- Balangir district
Infobox Indian Jurisdiction
latd = 20.42 |longd= 83.30
population_as_of = 2001 | population_total = 1,335,760 | Language = Sambalpuri
Ratio of Male / Female = 1000 / 970area_total= 6,575
footnotes = |
Balangir District, also called Bolangir District, is a district in the western part of
Orissa, India. The district has an area of 5,165 km², and a population of 1,335,760 (2001 census). The town of Balangiris the district headquarters. The composition of the land is predominantly rural.
The district of Balangir is named after the headquarters towns of Balangir. This town was also the headquarters of the feudatory state of Patna since the 1880s. Balaram Deo, the brother of Narasimha Deo, the 12th Raja of Patna, established Balangir. As Balaram Deo is known to have flourished about the middle of 16th century, the origin of the town of Balangir has also been attributed to that period. It is said that the town being founded by Balaram Deo was named after him as Balaramgarh, from which the present name Balangir has been derived. There is however no recorded evidence to support this theory. The district of Balangir is flanked in the northwest by the Gandhamardan hill. Many hill streams traverse it. It is the land of
Tantrikculture. It is also notable for having experimented in the republican form of Government that was overthrown by Ramai Deo. Ramai founded the kingdom of Patna in the 14th century, which within a short span of its militant career become the head of the cluster of eighteen Garhs. The Chauhanrule ended with the merger of the state of Patna and Sonepur with Orissa on the 1st January, 1948. They together form the district of Balangir. Sonepur was carved out as a separate district on April 1, 1993.The last ruler of Bolangir, Rajendra Narayan Singh Deo successfully made the transition to democratic politics. He became the Chief Minister of Orissa from 1967 till 1971.He became the President of Utkal Sammilani,the most reputed Oriya Organisation in the year 1953.
Balangir-Ex patna state".] The district has three revenue sub-divisions, namely, Balangir, Titilagarh and Patanagarh. Sonepur, which was previously a sub-division of Balangir has become a district now.
Balangir is famous for its natural beauty and the tribals. Harishankar, situated 80 km from Balangir town is one of them. There is an ordnance factory near a small town named Saintala. Titlagarh is a subdivision in the district where the second highest temperature in India was recorded. The important archaeological and tourist sites are Ranipur-Jharial, Ghodar-Sihini, Titilagarh, Saintala, Sindhekela (worship of Shakti in the primitive form of a stone Yoni), Sauntpur, Patanagarh, Surda,(kusaleswar temple,near Balangir,10 k.m) and Harishankar.
The playful child of this area composes verses of "Chhiollai", "Humobauli" and "Dauligit", the fleeting adolescence composes "Sajani", "Chhata", "Daika", "Bhekani" : the eternal youth composes "Rasarkeli", "Jaiphul", "Maila Jada", "Bayamana", "Gunchikuta" and "Dalkhai", The man who worship work, composes "Karma" and "Jhumer" invigorating Lord Vishwakarma and the "Karamashani" goddess. In every type of situation, in work or at rest; while ploughing, transplanting, husking, thresing, beating, driving bullock cart or boat, grazing cattle, worshipping deities and gods, performing marriages and social functions-there are songs and dances for everybody. The professional entertainers perform Dand, Danggada, Mudgada, Ghumra, Sadhana, sabar – Sabaren, Disdigo, Nachina – Bajnia, Samparda and Sanchar. They are for all occasions, for all time with varieties of rhythm and rhyme.
Sital Sasthi: It is the Marriage Ceremony of Lord Shiva with Goddess Parvati. The festival is observed in the month of June with pomp and ceremony at Balangir and is extended for a week. Pilgrims from the neighboring districts and States of Madhya Pradesh and Bihar also participate in the festival. Lakhs of people congregate in this week long festival, mostly in the month of June every year.
Nuakhai: This is the most important social festival of Balangir as well as of whole western orissa. Generally it takes place during the month of August and September. Preliminary preparation of the festival starts 15 days before the occasion. The first grains of the paddy crop, cooked into various dishes are offered to the deities. There after the eldest member of the family distributes new rice to the junior members of the family. All the household articles are cleaned. People greet each other. It is a community festival celebrated by every Hindu family low and high.
Bhaijuntia: It is mostly known only in the region of Western Orissa. Bhaijiutia festival is celebrated on the Mahastami Day of Durga Puja. It is a total fasting undertaken by women for the whole day and night to seek Goddess Durga's blessing for the long life of their bhais (brothers).
Puajiuntia: It is another fasting Puja of similar austerity for women of the area. The Puajiuntia festival is observed by mothers to invoke the grace of Lord Dutibahana for the long life and prosperity of their sons.
