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Sambalpur is an ancient town find mentioned in the book of Ptolemy {2nd Century AD} as Sambalaka situated on the left bank of river "Manada," now known as Mahanadi. From the records of Hiuen T' Sang, and in the writings of the celebrated King Indrabhuti (oldest known king of Sambalpur), the founder of Vajrayana Buddhism and the Lama Cult, Sambalpur has earned a place in the cultural history of India.

 

In the time past Sambalpur was famous for diamond trade. French merchant Jean Baptiste Tavernier (1605 – 1689) in his travel account “Six Voyages en Turquie, en Perse et aux Indes (1676–77)”  translated into English by Valentine Ball as “Travels in India” (2d ed., 2 vol., 1925) wrote of many famous diamonds mines of Sumelpur (Semelpur) present day Sambalpur (once also know as Hirakhand) states that 8000 people were at work in these mines at the time of his visit, in the dry season at the beginning of February.

 

In the ancient time this area was known as KOSAL. Goddess Samaleswari is the presiding deity of the area. Goddess Samaleswari: Originally the Goddess was known as Somalaiswari. (Soma   - eternal bliss) Somalaiswari - Soma Datri meaning one who bestows ’eternal bliss'. People believes that, as goddess Samaleswari was being worshipped under a Samel tree (cotton tree), she was called  Sameleswari,  and later came to be known  as Samaleswari. A group of devotees believe that Sambalpur was named after the goddess.

 

In ancient times Sambalpur was ruled by the Chouhan.  King Balaram Dev,  after a long spell of battles,  reached the small hamlet of Bargarh,  which he made his temporary capital on the left bank of river Jira  (The ruins  are still there - speaking the days of its glorious past).  Balaram Dev  went out in search of a suitable place to establish his capital - finally  reached the southern bank of river Mahanadi, pitched camp in a small settlement named Chourpur. While taking a break during hunting he with amazement observed, two of his ferocious hunting dogs, being chased off by a rabbit, startled - he pondered over the matter, but could not come to any rational explanation. The same day Somalaiswari the presiding deity of the area came to him in a dream, she directed him to build a temple for her on the left bank of the river Mahanadi and thus the temple.

 

Sambalpur was last governed by the feudal chiefs of the Chouhan dynasty till 1803 and then came under the sway of the British Empire. The name of Veer Surendra Sai, who fought an epic struggle against the British Rule, is recorded in golden letters in the history of India's struggle for independence.

 

Sambalpur serves as the gateway to the bewitching Western Part of Orissa. It is the divisional head quarters of the Northern administrative division of the State - a very important commercial and Educational Center. There are direct train connections to Kolkata (565 Kms, 12 hours by train). New Delhi (1460 Kms 26 hours by train). Chennai (1010 Kms, 32 hours by train) Ahmadabad and Mumbai. Bhubaneswar the capital city of the State is connected through NH 42 (325 Kms 8 hours by bus or train) Jharsuguda one of the oldest Junction is around 48 Kilometres connects many cities by train.  The nearby Airports are at Bhubaneswar (325Kms) and Raipur (300Kms).

 

Places like the world famous HirakudDam and its lake with the winter visitors from Siberia, leaning Temple of Huma and the wildlife Sanctuary at Badrama (Ushakuthi),  Khalasuni and Debrigadh wildlife sanctuary (Barapahad  mountain range - Chourasimal),  Budharaja Temple, Gudguda waterfall, Ghanteswari Temple attract tourists. Near by places like the Narashingnath and Harishankar, (Bolangir)  Padhanpat (Deogarh)  Hanuman Batika,  Mandira Dam and Khandadhar (Rourkela) attracts tourists to its serene surroundings.

The artwork of the Sambalpuri tie and dye weavers,  fascinating fabrics with enchanting designs and motifs is cherished for the uniqueness by the connoisseur of handloom the world over. Sambalpuri songs and dance has earned a unique place in the cultural arena of the would.

