It is one of the most important city of Odisha, which finds place not only in the National map but also in the International map for its History, Geographical situation, Culture, Marine development and for important institutions like Proof and Experimental establishment, Interim Test Range.
There is always confusion about the naming of Balasore. Initially, Balasore was “Baneswar”, according to the ancestors. It is believed that “Baman”, the holy birth taken by Lord Vishnu asked King Mahabali for trifeet (Tripada) gift. He got the gift from the king and covered the whole land surfaces of the world under his feet. So naturally he was devoid of all the land and there was no place to go for him, as he did not have any right on his father’s property. He was helpless and thus he went to Lord Varun (Sea) and asked for help. Seeing his plight Lord Varun gifted him a small plot inside the sea. King Bata evaporated the sea in his land, for which the land was covered with enormous sand. Thus, the place was named as Balasore meaning, “The city of Land on Sea Shore” or “City of Sand”. Thus, Balasore name came to limelight.
- Forests: Broadly, this city can be divided into three geographical regions, namely the Coastal belt, the Deltaic Alluvial plain and the North-Western hills. The coastal belt is about 26 km wide and shapes like a strip. In this region, sand dunes are noticed along the coast with some ridges. This region is mostly flooded with brackish water of estuarine rivers which is unsuitable for cultivation. But, presently this area is utilized for coconut and betel cultivation. Shrimp culture and salt manufacturing units are also developing in this area recently. The second contiguous geographical region is the Deltaic Alluvial Plain. It is a wide stretch of highly fertiled and irrigated land. This area is highly populous and devoid of any jungle. The third region, North-western hill region that covers most of Nilgiri sub-division. It is mostly hilly terrain and vegetated with tropical semi-ever green forest. The hills of Nilgiri has highest peak of 1783 feet above the sea level.
- Rivers: Balasore, the coastal city of Odisha is criss-crossed with perennial and estuarine rivers because of its proximity to sea. The two important rivers of Odisha, namely Budhabalanga and Subarnarekha passed through this city from West to East before surging into the Bay of Bengal. Industrialization is also gaining ground as the rubber, plastic, Paper and alloys industries are mushrooming around Balasore town.
- Soil: The soil of Balasore city is mostly alluvial laterite. The soil of Central region is mostly clayey, clay loam and sandy loam which is very fertile for paddy and other farm produces. Nilgiri Sub-division is mostly gravelly and lateritic soil, which is less fertile. A small strip of saline soil is also seen along the extreme coastal part of the city.
- Climate: The climate of Balasore city is mostly hot and humid. The hot season starts from March till May and is followed by rainy season from June to September. During this period, South-west monsoon causes maximum rain. But the city experiences highest rainfall during July and August. Because of its strategic location, this city faces most of the cyclonic storm and depression which is raised from the Bay of Bengal. The cold season from December to February is very pleasant. The average temperature of the city varies between 22° C to 32°C and the average rainfall is 1583 mm.
The South Eastern Railway covers a distance 102 Kms within Balasore city connecting it with Kolkata, Bhubaneswar & Chennai. Besides, National Highways pass through the city and runs from Kolkata to Chennai. The NH-5 covers a distance 66 km and NH-60 covers a distance 53 km. Balasore is about 220 km (by road) & 232 km (by rail) from Kolkata and about 215 kms by road & 206 kms by rail from Bhubaneswar. The Kolkata International airport & Bhubaneswar National airport are only about four hour journey by road/rail from Balasore.
- Airways Nearest airport is Bhubaneswar which is 198 Kms from Balasore connected with Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Raipur, Nagpur by boarding flight.
- Rail Balasore is having a railhead on the South Eastern Railway. All Kolkata-Chennai rail routes of South-eastern railways touch Balasore. From Howrah, Balasore could be accessible by Dhauli Express, Falaknama Express, East-Coast Express, Puri and Jagannath Express, at different points of time of the day. There are several local trains available as well.
- Road Balasore is well connected by roads with Bhubaneshwar (198 km), Cuttack (228 km) and Kolkata (234 km). The Chennai bound NH-5 linking Kolkata- Balasore-Cuttack-Bhubaneswar is the main connector by road. There are several other bye-routes such as Kolaghat-Digha-Jaleswar routes and Belda route. Connected by good motorable road (5 km from NH-5). Regular bus services are available from Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Puri and other important places.
Where to stay?
Balasore is a very well known and renowned place to visit. There are many places of attraction for travelers who come here. So, there is availability of good accommodation facility at various places of the city for the travelers.
Fairs and Festivals
Durgapuja, Siva Ratri and Raja Parva
Brass work of Remuna, Stone Carvings of Nilgiri, Local Handicrafts, Sapa Masina (mate) of Jhaleswar and Bhogarai are famous.