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Excursions

Hirakud Dam (16 km):
One of the longest mainstream dams in the world and largest in Asia, the gigantic Hirakud Dam was completed in 1957 with the sole objective of combating he recurring devastating floods of the delta region caused by Mahanadi. The dam is a 60 m high, 1,100 m long key section of masonry dam, with a further earth dam of over 3,500 m. A 21 km drive on the dyke offers a unique experience. The view of the mighty Hirakud dam and fantastic expanse of water can be best enjoyed from the revolving towers Gandhi Minar at the northern end and Jawahar Minar on the southern side of the dam. Visitors are advised to obtain permission from the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Security Force, Hirakud, prior to their visit. Photography is strictly prohibited.

Ushakothi Wildlife Sanctuary (48 km)
:
Lying close to the Hirakud Dam, the wildlife sanctuary at Badrama, popularly called Ushakothi, is a densely forested area providing natural habitat to a variety of wildlife. Principally comprising dry deciduous forest type, floral species like sal, sandalwood, arjun, neem, acacia and casuarinas are major varieties. The fauna includes, amongst others, tigers, elephants, sambar, leopards and bisons. It is rich in avifauna wealth and the main attractions of this sanctuary are racket tail dragons and flying squirrel. Also among various fauna of tropical forests, the sanctuary preserves wild elephants, leopards, gour sambar, deer, wild bore, bisons, black panthers and many more species of animals and birds. There are watchtowers for visitors near saline tank or the waterholes for viewing the animals.

Chiplima (36 km):
This is the second Hydroelectric Project of the Hirakud Dam. A natural fall of 80 ft (24.39 m) high in the river Mahanadi is constructed for generating electricity. The State Livestock Breeding Farm and an agricultural farm are located here. The place is mostly inhabited by fishermen whose deity is ‘Ghantlei’ or Ghanteswari. As the name of the temple suggests, there are innumerable bells of various shapes and sizes that one can find in this temple. It is believed that sailors who used to travel via the place where the temple is located, would hear the sounds of the bells. It was then that the temple was built and Goddess Ghanteswari is worshipped here ever since. Even to this day, devotees offer bells to the goddess on their wish being fulfilled.

Nrusimhanath (164 km):
The place is known for its 15th century Vidala-Nrusimha Temple at the foot of the picturesque Gandhamardan hills. On the other slope of the hills are the Harishankar Temple and the captivating waterfalls. According to the famous 7th century Chinese traveller Hiuen t’sang, the place was known as Parimalagiri then a renowned seat of Buddhism. The ruins found on the plateau at the hilltop, about 10 miles long, speak volumes for the place’s ancient heritage. Local tradition has it that this is a part of Gandhamardan Hill which Hanuman carried on his shoulders from Himalayas to save the life of Laxmana. Is also rich in medicinal herbs and the entire surrounding is very pleasant in summer.

Gudguda (117 Km)
The place is favourite with picnickers for having beautiful water fall amidst stunning landscape comprising sky high hills surrounded with forest.


Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary (92 km):
Occupying an area of 746 sq km adjoin Hirakud Dam, Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary comprises dry deciduous forest and provides shelter to tigers, leopards, sloth bear, chital, sambar, nilgai and a variety of resident and migratory birds.



Vikramkhol (26 km):

Located to the West of Jharsuguda Railway Station, the place is a travel destination for history lovers. Here pictographic inscriptions of great antiquity have been found. This prehistoric find is of remarkable importance. The plaster-cast of the inscription can also be seen in the Odisha state museum at Bhubaneswar.

Huma’s Leaning Temple (32 km):
Located on the bank of Mahanadi, the temple is dedicated to Lord Bimaleswar Shiva. The colourful Kudo fishes in the nearby flowing Mahanadi are never caught, because they belong to Lord Bimaleswar Shiva. Country boats are available for hire to cruise on the river. Regular bus service is available up to Huma chowk and the rest 2 km is to be negotiated on foot.

Pradhanpat (96 km):
The Pradhanpat hill with its picturesque waterfall offers a rare scenic beauty. These falls are close to Deogarh, a district headquarters town 96 km from Sambalpur on NH No.6. Gopinath, Jagannath and Gokarneswara temples can be visited.

Barapali

The place internationally renowned for its ‘Tie and Dye’ textiles of cotton, tusser and silk in Sambalpuri style of weaving. It is an indigenous industry manned mostly by Kostha and Bhulia weavers. It is a treat to watch the weavers creating intricate patterns on the fabric.


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