Huma is a little- known getaway in western Orissa, 28km east of Sambalpur on the bank of the Mahanadi. A leaning temple is the main attraction here. The place must not to be confused with Humma, which is 110km from Khurda, 6km from Ganjam.
The peacefulness of the road that leads to Huma will astonish any urbanite. The cold breeze and the spectacular natural beauty are the two companion that will accompany us through the path between parallel rows of sal, segun, akashmoni, dudhra and palash. The gurgling of the clear water of the Mahanadi will greet us there.
Lord Vimaleswar is worshipped in the temple, which leans towards the north-east at an angle of 5 to 6 degrees. Thousands of devotees gather at the temple during Shivratri, when a mela is held in the area. Many legends are associated with the origin of the temple. One version credits king Balaram Dev with attempting to build the temple during the fifth century BC. The construction was finally completed between 1617 and 1657 by Veer Ballyar Singh, the king of Sambalpur. According to another version, King Ananga Veema Deva III, who was suffering from tuberculosis, erected the temple to ensure his quick recovery.
Residents say that soon after the temple was built, it tilted to one side with a sound as loud as a thunderclap. Others claim the river current forces the temple to stand at an angle with the ground. The quality of the soil is also considered as a factor behind the tilt.
The Machinda ghat behind the temple is a favourite of the visitors because of the red fishes in the pond. Those staying more than a night, could consider visiting Debrigarh wildlife sanctuary, 55km from Sambalpur.
How to go ?
Koraput Express from Howrah station will take us to Sambalpur. Huma is 28km from Sambalpur. There are several transport options. You can also drive down from NH6.
Where to stay ?
Panthanivas of Orissa Tourism, 7km from Sambalpur station, is the best option, website www.panthanivas.com
There are small hotels and lodges at Huma.
Food is available at Panthanivas and other eateries.