Miracle and legacy of Hindu culture in Odisha State : Leaning temple of Shri Bimaleshwar at Huma

Sambalpur is a historical city in Odisha; famous for Hirakud Dam and Sambalpuri saris. There is a temple of Shri Bimaleshwar about 23 kms from this city which is known as leaning temple of Huma. Millions of Indians visit Pisa in Italy spending lot of money to see hanging tower; but this miracle in our own country has remained unknown because of secular Government’s hatred towards Hindu Dharma and indifference of Indians towards own culture.

Journey till Sambalpur !

Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) recently organized State-level Hindu Convention in Odisha which was attended by Shri. Sharad Sharma and Shri. Debashish Nayak from Sambalpur. They liked HJS activities so much that they expressed a wish to arrange a lecture at Sambalpur. Accordingly, on 15th March, we reached Sambalpur at 5.30 a.m. for the lecture. After reaching there, they told us that they wanted to show us a miracle and to get ready soon. We, therefore, got ready and at 7.30 a.m., they took us in their car to a place called Huma which is 23 kms from Sambalpur and went to premises of a temple. They had already told local activists about our coming and all preparations were made to welcome us. They welcomed us with lot of love and were very hospitable.
Leaning temple of Shri Bimaleshwar

We entered the premises of temple which looked like any other temple; but what a surprise ! We saw all small temples along with the main temple of Shri Bimaleshwar, ‘Deepmal’, compound wall of the temple were tilted at certain angle. When we asked them about it, they said it was the speciality of that temple. The structure of the temple is of stones; still it has been leaning on its own.

Divine fish in Mahanadi river
When we asked history about the temple, we were taken to the backside of the temple to see another miracle before telling its history. There is a big ‘ghat’ on the backside at a distance of about 300 metres which is on the bank of a river, as the name suggests, known as ‘Mahanadi’. We climbed down the ‘ghat’ towards river-bed; we saw several fishes of reddish- brownish colour which looked divine. We were told that the fish were known as ‘God’s fish’ and nobody tries to catch or kill them. The flow of river grows during monsoon when those fishes do not flow away with the water but they go to a cave under water; near the temple and stay there. After the month of Kartik, they are seen again. Those fishes are fed with ‘laddoos’ as ‘prasad’. If we hold our hand in water with ‘laddoo’, they come and take away the ‘laddoo’ !
Ancient history of temple

We started going back towards temple from ‘ghat’. Shri. Kshirudra Pradhan, a teacher who has published history of that temple, started narrating. The present temple of Shri Bimaleshwar was built at Sambalpur by Baliyar Singh Dev, the 5th king of Chauhan dynasty, in 1670. One cow used to come out of herd, swim across the river-bed of Mahananda and do ‘abhishek’ with milk at a particular place. A shepherd observed it and dug that place to find out; when he had ‘darshan’ of Shri Bimaleshwar. He started going there regularly and performing ‘puja’. He had a vision that one night, King Balaram Dev had come there for ‘darshan’. King Balaram Dev heard the news and he went there with all family members; had ‘darshan’ and performed ‘puja’. The king liked the surroundings, the river etc. very much and he built a small temple there. Later Baliyar Singh Dev, a king from the same dynasty built the present temple.
Some historians say that King Anangbheema Dev built the main stone temple. When the construction of temple was going on, it tilted towards North-East direction; so everyone was surprised and he thought of re-building but Shri Bimaleshwar told the king in his dream that He would like to reside in the tilted temple only; therefore, the temple is still standing in tilted condition even today.
Shri Bimaleshwar’s ‘Patal-linga’

Shri Bimaleshwar’s Shiva-linga is known as ‘Patal-linga’. There is no ‘Pinda’ on the upper side of Shiva-linga and there is a big vacuum in the centre which has water at 5 feet and it remains throughout the year. The river-bed is at least 20-25 feet down from the ‘Shiva-linga’; but the water level has no effect on it. Priest of the temple takes out water from this vacuum and gives as ‘prasad’ to drink.
Intellectuals are mystified with this temple

Late Shivprasad Dass, a historian expressed a view about this temple as ‘the temple is tilted due to powerful flow of Mahanadi’. After some days, he said that soil was defective; therefore, the temple was tilted; but if we give a little thought to such claim, we will know its futility as follows.
1. If the temple was tilted due to defective soil, other structures and houses too would have tilted.
2. If the temple was tilted due to flow of River Mahanadi, even other temples on the bank of the River would have tilted.
Professor Panda says that lessening the force of centre of gravity, sculptors of this temple must have built it in such manner to reduce the weight of the temple or due to some defaults in construction, the temple must have tilted; but while saying this, he agrees that such astounding example of sculpting in Odisha is a challenge to technologists of modern age.
It is difficult to understand this phenomenon with intellect or logic. There needs to be faith in Shri Bimaleshwar so that its answer can be learnt from Him. It was the opportunity given by God to us for learning.

Source: Hindu Janajagruti Samiti