Sambalpur the heart of western Odisha is derived its name from the “Goddess Samleswari (ସମଲେଶ୍ୱରୀ ) or in local language Maa Samalei (ମା ସମଲେଇ)” and is the local deity (ଇଷ୍ଟ ଦେବୀ) of the area. This place is also known as “Hira-khanda (ହୀରା-ଖଣ୍ଡ) or a piece of diamond” for its luxury from time immemorial. It had many names in history which are proving of the significance of this place. One of them was “Sambalaka (ସମ୍ବଳକ) or Sambala-bhumi (ସମ୍ବଳ-ଭୂମୀ) the land of wealth” described by many historians.

Sambalpur is the central point of trade and culture in Western Odisha (ପଶ୍ଚିମ-ଓଡିଶା). If we go through the history of Sambalpur, we find many great festivals that are related to the root of this region like Nuakhai (ନୂଆଁ-ଖାଇ), which is the main festival of this region. And about trade, it was exporting diamonds (ହୀରା) to western countries during ancient times, according to many historians.

Sambalpur is one of the famous, oldest and cultured cities and districts of Odisha. It has the richest heritage of culture and tradition. It was declared as Municipality in the year 1883 and Municipality Corporation in the year 2013, which consists of Sambalpur (ସମ୍ବଲପୁର), Hirakud (ହୀରାକୁଦ) and Burla (ବୁର୍ଲା ).

Sambalpur is the Education-Hub of Odisha, especially Western-Odisha. It has the oldest Engineering College named the University College of Engineering (UCE) and later changed into Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology (VSSUT). It has Medical College VIMSAR (ଭିମ୍‌ସାର୍), Sambalpur University (ସମ୍ବଲପୁର ବିଶ୍ୱବିଦ୍ୟାଳୟ ), Gangadhar Meher University, IIM Sambalpur etc.

Sambalpur is well connected with Road-ways, Rail-ways and Air-ways, which makes this region easily assessable from any part of the country.

Sambalpur is well-connected to the rest of Odisha and India through the National-Highway (NH)-6, which is a part of Asian-Highway (AH)-46 (Mumbai-Nagpur-Kolkata Line). NH-42 is connected with Cuttack and Bhubaneswar. State-Highway (SH) – 10 is connected with Jharsuguda and Rourkela (Sundergarh District). The railway is well connected with all the major and minor cities of Odisha (ଓଡ଼ିଶା) and India. It has the East Coast Railway Division of the Railway Department.

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