Rourkela is a planned city. located in the northern part of Odisha. It is the third largest Urban Agglomeration in Odisha. It is situated about 340 kilometers (211 mi) north of state capital Bhabaneswar and is surrounded by a range of hills and encircled by rivers. The city is also popularly known as Ispat Nagar and also as the Steel City of Odisha. It has one of the largest steel plants of the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) known as Rourkela Streel Plant. It also has one of the National Institutes of Technology. National Institutes of technology (NIT Rourkela) of the country. The city has been selected as smart city in the third phase of smart city list on 20 September 2016. Among all the 27 city list Rourkela ranked 12th position on merit basis. Every year, on 3 March Rourkela Day is celebrated. Rourkela was declared India’s Fastest Moving City.


The Cultural back ground of Rourkela is based on cultural heritage of Sundergarh District which is situated on north western part of Odisha and surrounded by states Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. Rourkela is home to people from different neighboring states such as West Bengal and Bihar, which has resulted in the formation of different socio-cultural groups. Festivals such as Diwali, Dussehra, and Dol Purnima, or Holi are keenly celebrated in this region. Another popular festival of this area is Vedavyas Mela celebrated every year during Shivaratri, mostly during the month of February. A 15-day fair is organised in the Vedvyas Dham ground. Vendors from across the country come to set up their stalls and sell items such as sweets, food items, ornaments, and handicraft items. Tourists and pilgrims come from the nook and corners of the country to attend this festival.

Because of the time to time migration, the culture of Rourkela is not confined to any single culture of a particular area rather it has adopted the pan of Indian cultural heritage and particularly a UNIQUE CULTURE which represents almost every corner of Odisha from all of its regions. There are number of ethical socio-cultural events organised with much fun fare by verity of Organisations throughout the year here including the events organised by different caste, religion, creeds etc people who lives here from different parts of India. Even the Rourkela Steel Plant has involved it self in observing various activities under the Corporate Social Responsibility since last few years.

The people of different religious community who settled here are also celebrating their religious festivals, in consonance to their social moves. This groups who settled down here to pursuit their professions, had very limited social intercourse with other religious and even linguistically disparity ethnic groups.

The aboriginal communities like Mundas, Orams, Kisans, Khedias, Ho’s etc called Adivasis’s lived in hamlets in groups and remain isolated. Still they are dependable on nature and limited cultivation. Many including their women flock worked as laborers in the mines and quarries, in timer business and other limited construction works. The primary language which is spoken by these groups, is SHADRI and hence the language of the original inhabitants of Rourkela. In-fact the name Rourkela is derived from two SHADRI words , “ROUR” and “KELA” which means “OUR HOME”.


Rourkela is located at 84.54E longitude and 22.12N latitude in Sundergarh district of Odisha at an elevation of about 219 m (719 ft) above mean sea level. The area of Rourkela is 200 square kilometres approximately. Being situated on Howrah-Mumbai rail track, Rourkela had an added advantage of the steel plant being set up there. Red and laterite soils are found here which are quite rich in minerals. The area near Rourkela is rich in iron-ore hence a steel plant is situated in Rourkela. Bolani and Barsuan are the two most prominent mines situated near the town. Rourkela is situated in a hilly region. A small hill range named Durgapur Pahad runs through the heart of the city dividing it into plant area and the steel township. The name “Durgapur” comes from an old village that existed at the foothills long time ago before the plant was set up. The South Koel River and Sankha rivers meet at Vedvyas, Rourkela and flow as a single river called Brahmani.


Rourkela has a tropical climate and receives high rainfall during Southwest monsoon (June – September) and retreating Northeast monsoon (December – January). Average annual rainfall ranges between 160 and 200 cm. The minimum and maximum temperatures are in the range of 5 C to 49.7 C with a mean minimum and maximum temperature range of 12.0 C to 31.5 C during coldest and hottest months. Thirty six percent of the geographical area of the district has semi-evergreen or tropical dry deciduous forest.


Roads: Towards the end of 1946, most of existing roads of Sundargarh District were constructed. One National Highway i.e. (NH-143) passes through Rourkela which runs from Chas-Ranchi-Rourkela-Barkote-Banarpal – Junction with (NH-55). About 30 km of this highway passes through in and around Rourkela. Though the finalization of the project is awaited but the planning for four lining of this highway is under consideration. One more National Highway i.e. NH – 215 which runs from Rajamunda in Sundergarh district to Panikoili in Jaipur district.

There are number of daily Bus Services from Rourkela to different parts of Orissa and also, a few, to neighboring states like Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. There are a number of city buses plying daily on different routes in the city.

Other than this the  SH-10 which runs from Rourkela to Sambalpur is another good road used in a large way particularly after its renovation and up gradation in 1995. This highway has recently been upgraded to a four-lane highway under the Biju Expressway.project. There are number of other departmental roads in and around Rourkela stretched in different parts.

Railways: Rourkela Railway junction is situated on Howrah-Mumbai line under South-Eastern Railway. Apart from Rourkela Station the other stations in Sundargarh District are Bondamunda, Rajgangpur, Kalunga, Kansbahal, etc. The Steel City is well connected through Railway to Howrah & Mumbai. Apart from this the city enjoys direct connectivity to Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Ranchi, Dhanbad & Pune too.

Many goods train also pass through Rourkela every day. Rourkela is a profit generating junction of South-Eastern Railway. From Rourkela junction one line also goes to Biramitrapur whereas two from Bondamunda. One more line goes from Bimalagarh to Kiriburu.

Air: Rourkela airport is a private airport located near Chhend Colony, 6 kilometers west of the steel city of Rourkela in the state of Odisha. It is the only airport of the Metropolitan area of Rourkela city. It is mostly used by dignitaries visiting Rourkela, especially officials of Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) and other V.I.Ps. The planes from this airport also travel to the city of Kolkata.


Census Data of Rourkela 2011

City Raurkela
Government Municipality
Urban Agglomeration Raurkela Metropolitan
State Orissa
Raurkela City Total Male Female
City + Out Growths 320,040 169,095 150,945
City Population 272,721 144,466 128,255
Literates 211,189 117,320 93,869
Children (0-6) 29,933 15,799 14,134
Average Literacy (%) 86.98 % 91.18 % 82.25 %
Sexratio 888
Child Sexratio 895
Source: Census Data 2011, &
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