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Sunabeda (Oriya: ସୁନାବେଡା) is a township in the state of Odisha, India, located in the lush valleys of the Koraput region. It is home to the Engine Division - Koraput of Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL), an aircraft manufacturing company. Sunabeda has many other establishments, including State Government offices, Central University, Local centre of IGNOU, Sports Authority of India Hostel, Battalion HQ of COBRA, NAD, CCBF, OUAT field Unit, CSWCRTI, RRTTS, SCITM.
Created around 1965, mainly to accommodate HAL employees, Sunabeda is a highly planned and organized township. It is situated around 1,000 meters above sea level. Prior to its creation, this place was known as Old Sunabeda which was occupied by native tribal community. About a thousand tribals were displaced and rendered homeless to give way for the HAL factory. (Source: Everybody loves a good drought: "Sainath")
Even though the factory was made with Russian collaboration, the township and the factory buildings were executed by state engineers of Odisha. The project was named Aero Engine Factory Project ( The residential colony is called AEF Colony till date)with a Chief Engineer as in command.
Sunabeda in those days was very inhospitable due to its extreme weather and malaria. No civic amenities were available such as Schools, Hospitals etc. Post 1971 war a shelter camp for the Bangladeshi refuses was constructed which forms Sunabeda – 3 today with predominant Bengali people. The Odisha Small Industries Corporation established the Odisha Timber and Engineering Works adjacent to NH43. Most Bengali people joined here as carpenters. When the Kolab dam was constructed a catchment formed around Sunabeda in the form of a big lake. Few of these Bengali people took to fishing and today Sunabeda is a centre for making fishing boats and nets for which fishermen from as far as Malkangiri come to Sunabeda for buying their provisions.
There was little growth in Sunabeda and on the other hand the hustle and bustle gradually started dwindling as the AEF project closed after commencement of production in HAL. Similarly fresh recruitments in HAL stopped after a while and people started retiring and the post remained vacant as the MIG series of aircraft was losing out to new series of aircraft. In late eighties setting up of the NAD and NALCO in Damanjodi kept the overall situation alive in Sunabeda and Semiliguda (the urban body being one in these two places). Things started looking brighter after SU-30 came up with a new division in HAL. Subsequent coming of CRPF COBRA Battalion HQ, Central University, IGNOU are hoped to provide some growth of the area.
Sunabeda is located 20 kilometres east of Koraput. There are frequent buses and taxis from Koraput. Though the closest railway station is at Dumriput and Koraput, a majority of the people prefer alighting at Vizianagaram in Andhra Pradesh. The national highway 43 running over the mountains and forest make the journey to Sunabeda an unforgettable experience.
There are basically three areas in Sunabeda defined as Sunabeda - I, II, III, these being AEF Colony, the H A L township and the N A C (notified area council) respectively. They are so called because of the last digit in the PINCODE.
With lush green flora all around the hills and hillocks it is a place worth seeing. The HAL Nursery while open to the public is worth a visit. There is also a deer park adjoining the nursery. A museum on the outskirts of the township is to house the developmental history of the place as well as the factory.
Sunabeda is a small well planned and beautiful township with adjoining areas like PHED Colony, AEF Colony, Shantinagar (Only private residential area of Sunabeda having some of most beautiful houses of the area) NAC, Semliguda, D.P. Camp, Jadaguda, Malliguda, Jersey Farm, Timber, and Damonjodi. The HAL factory is located in the center of the town, employs around six thousand people, and provides residential quarters for the employees and staff of the company. There are many zones starting from A to U, the 'L' zone being the largest. There are other zones listed as RA, QA, LA, UA, JA, IB, KG. Further, construction work of double bed room Quarters is going on and expected to be completed by 2013-14.
NAD Residential colony
NAD colony is a very very small colony, which have around 250 families serving for Indian Navy. NAD colony is 4 km from NH 26.
The Central University has become new entrant to Sunabeda and is in the process of being constructed. When complete and operational this could be the biggest catalyst in development of Koraput as every other institution in the region has bellied hopes of people and they were never the harbinger of development they were supposed to be.
IGNOU has also acquired 20 acres of land adjacent to Central University to set up a local unit which is reportedly one of three centres in Odisha. Also XIMB is in the process of acquiring some area near Panthika Sunabeda. The COBRA battalion has already established a Battalion HQ in Sunabeda.
As of 2001[update] India census, Sunabeda had a population of 58,647. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%. Sunabeda has an average literacy rate of 62%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 69%, and female literacy is 54%. In Sunabeda, 12% of the population is under 6 years of age.
