January 2016 | The Top Post !

The leaning temple of Huma, Sambalpur (Odisha)

The leaning temple of Huma

Leaning tower of Pisa (Italy) is known well to masses, but have you heard about the only leaning temple of the world. Interestingly the edifice of the temple leans, however, the pinnacle of the temple is perpendicular to the ground.Further surprise comes with its location. It is near Sambalpur in Odisha. The Leaning Temple of Huma, dedicated to lord Shiva, near Sambalpur is the only leaning temple in the world. It is located in Huma, a village situated on the bank of the Mahanadi,


Apart from the main temple of Lord Vimaleshwara inclined towards the North-east side i.e. the river side, the complex has two other important temples: Bhairavi Devi and Bhairo Dev. As per to historical records Ganga Vamsi Emperor Anangabhima Deva-III built this temple. The temple was rebuilt or renovated by King Baliar Singh (1660-1690 A.D.), the fifth Chauhan king of Sambalpur. The rest of the temples were built during the rule of King Ajit Singh (1766-1788 A.D.) of Sambalpur [1]. However there are different claims and controversies claiming the various builders.

Only leaning temple in the world:

Temple complex as seen from Kali temple
The reason for having a leaning structure of the shrine is again shrouded in mystery.Only the edifice of the temple is leaning keeping the base perfectly perpendicular to the ground. This is baffling and thus put forwards some theories to explain the phenomenon. First and Obvious theory questions the foundation. As the temple is positioned on the rocky base on the bank of Mahanadi, reason of technical flaw doesn't hold good. Chauhan Kings were known to build several of the enormous temples. 

Rocky bed of Mahanadi
Second reason reason might be the natural calamities such as the flood or the earthquake. Flood cannot be again the cause as the main temple is tilted to one direction and other small temples are tilted to some other directions. Odisha is not lies in the earthquake prone zone, however reason is plausible. Archaelogist are also speculating some geological reason like uneven earth crust. The angle of inclination is yet to be measured [2].

Another appealing theory come from the belief that the architect has deliberately made a leaning design from the beginning. Deliberation is done in order to safe-guard the temple from the violent currents of the two rivers i.e. Mahanadi and Dhulijore during the flood in monsoon. This is why different structures are made leaning to different sides. This theory also explains why the degree of tilting remains unchanged all these years, and does not grow as in case of the other renowned tilting structures including the Leaning Tower of Pisa [2].

Legends about the temple and Mystery about the fish:

Apart from the leaning temple, a kind of reddish fish (popularly called Kudo) in the river is another attraction for tourists. The length of the fish seen is up-to six feet long.Tourist enjoy feeding the fishes which have become very good pets over the years. Feeding these fishes is considered very sacred. Also, it is a legend that the one who kills and eats the fish from this part of Mahanadi, doesn't survive much.

The worship of Shiva is said to have been initiated by a milkman, who crossed the Mahanadi daily to a place on the bank where the underlying rock cropped out. There are two varieties on who offered the milk. One says the milkman he offered his dole of milk, which was immediately consumed by the rock. Other story has it that a cow from a nearby village was regularly visiting the place and secreting milk over the Linga and her master saw rocks beneath consumes it quickly. This miraculous circumstance led to inquiries, which ended in the construction of the present temple [1].

Annual Fair:

An annual fair takes place at the foothill of the temple in March every year on Shivratri, which is a typical village fair. This fair attracts a huge crowd which includes foreign visitors. The Government of Odisha has proposed a hanging bridge to attract more tourists to the annual fair [1].

How to reach:

Nearest railway station: Sambalpur City and Sambalpur road
Private vehicles from station are available for hire.

Near by attractions:

Metakani Temple
Kali Temple
Ghanteshwari Temple



Metakani Temple, Sambalpur

Metakani Temple, Sambalpur

Maa Metakani temple is located in a forest at Rengali near to Ulunda in the Subarnpur district of Odisha. The name of the goddess is believed originated from a lady called "META".

About 2 Km drive through Rengali range after diverting from from the SH15 is the location of Metakani Temple

Temple is very popular among local people. Animal Sacrifices are done on regular basis. Photos are not allowed inside.

Temple gets flooded specially on the Tuesdays. 

Facilities are quite good at the place for: Parking, cooking food, offering pujas etc.

How to reach:

  • Temple is at about 65 Km west from the Sambalpur City.
  • Temple can be reached by road using private or public vehicle. Road condition is very good.
  • Best season to visit is from September to February.

