Historically, Baleshwar or Balasore was the part of Kalinga and Toshala or Utkal during the rule of Mukunda Dev. In 1568, it was taken over by the Mughals. Marathas also ruled over the region. In 1803, this part was ceded to the British East India Company through the Treaty of Deogaon and it became a part of Bengal Presidency until 1912. It was also the colony of Dutch, French and British. In 1640, the first factory was established here by British. For the first time Balasore came out as a separate district in October, 1828 but at that time it was a part of the Bengal Presidency. When the Bihar province was created, Odisha was diverted along with Balasore district from Bengal to Bihar. Then Baleshwar became the part of Odisha in the year 1936. It was an important trading centre in the early years of 17th century. During that period natives of this region sailed to some far distant ports in south-east Asia, mainly to Lacadive and Maldives islands in order to establish a good trade and cultural relationship. The evidence of Jainnism and Buddhism are also founded here. Balasore is famous as “The city of Land on Sea Shore" or " City of Sand". There is a launch station on the East coast for sounding rockets.
Dr. Subrat Kumar Acharya is a gasteroenterologist. He is a specialist as a liver transplant physician. He was awarded with Padma Shree in 2014 and Samanta Chandrasekhar Award in 2003. Manoj Das is a famous Indian author. He writes in Odiya and English. He has awarded with Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award Fellowship. He was also honored with Padma Shri in 2001 for his contribution in the field of Literature & Education. He received Saraswati Samman in 2000.
Geographically, the district has a total 3,806 sq. km. area and occupies the rank 20th in State and 315th in India on the bases of this size. It lies at 21°49'N latitude, 86°93'E longitude and 23 m altitude. In the year 2019, there was a total 10.05% forest area of total geographical area. It is surrounded by Midnapore district of West Bengal in the North, the Bay of Bengal in the East, Bhadrak district in the South and Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar districts on the Western side. The climate of the district is extremely hot in the summers and fairly cold in the winters. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual raingrofall in the district was 1643.8 mm in the year of 2019-2020.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 21 sub-districts, 5 towns and 2,932 villages. Oriya is its official language. It came into existence in the October 1828 with its administrative headquarters located at Baleshwar which is situated at a distance of 200 kms. from the State Capital.
Demographically, according to the 2011 census, the district has a total number of 5,29,407 households with a total population of 23,20,529 comprising 11,85,787 are males and 11,34,742 are females which leads it to rank 4th in the State and 195th in India. The density of population of the district is 610 persons per sq. kms. The sex ratio is pegged at 957 (females per 1000 males) while the child ratio stands at 943 (females per 1000 males). As per 2011 census the percentage of major religions practiced by the people of this region is Hindu at 94.71%. The population growth rate during the period of 2001-2011 was 14.62% persons including 14.40% were males and 14.85% were females. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Oriya with 88.30%. In the year 2018 the number of live births in the district was 36,114 including 18,850 were males and 17,264 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 14,985 including 8,659 were males and 6,326 were females.
Economically, the district is dependent on agriculture primarily. The GDDP or Gross District Domestic Product during the year 2011-12 was Rs. 9,36,743 lakh at current price and Rs. 5,92,583 lakh at constant in the year 2004-2005. The Net District Domestic Product during the year 2011-12 was Rs. 7,63,290 lakh at current price and Rs. 4,67,341 lakh at constant prices in the year 2004-2005. Paddy and wheat are the main agricultural products of the region. Since 1978, industrial area is growing here prominently. There are also some small, medium and large industries. Ori Plast Limited, Jagannath Biscuits Private Limited, Odisha Rubber Industries and Odisha Plastic Processing are some of the small scale award winning industries. The name of the some large scale industries are Birla Tyres, Ispat Alloys Limited, Emami Paper Mills Limited and Polar Pharma India Limited.
Education wise, according to the 2011 census, the percentage of literate persons is 79.79% out of which 87% are males and 72.28% are females. The total literate population of the district is 16,21,232 including 9,02,359 are males and 7,18,873 are females. D.A.V. public school, Modern Public School, Kendriya Vidyalaya, Maharishi Vidya Mandir, St James' convent School, St. Vincent convent School, Siddheswar High School (Sasanbard, Jaleswar), Fakir Mohan College, Kuntala Kumari Sabat Women's College, FM University Academy of Business Administration, Balasore College of Engineering and Technology, D.A.V. Public School, Dinakrushna College, Fakir Mohan University, Government Polytechnic, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Jhadeswar Institute of Engineering & Technology, Modern Public School, Sagar College of Science, St. Vincent's Convent School, Sandeepani Vidyapeeth and Upendranath College are some of the main educational institutes here.
Nilamani Routray was the Chief Minister of Odisha from 1977 to 1980. He was also appointed as the Health and Family Welfare Minister and then Forest and Environment Minister in the Union Government led by V.P Singh. Pratap Chandra Sarangi was the representative of Nilagiri constituency in the Odisha Legislative Assembly, two times 2004 to 2009 and 2009 to 2014.
The district has many famous historical and religious places to visit. These places are Chandipur, Khirachoragopinath Temple, Panchalingeswar Temple, Chandaneswar Temple. In the year of 2018, there were total 62,95,443 domestic tourists and 1,563 foreign tourists who visited here. Langaleswar temple is another place which is famous for its location and natural beauty. The Baleshwar temple is a temple of Lord Shiva. It consists two temples in its compound which are dedicated to the Ratneshwar and other to Champawati Durga. A fair is held here on the occasion of Shivratri.