Huma is an important Shaivite shrine in Sambalpur, Western Odisha. A Shiv Linga named Bimaleshwar has been installed in this Shivasthan since ancient times. Shiva Linga is installed in many Shaiva Tirtha temples in India. But this temple has certain features that give it a special dimension.
To know that, you have to go back a thousand years ago. The history of Sambalpur dates back to 3000 BC. Jesus Christ even before Buddha was born. As earlier written history is not found anywhere in India, Sambalpur is no exception. All the stories, stories, and anecdotes that have been passed down from generation to generation of the residents are known from various folk tales, and fables.
Based on these, the researchers have researched and expressed their important opinions. It is known from them that all the primitive people who lived in this region had their very own wealth of life, religion, and belief in God. People brought up in the lap of nature learned to worship the natural environment like the moon, sun, sky, lightning, lightning, storm, rain, etc. with fear and awe.
Also worshiping trees and stones as gods was their traditional method of worship. Apart from nature, they started worshiping some gods and goddesses. Shiv Pujo was more among them. Shiv Puja was popular at that time in the form of Linga Puja.
Gradually the Aryan civilization spread in all these regions. Gradually Hinduism started to spread by the hand of the Aryan people. At the same time, the spread of Brahmanism began to increase. The kings were Kshatriyas. But the Brahmins were worshiped and respected by all. Even the kings respected them very much.
Then Lord Buddha appeared and his love attracted people. His word spread slowly. At that time the Kosala state was established with the western region of Odisha and present-day Chhattisgarh. Present day Sambalpur was Dakshin Kosala. The kings never neglected or despised the gods and goddesses prevalent among the natives. There were two reasons for this. They realized that a clash between Brahmanism and the religious beliefs of the natives would not allow their rule to last. And besides, they did not have the strength or desire to deny the greatness of all these gods and goddesses.
This is how Shaivism entered Hinduism. Along with Lord Vishnu of Hindus, Shiva is also their adorable deity. Gradually, in Buddhism, a class of Buddhists became believers in Tantric worship. In that tantric puja, Shiva entered. Because Tantra was created for Shiva. Therefore, not only Shiva but also other Mahavidyarupinis were worshiped by Buddhist Tantrics as forms of Buddha.
The ancient Sambalak is the current Sambalpur. At that time Huma was the kingdom of Chauhanraj Balaram Dev. Later he moved his capital to Sambalpur from there.
Huma was then famous as a Shaivite Peeth. However, Huma was superior to other regions in terms of standard of living.
The Huma’s Shaivite temple is leaning like the world-famous Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy. Such leaning temples are seen nowhere else in the world except in one place. The main temple of the Humar temple complex is the Bhimleswar Shiva temple. Bhairavi Temple of Shiva is on the left side of this temple. Two smaller Shiva temples are Kapileshwar and Bhubaneswar. Amazingly all the Shiva temples are leaning. Besides, the Humar temple complex has Jagannath temple, Bhairava temple, Navagraha temple, Hanuman temple, etc. Boliyar Singh, the fifth Chauhanraj of Sambalpur, built the present temples in the seventeenth century.
The famous Mahanadi flows through this region. As is its magnitude, so is its flow. The banks were covered with large rocks to block their flow and prevent erosion. As a result, the river’s current is blocked in some places by the impact of the rocks, and the flowing water looks like a canyon.
Although there are no big mountains in this direction. The clear, blue water of the Mahanadi flows from north to south through this region. The other side is the west side and the other side is the east side. The west is sparsely populated, with far-flung villages. A cowherd from a village on that western side used to bring his cows to graze on the banks of the river.
That Goala(Milkman) used to see one of his bulls break away and cross the river every day. It was observed that surprisingly after a while he would come back alone again. One day, due to heavy rain, the river overflowed. But the cow did not retreat in fear even after seeing the heavy water current. Instead, like every day, he fell into the water to go to the other side.
Goala(Milkman) then got curious and followed the cow. Amazingly, the cow managed to wade through the deep stream and reach the other side. Goala saw the cow swim up to the river bank and stand near some fallen stones. Then milk started pouring from her butt on a special stone. And it was seen, that stone was also drinking milk from Gorgas.
That milk fell on the stone and did not roll on the ground. Gradually, as the news of this strange incident spread to the surrounding villages, the people of the village started rushing there. Seeing this strange incident, they started worshiping that stone, Shiva. At first, it was the poor villagers who built small temples on rocks. Then the king came to know about this wonderful and built a temple on that rock. Shiva is worshiped there daily with milk.
No Shiv Linga can be seen in the sanctum sanctorum. Only a stone hole can be seen. This is the common legend here which is told by the local people from generation to generation. It is said that the Ganga king Anangabhimadev III built a temple here in the 11th century made Before that, the kings of the Soma dynasty also used to participate in this Shiva Puja. The twenty-two steps in this temple go down to Mahindraghat. Which is reminiscent of the twenty-two steps of the Jagannath temple in Puri. This Mahindraghat is named after a fish.
This Huma village is 25 km south of Sambalpur and is situated on the east side of the Mahanadi that is on the left bank. Big fish can be seen in the clear water of Mahanadi flowing through the big rocks. Fishes come very close to people when they see them. They eat food without fear of human hands. However, fishing is prohibited here. Stories about this can be heard from local people. A woman once ignored everyone’s prohibition and went to cut the fish to eat. He turned into stone to ignore Deva Mahatma. After that, the villagers rescued the fish and released it back into the Mahanadi water.
Another surprising fact here is that not all Shiva temples lean in the same direction. For example, while the Vimaleshwar Shiva temple is tilted backward, the Kapileshwar and Bhubaneswar Shiva temples are again tilted forward.
Inquiring about this to the senior pujaris here revealed that these temples were not leaning when they were built. The latter has gradually declined over the years. Even more surprising is that the temples have been leaning over the years, but many have been washed away by the sea storms and cyclones that have swept over the site for hundreds of years. But these shrines were not affected so much. The temples, though tilted, did not collapse. This is the secret of these temples.