Odishi local delights

Odishi local delights

Morning tea at a vendor at Rengali

Midday meal at a lunch home in Ulunda. Paneer and Mushrooms were absolute organic and locally grown. Dal and rice served with flower tarkari, saag, salad, and flower pakoda.

lastly PAAN - Mouthful in just 5 rupees. When asked why such low rates? vendor replied "people in this part of Odisha wont buy in case !"

Kali Temple, Sambalpur (OD)

Wandering Destination: Kali Temple, Sambalpur (OD)

Kali Temple is located in the bed of river Mahanadi. Boatman takes ten rupees per pessanger for a round trip.

Its just 5 min away from Huma temple. On the way to Kali temple.

Idol of Ganesha at the entrance

Maa Kali statue

Lord Shankara stopped Kali by risking his life

View of Huma temple from Kali Temple

How to reach:

  • Kali temple is near to Huma temple, 23 km away from the city of Sambalpur on the way to Subarnpur (Sonpur).
  • Tourist can take Bus / private vehicles / auto rickshaw to reach the location.

Explore Mahanadi

Explore Mahanadi

Travel and explore one of the largest river in India - Mahanadi. Place: Near Huma Leaning Temple, Sambalpur.

Kapileshwar Temple in Black and White

Kapileshwar Temple (Bhubaneshwar) in Black and White

Wandering Destination: Regional museum of Natural history, Bhubaneshwar

Wandering Destination: Regional museum of Natural history, Bhubaneshwar

The Regional Museum of Natural History, Bhubaneshwar with exhibits mostly on plants, animals and geology of the eastern region of India (especially Odisha) and some guest exhibits related to other parts of the world.  

An aesthetically designed building and landscape sets the tone for an informal and joyful learning experience about our natural heritage and the importance of its conservation. 

Entrance to the Gallery of RMNH: The goal of the museum is to impart non-formal environmental education to the public in general and the student community in particular in order to inculcate the awareness about the importance of flora, fauna and subsequent conservation of our natural resources

 The galleries emphasize the conservation of nature and natural resources while depicting ecological interrelationship among plants and animals. It offers an exciting opportunity for hands on and minds on activity to interact with the exhibits under recreated environment to attain the knowledge about the harmony of plants and animals and their interrelationships in nature.

The museum attempts to showcase the vibrant biodiversity of Orissa, the NorthEast and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands depicting their richness under one roof thereby making people aware of the natural heritage of the state and beyond. Visually challenged students can feel the exhibits of animals on the premises. The museum provides an extracurricular activity for schools and promotes environmental awareness. 

A skeleton of Baleen Whale has been installed in the museum, which is supposed to be largest for any museum in India.

Gallery also has some exclusive paintings of landscapes, some scaled models among other exhibits. In picture: Beach of Andaman and Nicobar

Butterfly Exhibits:

Gallery hosts two exhibits on the common butterflies found in Odisha. 

Gallery has one exhibit on the moths and butterflies found in Madagascar. 

History of Regional Museums Establishment [1]

Realising that, as a National Institution, the National Museum of Natural History has an obligation to the entire country in respect of creating environment awareness and promoting conservation education, it was decided during the VII Plan to have regional offices in the form of Regional Museum of Natural History (RMNH) in different parts of the country in a phased manner so as to extend the activities of NMNH at regional and state levels. It was undertaken by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India.

Accordingly, the first such Regional office was initiated in the 'Southern Region' in 1995 at Mysore (Karnataka State). The second one was developed for the ' Central Region' in Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) in 1997.The third Regional Museum in the 'Eastern Region' of the country was established in Bhubaneswar (Orissa) and operationalised in 2004. The fourth Regional office was established in “Western Region” in Sawai Madhopur in 2008 and it is expected to be operational shortly. A fifth Regional office in “North-Eastern Region” is expected to be established soon in Gangtok (Sikkim).

Location and conveyance:

Planetarium shares the compound fence with Regional Museum of Natural history, and is located on Sachivalaya marg in Acharya Vihar square (Chowk). From AG square share auto takes five rupees only while from CRP square it takes ten rupees.



सरीत भिजलीस

सरीत भिजलीस

ओल्या हातांना मेंदीचा सुवास,
ओल्या ओठांचा ओला स्पर्श,
पाणीदार डोळ्यांमधले अर्थ,
सुखावलो सखे, हा सहवास !

घट्ट झाली मिठी तुझी,
हात काही मागतात,
खाली ती दडली नाही,
गाल का लाजतात?

Roses from Ispat Neharu Park, Rourkela

Roses from Ispat Neharu Park, Rourkela

Check my earlier post about Ispat Neharu Park here.