The Leaning Temple of Odisha
The abode of Lord Shiva worshipped as Vimaleswara is located on the banks of River Mahanadi, 23KM from Sambalpur and is a revered place of worship in the region. The highlight of the temple is its leaning structure, not only the main sanctum sanctorum is in an inclined position, but all the other shrines including the boundary wall are in a leaning position within the temple premises.
As per the records of the British era, the temple can be dated somewhere around the middle of the 16th Century AD. The legend of the leaning nature of the temple has many theories attached to it. However if one goes by science, the structure of the temple is based on the simple principle of “Centre of Gravity” for a leaning structure to remain stable- its center of gravity should be located as low as possible & secondly the foundation area should be broad. The temple structure conforms to both.
The reason for constructing a leaning structure according to a section of historians is deliberate and has been done to safe guard the temple from the violent currents of Mahanadi and Dhulijore. So while the main temple leans in one direction, the smaller shrines within the premise tilt in the other direction. Unlike its famous counterpart the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the degree of inclination has remained constant, a point which suggests that the leaning structure was more by design than by default.
Lord Vimaleswara is regarded as one of the Asta Sambhu’s of the region and hundreds of devotees flock the temple to seek his blessings every day.
Whoever may be the reason for the leaning structure of the lord Vimaleswara Temple at Huma, it is a unique architectural feat at the fag end of the Odisha Temple Architecture and over the years has become the temple’s identity.
The fish pond located within the temple premises is an added attraction to the people who congregate and feed the fish.
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