 

Anthropological studies revealed that,  primitive men dwelled in the thick forests around  Sambalpur,  settling themselves in the natural rock caves. Vikramkhol, Manikmoda, Phuldungri, Ushakuthi, Bhimamandli, Ulapgadha, Sargikhol are a  few amongst them. Rock Art

Sambalpur and its vicinity are the storehouse of varied culture and festivals. Cultural Festivals of Western Orissa Sambalpur is spear-heading the resurgence into the 21 centaury. A host of Social and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) are active in this regard.

 

Things to Buy: Sambalpur is famous for its Hand Loom Textile works. Popularly known as Sambalpuri Textile. It has earned international fame for its unique pattern, design and texture. Sambalpuri handloom Sari, Handkerchief, Bed Sheets and other items can be bought in the shops at Gole Bazaar including the Sambalpur Hand Loom Co-operative show rooms.

 

Places to Stay: The Panthanivas Tourist Bungalow Ph: 2411282 maintained by OTDC situated in a small hill top has single/ double for Rs. 100- 450 also close the Bus Stand is the Hotel Sujata (Phones: 2400403, 2401112, 2405244. Fax 2403019, 2400662) a modern hotel with attached bath, telephones, Cable TV  in all rooms. The price for Single/Double is Rs. 150 -250 or Rs 350-450 for Air Conditioned rooms. Hotel Uphar (2521558, 2521308) all rooms with attached bath priced for single/double Rs. 250-450 for Ac, Hotel Saket (Ph 2401571, 2402345, 46 , 47) also with attached bath priced for single/double for Rs. 150-250 for Rs 350-450 with AC. Hotel Tribeni (Ph  2403024, 2522297, 2521557) with basic rooms with attached bath for Rs.100-350. Bombay Lodge (Ph 2520422, 2520989) and Hotel Laxminivas (Ph: 2499775, 2401241) both have basic rooms with attached bath for Rs. 100-350 (Ph 400755, 401241)  Hotel Uphar Palace (Ph: 2400519,2404482)  with rooms single/double for Rs 225-450 with AC. Sheela Tower, a modern hotel with AC and non AC rooms attached bath, telephones, Cable TV  in all rooms. (Ph: 2403111- 116 Fax: 2403456) Priced for single/double Rs 400 - 1500,  All the hotels are in a hand shaking distance from each other on the main street of Veer Surendra Sai Marg.  For small budget basic accommodation the Indrapuri Guest House (Ph 2521712) and Hotel Shetal (Ph. 2404388, 2404717) also with attached bath priced for single/double for Rs. 150 - 250 -  Rs 350 - 450 with AC.  Right on the Bus Stand. Rani Lodge (Ph 2522173 and 252055), Hotel Chandramani (Ph: 2521440) are also on the VSS Marg on the main street. Just few yards away is Hotel Li-n-Za (Ph 2521301, 2522860)  

 

Where to Eat: All the Hotels are attached with modern restaurant facilities and serve Indian, Chinese and Continental cuisine. For Chinese food one can try the Hong Kong Restaurant and Hotel Sujata on the VSS Marg. For exotic food one can try the restaurants Celebration & Campus at Hotel Sheela Tower, Esquire at Hotel Tribeni, Sarada at Hotel Uphar and Tripti at Linza.

 

The Central Hotel opposite the Indrapuri Guest House, Town Hotel at Gole Bazaar and Prabhat Hotel near Municipal Council Building is a good place for ethnic Sambalpuri food.

 

Badrama Wild Life Sanctuary: Ushakuthi (Badrama forest) this small sanctuary was established in 1987 is around 35 Kilometres East of Sambalpur, on the N.H.No.6., the famed Wildlife Sanctuary has already gained prominence amongst the International Tourist as a place of destinational tour. Among various faunas of tropical forest the Badrama Wild Life Sanctuary preserves Elephant, Tiger, Gour, Sambar, Black Panther, Deer, Wild Boar and many other species. One could have the sight of these animals from the watchtowers near the saline tank or the water hole. One could as well drive along the forest road and watch them. Permission to enter into the Sanctuary is issued by the Forest Range Officer at Badrama. Guide and spotlights are also available from his office. Best time to visit is between 8 PM and 2 AM from November to June.  Ushakuthi has a forest rest house at Badrama (3 Km) provides accommodation whose reservation authority is D.F.O., Bamra, district Sambalpur. 
                                    
