Sambalpur, the tourist hub to Hirakud, Badrama sanctuary, Bolangir, Patnagarh, Ranipur - Jharial, Jharsukda, Kalahandi, Bikramkhola, Huma and Nrisinghanath


Sambalpur, The Tourist Hub :
The city acts as an important junction which connects Hirakud, Badrama sanctuary, Bolangir, Patnagarh, Ranipur - Jharial, Jharsukda, Kalahandi, Bikramkhola, Huma and Nrisinghanath. Infact, all the above mentioned places should be covered keeping Sambalpur as the base. A trip to Sambalpur and Rourkela can be completed within 5 to 10 days. The traditions and customs of the city are not new. The earlier name, Sambalka, has been found in many ancient scriptures.

Sambalpur derives its name from the well known deity, Samaleshwari. The temple where the deity samaleshwari resides, displays a pleasing architectural flair. The mount of the temple is made up of gold. The lifeline of the city, Mahanadi River, is cutting the plains of Sambalpur across. The deity Shiva is also residing in the divine Briddharaja temple. The long-drawn-out stairways will take you to the top most point of Briddharaja hills. The panoramic view from the topmost peak of Briddharaja hills is going to be a treat for the eyes. People who don’t want to trek higher up to the Shiva temple can easily avail a car for a better experience. The city houses many more spiritual temples like Jagannath, Brahmapura, Gopalji, Kali, Ghateshwari and Hanuman.

Apart from the saintly temples all around, the town is also quite popular in the vicinity as a business hub. The city gained its reputation as a wealthy business center for diamonds. The supremacy in the cultures can be seen on the prominent creations of the city. Woven textiles, Sambalpuri Saris, and Tie & Die printing are quite popular in Sambalpur. Apart from these mentioned items, the colorful wooden toys have also created an artistic impression. Interested travelers can buy an item to remember the gratifying trip of West Orissa for long time. Every year during 4th-6th January a cultural festival attracts a large group of people.

Pradhanpat: Amidst the compelling natural backdrop of Deoghar, backward communities ahave been living for ages. Take a look at the wonderful natural locale all over the city. Two lively waterfalls, at the end of the city, in the middle of the mesmerizing natural setting, increase the charm of the city. A water power plant is formed using the water of one of the waterfalls where as the other one is supplying water to the different parts of the city. Pradhanpat or the waterfalls are coming down with their ferocious force and hitting the ground of Deoghar.

Gopinath, Jagannath and Gokorneshwar are the holy temples situated in Deoghar. The palace of the kings is another interesting place for the tourists.

Deoghar is well connected to Bhubaneshwar (418 km), Sambalpur (91 km), Keonjhar (138 km) and many other cities of Orissa by road.

Hotel Moonlight, Hotel Mamata, Shakri Lodge, Basanta Nivas, and Lalitha Basanta are the hotels in Deoghar where tourists can stay at. You can also try our online booking links.

Hirakud Project: Hirakud project, responsible for the development of the neighboring area, is popularly known for its gigantic dam. The largest dam of the world is 4800 meters long and 60 meter tall. The mammoth dam has been built by spending a hefty amount of 26.74 lakhs. Jhara tribes were the chief indwellers of Hirakud.
The artificial Lake, adjacent to the dam, is the largest Lake of Asia and is covering a straggling area of 746 square km. The Lake is twice as big as the country, Srilanka. The Lake is supplying water to 1, 33,000 square km of farmlands. The power plant has a capacity of producing 1, 23,000 KW of power. It has always been a blessing for the people of the adjoining area since the inception of the dam. It has also helped to control the flood.  Jawaharlal Nehru had inaugurated the dam in 1957.

The vista of the locale of Chiplima around the Mahanadi River, looks really beautiful. A mini water power plant is also built in chiplima. The holy Ghanteshwari temple in Chiplima attracts tourists who come to Hirakud.
Debrigarh wildlife sanctuary, about 20 km from Hirakud, is an eco tourism centre. Nature lovers will enjoy the sight of the sanctuary.
Interested tourists can stay at Debrigarh Forest Rest House in Debrigarh.

