discover tourist places in SAMBALPUR

One of the most important places to visit is Samaleswari temple

Famous among the locals as “Maa Samalei”, this Hindu temple is dedicated to the presiding deity of Sambalpur. None the less, this temple is one of the top tourist places in Sambalpur. The deity “Mother Samalei” has a very strong religious influnce  in the Western part of Odisha and in the state of Chattisgarh. Moreover this temple is situated on the banks of river Mahanadi and the deity is worshipped from ancient times as Jagatjanani, Adishakti, Mahalakxhmi and the Godess of the Universe.

Belief and Festivals

Locals have imense faith and belief on the deity. Several festivals are celebrated at Samaleswari temple throughout the year. However, three of them are prominent and these are the two Navaratri Pujas during thhe months of March and April and during the months of September and October. During this festival, Godess is dressed differently each day representing each of the Nava Durga’s. This ritual is famous as the “Beeja”. The third and the most important festival at Samaleswari temple is the “Nuakhai”. This festival is the most important festivals in the entire Wester Odisha. The farmers during this festival offer their first produce of the year to the Goddess before consuming it.

Without any doubt, Samaleswari temple is one of the top places to visit in Sambalpur.

Deers Grazing at Debrigarh wildlife sanctuary-one of the must visit places to visit in Sambalpur

Sambalpur district in Odisha is a top tourist destination in the state and is graced with some of the top tourist attractions in the state. One such places to visit in Sambalpur is the Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary. 

Location and Wildlife

It lies very close to the Hirakud Dam of Sambalpur although it comes under the Bargarh district of Odisha. Debrigarh wildlife sanctuary plays an important role in the conservation of various local wildlife and their habitat. It spreads in a total area of 347 Sq.Km.  It is home to a large variety of flora and fauna including 40 species of mammals, 200 species of birds, 40 species of reptiles, 12 species of amphibians. On the East and North of the Debrigarh wildlife sanctuary lies the huge Hirakud Dam. Hence it not only has its importance for its wildlife but also for supporting both terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity. Moreover, Hirakud dam attracts a large number of migratory birds during winter season. It is also home to over 250 species of plants out of which several have medicinal value and importance.

Among all kinds of animals found here, Indian gaur (bison) and four-horned antelope or chousingha can be easily seen in the sanctuary. Debrigarh wildlife sanctuary is one of the must places to visit in Sambalpur.

The leaning structure of Huma temple which is one of the top places to visit in Sambalpur

The Leaning temple of Huma is famous world wide beacuse of its uniquness. It is one of the only two leaning temples in the world. Quite popular among tourists, this temple is one of the must visit tourist places in Sambalpur. A village known as “Huma”, in the banks of river Mahandadi is graced with this unique temple. The deity of this temple is Lord Bimaleswar. The exact reason for the leaning structure of this temple is yet to be known.

According to records, this temple was built by King Anangabhima Deva-III from the Ganga dynasty. this temple is on a rocky outcorp on the banks of river Mahanadi. The displacement of rocky bed on which it stands due to flood or water current in the river can be a strong reason for the leaning of the temple in due course of time. However the amazing thing about this temple is that, the main temple is tilted towards one direction and the other smaller temples are tilted towards the opposit direction. Every structure within the complex is tilted including the boundary walls. 

Legend

As per the legends a milkman used to cross river Mahanadi everyday and poured a milk on a rock which immediately consumed the milk. This miracle led to the construction of the present day temple. An annual fair is held every year during the Shivaratri at the foothills of the temple which attracts a lot of visitors from all over. The leaning temple of Huma is one of the must visit places in Sambalpur.

WATER RESOIRVER AT HIRAKUD DAM IN SAMBALPUR is one of the top places to visit in sambalpur

Built across the mighty river Mahanadi, Hiraku Dam is one of the first major multi purpose river valley projects of Independent India. It lies at a distance of around 15 Kilometers from Sambalpur district in Odisha. Behind the dam lies the Hirakud water reservoir which is 55 kilometers long and is one of the mojor attractions of the dam. Moreover, Hirakud dam is the longest major earthen dam in India.

History

The plan to take up this project was taken under the chairmanship of Dr. B R Ambedkar after several devastating floods in this region. It was decided to regulate the power of Mahanadi river for the benefit of mankind. This project was then taken up by The Central Waterways, Irrigation and Navigation Commission. Sir Hawthorne Lewis, the then Governor of Odisha laid the foundation stone of Hirakud Dam on 15 March 1946. However, the first batch of concrete was laid by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on 12 April 1948. This project was formally inagurated by Pandit Nehru on 13 January 1957. However, Agricultural irrigation and power generation from this dam started in the year 1956. The project cost was approximately ₹1,000.2 million.

Several temples were lost during the construction of this reservoir  out of many still exist under the water. These temples emerge when the water resides only to submerge again when water level increases. Several studies are going on to understand the histrical importance of these temples.

Tourism

Hirakud Dam is one of the major attractions for tourists visiting Sambalpur. Debrigarh wildlife sanctuary lies quite close to the dam and the Hirakud reservoir attracts several species of migratory birds during the winter season which is an added attraction for visitors and is one of top places to visit in Sambalpur.

 

Deers Grazing at Debrigarh wildlife sanctuary-one of the must visit places to visit in Sambalpur

Sambalpur district in Odisha is a top tourist destination in the state and is graced with some of the top tourist attractions in the state. One such places to visit in Sambalpur is the Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary. 

Location and Wildlife

It lies very close to the Hirakud Dam of Sambalpur although it comes under the Bargarh district of Odisha. Debrigarh wildlife sanctuary plays an important role in the conservation of various local wildlife and their habitat. It spreads in a total area of 347 Sq.Km.  It is home to a large variety of flora and fauna including 40 species of mammals, 200 species of birds, 40 species of reptiles, 12 species of amphibians. On the East and North of the Debrigarh wildlife sanctuary lies the huge Hirakud Dam. Hence it not only has its importance for its wildlife but also for supporting both terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity. Moreover, Hirakud dam attracts a large number of migratory birds during winter season. It is also home to over 250 species of plants out of which several have medicinal value and importance.

Among all kinds of animals found here, Indian gaur (bison) and four-horned antelope or chousingha can be easily seen in the sanctuary. Debrigarh wildlife sanctuary is one of the must places to visit in Sambalpur.

The leaning structure of Huma temple which is one of the top places to visit in Sambalpur

The Leaning temple of Huma is famous world wide beacuse of its uniquness. It is one of the only two leaning temples in the world. Quite popular among tourists, this temple is one of the must visit tourist places in Sambalpur. A village known as “Huma”, in the banks of river Mahandadi is graced with this unique temple. The deity of this temple is Lord Bimaleswar. The exact reason for the leaning structure of this temple is yet to be known.

According to records, this temple was built by King Anangabhima Deva-III from the Ganga dynasty. this temple is on a rocky outcorp on the banks of river Mahanadi. The displacement of rocky bed on which it stands due to flood or water current in the river can be a strong reason for the leaning of the temple in due course of time. However the amazing thing about this temple is that, the main temple is tilted towards one direction and the other smaller temples are tilted towards the opposit direction. Every structure within the complex is tilted including the boundary walls. 

Legend

As per the legends a milkman used to cross river Mahanadi everyday and poured a milk on a rock which immediately consumed the milk. This miracle led to the construction of the present day temple. An annual fair is held every year during the Shivaratri at the foothills of the temple which attracts a lot of visitors from all over. The leaning temple of Huma is one of the must visit places in Sambalpur.