Entry Fees: The entry fees to visit the Sanctuary is- Indian Rs 1/- per day, Overseas Rs- 5/-per first day and Rs- 2/- per subsequent days. Students and Physically handicapped persons are given concession on entry. Tourist travelling in own vehicles have to pay an entry fee - for heavy vehicles Rs- 10/- per day and light vehicles Rs- 5/-per day. To use of cameras inside the Sanctuary one has to pay an entry fee as well - for an Indian Rs- 2/- for first three days and Rs- 1/- for the subsequent days, for an overseas visitor Rs- 5/- for the first three days and Rs- 2/- for subsequent days. Please note that shooting is strictly prohibited, person found guilty will be punished and penalized under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 (amended in 1991).   

 

 

Debrigadh  Wild Life Sanctuary: Situated at a distance of 40 kilometres from Sambalpur town Debrigadh Wildlife Sanctuary is a wild-lifer’s paradise. It consists of Lohara and Debrigadh reserve forest covering an area of 346.9 Squire Kilometres, notified as a Sanctuary by the Government of Orissa vide Notification No. 2409 dated 08-02-1985. The forest contains different species of flora and fauna. It is primarily famous for the Sal trees, and Salia bamboo, which provide a proper habitat for wildlife. The total forest area can be divided into two parts the Core area, which consists of 154.2 Sq.Kms and the Buffer area having an area of 192.7 Squire Kilometres.

The animals that rule over this vast area are Tigers, Leopards, Indian Gaur, Bear, Wild boar, Spotted Deer, Chousingha, Nilgais, Sambar, the black-faced Langurs Hyena and many others. According to the latest census there are 08 Tigers and 12 Leopards.

Migratory birds are found in plenty during the winter season, they come all the way from Siberia to spend their winter holidays in the backwaters of the Hirakud reservoir

Entry Fees: All the visitors have to pay an entry fee, for an Indian Rs- 1/- per day, for an overseas visitor the entry fees is Rs- 5/- per day, students and physically handicapped persons are given concession . The Sanctuary permits light motor vehicles with a fees of Rs- 5/-per day, heavy vehicles are strictly prohibited.  Please note that shooting is strictly prohibited, person found guilty will be punished and penalized under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 (amended in 1991). 

How to reach: From the State capital Bhubaneswar it can be approached by road covering a distance of 357 Kilometres. From Sambalpur the distance is only 40 Kms by road, Best time to visit - between  November and June For any further information and reservations at the Debrigadh Wildlife Sanctuary please contact the Divisional Forest Officer (Wildlife), Motijharan, Sambalpur- 768 001, phone +91-663- 402 741.

 

 

Khalasuni Wild Life Sanctuary:
The Khalasuni sanctuary lay at a distance of 66 kilometres from Sambalpur, thickly populated with the wild elephants. The forests cover giving them ample to flourish in a protected environment.  Due to sustained government effort in the conservation of elephants an 'Elephant Corridor' has been created for their safe passage starting from Khalasuni in Rairakhol a distance of 66 kms by road from the district headquarter of Sambalpur to Bonaigarh which is 120 kilometres approximately from Sambalpur. 

 

 

Pradhanpat:The Pradhanpat hill with its picturesque waterfalls offers a rare scenic beauty. These falls are close to Deogadh town which is attractively situated with the background of wooded hills. Two beautiful guest houses named Basanta Nivas and Lalita Basanta have been constructed by the ex-rulers of Bamra and are now under the management of the Works Department, provide accommodation. Reservations are made by the Executive Engineer, National Highway Division, Sambalpur. There are a number of temples in the town of Deogadh notable among which are of Gopinath, Jagannath and Gokarneswara. Deogadh is 96 Kms. from Sambalpur on N.H.No.6.

