Named after the headquarter town of Balangir, this district was formed on 1st November 1949. It is flanked in the northwest by the Gandhamardan hill. Many hill streams traverse it. The name Balangir is said to have been derived from Balaramgarh, a fort built here in the 16th Century by Balram Deo, the 19th Raja of Balangir and founder of Sambalpur kingdom.The Balangir District is surrounded by Subarnapur district in east, Nuapada District in the west, Kalahandi District in the south and Bargarh District in the north. The District lies between 20 degree 11’40 to 21 degree 05’08 degree north latitude and 82 degree 41’15 to 83 degree 40’22 East longitude. The District covers an area of 6575 sq.km.
The predominant soil groups found in the Balangir District are Black. Red, Mixed Red and Alluvial soils. Over 70 percent of the population depends on agriculture. The present cultivable area in the District is 3,45,650 hect. In the District paddy is the principal crop, which accounts for 61 percent of gross cropped area. The other important crops grown in the District are pulses grown in 14 percent of the cropped area followed by oil seeds, which is grown in 3 percent, fibre in 4 percent, vegetable in 2 percent and other food crops like spices and condiments etc.
Balangir's climate is classified as tropical. When compared with winter, the summers have much more rainfall. According to Köppen and Geiger, this climate is classified as Aw. The average temperature in Balangir is 27.1 °C. The rainfall here averages 1376 mm. Precipitation is the lowest in December, with an average of 4 mm. In July, the precipitation reaches its peak, with an average of 435 mm. At an average temperature of 34.8 °C, May is the hottest month of the year. At 20.7 °C on average, December is the coldest month of the year.