Sambalpur the commercial capital of Western Odisha is the headquarters of Sambalpur district one of the ancient districts of India. Named after Goddess Samalei, the reigning deity of the region, it is also called Sambalaka at times. The region in which the city is located is also known as Hirakhanda. There is mention by the historian Gibbons that at one time diamonds were exported to Rome from this city.
Vajrayana Buddhism was founded by King Indrabhuti, the earliest ruler of Sambalpur and there was propagation of this religion too for the betterment of society at that time. Much later in history, Sambalpur has come under Maratha rule and subsequently the rule of the British. In time it has also been shifted to different states and finally come under Odisha after Independence. Sambalpur today is very well known for its classic weaves in ikat tie & dye that has revolutionized fashion.