Geography of BalasoreOn the northern side of Odisha lies the small yet significantly striking coastal city of Baleshwar. Occupying an area of approximately 3,679 km2, Baleshwar is located in the south-eastern part of India (21°30`N, 86°56`E), bounded by West Bengal in the North and Bay of Bengal in the eastern side. It is a major tourist attraction namely due to its temples and coastal beaches. The two focal rivers of the state of Odisha, Budhabalanga and Subarnarekha, pass through Baleshwar in west to east direction before blending into the Bay of Bengal. Situated at an altitude of 19.08 meters the region displays a mix of three different forms of topographic regions – coast, plains and hills.
The climate of this city is generally marked by very hot and humid weather conditions almost throughout the year. Sand dunes are a common site along the coastal region; also the reason the city gets its popular name of “The City of Land on Sea Shore” or the “City of Sand”. It is a part of the Golden Quadrilateral Project with National Highways 5 and 60 passing through the city running all the way from Chennai to Kolkata.
Image Courtesy: Google Maps
Rivers in BaleshwarBaleshwar falls amidst the path of Odisha’s two main perennial rivers, Budhabalanga and Subarnarekha. These estuarine rivers provide for the city’s major water supply and irrigation systems for agricultural and cultivation purposes.
Climate of BaleshwarThe average climatic condition of the city of Baleshwar is hot and humid. The temperatures here, reach an average of 44°C during the summer months of April-June and an average of 10.6°C during winters.
The monsoons commence in the city from June only to end by September – November. The city experiences maximum rainfall due to the south-west monsoons during the months of July and August. These are accompanied by strong cyclonic winds and thunderstorms. The average temperature of Baleshwar ranges from 22°C – 32° C with an average rainfall of 1580 mm per annum.
Topographic Features of BaleshwarBaleshwar is rich in topographic features with almost ever land form present in the city. In broader terms, the city of Baleshwar is divided into three categories based on the geographical regions prevalent in this area. These are namely - the Coastal belt, the inner Alluvial plains and the North-Western hills.
The Costal Belt:
The Coastal Belt stretches to about 83 km in the shape of a strip. Brimming with sand dunes and coastal ridges, this belt is mostly swamped with brackish water from the rivers, making it an unsuitable place for cultivation. Coconut and betel farming and an upcoming surge of salt manufacturing and shrimp culture development in these coastal belts, add to the popularity.
The Alluvial Plain:
The subsequent adjoining geographical area in this city is theinner deltaic Alluvial plain. The extremely rich and fertile region, these Alluvial planes also constitute the most populous areas of Baleshwar and observe the scarcest jungle and forest expanses. The soil in this region is that of alluvial laterite which makes it extremely bountiful and rich for agricultural activities.
The North-Western Hills:
The last and final kinds of terrain in the diverse geographical area of Baleshwar are the North-Western hills. These hills mostly include the Nilagiri sub-division. These hilly regions of Nilagiri are full of widespread covers of tropical semi - evergreen forests consisting mostly of gravelly soil, which affects its productivity. With an altitude of approximately 546 meters above sea level, the Nilagiri hills are home to the scheduled tribes habitant in this forest and quarries rich area.
Geographical Constraints of BaleshwarThe following lists down the geographical constraints of the city of Baleshwar:
Latitude - 21°30`N
Longitude - 86°56`E
Altitude – 19.08 meters
Time Zone - UTC+5:30
Summer Season: March - May
Avg. Maximum Temp. - 42.4° C
Avg. Minimum Temp. – 21.4° C
Avg. Precipitation - 71 mm
Winter Season: November - February
Avg. Maximum Temp.– 21.7° C
Avg. Minimum Temp.– 10.6° C
Avg. Precipitation - 23 mm
Monsoon Season: June - September
Avg. Maximum Temp. - 33° C
Avg. Minimum Temp.– 25.2° C
Avg. Precipitation – 316.2 mm
A diverse city full of diverse land forms, beaches, historical monuments, missile testing pads, cultivation areas and temples, Baleshwar is the pride of the state of Odisha.