Balasore, the headquarters of the district, was an important maritime town in medieval times through the river Budhabalanga. The French and the Dutch, who were named as “Farasidinga” and “Dinamardinga”, occupied some portions of the town. The ruins of the foreign possessions still exist. Balasore serves as the most convenient base for touring the various places of interest in the district. The Temple of Mahadev Baneswar is one of the main places of tourist interest in Balasore. Lacquered toys of Balasore, brass works of Remuna and stone carvings of Nilagiri are the local handicrafts.
Location: 16-km from Chandipur, Orissa
Main Attraction: Temple of Mahadev Baneswar
Places of Interest: Chandipur, Panchalingeswar, Chandaneswar, and Talasari
Best Time To Visit: October to June
The sea beach at Chandipur is surely one among the finest beaches of the country, but with a plus. Here the waters recede five kilometers offshore and proceed rhythmically after a regular interval everyday. The sand dunes green with wild creepers and the caesarian whistling with the breeze create a fantastic moment for a visitor absorbed in observing the play of the tide. It is well connected by regular bus service from Balasore.
Situated on a hillock near Nilagiri, Panchalingeswar is a place with beautiful surroundings and serves as a picnic spot for the visitors. The five 'lingams' known as Panchalingeswar with the perennial spring flowing over them are the added attraction of this place. The Panthasala at Panchalingeswar provides accommodation for the visitors.
The holy shrine of Lord Chandaneswar is a religious center for the people of not only the district of Balasore but also of places adjacent. It is a unique sight to see the devotees flock together in hundreds everyday and in thousands on festive occasions like Nilaparva (April) for darshana.
About 4-km from Chandaneswar and 4-km from Digha in West Bengal is the tranquil beach at Talasari, surrounded by casuarina groves. A jeep drive on the beach to negotiate both the places is a pleasant and memorable experience.
2-km from Chandipur, Balaramgadi where the river Budhabalanga meets the sea is a nice picnic spot and ideal for fishing and cruising. The fishing boats also provide an interesting sight.
Chandbali has been a famous river port since medieval time. The tourists can enjoy a boat journey to Aradi and Dhamra by river route from Chandbali.
A beauty spot on the bank of the river Vaitarani known as the 'sacred Ganges of Orissa', Aradi is famous for the Saiva shrine of Lord Akhandalamani. Hundreds of pilgrims visit the place daily not only for a Darshan of the Lord but also to seek relief from physical ailment they suffer from. It is 52-km from Bhadrak and 110-km from Balasore. One can also negotiate the place by boat from Chandbali through the river.
On the confluence of the rivers Vaitarani and Brahmani where they meet the sea, Dhamra naturally has a special appeal for the tourists. It is 40-km from Chandbali, approachable by boat and motor launch and 160-km from Balasore.
Raibania, a place of historic importance finds its mention in the book "Ain-i-Akbari". It is known for its group of forts now in ruins. The Jayachandiban or the lovely forest of Jayachandi is now used as an ideal picnic spot.
HOW TO GET THERE
Air: The nearest Airport is Bhubaneswar, which is 198-kms from Balasore.
Rail: Balasore is having a railhead on the southeastern Railway. All Calcutta-Madras rail routes of southeastern 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-kms, Cuttack 228-kms and Calcutta 234-kms. The Madras bound National Highway No-5 linking Calcutta- Balashore-Cuttack-Bhubaneswar is the main connector by road. There are several other bye-routes too such as Kolaghat-Digha-Jaleswar routes and Belda route.