Huma: World’s only leaning temple of Lord Shiva at Sambalpur, Odisha

The new year ushered in and to be honest, I am at an age where I have realized everything is cyclic and hence I do not get that kind of excitement anymore as I used to when I was a child. But I can not deny that this change of calendar does serve as an annual reminder to look within and may reset a few perspectives. Hence, this year among many other tiny plans, I do plan to increase my realm of spiritualism and take efforts to keep my mental calmness at its peak. And as I have already last year was tough personally and the repercussions of the same have spilled over this year as well.

So, we as a family decided to have a mini vacation to Sambalpur, which is situated in the western part of the state of Odisha. Among many other attractions like the Hirakud Dam (It is the longest earthen dam in the world. Behind the dam extends a lake, Hirakud Reservoir,55 km long. It is one of the first major multipurpose river valley projects started after India’s independence.), what caught my attention was the leaning temple at Huma. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is worshipped as Lord Vimaleswar here.

The temple is located on the banks of River Mahanadi and is a famous tourist spot. The temple dates back to being built in about the 16th century AD though some locals say it was built much before this. The most striking factor is that the temple is tilted to one side and is the only leaning temple in the whole world. The other temples in the compound are also tilted. The compound walls and the gates also lean to the side as if they are going to fall anytime! Some argue that this was probably built this way. But to negate this narrative, the newly built mini temples in the compound which were built straight have also been found to be tilted to one side and no one knows how this happened. Another interesting factor to note is that the angle of inclination of all the titled structures does not undergo any kind of change over the years ruling out the doubt that it might be just because of surface-level distortions. Faith is that it is one of the miracles of the Unknown force which if you believe is praiseworthy and if you don’t, well then one can say that the idols that we worship are all just stones. I certainly do not belong to the latter category!

And when I thought this was it, when I entered the temple and went in, which kind of gives a feeling of a cave as the entrance is very narrow, I felt a little different which I can not describe in words. This is something only to be felt.

Then came the most interesting part when I spotted something magnificent. For this one has to visit the backside of the temple. The river Mahanadi flows just behind it and it flows on a rocky terrain unlike seen in the plains. The river flows swiftly and there are fish that play just under the surface of the water. They have red scales and a silvery finish on the back side of their body. And when the sunlight fell on their body it just reflected everywhere! there is a belief that anyone who catches these fish will turn into a stone and hence no one does it. The fish stay there even in summers when the water is scarce and the tourists can actually feed them and when they literally jump out of the water, the view is just stupendous! It is a belief that the priests can call the fish by their name and they come near the water’s surface as and when called upon.

The only concern that I felt was the maintenance of this century-old temple. The entry is totally free. There can be a nominal charge and the money collected could be used to maintain the temple premises in a much better way. This is what I strongly opine.

So, if you are on a spiritual journey and want to explore such magnificent temples, you are welcome to my state, which is Odisha and you will be amazed to witness such miracles!



2 Comments Add yours

  1. What an amazing place. Leaning temple? Fabulous. Keep up the good blogging work my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a lot for stopping by !


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