The prosperity of the tourism industry in Sambalpur is mainly centered on the longest dam of the world, Hirakund standing in its isolated magnificence across the great river Mahanadi. The significant interest about the dam is the structure and the water network it has formed to drain about 1,33,090 Sq.Km of area. The mighty Hirakund dam, with its fascinating charm composed by the fantastic expanse of water from the top of the revolving minaret called Gandhi Minar is the key feature, which entice the tourists.
Stationed in the extreme nook of the Hirakund Reservoir, Castle Island, the natural wonder is a pillar in the tourism industry of Sambalpur. The island is nothing but a sub-merged hill and before the construction of Hirakund Dam, was a developed village. The specialty of the island is the inhabitants, which comprise only the cattle population. Being denied of the natural domestic environment and spending whole of their life on the hill filled up with dense forest, their shape and size are quite bigger in comparison to the normal cattle. Apart from this, the exquisite view of the surrounding area is no less alluring to the tourist for which it is considered as one of the important center in the tourism industry of Sambalpur.
The leaning temple of lord Shiva, popularly known as Huma is one of the important center, which is famous in the tourism of Sambalpur as an important site of religious interest. Moreover a mythological story about the temple strengthens the religious interest of the temple. As the common belief runs the worship of Siva had been initiated by a milkman (Gauda), who everyday crossed the Mahanadi to a place on the bank where the underlying rock cropped out. He daily offered milk to that rock, which was at once drunk up by the rock, and this miraculous circumstance led to enquiries, and finally the rock was believed to be the personification of Lord Shiva and the temple as constructed, with Shiva as the reigning deity. The tilted structure of temple is one of the key interests of the temple. Huma presently attains prominence in the tourism industry of Sambalpur as a holy pilgrimage. Moreover the place is an important site of interest for the tourist because of wide range of fishes in the in the river. The special type of fish found here is called as 'Kudo' fish .A great fair takes place at the foothill in March every year on the occasion of Sivaratri. The presiding deity is Bimaleswar Siva.
Apart from these sites, there are other places of worth visiting in the district of Sambalpur. Bells galore of Ghanteswari, with its natural beauty, Chiplima as an ideal picnic spot, Ushakothi as a sanctuary with the reserve of a diversified flora and fauna, Kandhara as a holy pilgrimage constitute to be the important sites of interest, which egg on the prosperity of tourism industry of Sambalpur.
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