In the year 1956, one saint came to Angul and visited the Sakti Pitha and became fascinated to see the Bigraha of Goddess. Curiosity aroused in his mind to know what is inside of the Bigraha. He then tried to dig the back side of the Bigraha to find some thing. But he could not get any thing and returned away. In due course of time the holes have been filled and a Lion’s statue has been placed there.
Angul came into existence on 1st April 1993. This district was formally formed out of the former undivided (Dhenkanal) district by late Chief Minister of Odisha, Mr. Biju Patnaik. The district covers a geographical area of about 6232 square kilometers and has a population of about 11.40 lakhs. Angul, a centrally located district in the State of Odisha, is rich in flora and fauna, being covered by dense green forests and bountied by various specimens of wildlife. The river Mahanadi passes through this district forming a 22km long narrow gorge, which is one of the mightiest gorges in India. It inhibits great natural resources and beauties like Satakosia Gorge over river Mahanadi, which is an ideal habitat for varieties of crocodiles. The concept of the boulders in Talcher area has mystified the geologists for centuries. The famous “Ravan Chhaya”, “Budhi Thakurani” and Lord Jagannath Temple which is similar to the Jagannath Temple at Puri, but holds its natural charm, helps to glorify the tradition and culture of this district.
Presently this district has grown industrially, with the help of abundant stock of manpower and raw materials. It owns the honor of highest return of revenue to the Government due to vast coal mines located in its abode and also it can be tagged as the most advanced district even being strategically new. Some big names in the industry sector like National Aluminium Company (NALCO), Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL), National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), Heavy Water Plant, Talcher, Indian Aluminium Product Ltd. etc. are situated in this district.
- Area: 6,232 sq. km.
- Population: 1,271,703 (2001 Census)
- Altitude: Varies from 564 metres to 1,187 meters
- Rainfall: 170 cms
- Climate: Maximum Temperature: 33.3° C and Minimum Temperature. 19.6° C
- Clothing: Light cotton in summer and woolen in winter
- Language spoken: Odia, Hindi, English, and Tribal dialects
- Best season: Winter
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The nearest airport for approaching the places of interest in the district of Angul is at Bhubaneswar (160 km) which is connected with New Delhi, Kokata, Chennai, Mumbai, Visakhapatanam, Hyderabad and Nagpur by Boeing flights.
Roadways: Situated on NH-42 at a distance of 160 km from the State capital, the place is an important road junction of the State connected by regular bus services from Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Talcher, Sambalpur, Sundergarh, Rourkela, Raipur, Durgapur and other important places of the State and sister States.
Railways: Basically, Angul is known for its large number of big industries. Thee railway facility here is easily available.
Where to stay?
A visitor/traveler can prefer his/her accommodation as per his/her convenience. Though, the big star hotels are not available but, lots of good hotels are available.
How to get around?
Taxis and Auto-rickshaws are available on hire at Angul for visiting the places of attraction and excursion.
Angul is not only a land of magnificent hill ranges, old monuments, virgin and long river beds, downy flakes melodious jungle streams, healing hot springs, luxuriant forests, picturesque landscape, industrial houses but also a land of exciting and exuberant fasts and festivals. All the seasons of the year are marked with a variety of colourful celebrations and the fasts of folk-life and modernity of an industrial society. The traditions and customs, rites and rituals, dances and delicacies of the district are just precipitous. On these occasions people are seen in best of their attire, costumes and pageantry.
The fasts and festivals of the district are mostly of two types i.e. Sarbajanina or community based and Gharoi or family based. The Gharoi or family festivals are those, which are mostly observed at the level of families as per the traditions of their Kula, Gotra and Varna. A group of families consisting of same kinship or lineage also observe them in common. The Gurubara Manabasa, Sudasa Brata, Sabitri Brata, etc. are some such fasts.
The Sarbajanina festivals are celebrated with pomp and joy by the people in general at the community level. Some major fasts and festivals of the district are described below.
- Hingula YatraHingula Yatra is celebrated with pomp and joy in Talcher sub-division of the district at the temple of Hingula Thakurani near Gopal Prasad. It is considered to be one of the most significant festival of the district, which draws people from different corners of the State. This is celebrated on Bishnu Damanaka Chaturdasi Tithi as per Odia Panjika.
- Akshaya TrutiyaThis festival is considered to be one of the most ceremonial and auspicious day for sowing of paddy for the current agricultural season. Oblation is offered to Goddess Laxmi. It is also the beginning day of the construction work of Ratha of Lord Jagannath for the ensuing Car Festival.
- Chandan YatraThis starts from Akhaya Tritiya and ends on Chandan Purnima. A smaller replica of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra are taken to the sacred tank for boating. This is aimed for providing comfort and coolness to the Lords from summer. This is celebrated in the Jagannath temples of the district located at Angul, Talamul, Bagedia, Papsara, Khamar and Boinda.
- Ratha YatraWorld famous Car festival of Lord Jagannath at Puri is celebrated as one of the most significant festival of the State. Accordingly, Ratha Yatra is also celebrated with full ceremonial approach at Talcher, Angul, Pallahara and Athamallik with all traditional rites and rituals.