Take a special permission to climb up to the hilltops, located at both the sides of the Dam. The hills are shielding the place and are blocking the brutal waves of the River Mahanadi. Gaze at the riveting sight of the panoramic Lake climbing on the top of the Gandhi Minar. Cross the well stretched dam to the Nehru Minar, about 5 km away from Gandhi Minar. Watch the bird’s eye view of the dam, Wild River and neighboring Barla from the Nehru Minar.
After the sun hides his face in the gloomy evening, the spectacle of Hirakud in the bright lights looks even more stunning. A special permission will allow you to watch the power house. Ardent tourists can enjoy the pleasing view of the dam while yachting on the Lake. Photography of the dam is strictly prohibited.

Tourists can get to see the Sambalpur Aluminum Factory on the way to Hirakud.

Enjoy a pleasant stay at Luxury Guest House and Ashoka Yatrinivas, located adjacent to the Nehru Minar. But the Gandhi Minar is more attractive. Cars are going directly to the Gandhi Minar. Janata Lodge and Sri Krishna Lodge are situated near to the bus stand of Barla.

Avail a train to Mumbai via Nagpur from Howrah railway station, Kolkata and get down at Jharsuguda. You have to take another train to Sambalpur from Jharsuguda. Hirakud railway station is there on the way to Titlagarh from Jharsuguda. The project is located at a distance of 10 km from Hirakud railway station. But due to the unavailability of cars from the Hirakud railway station, it is prudent to hire a car from Sambalpur. Buses are also available to Hirakud from the Bus stand, situated at the opposite side of Lakshmi talkies, Sambalpur. It is a nice idea to cover the trip in your own car though.

Badrama Wildlife sanctuary: Badrama wildlife sanctuary, situated at a distance 38 km from Sambalpur, on NH-6, should be accessed with a guide and search light. It is very important to know the latest political and social situation before you plan for the trip to Badrama wildlife sanctuary.
Badrama was previously known as Ushakoti. The sanctuary, located at an elevation of 750 meters, is covering an expansive area of 370 square km. Badram has got the status of a sanctuary in 1962.

The dark, deep and opaque forest is set in the soaring Sal trees. 14 tigers, more than 500 elephants, black panthers, sambhars, bison, gour, peacocks, wild dogs, bulls and innumerable species of deer amble in and around the woodland. The sanctuary is a captivating paradise for the bird watchers. Flying squirrels are the prime and foremost allurements of the sanctuary. Three watch towers on the banks of the three different ponds offer an exceptional pleasure in watching denizens of the sanctuary. The 3rd watch tower, about 36 km away from the range office, is located on an undulating land. You must walk together to visit the 3rd watch tower due to the uneven road. Watching the thirsty habitants on the banks of the ponds will be an exciting and enticing experience. Take a look at the strolling animals along with the fascinating façade of the forest while you are enjoying the safari ride through the tract hidden in the darkness.
The Forest Rest House is situated at the opposite side of the range office where from you need to take permission to enter into the deep woods.
Buses are going to Keojhar/Karanjia from Sambalpur through NH-6 touching Badrama.

Huma: Huma, about 32 km towards the southern side of Sambalpur, is a destination for the pilgrims who search for solace in the divine Shiva temple. The temples of Huma have different styles of fine arts which are quite dissimilar from the patent Orissa architectural splendor. The prime temple of Huma is tilting to one side by 47 degree angle which is definitely an uncommon site in the context of Indian architectures. The temple was built by Balbir Singh in 1670. The deity, Bimaleshwar Shiva is also tilted to one side. The peak of the temple is straight though. The spiritual spirit of the pilgrimage spot entices tourists from faraway places during Shiva Ratri (Night) festival.

Devotees provide foods to the animated Kudo fishes in the water of the adjoining Mahanadi River during January- June. In the rainy seasons they hide themselves in caves. A number of small tilas in the water of the River create a fascinating sight for the tourists. Don’t miss a pleasing boat ride on the wonderful water surface of Mahandi River. The joyful environment around will definitely not bore you. The divinity of the Kali temple on the banks of the River looks incredible.

