Sambalpur, Nov 7:
The state Tourism department has identified seven new places in Sambalpur district as tourist spots.
These new places are Bhatra, Vikampur, Kadalipita, Pitapali, Rengali Panchu, Bhima Mandali and Khinda. All these places have enough potential to attract tourists from across the country and abroad, sources in the Tourism department said.
The department has already sent a proposal to the state government to formally declare these sites as tourist spots.
Bhatra is famous for the Gandhi temple where the presiding deity is Mahatma Gandhi. People in large numbers visit this temple round the year and offer puja to the Father of the Nation.
The Samaleswari temple at Vikampur, about 26 km from Sambalpur district headquarters also attracts thousands of tourists.
Similarly, the other historical spot, Kadalipita is a small village located around 30 kilometers from Sambalpur city and is situated on the foothills of Jharghati where freedom fighter Veer Surendra Sai had fought against the British.
Pitapali, a picnic spot near the Hirakud Dam Reservoir is known for its scenic beauty. During winter season, thousands of people throng the place.
Rengali Panchu located in the Naktideul block and about 110 km from Sambalpur is another picnic spot. There is a perennial hot water spring near the village.
Bhima Mandali is another place known for its scenic beauty. It is situated inside the Landimal reserve forest under the Redhakhol forest division where the small Champali river flows close to it.
The central attraction of this place is a cave popularly known as ‘Bhima Dali’ or ‘Bhima Mandali’, which is named after Bhima, the second brother among the Pandavas of the Mahabharat fame.
Khinda, the birthplace of great freedom fighter, Veer Surendra Sai is located at a distance of 41 km from Sambalpur. This historical place is situated on the banks of Hirakud dam reservoir.
Apart from these seven new sites, the district already has seven identified tourist centres. They are, Sambalpur, Hirakud, Ushakothi, Huma, Chipilima, Gudguda and Kendhara.