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Sambalpur District,Odisha

Sambalpur District is a district in the western part of 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 (2,588 sq mi), of which almost 60% of the district is covered in dense forest. The district is bounded by Deogarh District to the east, Bargarh and Jharsuguda districts to the west, Sundergarh District to the north, and Subarnapur and Angul districts in the south.

Sambalpur City is the connecting city between Chhattisgarh and Odisha. Whereas it used to be known for its importance as a diamond trading centre, nowadays it is mainly known for its textiles, especially the Sambalpuri Saree. It’s a good place from which to explore the surrounding forests and spot, some of the rare species still roaming the area in one of the wild life sanctuaries, such as the well-known Badrama sanctuary. Sambalpur is also famous for Sambalpuri song and Sambalpuri dance.

History of Sambalpur District,Odisha

Sambalpur is mentioned in the book of Ptolemy (2nd century) as Sambalaka on the river Manada (the Mahanadi River). This gateway to the exotic charms of the western region of Odisha was the cradle of an ancient civilization and is an important landmark in India’s cultural history.

Sambalpur State was a former princely state of British India. When its ruler died without a direct male heir in 1849, the British seized the state under the doctrine of lapse. It was attached to the British Bengal Presidency, but was transferred to the Central Provinces in 1862. The district was transferred back to Bengal in 1905, but the subdivisions of Phuljhar and Chandarpur-Padampur remained with the Central Provinces. Bengal’s Odisha division became part of the new province of Bihar and Orissa in 1912, and in 1936 became the separate province of Odisha. After Indian Independence in 1947, Odisha became an Indian state.

Earlier Sambalpur District included four districts i.e.; modern day Sambalpur District, Bargarh District Jharsuguda District and Deogarh District which was subsequently divided into four separate districts. Bargarh was separated in 1993, and Jharsuguda and Deogarh districts were separated in 1994.

It is currently a part of the Red Corridor.

Places of interest in Sambalpur District,Odisha

The town of Sambalpur, lying 321 km from Bhubaneswar, is an ancient centre for the diamond trade is famous for its internationally renowned textiles (ikat), rich tribal heritage and fabulous forestlands. Sambalpur is easily accessible by rail and road.

Samaleswari, the presiding deity of this region is enshrined at ‘Samlei Gudi’ on the bank of Mahanadi River. The other temple of importance is the Budharaja Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva and is perched atop the Budharaja hill. These temples are located at a few kilometres’ distance from Sambalpur. The Hirakud Dam, the longest dam of the world, is some 15 kilometres from Sambalpur and can be easily visited on a day trip.

About 20 km from Sambalpur lies the Huma Temple which is a leaning structure, angling up to almost an astonishing 17 degrees. A mystery of engineers since the past few decades, it was made by the erstwhile ruler of Sambalpur.