This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (July 2015)
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Sex ratio||1.166 ♂/♀|
Belpahar is a town and a municipality in Jharsuguda district in the state of Odisha, India. Belpahar is famous for its geographical location, as it is the center for many coal mines areas nearby. Krosaki TRL Limited is located in Belpahar while there is Mahanadi Coalfields Limited and Ib Thermal Power station in the vicinity. It has a railway station which levels 55 metres high above the sea level. This area is among the fastest growing industrial zones in Odisha.
As of 2011[update] India census, Belpahar had a population of 38,832. Males constitute 54% of the population and females 46%. Belpahar has an average literacy rate of 75%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with 60% of the males and 40% of females literate. 11% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Belpahar is well connected by road and rail (but not by Air). Belpahar railway station is well connected with trains from Howrah, Mumbai, New Delhi, Bhubaneswar and Ahmedabad. Jharsuguda which is 22 km from Belpahar is connected from the rest of the country including Chennai and Bangalore. Belpahar is connected through direct buses from Rourkela, Bhubaneswar, Sambalpur, Bhadrak and Raipur. National Highway 200 connects Belpahar directly to Raipur.
Belpahar is surrounded by many coal mines. The IB thermal power plant is located near Belpahar. The major industry is TRL Krosaki Ltd. (formerly Tata Refactories Limited). Other important industries surrounding Belpahar are IB Thermal Power Plant and Mahanadi Coal Field. Other Industries:- (i) New Simplex Industries (ii) Shyam Engineering Works (iii) ICI Chemicals (iv) Ib Valley Metal Forming (P) Ltd.
Belpahar has six major schools. Girdhar Lal High School (GLHS), Aadarsh Balika Utchya Vidyalay (ABUV), Belpahar English Medium School (BEMS), Vivekananda International School (VIS), and the Belpahar Refractory High school (BRHS), which prepares students for higher secondary education. Beside this Saraswati sishu vidya mandri (SSVM) also groom students in there gurukul like green campus near Kadelpita of Belpahar. Of these, Girdhar Lal H.S. is the oldest. BEMS & VIS follow the curriculum of ICSE (Class 10) and ISC (Class 12). BRHS follow the curriculum of the Odisha State Board of secondary education and it is the leading odia medium school in the district of Jharsuguda. For higher studies, Belpahar college offers graduate degrees in commerce and arts. Apart from these many government primary schools are present in different villages of Belpahar. Other than this nearby places like Bandhbahal and Brajrajnagar offer schools like D.A.V public school for students.
TRL Ground is one of the biggest ground in state. Surrounded by galary of sitting capacity 10,000 people at once. It has witnessed many state level cricket tournament and national level ladies football tournament. Moreover, various events like Balyashree Olympiad are organized here. It is the place to hold parade and various cultural programs from schools during Independence day and Republic day. On the eve of Dussehra, a huge Ravan idol is burnt here with a great pomp and joy. Regular football and volleyball matches are held here.
Jehangir Ghandy Hospital is one of the best hospitals in this area equipped with some of the latest medical equipment, adding to this it has Dr Samal's Clinic, Dr Latika Patel's Clinic and Dr Pradhan's clinic. SMILE Dental Clinic caters to the needs of patients with dental problems.
Villages near Belpahar
Belpahar has many villages and cities under its municipality. Some of the villages and localities include Muchbahal, Jurabaga, Jamkani, Mahulpada, Gumadera, Kuiltapada, Limtikra, Chingriguda, J urabaga, Kadel Munda, Chhualiberna, Kadupada, Nayapada, Kisanpada, Khukhelmal, Gotiapada, Harijanpada, Jahajpadia, Malipada, Mirdhadera. Belpahar municipality is surrounded by localities like Jharsuguda, Brajrajnagar, Piplimal, Kudaloi, Kudopali, Kantapali, Kirmira, Khairkuni, Darlipali, Liakhai, junadihi.
Places of interest
Belpahar also has some nearby tourist attractions such as Koili Ghoghar (35 kilometres from Belpahar), Lal Pathar (8 km from Belpahar), Khadu (5 kilometres from Belpahar), Bikramkhol in Banjari village, Ullapgarh & Ujjalpur (7 kilometres from Belphar), Jagannath Temple, Nava Durga Temple (Gandhi Nagar, Belpahar) and IB river (8 kilometres from Belpahar). The SANI mandir at Sukha Bandh also attracts lots of devotees.
