Balasore District also known as Baleswar District or Baleshwar District, is an administrative district of Odisha state in eastern India. Balasore is one of the coastal Districts of Odisha. It lies on the northernmost part of the state. It was a part of the ancient Kalinga which later became a territory of Toshal or Utkal, till the death of Mukunda Dev. Balasore as a separate District was created in October 1828. originally it was in Bengal presidency.
Balasore District covers an area of 3,634 km2 (1,403 sq mi) having total population of 23,17,419 as per 2011 census. The District is surrounded by Paschim Medinipur district of West Bengal in its northern side, Bay of Bengal in its east, Bhadrak district in its south and Mayurbhanj and Kendujhar Districts lies on its western side. The District is located at 20.48 to 21.59 North Latitude and 86.16 to 87.29 east Longitude.
It is now a launch station for missiles and sounding rockets on the east coast of India in Odisha state at 21°18′ N and 86°36′ E. Balasore has been in use since 1989, but unlike Sriharikota, it is not used for launching satellites. The rocket launching site at Balasore is situated in a place called Chandipur located on the Bay of Bengal. The Integrated Test Range in Chandipur is responsible for carrying out tests for various missiles such as Agni, Prithvi, Trishul etc.
Balasore Railway Station falls en route on the main line connecting Chennai to Kolkata. Road connectivity wise, National Highway-5 runs through Balasore. It is 212 kilometres (132 mi) north-east of Bhubaneswar by road. Chandipur-on-sea is a sea resort famous for its mile long shallow beaches. Chandipur on sea is one of the shallowest sea beaches in the world. It is a unique beach, the tide comes to the shore only four times a day, at determined intervals. Among other tourist attractions is the 18th century kshirochora-gopinath temple, famous for its mythological story, how the temple was built there.
Birthplace of linguist and novelist Fakir Mohan Senapati, considered to be the saviour of modern Odia language and an eminent freedom fighter. Also birthplace of famous Oriya poet Kabibar Radhanath Ray.
Balasore District is one of the economically strong districts in Odisha, which is privileged in both agriculture and industry. In spite of being an agrarian economy, agriculture is the main stay of the people of Balasore. The District lies in the coastal part of Odisha and is blessed with hot and humid climate with alluvium soil and intersected by the perennial rivers, which collectively provides conducive infrastructure for the growth of agriculture in this region. In the recent years, the utilization of the wasteland for ensuring the economic development of Balasore District has been taken into consideration and it is being used for the production of coconut and betel. The local economy of Balasore District largely depends on the cultivation of paddy and wheat.
Though a major section of Odisha’s population depends on agriculture, industry is the nucleus of the economic development of Balasore district. With the establishment of D.I.C, functioning from the year 1978, the district has witnessed prominent success in the field of industrial development. It is the nodal agency for promotion and establishment of small, medium and large industries and as well as for the cottage and handicraft industries in the District. Ori Plast Limited, Jagannath Biscuits Private Limited, Odisha Rubber Industries and Odisha Plastic Processing are some of the award winning small scale units of the District. Birla Tyres, Ispat Alloys Limited, Emami Paper Mills Limited and Polar Pharma India Limited are some of the large scale industries which are contributing in a big way towards the growth of the economy of the district.
Apart from the Government undertakings and the public sectors, a group of private entrepreneurs have come up, which accentuated the industrial development prominent in the economic scenario of the Balasore District. These industries in the recent times not only provide employment to the local people but at the same time accounts for a quantum of exports, which supports the economy of the District greatly.