Location: 327-km from Bhubaneswar, Orissa
Famous As: One of the major commercial towns in the state
Places of Interest: Ranipur-Jharial, Harishankar, Patnagarh, and Sonepur & Saintala
Best Time To Visit: October to June
A well-laid out town from the time of the Maharajas, Balangir still possesses the charm and serenity of the old day’s fashion. It is one of the major commercial towns in the western part of Orissa.
Ranipur – Jharial: Situated 104-km from Balangir, Ranipur- Jharial houses one among the four existing Hypaethral temples, dedicated to the 64 Yoginis in India- a wonder in the world of archaeology and a cluster of other temples.
Harishankar: On the southern slope of Gandhamardan Hills, Harishankar, 81-km from Balangir is a place of Pilgrimage and rare scenic beauty with gurgling waterfalls. The foaming waters sparkle vibrantly, acting as a delightful contrast to the unmelting hardness of the granite bed, from which it cascades through the sun-dappled jungle.
Patnagarh: The ancient capital of the kingdom of Patna, Patnagarh has some unique monuments 38-km from Balangir.
Sonepur: On the confluence of rivers Mahanadi and Tel, known as Paschima Lanka in scriptures, Sonepur is a nicely laid out town. Located 48-km from Balangir, it has a cluster of temples, each having a story of its own. In the whole temple complex, the shrine of Suvarnameru Lingam holds precedence over all. The Nrusinghanath temple is the highest, at a height of 24.38m.
Another temple of interest for visitors is the doorless temple of Gnyanadei Maluni, with slightly 'Tantric' overtones, which indicates that Tantrism flourished in this region for sometime. There are numerous villages around Sonepur where scores of weavers work on no less than 23,000 looms to produce exquisite textiles.
Saintala: Saintala is a small village situated in Balangir district in Titlagarh sub-division at a distance of 32-km south of Balangir-Titlagarh road. Popularly known for its remains ancient temples, the main site of archeological interest is the temple of Chandeshwari Thakurani, now in its ruins. The site apparently belongs to the early 'Somvansi' period.
HOW TO GET THERE
Air: The nearest airport is situated at Bhubaneswar.
Rail: Balangir is a railhead on the S.E.Railway.
Nearby CitiesRanipur - Jharial: 104-km