 

 

Budharaja as the name signifies "Old King" is a hill somewhat off center of the Town. Prior to the Chowhans ruler of Sambalpur the name Budharaja existed. No one for sure knows who that old king was. However it can be attributed to Indrabuthi the founder of Brajajana Buddhism and the Lama cult.  On top of the Budharaja hill there is a old Siba Temple.  108 stairs lead the way to the temple. The climb is tiring though the view from the hill is wonderful.  During the Mahasivaratri the area becomes crowded with thousands of devotees and visitors. Recently the Public Health Department is constructing a huge water storage for distribution.

 

 

Ghanteswari, situated around 33 kilometer south west Sambalpur; (near the village Chiplima) on the bank of the Power Channel, (which almost gives an impression of a lake). Earlier the idol was laying open under a Pipal tree, presently a small temple is built by devotees. They offer bells (ghanti) of different sizes. The serine surrounding and the lake invite many visitors.

As the name indicates there are bells and bells and bells wherever your eyes reach. 33 kms south-west of Sambalpur and on the bank of river Mahanadi, it was playing an important role for navigation in the past. It was called a light house without light!. One temple is also existed here; the Goddess called by the name Ghanteswari from which the place got its name. Earlier there were some big size bells on this spot and with the help of wind those creating enormous sound which made the navigators aware of this treacherous spot and they never came near it. This area being the conglomeration of three streams of water of river Mahanadi, the water current here is very treacherous forming a whirlpool. Due to this many boats were drowned while nearing this spot. Here the wind blows quite heavily and with the help of it the bells producing sound. Now after the construction of Hirakud dam, this spot became safer. The specialty of this temple area is, thousands of bells hanging all around, the only place of its kind in Orissa.

 

 

Gudguda a place of uncommon scenic charm. A perennial stream forming cascades at seven different stages is a thrill to the searching eyes. 117 kilometres from Sambalpur Via Kusmi.

 

 

Khandadhar is at a distance of 104 K.M. from Rourkela. It is one of the highest waterfalls of Orissa. The beauty of the sparkling cascade of water falling from a height of 244 mt. is beyond description.

 

 

Mandira Dam: The Mandira Dam on the river Shankh is at the distance of 32 K.M. from Rourkela. A huge reservoir has been constructed by the SAIL authorities of Rourkela for Fishi-culture. This reservoir Supplies water to the R.S.P. in summer a picturesious place, Mandira, which offers boating facilities, one may stay in the Mandira Guest house. Contact the Manager, water supply plant, SAIL,

 

 

Narashingnath: A picturesque spot on the Gandhamardana (mentioned in the epic Mahabharata,which Hanuman carried on his shoulders from Himalayas to save the life of Laxmana) Hills identified as the seat of ancient Buddhist University of Parimalagri, described by Hieun T' Sang as "Po-lo-mo-lo-ki-li"  (the ruins found on the plateau at the hill/top, about sixteen km long, speak volumes in mute voice) famous for the shrine of the Vidala Nrushigha, stands at the foot of the picturesque Gandhamardan hills, around 165 Kms from Sambalpur. A 15th century Temple built  by the Patna King Baijal Dev after the typical Kalingan Rekha order enshrining Lord Vishnu in his Vidala Narasihngh form  on the left bank of the perennial stream Papanasini,  draws scores of devotees,  tourist and Art Historian from all parts of India. The hill is avery rich in medicinal herbs and the entire surrounding is very pleasant in summer. Easily approachable by Bus or by hired taxis. By Bus the fare would be Rs 60.00 and by Car Rs. 450.00 per day plus fuel.