Besides the above listed festivals, other religious festivals are observed. These include Shiva Ratri, Dola Jatra, Durga Puja, Janmastami, Dipavali, Ganesh Puja and Saraswati Puja.
Shiva Ratri Mela at Huma and Titilagarh attracts a large numbers of devotees. Ratha Jatra is held at almost all central places of Balangir. There are other jatras like the sulia jatra and patakhanda jatra in jarasingha etc are held with great flavour.
Shrabana purnima-during this time devotees of Lord Shiva travel long distance by walk to places like Harishankar, Belkhandi near Titilagarh to pray and offer the holy water to the god . people from other parts outside state like Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhatisgarh also takes part in such event.
The most popular festivals celebrated by Muslims are Id-Ul-Fitre, Id-Ul-Juha and Muharram. The Sikhs also celebrate the Birth Day of Guru Nanak.
Places of interest
PATNAGARH: The ancient capital of the kingdom of Patna, Patnagarh combines in happy synthesis its mythic past with the modern present. The temples of Patmeswari in Chalukyan style and that of Someswar Siva belonging to the 12 th Century are the monuments of prominence. One can find here the reminiscence of the earliest group of temples build during the Chauhan rule in Western part of Orissa. Distance 40 km from District HQ Communication Road Nearest Railway station Balangir Lodging and Boarding Patnagarh/Balangir
RANIPUR-JHARIAL: Ranipur Jharial is known as "Soma Tirtha" in scriptures. It combines a section of religious faiths like Saivism, Buddhism, Vaisnavism and Tantrism. The circular open vault enclosure of sixty-four yoginis, the major attraction of the place, is one of the four such shrines in India. The temple of Someswar Siva is the noted one among a plethora of about 50 temples here. The majestic brick temple of Indralath is said to be the highest brick temple of Orissa. Distance 100 km from Dist. HQ Communication Road Rail - Nearest station- Kantabanji Lodging and Boarding Kantabanji SAINTALA: Saintala is noted for its Chandi temple which is now in ruins. Goddess Chandi in Mahisamardini form is presently installed in a small mound. The Dasavatara (Ten incarnations) image of Lord Vishnu and Broken door jamb with figures of Ganga and Yamuna are among the remarkable places of sculpture un-earthen here. Distance 40 km from Dist. HQ Communication Road Rail - Nearest station- Saintala Lodging and Boarding Balangir
JOGISARDA: 25 km from Balangir and 7 km from Loisingha, Jogisarda is noted for the Jogeswar Shiva Temple
TUREKELA: (98 km):- A place suitable for group camping, Turekela is important for viewing colorful wild life, like Tigers, Dear, Bears, Monkeys etc. The chirping birds perched on trees are a thrill to the searching eyes. Distance 98 km from Dist. HQ Communication Road Rail - Nearest station- Titilagarh Lodging and Boarding Titilagarh/Balangir
BELPARA: (62KM from Balangir):- Belpara is one of the main town of Bolangir Dist. It is a beautiful town among Balangir. Belpara is famous for "RATHA YATRA","DURGA PUJA","LAXMI PUJA","GIRIGOBARDHAN PUJA" and "BISWAKARMAPUJA". There are some beautiful temples in Belpara & also in near to it.
CHUDAPALI: this is a small and beautiful place between Balangir and Patnagarh. It is famous for its local haat's or market
Currently people of this district along with the nine other dists of western orissa are demanding for a separate state called KOSHAL.
According to unofficial sources around 20,000 people are migrating from Balangir every year to other states in search of work.
More than 90% population in this district is staying below poverty line.
Overall This Western district of Orissa needs quick improvement to catch up with the other parts of the state and country. the government needs to take care of special responsibility towards the development like construction of roads, buildings, education to the people development like railway and air connectivity . for instance the nearest airport from any part of the district is Bhubaneswar, Raipur or Visakhapatnam which are minimum 7 hours journey from Balangir, and also the standard of living of the people needs to be improved by providing minimum requirement of the people by providing jobs to them so that migration of the people from this part to other parts of the country could be avoided and at the same time social menaces like dowry killing, and unsocial activities like theft, burglary and murder could be kept in control.
= External links =
* [http://balangir.nic.in Balangir District website]
* [http://orissadiary.com/orissa_profile/district/Balangir.asp Profile of Balangir District]
* [http://www.globallinks.org.uk/liveto_india/balangir.html Globallinks factoids on Balangir]
* [http://www.odisha.com/dist/balangir.index.html 24x7Bolangir news in Oriya]
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