Western Odisha is a territory in western part of Odisha, India, extending from the Kalahandi district in the south to the Sundargarh district in the northwest. Western Odisha includes the districts of Balangir, Bargarh, Boudh, Deogarh, Jharsuguda, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Sambalpur, Sonepur and Sundargarh.
Tourist attractions Western Odisha
Some of the tourist attractions are listed here:-
- Samaleswari Temple (Samlei Gudi) is a 17th-century shrine dedicated to the goddess Maa Samaleswari, the tutelary goddess of the Kosal region. Samalei Gudi is the second most visited temple in the present Odisha state after Puri Jagannath Temple.
- Huma is famous for the Leaning Temple of Lord Shiva, which is relatively older and leans like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Catching fish is not allowed and tradition holds that if one kills any fish from the river which flows behind Huma Temple, one will become a stone statue.
- Ushakothi is a wildlife sanctuary harboring elephants, tigers, gours, sambars, black panthers, deer, spotted deer, bears and other animals.
- Hirakud Dam is situated 16 km from Sambalpur, and is one of the longest dams in the world, about 16 mi (26 km) in length and the dam extends across a lake, 55 km long.
- Kandhara is the birthplace of poet Bhima Bhoi, the great propounder of Mahima Dharma, and a pilgrimage-cum-sight seeing spot.
- Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary is like an emerald nestled in the serene blue waters of Hirakud Reservoir. Made a sanctuary in 1985, it comprises Lohara Reserve Forest, Lohara and Debrigarh Reserve Forests of Barapahad Hills. Debrigarh means “The abode of the Goddess”. It is 40 km from Sambalpur. Dhodrokusum, the main entry gate, is 12 km from Hirakud Reservoir, at the end of the right dyke of Hirakud Dam. At Debrigarh, there are vehicle safaris and boat rides available to view more than 50,000 migratory birds from Siberia and other cold regions. It is a natural habitat for jaguars, sambars, black panthers, deer, spotted deer and wild bears.
- Sambalpur city boasts of several temples of Liakhai, Madanmohan, Satyabadi, Bariha, Brahampura, Dadhibamana, Timini, Gopalji, Budharaja Shiva Temple, Maneswar Shiva Temple, Gupteswar, Balunkeswar, Loknath, the Goddess Samaleswari, Pataneswari, Batmangala, Budhimaa, Mahamayi, and others, as well as Sambalpuri handlooms.
- Nrusinghanath is a place in Paikmal, with a waterfall and it is one of the most popular tourist places of the western Odisha region. A 500-year-old temple dedicated to the Hindu god Narasimha is also situated there. One more interesting fact is that the God is worshiped here in the form of a cat as compared to the general Lion-man idol of the god. The God Narsimha is known here as “Marzara Kesari” in the Kosli language.
- Balangir is the modern capital of the ex-Patna State and its current district headquarters. It has numerous Sambalpuri Saree shops, Samaleswari Temple, Patneswari Temple, Nrusinghanath Temple, Santoshi mata Temple, Gopal jee Temple, Sailashree Palace, Rajendra Park.
- Patnagarh is the ancient capital of the kingdom of Patna, and has a 12th-century Someswar Siva Temple and Patneswari Temple.
- Ranipur-Jharial is famous for the Hypaethral Temple of sixty-four yoginis and for being a place of confluence of religious faiths, including Saivism, Buddhism, Vaisnavism and Tantrism.
- Kusangei Temple in Kusang is an 11th-century temple of Maa Kusangei and it is a fine example of the Kosali architecture.
- Harishankar is the most popular tourist place of Kosal. It is famous for its 15th-century Vishnu, Shiva and Bhairavi Temple. It stands on the southern slope of the Gandhamardan Hills, which are complemented by a perennial stream. It is also known for its natural sliding rock where one can waterslide while having a bath under the waterfall.
- Three remarkable Buddhist statues are situated in Boudh town. At Shyamsundarpur village and Pragalapur village are the 9th century. Rameswar Temple; Jogindra Villa Palace; Hanuman Temple, Chandra Chuda & Matengeswar Temple; Gandharadi Temple, Padmatola Sanctuary, and Nayakpada Cave.
- Pradhanpat is a waterfall on the Pradhanpat hill.
- Vikramkhol is a site with pictographic inscriptions.
- Koilighugar Waterfall is located at Lakhanpur.
- Yogimatha is a site with cave paintings.
- Sonepur town is known as the ‘Second Varanasi of India’ abode. There are several temples and gardens, including Suvarnameru, which is on the left bank of the river Tel, towards the southwest of its confluence with the river Mahanadi.
- The Thengo dam is the picnic spot which is present in the surrounding of dense forest .It attracts hundreds of tourists annually. The wildlife and environment is best for nature lovers.
- Khaliapali is a Mahima shrine.
- Rourkela is a modern city with a steel plant.
- Khandadharoffers Miriglotah, a waterfall.
- Manikeshwari Mandir and Chatar jatra
Manikeshwari Temple is located in Kalahandi district of Odisha. The temple is located to the south of Bhawanipatna. The main deity here is Goddess Manikeshwari. The main devotees are from the fishermen community. During Dussehra festival, animal sacrifice is offered at this temple. A film is also documented showing the ritual of animal sacrifice, before Goddess Manikeshwari.
Phurli Jharan is one of the most famous tourist spots in Kalahandi. Fifteen Kilometres from Bhawanipatna, Phurlijharan is a perennial water fall about 30 ft in height and has a special charm of its own. Themulti coloured rainbow created by the sunrays falling on the scattered water particles of the fall is an amusing sight to be seen. The evergreen forests around the fall provide ample opportunities to group picnickers.
- Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary
Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary is a tourist attraction with Sambhars, Hynas, Elephants etc. present on SH-44. It has also high mineral deposit like bauxite etc.
Jakham is a tourist attraction on SH-44 (20 km away). It has a wooden guest house.
Rabandhar is one of the most famous tourist spots near Bhawanipatna. 15 kilometres from city, Rabandhar is a perennial water fall about 13 ft in height and has a special charm of its own.
Permunji is a nursery situated at the foot of great mountain, a place for picnics. Elephants are commonly seen near the nursery crossing roads.
- Hello Point
Hello Point is a picnic spot and valley view point 75 km from Bhawanipatna. It is present on the top of the eastern ghats from where half of the Kalahandi district is visible including Junagarh, Kalampur block etc. One can receive signal from all telecom services for mobile, therefore it is named as Hello Point.
- Indravati Dam
Indravati or Upper Indravati Hydro Power Project is one of the largest Dam in India as well as Asia. It is the largest dam in eastern India which produces 600MW of electricity. The Upper Indravati Project envisages diversion of water, of the indravati river in its upper reaches into the Mahanadi valley for power generation and irrigation.
The project would involve construction of 4 dams across the Indravati and its tributaries 8 dykes and two inter-linking channels to form a single reservoir with a live capacity of 1435.5 Mcum, 4.32 km. tunnel, a power house with installation of 4 units of 150 MW each turbines, 9 km. tail race channel and an irrigation barrage across Hati river with the associated irrigation canals i.e., Left Canal and Right Canal.
Irrigation from left canal is done in Kalampur, Koksara, Junagarh and Dharmagarh Block where Asia’s longest aqueduct is made on Tel River near Odisha border. And right canal is done is Junagarh (Nandol area)and Bhawanipatna Block, the construction work is under process in Karlapada block where it merges with Ret River. The water comes from mainly Indravati River, Pet fula Naal etc.