Three fourths of the area of Kandhamal District comes under forests and mountains. The area has large mineral deposits of graphite, manganese, coal, bauxite, china clay, lime stone, and semi precious stones. The presence of plentiful water resources makes Kandhamal a potential leader in horticulture. The climate is sub-tropical. Tourist season ranges from September to May. The common languages are Kui (tribal language),
, and English.
Balaskumpa, Belghar Sanctuary, Chakapad, Daringbadi and the Putudi waterfall are places of scenic beauty and tourist interest. The main festivals are Magha Poornima Yatra, Dussehra, Kali Puja, and Ram Navami.