The oldest school but relatively less known is the Government High School at Sunabeda-1 which has one alumni Sri Jayaram Pangi as a Member of Parliament. Most of educated people in the area of the old times are more likely to be a product of this elite school belonging to T&R Department. The school has a huge campus and a very wide range of training facility apart from academics, very few of a modern high priced school can barely match. Students get to learn motor mechanic, typewriting and shorthand, black smithy, weaving, carpentry, agriculture, animal husbandry, poultry, tailoring etc. It also has NCC and Scouts and Guides units in the school. Education in HAL To provide its staff children with quality education. the management runs many educational institution. The Aeronautics College formerly known as A.C.A. College, (established in 1981) awards students with bachelors degree in different streams. Vyomayana Samstha Vidyalaya (founded in 1968) Affiliated to Central Board Of Secondary Education (C.B.S.E) with no competitor in the CBSE stream in the district, reveals the success of many students. The only missionary school, Jeevan Jyothi convent school is situated at similiguda 5 km from Sunabeda. There is also the Sunabeda Public School (ICSE)in the A E F Colony. The Sunabeda Public School founded in 1965 is the oldest English-medium school in the erstwhile undivided Koraput district . It is a co-educational residential school having classes from LKG to Class XII. At a time, Known for its academic excellence the institution has produced students who are in enviable positions in government and non-government organisations across the country and abroad. Other two glories of the beauty of education are A.G.H. School, and A.D.A.V. School. Added to this it has few primary schools: D Zone School, R Zone School, and I Zone School. For the development of women's education In Sunabeda there is women's college named as Sunabeda Women's College. Aurobindo Integral School, and Saraswati Vidya Mandir (founded in 1985) also established for the development education in the NAC area. Saaraswati Vidya Mandir is an Oriya medium school, affiliated to board of secondary education, bhubaneswar with an excellent record in all fields from education to sports. The marketplaces are: Central Market, Jagannath Market(Daily), Milan Market, Russian Market, R Zone Market, AEF Market and the Nac Mrket.
Kendriya Vidyalaya, Naval Armament Depot, Sunabeda was established in the year 1989 with 5 classes (Class I to V) with an enrolment of 91 students. Started in the Defence sector to cater to the educational needs of the children of the employees of Naval Armament Depot (NAD), MES, Security Corps and the other local population, the KV grew into a full-fledged school up to Class X with 248 students to-day.
Sunabeda remained a less known place till the factory of Hindustan aeronautics Ltd was established. The township of HAL is spread over a large area. This place is connected by road only. The nearest railway station is Dumuriput, 06 km away.
Kendriya Vidyalaya, NAD, Sunabeda is situated in NAVAL ARMAMENT DEPOT which is 10 km away from HAL complex. It is in the interior region which is accessible through a ghat road of 5 km.
The remoteness and lack of any public transport system is responsible for the slow growth of this place. The major establishments also could not play any role in promoting entrepreneurs of the state and prefer to source all their ancillary needs from outside the area.
Situated in a beautiful place in the lap of nature and with no kind of pollution at all, this KV reminds any one of Santiniketan.
There is big stadium in middle of the Township. Many Divisional events are observed in this stadium. Independence Day and Republic Days are celebrated in a grand way. Hockey, Football, Cricket and other athletic meets are held in this stadium. National level football tournament are organised in this ground in every two years. Teams from different parts of our Country are participating in this tournament.
There is also Sports club at HAL Township.Apart from it, Sunabeda has a Sports training center which is run by HAL in collaboration with Sports Authority of India. The training center primarily trains students of age group 13-15 years old, in archery and football for three years and is managed by a sports officer Mr. Ramesh Thakur, who happens to be a HAL employee. Candidates are selected from adjourning districts of Koraput. Trainees of this centre have participated at National level championship in Archery and brought laurels for the State.
Sunabeda has a very old Jagannath Temple, older than Koraput Jagannath temple which holds Annual Rath Yatra that ends at HAL Open Air Pandal. This event is an important annual event in sunabeda. The 2010 and 2011 Rath Yatra has another attraction in the fact that the key organiser of the Yatra is not a Hindu but a Muslim technocrat of the state who ensures that the yatra is a mega success.
The major cultural events in Sunabeda are the Rath Yatra, the Viswakarma Puja, Dussehra and other festivals. There is a Jagannath temple in AEF Colony and L zone in HAL Township. Maha Sivaratri which is celebrated at the temple of Shiva atop a hillock just close to the AEF Colony bus stop, There is a Hanuman Temple in IB zone. There is also a Jagannath Temple at L-Zone named as Swarnakhetra, Tarini Temple at B-Zone, Mangala Temple at R-Zone and K-Zone, Gayatri Temple at G-zone, Santosimaa Temple at E-Zone, Satyasai Temple at F-zone and many more temple at HAL Township for the spiritual development of the people of the township. In the boundary of Jagannath Temple there is a Siva Temple where Baba Biswanath worshiped. Besides Siva and Jagannath there is also Ganesh Mandir and Laxmi Mandir. Arnapurna Mandap and Laxmi Mandap also constructed in the boundary of Jagannath Temple for social functions of the Township. At an extreme of the township, there exists a hill called Chikkappara. On the hill top is the oldest temple - " Lord Siva Temple" and Parvathi Temple at the bottom of the hill. By the side of the temple Lord Ayyaappa Temple is there, which was consecrated on 15th February 1989. There are a lot of stories related to this temple. On the time of consecration, an Eagle, which is rare in Sunabeda, revolved around the temple, like the eagle coming to Sabarimala temple. Every year on "Mandala Puja" day, water flows from the hill just behind the temple. This was predicted before the construction of the temple and it is happening every year since 1998. Only on that day the water flows and that also for about an hour during the Abhishekam time.
