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3.3 /5 25 votes


Best Time: Sep-Mar Read More

Ideal duration: 1 day

Nearest Airport: Bhubaneshwar Check Flights

Sambalpur Tourism

Sambalpur is the gateway to the western zone of Orissa. It abounds in prolific rivers, lavish hills, lush green forests and affluent wildlife. It is a beautiful amalgamation of modernity and culture. Holding a significant historical importance, the place also has a flourishing textile and handloom industry popular for its unique patterns and style. In addition to that, Sambalpur has a flourishing tribal life with exclusive exquisite folk songs-dances and culture. Sambalpur got its name from Devi Samaleswari who is the main goddess of the region. One can also visit wildlife parks here to enjoy the beauty of nature that Sambalpur has in plenty. The area is known for the world famous Hirakud Dam which is the main attraction for the tourists here.

There are also several temples holding great significance, with people coming from all over with a strong sense of faith and the holy deity bestowing happiness and wealth upon the devotees. Sambalpur is the biggest city of western Odisha and is famous for the number of freedom fights that took place here which make this place historically important too.

Sambalpur is famous for its handlooms and textile industry. This place is popular for its Sambalpuri Sarees. Gole Bazaar is the main shopping centre. Price can range from a few hundred to a hundred thousand rupees. There are many shops in the city, but the most famous shops can be spotted in Gole Bazar. An emerging Big Bazar and a whole complex in the City Centre mall is on Modipara road.

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Land of Festivals and Culture

Sambalpur is a culturally rich city of west Odisha. This city named after Goddess Samaleswari is home to the Samaleswari temple located in the heart of the city. The annual Sambalpur Lok Mahotsav is a great celebration of art and music. The Sitalsasthi Carnival which celebrates Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati's marriage is another major festival of the city. It is an important commercial centre, famous for its tie-and-dye lkat work. The folk dances like the Karama dance are also very popular. It is also an important diamond trading centre.

History of Sambalpur

The history of Sambalpur dates back to prehistoric times. It is mentioned in the book of Ptolemy and records of Xuanzang. Later in the 4th century, Samudragupta defeated King Mahendra of Koshala and Sambalpur fell in his territory. Over the decades, it was ruled by multiple dynasties, including the Paduvanti, Samavanti and the Chauhans. In 1804, during the rule of the Marathas, Sambalpur was annexed by the British. It witnessed quite a few freedom struggles during the British supremacy. Post-independence, the princely state of Sambalpur was divided into four separate administrative districts called Sambalpur, Bargarh, Jharsuguda and Deogarh.

Cattle Island

The cattle island is one of the main attractions of the place. It is basically a hill submerged in the Hirakud reservoir. It was supposedly a village initially but during the construction of the Hirakud dam, the villagers were asked to evacuate the village and move to nearby areas. When relocating, some of the villagers left behind their domesticated cattle. Over the period of time, the cattle bred in the wild vegetation and grew manifold. They underwent evolution and so are bigger in size, a lot faster and agile than the domesticated ones. They are wild and ferocious and extremely protective of their territory. Most of them are creamy white coloured and give an ethereal look to the island.

Restaurants and Local Food in Sambalpur

Some of the most loved dishes of people of Sambalpur is Bhat Pakhala which is recommended especially for summers to cure or avoid heat strokes, Basi bhat made by soaking rice overnight in an earthen pot, aaloo baingan jhol, panas tarkari, Pudala baigan, Kukra jhol, Dai baigan, Jhuri Bhaja and several others. People in Odisha savor sweets after their main course food and there are different kinds of sweets that are available and loved by the people here.
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One Day Itinerary

While you are on a trip to Sambalpur there are a few essentials that you should not miss. First off, there is Hirakud dam which is famous all over the country and is the largest earthen dam in the world creating a 35km long lake. Just near this dam, we have a wildlife sanctuary and eco cottages to spend your nights here as this might take your whole day. There are several temples in the region which are worth the visit and have historical significance.

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Holidify's Opinion

What's Great?

Located in the Mahanadi river basin, Sambalpur provides for an amazing view of the mighty Hirakud dam.

What's Not So Great?

The region is prone to floods caused by the river Mahanadi.

For Whom?

Sambalpur is a home to many temples and hence great for people who wish to explore religious places.

How To Reach Sambalpur

Sambalpur houses two railway stations - Khetrajpur and the Sambalpur Road Station. Regular buses ply, connecting Sambalpur to Raipur and Bhubaneswar. The nearest airport is Swami Vivekananda Airport, Raipur, at a distance of 262 km.

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