 

 

Harisankar: On the other side of the hill, (Narashingnath) on the right bank of a perennial stream a 16th century monument enshrines the composite form of  Siva and Vishun in the person of  Harisankar,  the presiding deity of the locality. A place of rare significance as per the religious syncretism of Orissa is concern which ultimately laid to the formation of the syncretic cult of Lord Jagannath.   The captivating waterfall and the perennial stream draws pilgrims for religious bath,  picnickers,  tourist and   invites photographers to its picturesque surrounding. The temple is unique so also the idol. Hari (Vishun) and Siva are prayed together in this temple. The hill is very rich in medicinal herbs and the entire surrounding is very pleasant in summer. A Panthashala (Tel. No. 2436) here provides accommodation to the tourists. 

 

 

Hirakud Dam
Sir M. Visveswararya, after the devastating high floods of 1937, gave proposal for detailed investigation for storage reservoirs in Mahanadi basin to tackle problem of floods in Mahanadi delta, In 1945, it was decided under the chairmanship of Dr. B.R.Ambedkar, the then Member of Labour in Govt. of India that the potentialities of river Mahanadi should be fruitfully and expeditiously investigated for multipurpose use. Central Water- ways Irrigation and Navigation Commission took up the work. The foundation stone of Hirakud Dam was laid by Sir Howthrone Lewis, the then Governor of Orissa on 15th March 1946. The project report was submitted to Government in June 1947. The first batch of concrete was laid by Pandit Jawaharalal Neheru on 12th April 1948. The project was completed in 1953 and was formally inaugurated by Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru on 13th, January 1957. The Completed Cost of the Project was Rs.100.02 crores (in 1957).  Power generation along with supply for irrigation started progressively from 1956 and full potential was achieved by 1966.

 

Only 10 Kms North of Sambalpur the longest main stream earthen dam in the world measures 24 Kms including the dikes, stands in its lonely majesty across the great river Mahanadi. Hirakud dam is a composite structure of Earth, Concrete and Masonry.  The main dam having an overall length of 4.8 kilometres spans between hills Lamdungri on left hand Chandili Dunguri on the right. The Dam is flanked by 21 kilometres. long earthen dykes both on left and right sites to close the low saddles beyond the abutment hills.  It has the distinction of being the longest dam in the world, being 25.8 K.Ms. long with dam and dykes taken together.  It has also the rare distinct of forming the biggest artificial lake in Asia with reservoir spread of 743 sq Kms at full reservoir level.  Hirakud dam intercepts 83400 sq. km (32200 sq miles) of Mahanadi catchments. The reservoir has a storage of 5818 M. Cum with gross of 8136 M Cum.

 

It drains an area of 1,33,090 square kilometres more then twice the area of Sri Lanka. The bulk of Hirakud Dam contains earth, concrete and masonry materials, sufficient to make road 8 metres wide and pave it from Kanyakumari to Kashmir and Amritsar to Dibrugarh in Assam. From horizon to horizon the reservoir forms the largest artificial lake in Asia with an area of 746 Square Kilometers with a shoreline over 640 Kms. The twenty-one kilometres drive on the dyke offers a unique experience of the calm serenity and majesty of nature. One can enjoy the sight of the mighty Hirakud dam and the fantastic expanse of water from top of the revolving Gandhi Minar at the North and Jawahar Minar at the South. As the largest multipurpose river valley project of the world, envisaging flood control, power generation and irrigation is a real gift to the Nation - all for happiness and prosperity. With successful irrigation Sambalpur is termed as the rice bowl of Orissa. Here Photography is strictly prohibited.

 

The project provides 1,55,635 Hectors of Kharif and 1,08,385 Hects of Rabi irrigation in industries of Sambalpur, Bargarh, Bolangir, and Subarnpur. The water released through power house irrigates further 436000 Hectors of CCA in Mahanadi delta. Installed capacity for power generation in 307.5 MW through its two power houses at Burla, at the right bank to and Chiplima, at 22 Kms downstream of dam. Besides the project provides flood protection to 9500 square kilometres of delta area in district of Cuttack and Puri.

