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Balasore district,Odisha

Balasore is a strategically located city in the state of Odisha, about 194 kilometres (121 mi) north of the State capital Bhubaneswar, in eastern India. It is the administrative headquarters of Balasore district. It is best known for Chandipur beach. It is also the site of the Indian Ballistic Missile Defense Program’s Integrated Test Range, located 18 km. south of Balasore. The Defence Research and Development Organisation developed many different missiles such as Nag, Brahmos, Agni Missile among others here.This is where famous freedom fighter Jatindranath Mukherjee also known as Bagha Jatin got injured and died fighting the British. The most spoken language in Balasore is Odia.

History of Balasore district,Odisha

Baleshwar district was part of the ancient Kalinga kingdom which later became a territory of Koshala or Utkal, till the death of Mukunda Dev. It was annexed by the Mughal Empire in 1568 and remained as a part of their suzerainty up until 1700s. The British East India Company (EIC) established a factory at Balasore in 1633. As Calcutta rose in importance, Balasore became the center for river pilot services for vessels seeking to ascend the Hooghli River.

The Marathas then occupied this part of Odisha and it became a part of the dominion of the Bhonsle Maratha Rajas of Nagpur. They ceded this part through a treaty called the Treaty of Deogaon in 1803 and it became a part of Bengal Presidency until 1912.

Balasore as a separate district was created in October 1828 while it was in the Bengal Presidency. On 7 November 1845, all of Danish India was sold to the British, who made it part of British India. With the creation of Bihar Province, Odisha was diverted along with Balasore district from Bengal to Bihar. But with the creation of Odisha as a separate State on 1 April 1936 Balasore became an integral part of Odisha State. The national movement of independence surged ahead with the visit of Mahatma Gandhi in 1921. Similarly Praja Andolan was initiated against the ruler of Nilagiri State. The state of Nilagiri merged with state of Odisha in January 1948 and became a part of Balasore district. On 3 April 1993 Bhadrak sub-division became a separate district and from this day Balasore remains a district of Odisha with two Sub-divisions namely Balasore and Nilagiri having eight Tahasils, namely Balasore, Soro, Simulia, Nilagiri, Jaleswar, Basta, Baliapal and Remuna and 12 blocks namely Bhograi, Jaleswar, Baliapal, Basta, Balasore, Remuna, Nilagiri, Oupada, KHAIRA, Soro and Bahanaga. The name of the district is being derived from the name of the town.

Geography of Balasore district,Odisha

Balasore is a town in the North of Odisha, which is a state in South Eastern India. The city has West Bengal in the north, and the Bay of Bengal to the East. Balasore is located at 21°30`N, 86°56`E. Balasore has an area of 3076 km2. Balasore, the coastal district of Odisha is crisscrossed with perennial and estuarine rivers because of its proximity to the sea. Two important rivers of Odisha, Budhabalanga and Subarnarekha, pass through this district from west to east before flowing into the Bay of Bengal. There is widespread irrigation in Balasore district.

Places of interest in Balasore district,Odisha

Chandipur-on-sea is a seaside resort famous for its mile long beach. It is a unique beach – the tide comes to the shore only four times a day, at fixed intervals. At a distance of 30 km south-west is Panchalingeshwar, a temple and scenic spot high on a mountain. The presiding deity there, Shiva, cannot be seen. One has to touch and feel the statue as it is behind (submerged under) a waterfall. About 33 km south-west of Balasore, there is a town by name ‘Santaragadia’ that has a ‘Biseswar temple’ situated on a hill. The town is surrounded by hills on all sides. Nearby is ‘Khulia’ village, a settlement of aboriginals. Around 30 km south-east of Balasore is a port named ‘Dhamra’.

Bhusandeswara Temple

Khirachora Gopinatha Temple, situated at Remuna, approximately 7 km from the main town of Balasore, was built by King Langula Narasimha Dev, who also built the famous temple at Konark. Khirochora Gopinath Temple is notable for its mythological story about how it was built there. The prashad of Krishna – the khira – is very famous. The Biranchinarayan Temple, Palia, “AstaDurga”, “Bhudhar Chandi” are some other temples located in the region.

There is a Jagannatha Temple in Nilagiri which is one of the prominent Jagannatha temples of Odisha. Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra are worshipped here. Every year, Ratha Yatra is performed with all the deities.

Panchalingeswara Temple, is a temple near a picnic spot in Baleswar which is located 30 km from Balasore.There is a state tourism Pantha Nivas in Panchalingeswara for tourists. Panchalingeswara is surrounded by hills and forests. Branches of a natural spring flow through the hills, adding to the attraction of this place.

Bhujakhia Pir, situated at sunhat at the heart of the city is the tomb of Sufi saint Aasthana Sharif Hazrat Pir named as Bhujakhia Pir.