Belpahar has one beautiful park named Jubilee Park having a large variety of flowers and water fountain cover with light work. The name of this park has been changed to JRD TATA Park.
Apart from this, Belpahar also has a TRE club for the employees working in TRL Krosaki Ltd. The club has gym and a library, known by Gopabandhu Library. Another hall, called Jubilee Hall, holds many functions including Marriages, Pujas, and some Magics.
Belpahar and surrounding areas are full of minerals. Makarchatta - (3 kilometres from Belpahar), Sitaram pahad (2.5 km from Belpahar).
On NH-200 at about 5 km from Belpahar there is a village known as Banjari. In the vicinity of the village the ancient cave of Bikramkhol is located. In this inaccessible dense forest ancient people lived surviving on fruits, roots and animal meat. During 4000 BC there was evolution of human civilization in the region and a script was developed by them.
There are some ancient script engraved in the wall of Bikramkhol and also paintings of animals. Circular holes have been dug in the wall where weapons, dress and other articles of use were being kept suspended. Even on the floors circular holes have been dug to pound the grains. Bikramkhol has been declared a tourist spot by the Central Government and tourists, historians and researchers from all over the country and abroad.
A scenic tourist spot about forty-five minutes away from Belpahar Railway Station on the way to Raigarh, Koili Ghoghar houses a beautiful river carving its way out of rock faces and cascading down in steps. It is a breathtaking sight during the rainy season. There are the resident ducks and monkeys that provide quite an entertainment for the tourists. It is a favoured picnic spot with people coming from far and near for a view of the lush greenery, surreal rock faces and the creamy waters cascading down the rocks. There is also a Shiva temple and a temple venerating a local deity for those with a religious vein. The town also has a Maa Tarini temple, near the NAC Checkpost (which is not closed), in the dense forest
This is a hillock about fifteen minutes away from Belpahar Railway Station. It is said that the revolutionaries fighting in the freedom struggle of India took refuge in this hillock. The spaces carved out from the rock face to hold torches can be seen to this day. The journey uphill entails one to be of a strong disposition as the sun and the dry heat can take their toll on one's bodily fluids. But once you reach the summit it is a view to behold. Greenery combined with the piercing silence is a great restorative. It would be advised to remember one's way up lest one may find themselves going down by a completely different path and hence get lost. It one of the good picnic spots. On the foot of Maheswar Pahad, there is a small village called “Ulap”. About one kilometer from the village, the ruins of Ulapgarh are situated. At this place, the Maheswar pahad is about 1000 ft high and on the top there is a huge plain surface. On this rectangular plain stone surface the fort of Ulapgarh had been constructed. The plain stone fine surface is about 400 metre long and 250 metre wide. On the eastern side of the fort there are almost 7 km of densely forested Baramunda Hills and on the western side, the Belpahar Railway Station is located at a distance of 5 km. On the north there is a dense forest stretching up to Hemgir and in the south stretching up to Badjob village.
A 12 ft (3.66 m) wide and 500 ft (150 m) long moat had been constructed which stretches from east to west. There was a Sivalingam and a place of worship in the Fort. A well had been dug on the stone floor which provided drinking water to the inmates of the Fort through out the year.
On the stone floor, there are many square holes and 70 round holes. The diameters of the hole vary from 1-3 inch. Wooden poles used to be put on these holes to support super structures for living room, store room, arsenals, Kitchen, sleeping room etc.
About 1000 people could take shelter at Ulapgarh at a time. On the western side of Ulapgarh and down hill there is Ushakothi cave. On the walls and floors of this cave also there are many circular and square holes. Probably the defence personnel of the fort used to suspend there clothes and other belonging from wooden poles fitted to these holes. The soldiers of the dense forest of Maheswar hill could easily over power and defeat the enemies before they could climb up the hill and attack the fort.
It is believed that Ulapgarh was being used as a residential fort by some kings of “Naja” Dynasty. Research is going on by various Indian and Foreign researchers and Historian in this direction.
- "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.