While the rest of Odisha has seen quite a bit of development, Sambalpur still holds its old-world charm and is one of the top tourist attractions in the state. With its beautiful temples, lush green hills, and vast reservoirs, it’s a paradise for nature lovers and history buffs alike. Whether you’re looking for a spiritual experience or an adventure-filled weekend, Sambalpur has something to offer everyone. In this article, we will explore some of the most popular tourist places in Sambalpur that you must visit when in town.
Top 5 Tourist Places in Sambalpur
#1 Sambalpur Fort
Sambalpur Fort, also known as Sambalgarh, is a large fort located in the city of Sambalpur in the state of Odisha, India. The Ganga dynasty king, Balaram Dev, built the fort in the 13th century. It is one of the largest forts in India and covers an area of over 1,000 acres. The fort has a moat, a wall, and several temples and palaces within its premises.
The fort is a popular tourist destination in Odisha and attracts a large number of visitors every year. The fort is also home to several festivals such as the Sambalpur Diwas, which celebrates the victory of the Ganga dynasty over the Mughal Empire in 1568. Visitors can explore the fort’s many structures, including temples, palaces, and watchtowers. There are also numerous monuments and sculptures within its premises that depict scenes from the Mahabharata and Ramayana epics.
#2 Hirakud Dam
Hirakud Dam is one of the longest dams in the world. It is on the river Mahanadi in the Sambalpur district of Odisha state in India. The construction of the dam occurred in 1947 and opened in 1957 and provides irrigation to an area of over 32,000 square kilometers. Hirakud Dam is a popular tourist destination and attracts thousands of visitors every year. The dam is also known for its wildlife sanctuary, which provides refuge to a variety of birds, animals and reptiles.
The sanctuary has numerous watchtowers which allow visitors to view the wildlife from a distance. Apart from the wildlife sanctuary, there are also a number of temples and archaeological sites around the dam which attract numerous tourists every year.
(Image Credit: Times of India)
#3 Ushakothi Wildlife Sanctuary
Ushakothi Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the top tourist places in Sambalpur. It is popular for its rich wildlife and scenic beauty. The sanctuary is in the eastern part of the Sambalpur district, about 20 km from the city. The area of Ushakothi Wildlife Sanctuary is about 304 sq km and established in the year 1962. The main aim of the construction of the sanctuary is to preserve tigers, leopards, elephants, and other animals. It is also known for its medicinal plants and rare species of trees.
Ushakothi Wildlife Sanctuary provides a great opportunity for tourists to witness the beauty of nature and spot some wild animals in their natural habitat. You can also find some exquisite tribal villages nearby which offer an insight into tribal lifestyle and culture.
#4 Tikarpada Wildlife Sanctuary
Tikarpada Wildlife Sanctuary, located in the Sambalpur district, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Odisha. The sanctuary is home to a large number of elephants and other wildlife species. Visitors can also enjoy the scenic beauty of the sanctuary. The sanctuary is famous for its rich biodiversity, and it houses numerous species of birds, mammals, and reptiles. The major attractions inside the sanctuary include elephants, tigers, and leopards, sloth bears, barking deer, sambar deer, wild boar, Nilgai antelope, and gaur. The best time to visit the sanctuary is between October and May.
(Image Credit: Incredibleindia.org)
#5 Nandankanan Zoological Park
The Nandankanan Zoological Park is in Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Odisha. It is one of the oldest and largest zoos in India and covers an area of 437 hectares. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India inaugurated the zoo in 1960. The zoo is home to over 2,000 animals, including tigers, lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, bears, reptiles, and birds. The Nandankanan Zoological Park is a popular tourist destination in Odisha and receives over 1 million visitors annually. The park is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
(Image Credit: nandankanan.org)
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