Western Odisha EP 10 | Balangir to Sambalpur

Western Odisha EP 10 | Balangir to Sambalpur

Namaskar friends! Welcome to Visa2explore! This is your host, Harish Bali. Right now, we are in Balangir, in Western Odisha. We spent last night in Ridhhi Sidhhi Hotel. This hotel is located 4kms from the main town, towards the outskirts. On double occupancy basis, as I told you last night, we paid a tariff of Rs. 1800 plus taxes. That included today’s breakfast. The time is 10 o’clock in the morning. We must first go and eat some breakfast because I didn’t eat breakfast at the hotel. I want to explore local breakfast here. For your knowledge, Sambalpur is about 130kms from here. And Raipur, in Chhattisgarh, is approximately 290kms away. So first let us eat breakfast and then we will go to Sambalpur via Sonepur. Right now, we are in Bramerpada, to have breakfast. This is the Sunday market. I asked around and I was told that for breakfast there is samosa, bada, sweets available. Chawal bada (made with rice), which we haven’t had yet, is not available. I tried to find it out but I could not find chawal bada yet. People told me to come back in the evening. But anyways we have to leave for Sonepur. We will leave from here and have breakfast on the way. I saw this shop in the Sudpara area, Balangir. I can see some sweetmeats and some breakfast too. Brother, do you have chawal bada? Okay, give me one plate chawal bada. And two pieces of jalebi too. So this is our breakfast. Chawal bada! Two types of jalebi – crispy and soft! With chawal bada, they have served ghughni (chickpea curry). And this is Gaja (type of sweet). I just remembered that I had eaten Gaja in Assam as well. This is a famous breakfast as well as a snack item locally. The ratio of urad dal (bhiri) is not much in chawal bada. For instance, for a kg of rice, you take 200gms dal. It is soft. Obviously deep fried and can be eaten just like that or with ghughni. It is crispy in taste and with ghughni, it tastes wonderful. Really crispy jalebi! But a little too sweet for me! I think I’ve had a lot of sweet for breakfast. As per taste, I find softer jalebi more delicious. Gaja is made with maida (refined flour). And later on, it is dipped in sugar syrup. Gaja tastes okay! I enjoyed jalebi more. And I enjoyed chawal bada more as well. Well, Sonepur is about an hour away from here. We are on the way to Sonepur. Our next halt is at Bairasar, which is 20kms away. Yesterday, a few locals in Balangir told us that when we would be on our way to Sonepur…. ….we should stop at Bairasar village. They said we must try Chaka Pitha there. We’ve reached Bairasar village. Now let us look for a place where we can eat the Chaka Pitha. We’ve reached the Seema hotel in Bairasar. I have the hotel owner with me. This is Chaka Pitha. Take a good look at its texture. I understood from him…. ….that in Chaka Pitha…. …rice is soaked for 3-4 hours…. ….and ground….. …and then small balls of ground rice is stuffed with boiled potatoes. Also, when the rice is ground, onions, ginger and garlic is also added to it. All these things are added to rice. A little potato is stuffed inside, the ball is flattened and deep fried. And chaka pitha is ready. Chaka Pitha is a famous snack around here. I’ve got potato curry with it. Absolutely crisp! I was talking to you about potato stuffing so this is it! Chaka Pitha is a really lovely snack! As I eat it, I feel that its taste is dominated by… …the level at which the rice has been ground. The rice is neither too fine, nor too coarse, just the right level of grinding. Isn’t it so? Whenever you are on this route, you must try Chaka Pitha. It is a famous snack here. But try to catch it either before 10 am or after 4 pm. But brother, we are going to miss this now. Ahh! Peda! So, can I eat a bit of peda in a bowl. Please give me some! It is very hot! It was removed from fire just a moment ago. Really amazing taste! The khoya in it tastes wonderful. But I also think it is a little too sweet. So, you guys prefer things sweeter around here? No, in fact, I don’t like sugar very much! Ohhh! You don’t like too much sweet! But I think today it is a bit on the sweeter side. But this sweet is delicious! You’ve made amazing peda. We’ve reached Sonepur town. Sonepur is also known as ‘City of Temples.’ We’ve come to a temple, which is about a kilometer from Sonepur. The devotees are singing bhajans here and prasad is also being distributed. One thing I want to share with you specifically, whenever you come to Western Odisha…. ….don’t ever miss eating Ambil (local delicacy). It is known as Khatta (sour), Ambil (local name), and it has many other names as well. Among the main ingredients of this dish are dahi (yogurt), tamatar (tomatoes), haldi (turmeric),… ….baingan (eggplant), mooli (radish) and lot more! This is a very exclusive recipe. It is a 2.30 in the afternoon. After finishing this prasad, we will go to Pancharatha Temple. