Nestled atop the serene Budharaja Hill Station lies the ancient Budharaja Shiva Temple, one of the most revered religious sites in the heart of Sambalpur, Odisha. Built between the 14th and 15th centuries, legend tells that it was commissioned under the rule of the first Chauhan king of Sambalpur, Balaram Dev. Over the centuries, the temple became a pivotal site for locals to offer prayers and find spiritual solace.
Architecturally, Budharaja Shiva Temple showcases exquisite stone carvings and the quintessential Odisha style of temple architecture located at Budharaja Hill Station. The main shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva, housing a prominent lingam believed to be self-manifested. However, the temple complex also contains other small shrines with idols of Lord Ganesha, Goddess Parvati, Lord Kartikeya, and more.
During special occasions like Shivratri or the holy month Shravan, thousands of devotees flock to Budharaja Temple to offer prayers, coconuts, and flowers. The grandest festival is Sital Sasthi observed in April-May. Locals also believe there is a hidden underground tunnel that connects the temple to the former royal palace.
Perched atop the Budharaja hill station at an altitude of 2300 feet, the temple also offers postcard-perfect views of Sambalpur town. One can even see the mesmerizing Hirakud Dam reservoir waters glimmering in the distance. To make it easier for tourists, the Sambalpur municipality has also constructed a watchtower and paved pathways around the hilltop.
In addition to its religious significance, the Budharaja Shiva Temple holds great historical importance. During India’s First War of Independence in 1857, the ruler of Sambalpur, Veer Surendra Sai, used the hills to plot attacks and monitor British troop movements. He was eventually captured and martyred in 1864, becoming an immortal symbol of Odisha’s freedom struggle.
Budharaja Hill Station
Today, the Lush Green Hilltop has a recreational park close to the historic Marble Hill zone of Sambalpur town. The zone derived its name from the presence of ancient folk art with floral designs carved into marble rocks. With mesmerizing views and cool breeze, the Budharaja hilltop park near Marble Hills has become a popular getaway for locals.
The foothills of Budharaja also house important landmarks like the Sambalpur University, Odisha State Open University, and the historic Sitalsasthi Carnival Ground. The famous Red Light Area of Sambalpur is situated close to these educational institutes near the base of the hills.
To summarize, the ancient Budharaja Temple is one of the most culturally significant religious sites in Sambalpur and across Odisha. The beautiful hilltop location and views of the town make it both a historically important monument as well as a popular tourist spot. So do check out this marvel when you visit Sambalpur town, located on the magnificent Mahanadi River Valley.
Destination Attractions, How to Reach, Destination Facilities, Transportation, Accessibility
Budharaja Shiva Temple’s opening time is Monday to Sunday 6 am to Evening 7 pm
Best Time to visit
The best time to visit Budharaja Hilltop Park is at all times of the year.
Nearest Railway Station & Distance
The Nearest Railway Station is Sambalpur, which is located around 5 Km distance from Budharaja Shiva Temple
Nearest Airport & Distance
The nearest Airport is Veer Surendra Sai Airport, Jharsuguda, which is located around 61 km from Budharaja Shiva Temple and 285 km from Biju Patnaik International Airport
Nearest Bus Stand & Distance
The nearby bus stop is Burla which is around 20 km from Sambalpur.