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Leaning Hindu Temple of Huma in Sambalpur, Odisha

The leaning Hindu Temple at Huma in Sambalpur, Odisha, breaks all the written rules in Shilpa Shastra, the traditional book for Hindu temple architecture. The leaning temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is known here as Lord Bimaleswar. Interestingly, the other smaller temples in the complex too are tilted in various angles. In fact, all most all the structures in the Huma temple complex including the boundary walls are tilted. The wonders don’t end with leaning structures; there are fishes on the river near the temple which gobble food from the hands of the devotees.

The 17th century Lord Shiva temple Huma is located on the banks of the River Mahanadi. The main temple leans at an angle of 47 degrees to the west and the other small temples and gateway tilts at various other angles to various directions. Strangely, the pinnacle of the structures does not lean. People believe that the structures were designed by Vishwakarma – the divine architect of the Hindu world.

There are numerous theories regarding the tilt but nothing concrete. The major theories revolve around geological factors like uneven rock bed; other theories suggest defects in the foundation of the temple. But the angle of inclination of the temple has not changed for the past several decades and there has not be any written records on the change in the temple angle. The temple is a small structure and many believe that it was built leaning.

Now on the rear part of the Huma temple at the Machindra Ghat on the Mahanadi river fishes eat food directly from the hands of devotees. The fish found here are the Mahseer and is locally known as kudo. These fishes are considered as devotees of Lord Shiva and the endangered fish is thriving here.
Huma is located around 23 km south of Sambalpur. Sambalpur is around 300 km from Bhubaneswar, the capital of Orissa.