The oldest temple of Sunabeda is The Jagannath Temple at Sunabeda-1 followed by the Shiva Temple on a hillock and the Trinath Temple at AEF Market, Sunabeda-1. There also exist a Jagannath temple near L and LA zone. The Khetra is known as Swarnakhetra. It is a famous temple composed of the Shiv temple, Ganesh temple, MahaLaxmi temple and Swami Ayappa temple. Every Year on the occasion of Ratha Yatra a colourful magazine is published namely 'Swarnakhetra-2006,2007 & 2008' edited by Dr. Basanta Kishore Sahoo. In the year 2009 Khetra Bisesanka in the year 2010 BHAKTA BISESANKA and in the year 2011 BESHA BISESANKA, PARBAPARBAI BISESANKAwere also published. The township having all the Hindu Temples. It is also embeded with other culture, there churches one a 2 at semiliguda, one at AEF. There also exists religious societies like Divine life Society, Gayatri Mandir and others.
Utkal Sanskrutika Parishad of Sunabeda is one of the oldest cultural Organization of Odisha in the township which is continuously playing a vital Role for the Development of the Oriya Culture, Literature and Customs since 1966. The organization observes the Jayanti of Kabisamrat Upendrabhanja, Fakirmohan, Gangadhar, Madhusudan, Bijupatnaik, Nanda Kishore Bal. The organization also published a magagine entitle SMARANIKA which is published in a year. The Upendra Bhanja Bisesanka edited by Prof Ramesh Das, The Gajapati Bisesanka (2007), The Madhusudan Bisesanka (2008), Fakirmohan Bisesanka(2009) and Utkalmani Gopabandhu Bisesanka(2010); Swabhaba Kabi Gangadhar Bisesanka (2011) Sunabeda Bisesanka all are Edited By Dr. Basanta Kishore Sahoo is a noteworthy work of the Parishad. Utkal Sanskrutika parishad felicited Sri Babaji Charan Jena in the year 2009 and Mrs. Bijayalaxmi Mishra and Mrs Sarala Behera in the year 2010 for their lifetime contribution to Oriya literature.Young Columnist and Poet Choudhury Gyanaranjan Samal has taken over as President of the Parishad recently.
The Banaphula Sahitya Parishad and The Banaprabha Sahitya Sansad were two organization which are continuously working for the development of Oriya Literature. Banaphula Sahitya Parishad published Koraput Parikrama, Orissara Lokanatya, Desatmabodhaka Kabita Samkalan, and 8 nos of short story and poem collection which are noteworthy work of the Parishad. Now the Banaprava published two nos of poem and story collection known as Banaprava-1 and Banaprava-II. This year Banaprava-III is also published as Desatmabodhaka Kabita Samkalan. All the books of Banaphula and Banaprava are edited by Dr. Basanta Kishore Sahoo. In the 2013 February Banaprava Sahitya Sansad arranged a grand function on the eve of retired of Dr Basanta Kishore Sahoo. In this occasion two nos of Books namely "BASANTA BAIVAVA" amd "BASANTA KISHORENKA SRUSTI O SAMIKHYA" was released for the memory of Dr. Sahoo. First book was published by Banprava and edited by Sarala Behera and 2nd one is published by Padma prakasani BBSR and edited by also Sarala Behera.
Writers of the HAL Township
- Choudhury Gyanaranjan Samal
- Ashok Kumar Tripathy
- Babaji Charan Jena
- Basanta Kishore Sahoo
- Sarala Behera
- Subash Chandra Sahoo
- Subhadra Kamilla
- Suvra Hotta
- Chaitanya Soren
- Shipra Pattnaik
- "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.
- Koraput Parikrama, Published by Banaphula Sahitya Parishad and edited by Dr. Basanta Kishore Sahoo
- Koraputra Parbaparbani written by Dr. Basanta Kishore Sahoo
- Who's who in Oriya children's literature Part-I and II complied by Dr. Basanta Kishore Sahoo
- Smaranika (SUNABEDA BISESANKA), Edited by Dr Basanta Kishore Sahoo
- Smaranika (KORAPUT BISESANKA), Edited by Dr Basanta Kishore Sahoo
- Koraput travel guide from Wikivoyage