Balasore is a strategically placed city in the Orissa state of Eastern India. Also known by other names like Baleshwar and Baleshawar, it is known for Chandipur Beach and the Defence Research Development Organization which is credited with developing missiles like Agni, Nag and Brahmos. Not only is the city strategic geographically speaking, it has a glorious history as well.
Balasore served as a trading port for the English, French and Dutch ships in the early days, when it was formed in the year 1642. The Danish East India Company made Balasore one of its Danish colonies, to be governed by Tranquebar in 1763. Since the port was relatively shallow than other places, the trading position of Balasore was eventually abandoned and it became a settlement for people in the area. The Danish India was sold to British in November 7, 1875; due to which Balasore also became a part of the British India. Early before the port could catch the envy of the Danish, it was annexed by the Moghuls, especially in the second-half of the 16th century and remained a part of their suzerainty till around 1750-51. It is said that the first English settlement actually prevailed in Balasore when Shahjahan was the ruler of Delhi, back in 1634.
Balasore was given the distinction of a separate district back in October 1828 when it was a part of the Bengal Presidency. The creation of Bihar province led to the shifting of Balasore from Bengal to Bhiar. When Orissa was created as a separate state in April 1, 1936, Balasore finally became a part of this state. The district has been actively involved in the national movement of independence; especially after the visit of Mahatma Gandhi here in 1921. The state of Nilagari became a part of Orissa in January 1948. This meant Balasore became a district of Orissa with two subdivisions, called Balasore and Nilagiri having seven Tahasils, called Balasore,Soro,Simulia,Nilagiri,Jaleswar,Basta and Baliapal and 12 Blocks namely Bhograi, Jaleswar, Baliapal, Basta, Balasore, Remuna, Nilagiri, Oupada, Khaira, Soro and Bahanaga.
Balasore district has its name derived from the Persian word called Bala-E-Shore which means 'Town By The Sea'. Mythology had is that the district town was named according to Lord Baneshwar (Lord Shiva), which then turned to Balasore during the Moghul regime.