Sambalpur, the seat of administration of Sambalpur District
, is situated on the left bank of Mahanadi, in western Orissa
, near the stateís border with Chhattisgarh
. This ancient diamond trade center is renowned for textiles, folk dance and a variety of monuments. Sambalpur is 290 km northwest of Bhubaneswar
Sambalpur, whose old name was Kosal, occupies an important place in the cultural history of India. It finds mention in the works of Ptolemy (2nd century) as 'Sambalaka' on the banks of the river 'Manada' (now Mahanadi). Chinese traveler Hieun Tsang had described it as the home of the Buddhist University of Parimalgiri. Sambalpur was last governed by the feudal chiefs of Chouhan dynasty until the British wrested control n 1803. It remained with them till Indiaís independence in 1947.
Now Sambalpur is a populated town and an ideal gateway to the beautiful Western Orissa. Places of tourist interest include Budharaja Temple and Gudguda waterfall. Nearby excursions include Nursinghnath Temple, Harishankar, Leaning temple of Huma (32 km), Ushakothi Wildlife Sanctuary (45 km) and Hirakud Dam.
Nearest airport is Raipur Airport. Sambalpur railway station, situated 3 km from the city center, has direct connections to Bilaspur, Jhansi, Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, New Delhi and Chennai. Regular bus services connect the town with Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Puri.