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Power Channel at Burla
|Elevation||173 m (568 ft)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Burla is a town and a notified area committee in Sambalpur District in the state of Odisha, India. It is a small town on the banks of Mahanadi, and is 14 kilometers from Sambalpur. The communication for this town is excellent. One can reach this place by road with NH-6 from Sambalpur or Bargarh which is one of the more busier trunk routes in India (currently being converted into two-way) as it connects central India to Kolkata. And by train Hirakud station, which is at one end of the town and a walking distance from the Mahanadi Coal Limited (MCL).
Burla is located at  It has an average elevation of 173 metres (567 feet). The town lies at one end of Hirakud Dam which is located around 2 km west of the town. The Jawahar Minar offers picturesque views of the dam, the lake and the surrounding forests of Barapahad (12 hills). At the otherside of the dam is the township of Hirakud..
Burla is situated in a half an hour distance from Sambalpur and 2 hours distance form Bargarh, which are connected by NH-6. Though a small town, it houses three leading institutions of Odisha: Sambalpur University and the Institute of Information technology (SUIIT), VSS Medical College and VSSUT (formerly called University College of Engineering-UCE). The town is horse-shoe shaped with an artificial lake in the middle and NH6 traversing through one end. The town centre is small and is divided into 'Kaccha Market' and 'Pukka Market' and hosts numerous small stores and stalls, which are mostly family based small business enterprises. The famous grocery stores are the 'Choudhry's' the 'Sindhi's', the 'Acharya's' and some famous wholesale stores like Narayan Saha's (For Poultry), Raghunath Agrawal (Pan Masala) and lots more. And the old world charm of 'Rambharose' snack joint serving hot samosas and jalebis underneath the banyan tree in the 'Kaccha Market' typically evokes the images of R K Narayan fictitious Malgudi.The town is bestowed with natural surrounding and beautiful jungle. The main dialect of people is Sambalpuri . Famous author Ravinder Singh is a native of Burla. Achutam is a native of Burla.
As of 2001[update] India census, Burla had a population of 39,188. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%. Burla has an average literacy rate of 74%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with male literacy of 81% and female literacy of 66%. 11% of the population is under 6 years of age.
The town's economy is driven by education, medicine, civil engineering, and electrical engineering. Veer Surendra Sai Medical College is the largest hospital in Western Odisha. Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology is the oldest engineering college in Odisha. Sambalpur University is one of the three oldest Universities in Odisha, the other two being Utkal University and Berhampur University. All these institutes of higher learning make Burla a top-tier destination for thousands of students every academic year.
The Hirakud Dam, which is the longest earthen dam in the world, caters to the hydro-electric power generation needs of the State. Numerous civil and electrical engineers reside in Burla. The town also headquarters Mahanadi Coal Fields Ltd., a subsidiary of Coal India Limited.
The town is piquant and truly a university town as it hosts the Sambalpur University, the VSS Medical College and the Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology, Burla, besides numerous schools and colleges, thus the student population at the height of academic year is sizable. All three centres for higher learning have their own auditorium which are well equipped.
Sambalpur University is one of the older universities in the State and has numerous colleges under its jurisdiction. The 'University' as it is popularly known in the region has a magnificent campus within the rolling hills and is a community in itself. The university is popularly known as Jyoti Vihar the main tag line of the university is "SA Vidya Ja Vimuktaye" the meaning of the sentence is "That is education which liberate".
In the year of 2010, opened an Institute of Information Technology as an autonomous constituent of Sambalpur University, named Sambalpur University Institute of Information Technology. The Government of Odisha funded a sum of 10 Crores for the Academic building while the Western Odisha Development Council funded the institute with a sum of 50 Lakh Rupees. It is designed in line with the Institutes of Information Technology,offering two B.Tech degree courses in Electronics and Communications Engineering and Computer Science Engineering; Three M.Sc Degree courses in Computer Sciences, Bioinformatics and Electronics, MCA and Two M.Tech Degree courses in Embedded Systems and Computer Science. Presently functioning in the CCNA building of Sambalpur University, It has 3 fully equipped Computer Science labs and 1 Electronics and Physics Lab. The students will be moving to their new academic building by August 2013. It is the brain child of Former Vice Chancellor of Sambalpur University, Sri Arun K Pujari.
