makara Jatra, a fair is held at Themra in Sambalpur.

The most popular festivals celebrated by Muslims are Id-Ul-Fitre, Id-Ul-Juha, and Muharram. The Sikhs also celebrate the Birth Day of Guru Nanak.

The festivals of Sambalpur are a unique and vibrant expression of the district’s rich culture and heritage. They are a time for people to come together and celebrate their shared beliefs and traditions.

Architecture

The architecture of Sambalpur District is unique and distinctive. It is a blend of different styles, including Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, and Islamic. The temple architecture of the district is particularly noteworthy, as it is characterized by its intricate carvings and sculptures.

One of the most famous temples in Sambalpur is the Sambaleswari Temple. This temple is dedicated to the goddess Samaleswari, who is the presiding deity of the district. The temple was built in the 16th century by the Chauhan kings of Sambalpur. The temple is known for its unique style of architecture, which is a blend of Hindu and Islamic styles. The temple is also known for its intricate carvings and sculptures.

Another famous temple in Sambalpur is the Leaning Temple of Huma. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is known for its unique leaning structure. It is believed that the temple started leaning due to an earthquake. The temple is also known for its intricate carvings and sculptures.

In addition to temples, Sambalpur District is also home to a number of other historical monuments, such as forts, palaces, and mosques. The most famous fort in the district is the Hirakud Dam Fort. This fort was built by the British in the early 20th century. The fort is located on the banks of the Hirakud Dam, which is one of the largest dams in the world.

The architecture of Sambalpur District is a reflection of the district’s rich cultural heritage. It is a blend of different styles, and it is characterized by its intricate carvings and sculptures. The temples and other historical monuments of the district are a major tourist attraction.

Here are some of the unique features of the temple architecture of Sambalpur District:

  • Intricate carvings and sculptures: The temples of Sambalpur District are known for their intricate carvings and sculptures. These carvings and sculptures depict various scenes from Hindu mythology, as well as the flora and fauna of the region.
  • Unique style of architecture: The temp