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Balangir district

The district of Balangir is flanked in the northwest by the Gandhamardhan Hills, a name of Ramayan fame and the northeast by the rock infested Mahanadi. The district was formed on 1st Nov,1949. Sonepur was carved out as a separate district on 1.4.1993. The district is bounded by Sonepur in the east, Nuapara in the west, Kalahandi in the south and Bargarh in the north. The district of Balangir is named after the headquarter town of Balangir which lies between 20o11'40" - 21o05'08" North latitude and 82o41'15" - 83o40'22" East latitude. The district is situated in the valley of rivers like Ang & Tel. The Important tributaries of Tel are Lanth, Sonegarh & Suktel. It is the nature's cradle for tribes like Kutia, Khonds, Binjhals & Gands. The district is famous through centuries for the Bhulias & Kastias, master craftsmen who work excellent motifs on cotton & tassar fabrics.

Balangir District at a glance :
Area 6569 sq. kms
Forest Area (in sq. kms) 1,543.85
Cultivable area (in Ha.) 3,45,650
Administrative set up
Sub-Divisions 3
Blocks 14
Tehsils 6
Gram Panchayats 285
Villages 1792
Municipality/NAC 4
No. of Parliamentary Constituencies 2
No. of Assembly Constituencies 6
Population (2001 census) 13,35,760
Total 54.93
Male 70.36
Female 39.27
Distribution of workers
Total household 2,49,478
BPL Family 2,01,310 (1997 survey)
Small Farmers 45986
Marginal Farmers 78342
Agril. Labourers 1,31,447
Irrigation potentiality (in ha.) Kharif    Rabi
Major & Medium Irrigation 7220      860
Minor Irrigation 13320    2880
Lift Irrigation 6110      3660
No. of Primary Schools 1933
No. of middle schools 389
No. of secondary schools 205
No. of general colleges 63
Minimum Temp.(in Dec) 16.6 C
Maximum Temp.(in May) 48.7 C
Language spoken Oriya, Hindi, English and Tribal languages
Clothing Light Cotton in Summer and Woolen in Winter.
Best Season October to February
Establishment Sept, 1977 by Department of culture Govt. of Orissa.
Number of books. 11,622
General 10, 917,
Gift 705

Places of Interest


Ranipur Jharial

There are extensive ruins of medieval monuments at Ranipur Jharial. There is an out-crop of flat rocks on which large number of temples are perched. The out-crop forms a gently rising elevation of about 200 feet at its highest point. In ancient times about 120 temples were in existence on the spot near the bank of the tank. At present hardly 50 temples could be counted and most of them are found in decaying condition. The largest temple of the group is that of someswara Siva Temple. It was constructed by a famous Saiva Acharya named Gagana Siva whose inscription is found on the itat of of the temple. The period of construction of someswara Siva temple at Ranipur Jharial was the middle of the 9th century A.D.

Temple of 64 Yoginies

The temple of 64 Yoginis of the place is of great interest not only from the stand point of antiquity but also for its religious significance. This is a temple with niches to enshrine 64 yoginis. In the middle there is a figure of three-face Shiva embracing Parvati. Period- 9th century A.D.

Indralat Temple

Important monument of Ranipur Jharial is the brick temple dedicated to Vishnu. The present height of it is nearly 60 feets. The temple stands on a platform made a stand-stone. The presiding deity of the temple is not found at present, but the images of Varaha, Narasimha and Hanuman are still to be seen on the outer walls of the Vimana.

Chandi Temple at Saintala

Saintala village is notable for the old chandi temple, which is now in ruins. The Goddess who is a form of Mahishamardini Durga has not been installed on the mound formed by the ruins of her former temple. The temple has been attributed to the 9th century.

Somesware Temple at Patnagarh

Someswar ascribed to king Someswar-II of the 12th century A.D.

Pataneswari Temple at Patnagarh

Pataneswari ascribed to Ramai Deo the first Chauhan king belonging to the 14th century A.D.

Jogeswar Siva Temple at Jogisarda

It is situated in the village Jogisarda in Loisingha Police Station, four miles from Loisingha. Jogeswar Siva is widely renowned not only in Balangir district but also in the neighboring district of Sambalpur and devotees come here in large number to practice penance by fasting days together and lying prostrate on the floor of the temple with the hope of getting boons. The temple was the work of former Zamidars of Loisingha.


A place of pilgrimage on the southern slope of the Gandhamardan hills, which stand along Balangir- Sambalpur border, Harisankar has the additional charm of being a place of uncommon natural beauty, with a high range of hills as a background forest clad surrounding, some perennial springs and successive water falls. The main temple of Harisankar dedicated to Siva. Period- 14th century A.D.

Dharpagarh (50 Kms)

A place of historic importance, Dharapagarh has a big tank called "Dashamati Sagar" covering an area of 119 acres. Believed to be the habitant of some water nymphs, the tank is guarded with the shrines of Chandi, Duarsuni, Samalei, Patneswari, Siva and Vishnu who are worshipped by non-Brahmins. A dip in the tank has religious importance too.

Gaikhai M.I.P (30 Kms)

A place of great scenic beauty, Gaikhai is surrounded by green capped hills on three sides. The water mass here dazzles with natural scenery and offers cool breeze to the visitors. An ideal place for group camping, the place also is thronged with picnickers all the year round.

Tenttulikhunti 42 km from Balangir (7km from Tusura)

A village revived its old celebrity that it was a seat of religious activities during Savapuriya Dynasty before the advent of the Somavamsi Kesharies(8th Century). An open space surrounded by paddy fields, presently houses three monolithic deities of Jagannath temple. However, the stone images of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra, unique of its kind were known to humankind after an excavation made in accordance with an afflatus received by a villager. Respective colours of the deities are applied to these Idols ranging not more than 1.5ft in height. The age and time of execution can only by revealed after Carbon testing.

Mursing 25 km from Balangir (5km from Deogaon IB)

It is a rustic village of aborigines. Yet accommodates magnificent images of Jagannath Cult, made of neem tree. The village derives its name from Narasingh, the fourth incarnation of Lord Vishnu who is believed to have killed a demon named Mura who prayed the God to be remembered in association with the name of the Lord Narasingha. Though the village is yet to erect a proporti9onally big and decent temple for the deities, there is no let up in the rituals of these vaishnavite idols at par with those of Puri. The villagers exhibited an incredible moral change under the leadership of a school teacher named Bijoy Kumar Mohanty. Mr. Mohanty was in charge of the worship of former small idol of Lord Jagannath. He received an afflatus and located the holy neem tree along with the villagers who initiated to invite the rajguru of the king of Puri for consecration. an old lady named Kayavati Pradhani(75) donated land for the construction of a temple as a mark of her respect and lover for late husband. Presently the magnificent deities are placed and worshipped in a temporary shade and all the religious festivals and rituals are going on in accordance with Hindu belief. Here the deities underwent Navakalevar and traveled in three separate chariots this year during Car Festival amidst 20000 onlookers from neighjbouring villages.