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple is adorned with sculptures depicting various family members of the lord. Since we’ve come in the afternoon, there is no one else here right now. But I’ve heard this temple is a popular destination. There is a huge rush during morning and evening, when devotees come to seek the lord’s blessings. Now we are going to a place a kilometer away, which the confluence point of Mahanadi and Tel rivers. Now see, this is the place we’ve come to. Two rivers meet here. Here we met a local man, Benu Dhar. I tried to understand from him where this water is coming from. So he told me that…. ….the river flowing down from the right hand side is Tel river. This comes from Kalahandi? Yes, Kalahandi! Great! And from behind me, the river coming from the left hand side is Mahanadi. The name Mahanadi comes up whenever we talk about Odisha because it is the lifeline of this state. So both these rivers meet here at this point called ‘Rameswar Sangam.’ The name comes from a temple nearby, Rameswar Temple. To sit here is a pleasant, peaceful experience. I was also discussing with him the low current level of river water here. So, he told me that is because this is not the monsoon season. But at the time of monsoon, how high does the river water rise? It goes really high. You can come here for 30 minutes or so and enjoy a good time. This place has a really peaceful environment! It feels good to sit here. Great! In our discussion, I also got to know that there are a number of sari weavers in Sonepur. So with his assistance, we will go to one such unit and watch how a silk saree is woven. How far is it? Two kms. Two kilometers! Great! So, shall we go? You know how famous is Sambalpuri sari? Its name is enough to introduce this type of sari. Right now we are at the set up of Padmashree Chaturbhuj Meher in Bayan Vihar. This is the set up. Sir, let us go inside. Let us go inside and see how the weavers weave a sari. And also see the various designs available. Once inside the unit, I saw there were a lot of weavers making saris on different units. The whole process is done with bare hands. Quite a labour-intensive job. And see the precision with which the work is going on. If even one wrong thread goes in, the design will become faulty and the sari will be defective. I have with me the manager of this unit, Mr. Augusthy. Tell me one thing, if we take Sonepur and the nearby villages, what will be the total number of weavers? In the Subarnapur district, including Sonepur and rest of the villages,…. ….there are about 50,000 handloom units active. That means there are more than 2 lakh weavers involved in this job day in and day out. Wow! Amazing! Can you show us some sari designs? And their cost too! Yes sir! This is Sambalpuri sari. This sari has a very fine design on it. We prepare this sari in Malwari silk. And its price will be more than Rs. 15,000. Sir, it will take at least 25 days to make a sari like this. So, this whole work is tie ‘n dye! Yes sir, this is tie ‘n dye work. This is another Sambalpuri design. It is woven with help of tissue. This is Malwari silk as well. This sari will take almost two months to complete. Two months! And the cost of this sari is Rs. 20,000. This is the pallu and border of the sari. The cost of this sari is Rs. 15,000. What you see here is weaving being done with the help of gold and silver threads. This sari will take at least a year to complete. What do you call weaving this kind of sari? Sir, this process is called ‘Phira-Phirvi.’ Phira-phirvi! Such minute detailing of work and imagine it takes a year to complete and…. ….when this sari will be sold, its cost will be about Rs. 1 lakh. The actual Sambalpuri sari is woven in Sonepur. So, there must be some weavers there as well, right? Yes Sir,… No Sir, not in Sambalpur. No Sir, there are no weavers in Sambalpur, but this sari is known the world over as ‘Sambalpuri.’ Ohh! Great! It was a pleasure meeting you both! Thank you! Namaste! Thank you so much! And you also spent so much time with us. Thanks for that! We reached Sambalpur at 8.30 pm. We’ve booked ourselves a room on double occupancy basis at Hotel Uphar Palace. The room is quite large in size. We paid a tariff of Rs. 1520. This is because they’ve also given us a 20% discount. Now the programme for tomorrow is that we will do local sightseeing. We will explore the food as well as sightseeing here. We will also try to watch some Sambalpuri dance as well. Now we will meet tomorrow morning. That reminds me we missed visiting the Huma Temple. We will go there when we will start our return journey from here to Cuttack a few days later. Now we will meet tomorrow morning. So far, you saw we began our Odisha journey from Cuttack. After travelling through Bhubaneswar, Puri and Brahmapur, we reached Koraput. Then we went to Sambalpur. In the coming episodes, you will see…. …us going to Hirakud Dam. It is a lovely place. We also saw a Sambalpuri folk dance performance. After visiting Sambalpur, we went to Cuttack. Though we could return via Jharsuguda, Ranchi or Raipur as well. But we went back to Cuttack because I wanted to see the Bali Yatra there. We will meet soon. Till then, goodbye! Thanks for your time!

