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Leaning Temple of Huma Nrusinghanath TempleHirakud Dam

Sambalpur: Tribal Heritage of Odisha

Listen to the train’s whistle, as you pass by the vast green paddy fields dotted small huts, revealing the rustic touch of Odisha. Reminding you of enchanting ‘Malgudi Days,’ Sambalpur is the second largest city of Odisha, situated in the western region of the state.

Retaining its village-like charm and simplicity, it is packed with numerous picnicking and holidaying sights. Tour to Sambalpur and enjoy the aroma of ethnic culture Odisha as well as tribal heritage and delectable local cuisines.

Sambalpur Tourism is known for its lush greenery and ethnic culture. Sambalpur sightseeing involves copious forests, beautiful waterfalls, temples, dams and wildlife parks.

The history of Sambalpur suggests that it was ruled by many great dynasties like Gupta, Sarbhapuriyas, Panduvansi, Samavansi and Kalachuri. Later, the princely state of Sambalpur was acquired by the British through the Doctrine of Lapse. Eventually, it became a part of Odisha in 1936.

Give a nice bookend to your trip to Sambalpur by enjoying the famous folk songs, filled with dramatic tid-bits and engaging stories. Dhol, Bansuri, Madal, Jhanj and Ektara are the most common instruments used to create melodious folk tunes.


Following are the main travel attractions of Sambalpur

Leaning Temple of Huma

It looks exactly what it sounds like. It is a leaning temple devoted to Hindu Lord Shiva. Interestingly, it is still unknown if this tilting was a part of the design or is caused by some other reason. It is located in the Huma village close to the city.

The temple sits on a rocky surface along the banks of River Mahanadi. It is hard to believe some technical flaws to be the basis of its leaning. The temple was built by Chauhan kings and they are known for their architectural splendour. They were seen as the great builders of their times, hence making the answer even more difficult.

Nrusinghanath Temple

It is ensconced in the verdant greenery of Gandhamardan hills. Lord Marjara Kesari is the presiding deity of the temple. He is believed to be the re-incarnation of Lord Vishnu with the head of a cat and body of the lion.  The location is accompanied with paradisiacal waterfalls and stunning sculptures.

The temple is situated at the origin of ‘Papaharini stream’ which is considered sacred by the locals. The water of the streamlet collects into 5 different pools called Kundas. Your eyes will be soothed to see the dense green thicket all around the temple.

Hirakud Dam

Famous for being the longest dam in the world, Hirakud Dam is the must visit in Sambalpur Travel Guide. It was the first river valley project to be built post-independence. Its construction was completed in 1957 with an aim to control flood and support irrigation in the flood-prone areas.

The view of the colossal Hirakud dam is simply amazing from the 2 revolving towers at the ends of it. The Gandhi Minar stands at the northern end while the Jawahar Minar stands on the south. Enjoy a unique experience by taking a bike ride near the dam.

Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary

The deciduous forests of Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary are best known for the easy sighting of the wildlife. Jewelled along the emerald water of Hirakud Dam, this sanctuary is spread over an area of 74sq km.

The region is pregnant with profuse greenery and includes large variety of birds and animals. It is primarily vegetated by dry deciduous types of trees like Sal, Dhaura, Asana, Bija and Aanla. During monsoon, the sight is blessed with gushing moon-kissed waterfalls.

Excursions from Sambalpur

Hatibari (24km), Kandhara (78km), Cattle Island(90km) and Nrusinghanath Temple(165km) are some of the ideal weekend getaways to explore around the city.

Shopping in Sambalpur

Sambalpuri silk sarees are a must-buy during your Sambalpur Travel. They can be seen in myriad of colours, designs and styles of embroidery. Gole Bazaar is the best place to purchase them. Apart from saris, bed linens are also widely bought as souvenirs.

Pakhala, a typical Oriya cuisine is a speciality of this city. It consists of boiled rice fermented with water. It is recommended to prevent from heat strokes during summers. Enjoy this sumptuous dish seasoned with cumin seeds and curry leaves. Do not forget to ask for fried chillies, Badi bhajaand crunchy Alu-Potala bhaja with it!

When to Reach

September-March is the best time to visit as the weather is cool and ideal for exploring the travel sites. Tourists can also plan their visit during the famous Sitalsasthi carnival (May-June). It is a weeklong festival celebrated to mark the onset of monsoon.

How to Reach

Air: Swami Vivekananda Airport (227km) in Chhattisgarh is the nearest aerodrome with flights from almost all the major cities in India.

Rail: It has two rail heads Khetrajpur Junction (3km) and Sambalpur Station. The latter is closer to the city and receives most of the trains.

Road: State-owned buses run daily from Bhubaneswar, Puri and Cuttack for the destination. Private buses are also available to commute within and nearby areas of the state like Raipur in Chhattisgarh. You can also book taxi or cab to do the sightseeing in the city.

So, book for Sambalpur Tour today and let yourself sway with the melodious tunes of this destination.

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