|The city of Sambalpur is situated in the Sambalpur district in the state of Orissa. Sambalpur is an crucial commercial centre of the state. Named after the Goddess Samaleswari, it is a reincarnation of Goddess Shakti. Sambalpur is a traditional and cultural hub of the state. Sambalpur dances and songs have their own identity and hold a special place in the national heritage. Sambalpur sarees are popular across the country for their unique design, pattern and fabric. The city of Sambalpur offers a various sightseeing options. These include the Wildlife Sanctuary of Ushakothi, the popular picnic spot of Chiplima and the renowned Hirakud Dam. The Ushakothi Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the small sanctuaries of Orissa, which is home to animals like elephants, leopards, tigers, bisons, cheetals, nilgai, spotted deer, black panthers, gaur, sambars, flying squirrels, wild bears etc. Its wildlife safari tours are also famous. The Hirakud Dam of Sambalpur consists the biggest artificial lake in Asia, with its reservoir of 743 sq km at full capacity and a shoreline of 640 km. It also has two observation towers namely ‘Nehru Minar’and ‘Gandhi Minar’ that provide a panoramic view of its lake. Chiplima is a well-known picnic spot of Sambalpur, whose main attraction is a natural waterfall that is harnessed to generate electricity. Apart from all these attractions, the main feature of Sambalpur is its many temples spread around the city, at short distances. The most popular ones amongst these include the the Huma Temple, Ghanteswari Temple and the Samaleswari Temple. The Ghanteswari Temple is devoted to Maa Ghanteswari. The primary feature of this temple are its bells seen hanging all around the temple. These bells are offered to the main divinity of this temple, by the devotees and were also used as a cautionary signal for early sailors in ancient times. The Huma Temple of Sambalpur is located on the banks of the Mahanadi river and its main characteristic is that it does not stand upright, but leans towards one side. The Samaleswari Temple is devoted to Sri Samaleswari and its most famous days are Navaratri and Nuakhai Festival of Orissa. Apart from these three popular temples in the place, there is also some lesser known temples present here. These include Budhimaa Temple, Batmangala Temple, Dadhibamana Temple, Loknath Temple, Liakhai Temple, Maneshwar Shiva Temple, Satyabadi Bariha Temple, Pataneshwari Temple, Timini Temple, Shiva Temple, Budha Raja Shiva Temple holiday packages , Jagannath Mandir Budharaja, Maa Jamkani Temple and the temple of Shiva in the Bhudharaja Hills. Few others are the Radhakrishna Mandir, Hanuman Temple, Pahadeswar Baba Budharaja Temple tour package , Ambira Nagar Shiva Temple, Sri Chaitanya Temple, Sai Mandir, Mahamaya Temple Fatak, Shakhigopinath Temple, Saraswati Sishu Mandir, Jalaram Temple, Geeta Mandir Gopalmal, Dasmati Maa Mandir, Ramji Mandir, Bhubaneswar Baba Shiva Temple, Modipara Shiv Mandir and Trinath Mandir. There are also several mosques and holidays churches present here, namely Oriya Baptist Church, Noorani Mosque, Sakhipada Church, Markaz Masjid, Munda Baptist Church, Markaji Masjid and Paltan Masjid. Trains can be taken to the town from many nearby regions like Ahmedabad, Rourkela, Howrah and Puri. Flights can also be taken to the nearest airport that is located in Bhubaneswar.