A well known temple of Western Orissa and Chatisgarh region.
Legend s that once a local ruler started hunting onthe bank of river Mahanadi. There he had a peculiar experience; instead of chasing the animals for hunting he saw his hounds were being chased by a rabbit.
After a long chase of hounds the rabbit took rest beneath a simili tree nearby and disappeared after a while. The king was stunned; he had a dream that night. Goddess Samaleswari (a form of Goddess Parvati) appeared on his dream and sked the king to build a temple to her beneath that simili tree. The king did the same and this is the beginning of this temple.
It is said that Goddess Samaleswari of this temple has second largest followers in Orissa after Lord Jagannath of Puri.
The present temple dates back to 16 nth century AD although the worship is age-old. Temple is declared as a protetected monument by the Governent of Orissa.
Sambalpur is about 320 kilometers from Bhuvaneswar- the state capital.