- Ganesh PujaThe festival is celebrated on the 4th day of the bright fortnight of lunar month of Bhadraba. Besides different schools, colleges, business houses, Ganesh Puja is also celebrated with full gaiety and traditional rituals at Talcher. The festival is celebrated for a period of around 11 days, which attracts people from the whole district. Different prominent cultural troops and musical parties from the neighboring states participate on this occasion. Talcher Ganesh Puja occupies a prominent position in the State for its colourful and ceremonial observance.
- NuakhaiThis is the festival of offering the first rice harvested from the agricultural fields to the God/Goddess before human consumption. It is observed on Bhadraba Sukla Panchami Tithi. Specially in Athamallik sub division, this festival is celebrated with great pomp and joy.
- Biswakarma PujaThis is the puja of Lord Biswakarma, the main architect of the universe who had fabricated the universe as per the direction of Bramha, the lord of creation. Mostly this puja is observed in factories, industrial houses, workshops and other related fabrication houses, engineering establishments. The important celebration of Biswakarma Puja of the district includes, TTPS (Thermal), NALCO, F.C.I, Rengali and M.C.L areas.
- Durga PujaBeing the most colourful festival of the State, Durga Puja is celebrated with rites and rituals throughout the district. The Mahanadi Coal Field areas observe Durga Puja in a big-way with more than 20 numbers of Puja Mandaps. Besides at Angul on the day of Dussehra, the famous ‘Ravan Podi Utsav’ is also observed to mark the victory of truth over the evil power.
- LaxmiPuja / Kumar UtsavGaja Laxmi puja starts from the day of Kumar Purnima and continues till the next 10 days at Angul. Beautiful images of Goddess Laxmi are prepared in clay and worshiped on brightly decorated puja pandals. This is the most popular and colourful function of the district observed with much joy and jubiliation. Besides Angul town, Laxmi Puja is also celebrated at Banarpal, Koshala, Athmallik and Pallahara.
Kumar Utsav is the day of great pleasure, ecstasy and enjoyment for maiden girls that falls on the full moon day of Aswina Purnima. The Moon God is worshiped by the maiden girls on this occasion for a bright married life.
- Kartika PurnimaThis is observed on the last day of the lunar month of Kartika. This is considered to be the most sacred purnima of the Hindus. Rasa Ustav is also observed to pay honour to Lord Krishna and Radha. To mark the great tradition and cultural heritage of Odisha’s trading community, Boita Bandan is celebrated symbolically through out the district by floating decorative toy boats in the nearby rivers and ponds.
- Binkei YatraThis festival is held on the 10th day after the Dola Purnima in the lunar month of Chaitra. This observation is made in the honour of Mother Goddess Binkei, who is the saviour of virtuous and killer of vicious people. A great fair is also arranged for three days with a large number of shops with variety of items. People from far off villages gather to offer prayer to the Goddess.
Cottage industry plays an important role in the rural economy of Angul district. Besides handloom, the other important cottage industries are carpentry, brass and bell-metal works, shoe making, etc.
- NALCOThe blue chip company in the Aluminium sector, National Aluminium Company Limited is the largest integrated Bauxite-Alumina-Aluminium complex in Asia. Nalco’s 2.18 lakh TPA capacity Aluminium Smelter and its 720 MW Captive Power Plant are located in Angul. Nalco’s Smelter came up in 1984 and since then the face of this town has changed. Nalco’s manufacturing plants and township called Nalco Nagar is located at a distance of 5 km from Angul town, by the side of NH-42. Nalco manufactures primary Aluminium metal in the form of Ingots, Wire Rods, Sow moulds, Billets and strips. Nalco’s Aluminium is exported to over 30 countries around the world and it also has a share of 30% of the domestic Aluminium market.
- NTPCThe National Thermal Power Corporation, India’s leader in power generation has its 1000 MW super thermal power station at Kanhia, in Angul. Kanhia is 60 km from Angul. NTPC, Kanhia has its own township for its 1500 employees.
- MCLMahanadi Coal Field Limited (MCL) is located in Talcher (20 km from Angul), a well known mining centre of coal. A unit of Coal India Limited, MCL was previously under SECL (South Eastern Coal Field Ltd.). The major mines under MCL are the Dera Colliery & Balanda Colliery.
- FCIThe Fertilizer Corporation of India has its unit in Talcher, Angul. One of the oldest industries of this area, FCI Talcher has faced problems in its viable operation. Hence, the plant has faced a closure since 1998. The township & plants do exist, waiting for much needed revival.
- HWPThe Heavy Water Plant is located in Talcher (20 km from Angul), is a Government of India organisation of Atomic Power & Energy.
- TTPSTalcher Thermal Power Station is one of the oldest power generation plants of the Government of Odisha. It faced problems in its operations and was in the reds. The company was taken over by NTPC and its operation has once again become economically viable. The power plant is run efficiently by NTPC since 1998.