 

CHIPLIMA: The Place has gained prominence as the second Hydro-Electric Project of the Hirakud Dam A natural fall of 80 feet (24-39 meters) high in the river Mahanadi is made use for generating electricity. The place is mostly inhabited by fisherman whose deity Ghantswari, is very popular in the neighbouring area. The State Live Stock Breeding Farm and Agricultural Farm are locked here.

 

Cattle Island, A natural wonder, exists in one of the extreme point of Hirakud Reservoir. Very close to Kumarbandh village of Belpahar-Banharpali range, about 90 kilometres from Sambalpur. However, if someone travels by a motor lunch from Hirakud dam it is around 10 kilometres. The island is nothing but a sub-merged hill, prior to construction of Hirakud Dam was a developed village. Present day the inhabitants of the island are its speciality, only cows inhabit the island. During the resettlement period, some abandoned cows and bulls by the villagers cattle settled down on the hill-top after the area was filled with water. During the passage of time the area filled up with the water from the reservoir the hillock it took the shape of an island.

 

As away from mankind, the cattle are wild in nature. The forest cover gave them ample scope to grow in size and shape in comparison to the normal cattle. Exceptionally they are of white colour except a very few. People living adjacent area of the island sometime try to catch them, but succeed rarely.

 

A: HYDROLOGICAL  
a)  Catchment - 83400 Sq. Kms (32200 sq miles)
b)  Rain fall (mm) - Original Revised
Mean annual - 1381(1900 – 45) 1088
Maximum annual - 1809 (in 1919) 2518
Minimum annual - 940 (in  1902) 607
c)  Run Off (M Hect. M) - Original Post Construction

Average annual  6.17 (1926-46)  3.36 (1958-92)
Maximum annual 8.62 (1919) 9.09 (1961)
Minimum annual  2.54 (1902) 1.14 (1979) 

DAM AND RESERVOIR
Top dam level    R.L 195.680M.   (R.L.642 ft.)
F.R.L/ M. W. L  R.L  192.024M   (R.L 630 ft.)
Dead storage level R.L 197.830 M   (R.L 590 Ft)
Storage capacity Original Revised
In M Cum (M. Ac. Ft.)                                                    (1988)
Gross              8136 (6.60)        7189 (5.83)
Live                5818 (4.72)        5375 (4.36)
Dead              2318 (1.88)        1814 (1.47)
Water   spread area at F.R.L        743 Sq. Km.               
At D.S.L                    274 Sq. Km.
Maximum fetch       At  F.R.L                  83.2     Km.
Total length of Dam                              4800       M.
Length of dyke, Left Dyke                       9337     M in five gaps.
Right Dyke                 10759  M in one stretch.
Total quantity of earth work in Dam           18.1 M  Cum.
Total quantity of concrete and                    1.07 M. Cum 

SPILLWAY
      Spillway capacity 42450 cumecs (15 lakhs cusecs)
      Crest level                                 - R.L. 185.928 M ( R.L. 610 ft.)
      Size of sluices                           - 3.658 x 6.20 M (12x 2034 ft)
      No. of sluices                            - 64 (40 on left and 24 on right)
      Sill of sluices                             - R.L. 155.448 M (R.L. 510 ft)
      No. of crest gates          - 34 ( 21 on left and 13 on right)
      Size of crest gates         - 15.54 M x 6.10 M. (51x 20 ft.)
      Types – Solid gravity with ogee profile and skijump bucket. 

POWER GENERATION:
      Installed Capicity
      At Burla                                                - 5 x 37.5
                                                         -         2x24.0 = 235.50 MW 
At Chiplima - 3x24        = 72.00 MW
Total           = 307.50 MW 
Length of the power channel              - 22.40 Km.
Full supply discharge of power             - 22.40 Km
channel (beyond escape)
Full supply discharge of chiplima P.H. – 333.4 cumecs.
Bed width of power channel ;
      Upto escape      -75.5 M
          Beyond escape  - 52.5 M

 

 

