Sambalpur is one of the oldest district and city of Odisha. It has the rich heritage of culture and tradition. The Sambalpur is declared Municipality in the year 1883 and Municipal corporation in the year 2013 consisting of Sambalpur, Hirakud and Burla.
Sambalpur is the Education hub of Orissa. It has the oldest Engineering college named UCE, later declared as Veer Surendra SaiUnivercity of Technology. It also has Sambalpur university and Medical college in Burla.
The history of Sambalpur, as depicted by eminent historians, is full of events including Indian freedom struggle representing the different sections of society. Since Sambalpur is one of the ancient places of India, which survived even in the prehistoric age and holds a very important place in the history of Odisha and India.
When the last ruler of Sambalpur, 'Narayan Singh', died in 1849 without a direct male heir, the British seized the state under the Doctrine of Lapse. Sambalpur was kept under "Southwest Frontier Agency" with headquarters at Ranchi. The official language of this region at that time was Hindi. "Southwest Frontier Agency" was renamed ‘Chhota Nagpur Division’ in 1854. The name of Veer Surendra Sai, who fought against the British Rule, is recorded in golden letters in the history of India's struggle for independence. During the Sepoy Mutiny in July 1857, the mutineers broke open the prison at Hazaribagh, where Veer Surendra Sai was imprisoned and released all the prisoners. veer Surendra Sai fought against the British after reaching Sambalpur. There was no mutiny in Cuttack division, so Sambalpur was transferred to Cuttack division in 1858 and Oriya was made the official language of Sambalpur. Sambalpur along with other princely states of Western Odisha was included in the newly created Nagpur division of Central Province in 1862. In January 1896, Hindi was made an official language of Sambalpur. During the partition of Bengal in 1905 Sambalpur and the adjacent Sambalpuri speaking, tracks were amalgamated with the Odisha Division under Bengal Presidency. Bengal's Odisha division became part of the new province of Bihar and Odisha in 1912, and in April 1936 became the separate province of Odisha.[ After Indian Independence on August 15, 1947, Odisha became an Indian state. The rulers of the princely states of Western Odisha acceded to the Government of India in January 1948 and became part of Odisha
ROAD AND TRANSPORT
Sambalpur is well connected with Road and Railway.
Sambalpur is connected to the rest of Odisha and India by the national highway - NH 6, which is a part of Asian Highway-AH46 (Mumbai-Nagpur-Kolkata line).NH 42 connect with Cuttack & Bhubaneswar, State Highway 10 (SH10) connect with Jharsuguda & Rourkela,
Rail is well connected to all major cities of India. It has the Railway division of East coast Railways.
CULTURE AND TRADITION
Sambalpur Lok Mahotsav
A cultural manifestation of the hidden age-old traditional performing art of a vast geographical area is possible through this annual celebration of the festival in the name of ”Lok Mahotsav”. This festival is a reflection of the socio- anthropological evolution of the people of India. Lok Mahotsav shows the integrity & unison of the heritage, culture, music & lifestyle of Kosal. Live performances of folk music, dance from all parts of India are shown under one splendid stage.
It is the marriage ceremony of God Siva & Goddess Parvati. Sitalsasthi is a carnival of folk dance and music along with decorated stands of Gods and Goddesses. People from all walks of life participate in large numbers in the carnival. Artists from different states of India take part in the carnival making it a colourful extravaganza.
This is the most important social festival of Sambalpur. The first grains of the paddy crop, cooked into various dishes are offered to the deities. Thereafter the eldest member of the family distributes new rice to other members of the family. All the household articles are cleaned. People greet each other. It is a community festival celebrated by every Hindu family
Shiva Ratri mela at Huma attracts large numbers of devotees. Ratha Yatra is held at almost all central places of Sambalpur. On the occasion of Makara Jatra, a fair is held at Themra in Sambalpur.
The world famous Hirakud Dam built across the Mahanadi River, about 15 km from Sambalpur in 1956 is a major tourist attraction. The dam is the world's largest earthen dam and is one of the longest dams in the world, about 26 km in length. It also forms the biggest artificial lake in Asia, with a reservoir holding 743 km2 at full capacity with a shoreline of over 640 km. It also attracts a large number of migratory birds in winters.
The Leaning Temple of Huma, located about 25 km from Sambalpur, built in the 17th century, leans at an angle of approximately 47 degrees to the west. Samaleswari Temple is the main temple of Goddess Samaleswari, located on the banks of river Mahanadi. Sambalpur owes its name to her. Chiplima (Chipilima Hydro Electric Project (CHEP)) located about 37 km from Sambalpur, it is known for a natural fall (24.38 mt in height) harnessed for generating electricity. It is an ideal picnic spot and famous for Ghanteswari Temple, the presiding deity of the place.
Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary
The Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary stands out from all the wildlife sanctuaries in the state in terms of sighting wild animals. One of the major reasons for this could be its proximity to the Hirakud dam as it provides a perfect water source host for the animals, birds and aquatic fauna of the sanctuary.“Apart from the animals already inhabiting the sanctuary, there are also migratory birds and they come to explore the nearly 150 km2 area of the Hirakud reservoir. As the dam is a standing water body, many varieties of diving ducks can be seen. Perhaps the sanctuary welcomes the largest number of diving ducks in winter compared to all the other sanctuaries in Orissa. There are six eco-tourism cottages in the sanctuary at Barkhandia and each has all the facilities to accommodate a complete family or two adults. Most importantly, the tariff includes all meals. Permission for the entry into the sanctuary is available at the gates.
Saree is a most popular female garment in the Indian subcontinent. Sambalpuri saree one of them. Sambalpuri sarees are known for their incorporation of traditional motifs like shankha (shell), chakra (wheel), phula (flower), all of which have deep symbolism, but the highpoint of these sarees is the traditional craftsmanship of the 'Bandhakala', the Tie-dye art reflected in their intricate weaves, also known as Sambalpuri "Ikkat".