The Western Odisha is in abundance with charming flora and fauna along with beautiful temples and natural waterfalls and other architectural excellence.
Hirakud Dam is built across the Mahanadi River, about 15 kilometres from Sambalpur in the state of Odisha in India. Behind the dam extends a lake, Hirakud Reservoir, 55 km long. It is one of the first major multipurpose river valley projects started after India’s independence.The dam supports two different hydroelectric power houses. Power House I is located at the base (toe) of the main dam section and contains 3 x 37.5 MW Kaplan turbine and 2 x 24 MW Francis turbine generators for an installed capacity of 259.5 MW.
Cattle Island is located in one of the extreme points of Hirakud Reservoir, a natural wonder. Completely inhabited by wild animals, it is without any trace of humans. It is near Kumarbandh village of Belpahar-Banharpali range which is about 90 km (56 mi) from Sambalpur. It can be reached by launch from Hirakud Dam, it is closer by 10 km (6.2 mi) via the river. The island is a submerged hill, and before the construction of Hirakud Dam it was a developed village.
Samaleswari Temple was constructed from the 16th-century, and consequently, it’s regarded as one of the earliest Hindu shrines in Odisha..Samleswari Temple is a Hindu temple in Sambalpur, Western Odisha, dedicated to the goddess known as ‘Samleswari’, also known among the natives as Samlei Maa, meaning Mother Samleswari.
In the early time, Maa Samaleswari is worshipped as Mahalaxmi, Adishakti, Mahasaraswati, and Jagatjanni in the Area. In addition, the temple hosts numerous festivals with which are celebrated with so much dedication and ardor.
Ushakothi wildlife sanctuary was established in 1962 and offered a splendid natural habitat for thousands of species. Spread across an area of about 304 square km this beautiful abode of beauty is just 22 km away from Sambalpur and has the Hirakud dam on its west.
The fauna includes, amongst others, tigers, elephants, sambar leopards, and bison and its main attraction is the flying squirrels.
Located in the Bargarh district of Odisha, this wildlife sanctuary is home to a diverse number of species.
The most important fact about this wildlife sanctuary is that focused on conserving the Indian leopards, gaurs, and the four-horned antelope.
Situated at a distance of 32 km away from Kantabanji, the Chausathi Yogini temple was built by the Somabansi kings in the 8th century to Lord Shiva and his Tantra Vidya (Tantric educations).
It is made as a topless temple with 64 yoginis around a dancing Shiva statue with three heads and eight hands.
This temple is the Shiva shrine that is one of the only two leaning temples in the entire world. People believe it’s a miracle and looking at so many such miraculous architectures in India that science has no answer to appears quite strange and exciting at the same time.
Nrusinghanath temple is a 500-year-old temple, foundation of which was laid in the early 1313 A.D. The main attraction of the temple is its beautiful water which is situated among trees inside the temple.
The temple is also known for its giant garden showcasing all the avatars of Lord Vishnu.
The name Boudh itself speaks of the prominence of Buddha in this region. Historically inhabited by a number of Buddhist Monks and followers, this place has kept their presence alive in the form of temples, caves, and Buddha statues.
The major attraction of the city is the giant Buddha statue and the Chari Sambhu temple.
The 24.38 meters high waterfall and the Devi Ghanteshwari temple makes it one of the favorite picnic stops of the Sambalpur city.
She is the pristine deity of the place, and the people here believe her to be the protector of the area.
HARI SHANKAR TEMPLE-BALANGIR
Bolangir is a city of tribals and farmers. One can see the simplicity and acceptance that the people here offer. The Harishankar temple is the shrine of Lord Shiva, and the people of the place have full devotion to him.
Situated on the foot of the hills, this temple has a waterfall of its own and the calm environment of the place will captivate your soul.
The Pradhanpat waterfall is surrounded by the rarest scenic views making it one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the state. It is trendy amongst the people here, and it is a source of water for the village.
There another waterfall called Korordokot in Deogarh where the king of the village Sudhal Ganagadev had built Asia’s first hydro-electric powerplant in the 1840s but to witness the spectacular sight of this waterfall you have to take a trek up the mountain.
The water at this waterfall has carved its ways out seven massive rocks. It’s a treat to the eyes and a splendid location for the trek lovers.
This raw and unbarred mountain would make you feel enchanted, so don’t forget your trekking shoes home.