Sambalpur District of Orissa is blessed with a picturesque landscape, lush green forests, colorful wildlife, exquisite array of hills, and waterfalls. It is an important landmark in India's cultural history, and is famous for its textiles, rich tribal life and culture, folk songs and dances and a variety of monuments. The climate is of an extreme nature, with hot and dry summer followed by humid monsoon and severely cold winter.
Oriya is the principal language spoken.
It is believed that Sambalpur derives its name from its presiding deity Samleshwari, enshrined in a temple called Samleshwari Temple on the banks of the Mahanadi. The region also finds a place in the records of the Chinese traveler Hieun Tsang as the home of the Buddhist University of Parimalgiri. Major landmarks are the Ushakothi Sanctuary, the Leaning Temple of Huma, and the Hirakud Dam, one of the longest mainstream dams in the world.
Tribals constitute 35% of the population of Sambalpur. Paddy and sugarcane are widely cultivated. Major festivals celebrated are Bhaijiuntia, Puajiuntia, Sital Sasthi, and Nuakhai.