Shree Samaleswari, the presiding deity of Sambalpur, is a strong spiritual force in the western region of Odisha and Chhattisgarh. On the bank of the river Mahanadi the mother Goddess Samaleswari is worshipped from ancient times as Jagatjanani, Adishakti, Mahalaxmi and Mahasaraswati. The region in which the temple is located comprises of a rich cultural heritage. Sambalpur is popularly known as Hirakhanda from ancient times. According to Tavernier, the French traveler, and Edward Gibbon, the English historian, diamonds were exported to Rome from Sambalpur.
The temple is of the Sandhara order. Built of a kind of stone durable as granite, cemented with lime mortar, the whole building is plastered. The temple comprises of two separate structures. The square sanctum sanctorum enshrining the deity is four steps beneath the 10 feet wide covered circumbulation, which is supported by 12 stone pillars.