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Location : Orissa
Languages : Kosli (Sambalpuri) & Hindi; Oriya & English are official languages
Major Attractions : Ranipur Jharial, Someswara Temple
Best Time to Visit : Months between September to February
The well planned city of Balangir is blessed with serene surroundings and is a nice tourist hub. Flanked by the hills of Gandhmardhan in north west and River Mahanadi in north east, the district was created in 1949. The city rests amidst the charming valleys of Tel and Ang rivers; inhabited by tribals like Gandhs, Khonds, and Binjhals, the place is famous for its exquisite art and craft that is visible in the work of the artisans who create excellent pieces of motifs over fabrics.
Down the Lane :
Balangir, in ancient period, was the headquarters of Patna. Balram Deo who ruled at Patna is supposed to have laid down the foundation of this city, but there are no historical evidences to prove it. It was after this ruler, the city was named Balramgarh.
There are many attractions that can be appealing to the tourists arriving here. A few of these are listed below:
Someswara Temple : This temple was created by a saint named Gagana Siva who was a devotee of Lord Shiva. Inside the premises of the temple, you will see an inscription attributed to this saint. It is believed the temple was constructed sometime around 9th century.
Ranipur Jharial : It is a perfect place for lovers of history as there is a multitude of medieval ruins that are present here. You will also see a series of flat rocks at the top of which a number of temples are present. Earlier, there were 120 shrines here, but only 50 of them have survived till date.
Chandi Temple : Another attraction of Balangir is Chandi Temple which is located at Saintala village. The deity who is offered prayers here is Mahishasurmardini the temple dates back to 9th century.
Jogeswar Shiva Temple : This renowned temple of Lord Shiva is situated in village Jogisarda. The shrine is quiet popular among the local inhabitants who come here to do penance in the form of fasting. In order to seek the blessings of the deity, they lie prostrate on the ground.
Harisankar : Resting on the hills of Gandhamardan, the pilgrimage place of Harisankar is a nice tourist hub. The place rests amidst natural beauty and charming hills. The fascinating background of the forest presents a lovely picture. This, in addition to waterfalls and perennial springs, makes the place worth visiting. A temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is also present here.
Rajendra Park : This century old park at Bolangir was constructed by ruler of Patna, namely Rajendra Narayan. The park is studded with lush greenery. A walk here in evening can be quiet pleasurable; the presence of fountains that lit up at this time make the scene even more enchanting. Nice amusement parks are built here; special areas are present for children. A Dolby Digital System keeps on playing old songs. Visiting hours of the park are restricted from 2 pm to 10 pm. You can gain access to the premises by paying just Re 1.
Anand Niketan : It is a nice Ashram that is stretched over an area of about 40 acres. On the special occasions like Guru Purnima, Navratri, Shivratri, a large number of devotees come to this place. At Anand Niketan, yoga practices are also carried out.
Some of other attractions of Balangir are Priyadarshini Talkies, Sailashree Palace, Ramai Talkies, Jalia etc.
Nearby Attractions :
Dharpagarh : This historical place is located at about 50 kilometers from the destination. Known for a huge tank named "Dashamati Sagar" which is sprawled over an area of about 119 acres, the site is associated with several legends. There are several shrines dedicated to deities like Shiva, Samalei, Chandi, and Vishnu. Devotees arrive here in order to take sacred dip in the waters.
Mursing : This ancient village is named after one of the incarnations of Vishnu, named Narsingh. Most of the inhabitants of the village are the Vaishnavites.
Tenttulikhunti : Here, you will see green surroundings laced with the fields of paddy and a number of images of monolithic deities. These belong to Lord Jagannath, Subhadra, and Balabhadra. The images were unearthed during an excavation.
Gaikhai : This place of alluring beauty lies at 30 kilometers from Bolangir; covered with green hills from all sides, this charming place attracts the visitors by its scenic beauty and nice surroundings.
Balangir is famous for its sarees and other textiles. You can shop for Sambalpuri sarees which are available in wide variety and don’t cost too much. The market is famous in entire India for production of best breed of cabbage. Other items that are worth buying here include shoes, footwear, dresses, and accessories.
A few nice staying options are present at Bolangir; Hotel Tara, Hotel Surya, Ashoka Hotel, Hotel Rajmahal, and Tourist Home are some of the names in this regard.
In order to have more information about the place, you can contact Tourist Office.
Cities Nearby :
Harisankar (81 kilometers), Patnagarh (38 kilometers), Sonepur (48 kilometers).
Your stay at Balangir can be a nice experience; its serenity and pleasurable surroundings will not let down your expectation.