Avail a bus from Sambalpur and get down at the Huma bus stand, about 29 km from Sambalpur. The temple is situated at a distance of 3 km from the Huma bus stand. You can also hire a jeep from Sambalpur to Huma spending 500 rupees.

Nrisinghanath: Nrisinghanath, located at the border of Sambalpur and Bolangi districts, is situated on the northern slopes of the Gandamadana hill. The deity, Nrisinghanath, is residing in a 45 feet high temple, built by Bhaijal Deo in 1413. The structure of the deity is always hidden by flowers. However the aesthetics of the temple are worth seeing. A large number of idols are carved on the stones of the door.

Durga, Ganesh, Dwarpal are the other deities residing in the nearby temples. Panchapandav bank houses idols of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar which look incredible due to the prominent architectural sumptuousness. Devotees can ask for the blessings of the deities at every night. On the auspicious occasion of Dol yatra tourists from distant places congregate on the temple premises. During the festivals, buses carry the devotees directly to the temples. Chaturdashi, Baisakhi, Srabani Purnima, Rat Yatra, Maghi Purnima and Dol are the holy festivals which are observed every year.

A lot of waterfalls are coming down from the adjoin hills. Bheemadhar, Gadadhar, Guptadhar, Pitrudhar, Kapildhar, Chaldhar and many more include their names in the list of wonderful and lively waterfalls in the vicinity. And a slender way called Papaharan has been formed with the water of all these waterfalls. It is believed that a holy bath here can shed the sins. Sitakunda and Gokunda are also known as sanctified wells.

Ardent holiday makers who love to walk and trek can climb to the hilltop of Gandamadana (3134 feet). The Gandamadana hill is formed with lateritic stones. But bauxite stones are also visible downside.

Parimalgiri, the ancient university, about 16 km inside the deep forest of Gandamadana, was a famous university. But you can only see the ruins of the university now. The hill is rich in medicinal plants. During their exile, Pandavas stayed in 150 feet tall, 50 feet wide, and 15 feet tall cave. Even though the devotees walk through this deserted and undulating road to the cave during Baisakhi, but most of the times the tract remains calm and quiet. It is wise to walk through the road with a guide.

Harishankar, located at a height of 1500 feet, is a pilgrimage spot where the deity Shiva resides. The divine temple which is encircled by the numerous hills, houses Vishnu and Shiva in it. Bhairabi and Jagannath temples are also there in the propinquity. The nature has the power to fascinate everyone here. It is believed that a holy bath in the nearby Paphara River removes the committed sins.

Padampura and Paikamal are connected to Sambalpur by road. Get down at Padampura. Avail another bus to Paikamal from Padampura. Hire a rickshaw or an auto from Paikamal to Nrisinghanath which is located at a distance of 4 km from Paikamal. Tourists who want to avail train from Howrah can get down at Bargarh road railway station. Nrisinghapur, about 50 km away from Bargarh road, can be accessed directly by bus from Bargarh railway station.
Cross the hill and trek to Harisankar, about 15 km from Nrisinghanath. A tract through the foothills will also take you to Harishankar. Harishankar can also be reached by road from Padampura, about 40 km from Nrisinghanath.
Panthasala Nrusinghanath, Hotel Oriental, Maharaja Lodge, Bargarh Lodge and many more privately owned lodges and hotels are there in Nrisinghanath.

Interested tourists can also visit Bargarh, about 48 km from Sambalpur, to enjoy the Dhanuyatra utsav (festival) on the banks of an unknown River. People call it Yamuna River for 11 days during the festive season. Brindavan and Mathura both are situated at both the banks of the River. Take the pleasure in watching the town beaming with the lights at night.
Hotel Oriental is a notable hotel in Bargarh where tourists can stay overnight at.

Bolangir: The prime importance of the city is in its nature. Hills and woods of Bolangi are the imperative enticements for the nature lovers. Rippling and lively waterfalls are hugging the rocks of the hills.
Different temples in the middle of the pleasing natural environs depict some mind blowing architectures. Archeological importance of the town is also well known.
Bolangir railway station is situated on the Jharsuguda-Sambalpur-Bolangi-Titlagarh railway track. Tourists can avail a train directly to Sambalpur from Kolkata. Local bus routes connect Bolangi to Harishankar, Nrisinghanath and Patnagarh. Interested holiday makers can also hire a jeep to any other place of Orissa from Bolangi.

