Balangir

Balangir District, also called Bolangir District, is a district situated in the western region of Odisha, in India. The district has an area of 5,165 km², and a population of 1,335,760 (2001 census). The town of Balangir is the district headquarters. The composition of the land is predominantly rural. Other important big & small towns in Balangir district are Titlagarh, Patnagarh, Kantabanji, Loisingha, Saintala, Belpada, Tushra, Agalpur, Deogaon, Chudapali, Biripali.

The district of Balangir is named after the headquarters towns of Balangir. This town was also the headquarters of the feudatory state of Patna since the 1880s. The district of Balangir is flanked in the northwest by the Gandhamardan hills. Many hill streams traverse it. It is the land of Tantrik culture. It is also notable for having experimented in the republican form of Government that was overthrown by Ramai Deo.

The district of Balangir is flanked in the north-west by the Gandhamardan hills, a name of the Ramayana Fame, and in the north-east by the rock-infested Mahanadi. It is traversed by many hill streams and is interspersed with the evergreen woodlands, the shelter of Bison and Sambar. The main forest area stretches along the western boundary bordering the Nuapada, Kalahandi district and then turns to the east running parallel to the Gandhamardan range. This forest track is broken by occasional clearings and small settlements, but it mostly consists of thick vegetation in which bamboo of excellent quality grows and Sal, Sahaj, Piasal, Dhaura and Ebony form the principal timber. The crest of the range of Gandhamardan hills is fine platue, some ten miles long, with an average height of 3000 feet. For most part of this district lies on the north-west bank of river Tel, which form the boundary between his district and the district of Kalahandi, Sonepur, Boudh and Kandhamal.

In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj named Balangir one of the country’s 250 most backward districts (out of a total of 640).It is one of the 19 districts in Odisha currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF).

According to the 2011 census Balangir district has a population of 1,648,574, roughly equal to the nation of Guinea-Bissau or the US state of Idaho.This gives it a ranking of 302nd in India (out of a total of 640).The district has a literacy rate of 65.5%.

The chief communicative language of Balangir District is Kosli or Sambalpuri. Hindi is treated as the second language for communication. English and Odia are used for official purpose only. Being a part of Odisha, Oriya is used as medium of education in school. English is used for higher education. People of this district speak Hindi more fluently and correctly than Oriya.