The VSS Medical College is one of the premier medical colleges of the state and is centrally located in the town. It houses the ICMR Malaria Research Centre.
University College of Engineering (UCE), is one of the oldest & finest Engineering Colleges in India. It celebrated its golden jubilee in 2006. A bill was passed in the State Assembly to make it a State Unitary University and it has been renamed as Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology. Notably this college has been a vast source for intellectual capital in Engineering Sector, both Public & Private.
The higher secondary (10+2) education is imparted by the Burla NAC College, the University Higher Secondary College and the DAV Public School. The town has numerous schools. The Burla Boys High School, the Burla Girls High School, the DAV, the Sathya Sai School, the University High School, Sri Aurobindo School, Saraswati Shisu Mandir, and the Officer's Colony upper primary (UP) and middle schools are prominent.
Various inter-institutional activities are organized among the educational institutions that enhances academic experience of members of the institutions in Burla. Burla has a thriving sports culture with several local cricket, football and badminton teams including those from the University, Medical College and the Engineering University. Annual sport tournaments are regular feature of the community.
The town organises several festivals through the year most notably the Durga Puja, the Viswakarma Puja, Ravan Poda, Ganesh Puja & Saraswati Puja, the Rathayatra and Shivaratri. Durga Puja is the time when the whole town wears a festive look with three main celebration-centres (pandals as they are locally referred to as)organised by three different puja-committees. Diwali is also celebrated with its usual fanfare and holi is a major festival as well. One of the distinct celebration occurs during Shivaratri which is celebrated on a mountain-top Shiva temple. This mountain-top Shiva temple is deserted throughout the year except for the two days of celebration during Shivaratri. The three higher educational institutions viz. the Sambalpur University, the VSS medical college and the Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology also organise student fairs and annual celebrations. During Durga Puja festival Ravan puda is organised by the people of different sect and religion mainly ravan puda is organised by Sikhs in the city for last 55 years. The puda is organised under the hill of Chandli Dungri in a big playground . Nuakhai is the main festival of people which is celebrated after offering new rice to Goddes Samleswari. During the festival all the family member stays together and celebrate the festival by taking blessing of elders.
In day to day living, the town is full with activities however evening is the special time when the town centre buzzes with more activity and attracts students and others who come to dine and just spend time in the town centre.
Burla is situated on the banks of river Mahanadi and is surrounded by mountains and verdant forests making the town very picturesque and green. The large lake created by the Hirakud Dam attracts various bird species in the winter months and the surrounding forests also have wildlife such as hyenas, elephants, leopards and deers. In summer, temperatures reach 47 degrees celsius and in winter they can go as low as 5 degrees celsius. The natural beauty of the jungles, river bed and dam itself attract thousand of tourist to the town every year. During winter many of the Siberian birds come to Hirakud Dam which is the largest Soil check Dam in World. Many birdwatcher and animal lovers comes to Dam to experience natural beauty.
Places of interest
Hirakud dam is about 2 km from the main town. It is the world's longest earthen dam. The Hirakud Dam reservoir is Odisha's largest water-resource for the purposes of irrigation. The attached hydro-electric power generation units are Odisha's largest source of electric power. The dam is open to visitors. Only official vehicles are allowed to drive on the dam. The dam connects Burla with Hirakud, the town at the other end.
Jawahar Minar, named after India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, stands near the dam's main site. The Minar has a plaque in memory to all the workers who lost their lives during its construction. Jawahar Minar provides scenic views of the dam, the forests and the huge lake. Sunrise and sunsets are a treat to the eyes from the Minar.
During the monsoon the dam opens its floodgates to control the water and one can witness the power of water when many floodgates of the dam are opened.
The Right Dyke stretches for more than 11 km along Mahanadi. Forests stretch all along the dyke and during the winter months they provide good locations for picnics and nature lovers.apart from this there is debrigarh wild life sanctuary which has now govt.guest house you can now stay at night and you sure will remember the experience rest of your life its amazing. The sub-part of electricity production remains in chipilima. A canal having its origin from Hirakud dam feeds the needful water for electricity production. The Ghanteswari Temple is another place of attraction which finds its place on bank of mahanadi at chipilima. It is situated in the river bed of Mahanadi, people offeres bell after wishes is full filled.
- Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Burla
- "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- questia.com: mahanadi
Sambalpur travel guide from Wikivoyage