100 thoughts on “Western Odisha EP 10 | Balangir to Sambalpur

  1. Very very clear information I never find in any youtube travel vlog channel So kind of your Channel Mates and cooperation very good job keep it up sir Thank you for sharing a wonderful history about Orissa


  3. 😍😍😍 Amazing.. The name of the saree being sambalpuri is because the neighbouring districts of Sambalpur were part of Main Sambalpur district back then.. later it was divided into separate state.. even the language is called sambalpuri.

  4. What about kalahandi and nuapada…they ar are also parts of western odisha…kalahandi is the home of many deities and numerous unexplored waterfalls dokrichanchra, ravandarah,phurliharan r some to be named…..some of them are in top 10 waterfalls of odisha in terms of length..its is the origin place of 3 mighty rivers…the river indravati is most wonderful…because it has originated frm the roots of a single mango tree and its everflowing..nobody knows the mystery…the main deity maa manikeswari temple is again full of uncountable mysteries…maa manikeswari is worshipped in terms of separated body parts..her head and body is being worshipped in bhawanipatna and feets are being worshipped in jugsaipatna..a phenomenon u will not find anywhere else in 'india'…my district is also home to various prehistoric caves and rockart..gudhandi caves r the best example…they are believed to be older even than ajanta and allora caves..this has been revealed in kalahandi souvenir..an authentic official document released frm district administration…yes…we have a 'hello point' toooo…not popular as that of shimla…in our local thuamul rampur where there is repeated echoes n one can enjoy the view of whole jaipatna town,entire indravati dam, 10-12 villages..and a beautiful neverending panaroma of mountains and rivers…the karlapat wildlife sanctuary is still filled with many indigenous flora and fauna…the wild sambar and exotic birds are some of them…our cuisines are mouthwatering. ..still kalahandi in unnoticeable…still u don't believe..y can take help frm yr life-long friend Google.

  5. Sir apne next jab ana hai, to national parks ya wildlife sanctuaries visit kijiye. Infact you have missed Debrigarh sanctuary in Bargarh (situated close to Hirakud). Ecotourism odisha pe information mil jayenge. Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj if you want to visit endless waterfalls and similipal national park.

  6. The best thing about this guy is he makes sure to even show handloom/Weaver based art whenever possible. It ends up giving a great platform. That's really great!

  7. Sir apne or ek jagah chhod die Balangir main Harishankar temple or Nrusinghnath temple humare paschim odhishake prasiddh jagah hai


  9. Sir aap kal shaam ko khanpe jayenge…. Mera ghar sambalpur se 30km agar aap maa ghanteswari temple aayenge main aap milunga… Time thoda batayenge…

  10. Sir, I am glad to see you at Balangir, It is my hometown and glad for your coverage. I have seen your Uttarakhand chardham yatra and noted details about the stages for the journey. Glad to see the coverage of Western Odisha.

  11. Sir ji aapki xploring Mayurbhanj tak badha do bohot ku6 xplore Karne ko milega… I swear…. U can xplore Similipal national park also…. Follow in insta thebelgadiapalace….

  12. sir am ur regular viewer n fan also . sir actually apne odisha k quality places miss kardi . sayad aapko thik se information nhi mila hoga . odisha ka 2 behetarin jagah tha mayurbhanj and vitarkanika i mean north odisha n north -eastern costal belt of odisha . actually west odisha me jyada kuchh nhi hai

  13. Hi Harish – We'd like to thank you for taking us through the memory lane by exploring our state – Odisha. Can i ask you to cover Rourkela city if possible? The culture and food of Rourkela is very unique and i'm sure you and your viewers will enjoy. We are your subscribers from Toronto, Canada and can't tell you how popular your videos are in North America. Amazing work as always. Thanks.

  14. I am sorry to say if Odisha would be a country. Odisha must more rich, peace and world 🌏 top 1 in world. Lekin India main jod kar Odisha se coal jakar adhha hisa of India electry pata hai, mines, boxite se steel, Thermal power, chromite sabkuch lut liya sabkuchh.

  15. Thank you sir for visiting our sonepur..I never think that ki ap kabhi western odisha bhi aoge.. really nice to see you..chawal bara k sath imli ki chatney jyada acha lagta hai 😋

  16. Sir only 14 minutes video of western Orissa…U r miss best place of our western Orissa ( Harisankar,Nrusingnath, Ranipur jharial and More)

  17. We are a Travel Experience Channel. We love to travel & have been mesmerized by the mystic beauty of our motherland, India. The Channel is our attempt at sharing travels with a plan to destinations, having misadventures where none exist, making feeble attempts at soaking ourself in the local culture & in general trying to unlearn, learn & relearn. Breaking the shackles of the old school & taking the road less traveled. The Channel is not monetized. https://www.youtube.com/HighwayApostle

  18. Sir please kindly do not give sub titles in the videos background video is hidden becoz of sub titles..please do not give sub titles..🙏😊

  19. बहुत बढ़िया सर बहुत मजा आया बहुत अच्छी लगी वीडियो ऐसे ही और अच्छे-अच्छे वीडियो बनाएगा जय हिंद

  20. hi,,but still u miss a lot of interesting food and place next time when u plan again keep in touch i can show u more western orissa,,….thanks,,for the video

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