Orissa Tour of Balangir
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Orissa Tour of Balangir
Orissa Tour of Balangir
Orissa Tour of Balangir

 The district of Balangir is named after the headquarters towns of Balangir. This town was also the headquarters of the feudatory state of Patna, since the eighties of the nineteenth century. Balaram Deo, the brother of Narasimha Deo, the 12th Raja of Patna, established Balangir. As Balaram Deo is known to have flourished about the middle of 16th century, the origin of the town of Balangir has also been attributed to that period. It is said that the town being founded by Balaram Deo was named after him as Balaramgarh, from which the present name Balangir has been derived. There is however no recorded evidence to support this theory.

The district of Balangir is flanked in the North-west by the Gandhamardan hill, and in the north-east by the rock-infested Mahanadi. Many hill streams traverse it. It is the land of Tantrik culture. It is also notable for having experimented in the republican form of Government that was overthrown by Ramai Deo. Ramai founded the kingdom of Patna in the 14th century, which within a short span of its militant career become the head of the cluster of eighteen Garhs. The Chauhan rule ended with the merger of the state of Patna and Sonepur with Orissa on the 1st January, 1948. They together from the district of Balangir. Sonepur was carved out as a separate district on 1993.

The district is bounded by Sonepur in the east, Nuapara in the west, Kalahandi in the south, 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
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.

Important Place

PATNAGARH: The ancient capital of the kingdom of Patna, Patnagarh combines in happy synthesis its mythic past with the modern present. The temples of Patmeswari in Chalukyan style and that of Someswar Siva belonging to the 12th Century are the monuments of prominence. One can find here the reminiscence of the earliest group of temples build during the Chauhan rule in Western part of Orissa.
Distance           40 Kms from Dist. HQ
Communication Road
Nearest Railway station Balangir
Lodging and Boarding   Patnagarh/Balangir

RANIPUR-JHARIAL: Ranipur Jharial is known as "Soma Tirtha" in scriptures. It combines a section of religious faiths like Saivism, Buddhism, Vaisnavism and Tantrism. The circular open vault enclosure of sixty-four yoginis, the major attraction of the place, is one of the four such shrines in India. The temple of Someswar Siva is the noted one among a plethora of about 50 temples here. The majestic brick temple of Indralath is said to be the highest brick temple of Orissa.
Distance           100 Kms from Dist. HQ
Communication Road
Rail - Nearest station- Kantabanji
Lodging and Boarding   Kantabani

SAINTALA: Saintala is noted for its Chandi temple which is now in ruins. Goddess Chandi in Mahisamardini form is presently installed in a small mound. The Dasavatara (Ten incarnations) image of Lord Vishnu and Broken door jamb with figures of Ganga and Yamuna are among the remarkable places of sculpture un-earthen here.
Distance           40  Kms from Dist. HQ
Communication Road
Rail - Nearest station- Saintala
Lodging and Boarding   Balangir

JOGISARDA: 25 Kms from Balangir  and 7 Kms.  from Loisingha, Jogisarda is noted for the Jogeswar Shiva Temple.

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. Distance         50  Kms from Dist. HQ
Communication Road
Rail - Nearest station- Balangir
Lodging and Boarding   Balangir
TUREKELA: (98 Kms):- A place suitable for group camping, Turekela is important for viewing colorful wild life, like Tigers, Dear, Bears, Monkeys etc. The chirping birds perched on trees are a thrill to the searching eyes. Distance          98  Kms from Dist. HQ
Communication Road
Rail - Nearest station- Titilagarh
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.
Distance           30  Kms from Dist. HQ
Communication Road
Rail - Nearest station- Balangir

HARISHANKAR: On the Southern slope of the Gandhamardan hills stands Harishankar, a place of pilgrimage with uncommon scenic charms. A perennial stream bursting into droplets rushes on its hard granite bed to form cascades at different stages. As a cool resort in the lap of nature, Harishankar is a panacea for the heat of the summer season. On the Northern slope of the Gandhamardan hills lies Nrusinghanath in Bargarh district. Both the places are connected by a hill top road of 16 kms., which the pilgrims cover in a day on foot during Nrusingh Chaturdasi. Trekkers and adventurists also find the journey an interesting one. Harishankar is connected by an all weather good moterable road (81 Kms.). Regular bus services operate to an from Balangir. But visitors are requested to take their own transport from Balangir.
Distance 81  Kms from Dist. HQ
Rail - Nearest station- Balangir

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.

Jal Mahadev- Where a stream deluges Lord Shiva: We learn from the Epics that Lord Shiva guzzled poison which trickled during churning of the Deep using Mandara Hill as a shaft. For the welfare of the Universe, He drank the poison that coloured his neck blue. In order to remain cool and composed he let the river Ganges descend from the feet of Lord Vishnu on his mat. So wel called him Gangadhar. Since the moon which signifies coolness adorns his forehead. He is named as Chandrasekhar.  Because of this necessity, man probably associated profuse water with the worship of Lord Shiva. Hence during ablutions we use much water and milk to gratify him. Peculiarly Lord Loknath in Puri remains completely ducked under water but unfailingly water dribbles on the Linga at every Shiva Temple.   However, like Panchalingeswar, the rarity of Jal Mahadev is that He displays himself(Swayambhu) beneath the flow of a perennial stream. So devotees drop bel leaves and flower on the gushing rill. Picturesque surrounding casts charm and placiditly on solemn presence of the Lord. Moreover, a number of Shiva Lingas are ferreted out at the site which were probably earlier adored by ascetics. This fact oints to antiquity of the site which perhaps was a hub of religious activities. Like Harishankar, dense forest cover enriches the backdrop of a modern temple. The white edifice of Trilingeshwar was completed by Sri A.U.Singhdeo, The Ex-Minister of Tourism, Orissa few years before. The stream amid nature provides ample scope for bathing in privacy. Nature lovers and pilgrims throng the place for picnic and a holy dip., As the destination is located at the foothills of the Gandhamardan, exotic plants, birds, animals, reptiles and insects get full freedom to roam and flock. So a visitor gets solace and real vaalue of his money. For all these reasons, visitors from Chhatisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa enjoy these two places by own transport.  There is a connecting route from Harishankar to Jal Mahadev(6/7 KMs) but it is not motorable nor free of accidents. So if pucca road can be lad for the benefit of visitors and tourists the distance and time will be reduced and journey will be most exciting. The visitors may commune with nature and stumble upon  wild animals. Thus they will have a choice for picnic either at Harishankar or Jal Mahadev. But they can pay respect at both the places. In addition, one can visit the Deer Park, Herbal Garden and local market at Harishankar. Trekkers can try a 16 Km route to reach Lord Nrusingh at the other side of the Gandhamardan Hills.  How to reach: Jal Mahadev is 84 KM from  Balangir via Khaprakhol. Khaprakhol (16km from Jal Mahadev) is a vintage point and well connected with Balangir, Bargarh(68 km) Nuapada(67KMs) Kantabanji(68KMs) Titilagarh(144 KMs) One is to take a left turn at village Maharapadar(08KMs) on the way from Khaprakhol to Harishankar(13 Km) and reach another village named Kandarabhata which is only One Kilometer away from Jal Mahadev.

Orissa Tour of Balangir
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