It is difficult to find hotels which offer high quality services but normal hotels are there where tourists can stay overnight. Hotel Rajmahal, Hotel New Paradise, Hotel Surya, Hotel Paradise Palace, Hotel Sapna and Nilachakra Lodge are some of the noteworthy places where tourists can stay for a night.  

Patnagarh: Patnagarh, about 38 km away from Bolangi, was previously known as a spot where Tantric saints used to congregate in the 9th century to worship the divine power. Temple lovers can watch ruins of various temples in the vicinity. Someshwar Shiva temple, built in the 12th century, Pateshwar and Shyamaleshwar temples which depict the chalukya architectural flairs are among the fabulous ancient temples which are still recalling the glory of yester years.
Sonepur, the pilgrimage spot, about 48 km from Bolangi, is situated at the meeting place of Mahanadi and Tel Rivers. Besides the holy Lonkeshwari temple, innumerable temples are there atop the dotted tila.
Patnagarh is connected to Bolangi and Nrisinghanath by road.
PWD bungalow is the only option for tourists where they can stay for a night.

Ranipur-Jharial: During 8th to 10th century, more than 40 temples were built within 15 km of Ranipur-Jharial which was previously known as Somatirtha. All of these temples are beautiful with their own panache. Shiva, Buddha, Tantric and Vaishnavite cultures are quite prominent on the aesthetics of the temples. Rajarani, Indranath, and Choushat yogini temples are popular ones. Yogini idols are carved on the wall which is encircling a renowned edifice of the place. The magic stone is another attraction.
Take a train from Sambalpur to Titlagarh. Avail a bus from Titlagarh to Ranipur-Jharial, about 30 km from Titlagarh.
Jalaram Lodge, Sri Venkateshwar Lodge, Annapurna Lodge, Hotel Manikal and Sri Ganesh Lodge are notable hotels where tourists can stay at.

Kalahandi: Kalahandi, the dry land, is covered with the fascinating hills and woods. Even though the place is not that popular to the tourists but the natural locus of Kalahandi definitely has an allurement. Various tribal communities are living in Bhabanipatna, the head quarter of Kalahandi district.
Hire a jeep and spend 500 rupees to stare at the wonderful creation of nature, the Fhulrijharan water fall, coming down from  an elevation of 16 meters, about 15 km from Kalahandi. The tiger reserve project, about 25 km away from Bhabanipatna, is a secluded place, located in the middle of serenity.

Manikeshwari temple, located at a distance of 32 km from Kalahandi, is a hypnotic and old temple which is surrounded by the prolonged green forests. An incredible waterfall in the nearby Karlapat is another imperative attraction of the place.
The deity residing in the dukri temple, situated at the foothill of Karlapat hill, is worshipped by the local people. The scenic beauty around the temple is amazing. 
Take a bus from Bhubaneshwar or Titlagarh to Kalahandi.

Hotel Sagar Sangam, Hotel Ruchi, Hotel Hind Plaza and Hotel Amulya are the available hotels for the tourists.

Vikramkhola: Vikramkhola is a place which is situated in the middle of the mesmerizing forest. The place is enclosed with a number of hills. A 27.7*115 feet natural balcony, built by the rocks, has an immense archeological importance. But due to the carelessness of the Government, it is getting destroyed.
The imprinted pictures on the rocks of the adjoining hill, Olafhgarh, are special attractions in the proximity. Tourists can watch ruins of a wonderful fort as well. Devi Manikeshwari is residing in the neighboring divine hill. It is wise to hire a guide to know the stories associated with this destination.

Belpahar railway station, about 22 km from Jharsuguda, is connected to Jharsuguda by railways. Then hire a jeep to Vikramkhol, about 12 km from Belpahar. Jharsugda is only at a distance of 50 kilometers from Sambalpur.
Kalinga, located at a distance of 3 km from the Belpahar railway station, is a lodge where tourists can stay at. Ideally, cover it from Sambalpur.

Where to Stay in Sambalpur: Refer to our hotel booking links below.
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