HUMA
The Leaning Temple of Huma.:  28 Kilometres East of Sambalpur, situated on the serene surrounding on the left bank of river Mahanadi, the Leaning Temple of Huma the abode of Lord Vimaleswar draws attention of several devotees, tourists, researchers and photographers all around the world. The sylvan serenity, the unique piece of archaeological monument, the melodious tenor of the crystal clear flowing water of the river Mahanadi and the calmness of the place adds to its beauty.  Thousands of devotees gather every year on the sacred occasion of Mahashivaratri (in the month of Fagun Kurshanapakhya chartudashi). The locality turns into an area of bedlam and a place of commerce during the Mela. Chandan Jatra is held (in the month of Baisakha Suklapakhya chaturdashi and Purnami).

 

Many enigmatic stories, legends and mysteries are associated with regards the construction of the temple. But what the unrecorded history tells, that the temple was first constructed by the the Chowan king Balram Dev during the fifth century BC and lfinally completed  during 1617-1657 by Veer Baliyar Singh, the king of Sambalpur. The king donated seven villages (Huma, Pulputunga, Gangadharpali, Dhatukapali, Mahel and two other villages) to the Hota Brahmin family of Papanga to serve the deity of Lord Mahadev.   The domain of Huma has a magnificent pictorial significance. Huma Province or the Estate of Huma was a stretch from the River Ang to the River Mahanadi. Balaram Dev the 1st King of Chauhan' dynasty had inherited this region. The kingdom of Bargarh was the center of this province and a fort was built on the bank of the river Jeera. The ruins still lay there as a witness to the past. The temple of Lord Vimaleswar stands leaning there reminding of the glorious past of Sambalpur till date.

 

The Temple: The temple of Lord Vimaleswar is seen standing leaning to one side. The prominent deity of Vimaleswar is chief of the deities among the 'Asta Sambhu'. (Kedarnath of Ambhavana, Biswanath of Deogaon, Balunkeswar of Gaisama, Maneswar of Maneswar, Swapneswar of Sorna, Bisweswara of Soranda and Nilakantheswar of Nilji are the Asta Sambhus) As for the archaeological peculiarity of the temple, no satisfactory research has been done. The expert say that the temple leans towards the North-East direction at an angle of 5° to 6°, (form 90° vertical) supporting corridors has been built around the fifteen feet tall temple, to shield it from coming down.

 

There are two different versions regarding the history or the temple's construction. The first one tells that King Ananga Veema Deva III, who suffered from the virulent ailment of Tuberculosis, erected the temple as a measure to his remedy.

 

Receiving the divine direction the king walked along the Mahanadi Bank and reached the sacred spot of Huma. There he discovered a leaning `Shiva Lingam'. There the King decided to build a temple of Lord Vimaleswar. He arranged the regular worship of the deity. He also got the divine message that all structures to be constructed shall be found leaning. The country folk of the neighbourhood villages believe that the temple was built by Lord Viswakarma. It is also believed that a long portion of the `Lingam' lies hidden under the earth.

 

Why the Temple Leans: Without any genuine research, and historical certainty it is not possible to find the real grounds, regarding the shape of the temple. However, some hearsay matters can be taken into consideration. Some say soon after the construction of the temple was over, there was an unanticipated thundering sound and the temple leans there after. Other says that the pressure of the river current forced the temple to lean towards North-East direction. The soil condition may also be another factor behind the leaning structure. Amazingly, all other structures like the Bhairabi Temple, Jagannath Temple, Aruna Stambha, the Kapileswar Temple etc., built later also leaned to one side. The Machindra Ghat at the back side of the temple provides a spectacular sight of Red Kudo fish that attracts a thousand of the visitors. Every year in the Kartik -suklapakhya chaturdashi day the Ghatpuja is observed at the Machindra Ghat. The Kudo fishs have different names, and they are all called individually and offerings are offered.

This Monument is a proof to our glorious past, it needs preservation, documentation and interpretation. Who has to come forward to salvage the lost past of Mankind, is it you, is it us, now is the time now or never.

 

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* All the above informaion are collected from www.qsl.net/vu2dpi