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To the top of Khandadhar waterfall, Odisha

To the top of Khandadhar waterfall, Odisha


Khandadhar waterfall is a famous tourist destination in the western part of Odisha. Horse tail type Waterfall is a 244 meters drop which secures a place to the list of highest waterfall of India. Khandadhar (Khand + Dhaar) literally means stream coming from the canyon/slit in the hill. 

Pauri Bhuiya, a local tribal residing in the area near by, has an interesting story to tell about the fall. It is reproduced here from outlook:

“A Pauri Bhuiya legend speaks of how their mountains came to be so munificent. The Sundergarh branch of the community was once possessed by a rapacious goddess named Kankala Devi, who consumed trees, soil and everything else. In despair, the Pauri Bhuiya placed her on a rock, which she ate through as well—creating a deep hole from which poured out the Khandadhara (split-rock waterfall). So they had water.  
Then a couple from the community went to visit relatives at the eastern, or Keonjhar, end of the Khandadhar mountain range. Their prospective hosts were away but a pile of grains had been left outdoors and, amazingly, not even the birds were eating it. Inside the heap, the couple discovered a small goddess, Khand Kumari, protector of the region’s prosperity. They stole her and brought her back to Sundergarh, and so her bounty became theirs.”




As per observations by regular visitors, the stream has reduced and apparent cause is the heavy mining in the adjacent hilly areas. The streams leading to this giant waterfall can be explored in the jungles of Khandadhar. The route to the top is different from the one which leads to the famous location of Khandadhar fall. Follow Lahunipada-Barsuan -Koira road. From Barsuan check post, turn right to reach Khadadhara Mines office.



This serene and untouched jungle is full of small streams of water flowing among the common Saal trees. Trees here can grow up-to a hundred feet straight. In the month of January when we visited, the temperature was moderate and perfect for walking around. Reaching in the early morning paid back in terms of some awesome landscapes. The best season to visit could be from November till February. Although very few visitors come to this place, it is safe for a family outing.   










Interesting layers of the rocks seen around the place


Life around the valley:


Many dwellers earn bread and butter working in the mines. 

A local catching the fish in the water. He overturns a rock and quickly filter the water though the net to catch the fish. 


Butterflies spotted at Khandadhar:

  • Large Oakblue (plenty in number)
  • Common Pierrot
  • Grey count
  • Grass Yellow
  • Common Mormon
  • Grey Pansy
  • Flash
  • Common Cerulean
  • Common Leopard
  • Glassy Tiger
  • Common Sailer
  • Gram Blue
  • Common Crow
Common Pierrot at a stream




Acknowledgement:

The splendid arrangement was done Dr. Liu and Satwindarji, expert photographers from Rourkela. Students of Third Eye Photography accompanied as well. Thanks to everyone.




How to reach:

  • The Khandadhar Falls is 104 kilometers (65 mi) from Rourkela.
  • Private and sturdy vehicle must be hired. Road in some part is rough. 
  • Vehicle must have high ground clearance. In rainy season four-wheel drive is a must.




      


Hockey ground near Khadadhara mine office from where a small and simple jungle walk of about 2 Km starts.


Trekking from the playground to the top (near the Khandadhara Mines office










The leaning temple of Huma, Sambalpur (Odisha)



The leaning temple of Huma



Leaning tower of Pisa (Italy) is known well to masses, but have you heard about the only leaning temple of the world. Interestingly the edifice of the temple leans, however, the pinnacle of the temple is perpendicular to the ground.Further surprise comes with its location. It is near Sambalpur in Odisha. The Leaning Temple of Huma, dedicated to lord Shiva, near Sambalpur is the only leaning temple in the world. It is located in Huma, a village situated on the bank of the Mahanadi,




Construction:


Apart from the main temple of Lord Vimaleshwara inclined towards the North-east side i.e. the river side, the complex has two other important temples: Bhairavi Devi and Bhairo Dev. As per to historical records Ganga Vamsi Emperor Anangabhima Deva-III built this temple. The temple was rebuilt or renovated by King Baliar Singh (1660-1690 A.D.), the fifth Chauhan king of Sambalpur. The rest of the temples were built during the rule of King Ajit Singh (1766-1788 A.D.) of Sambalpur [1]. However there are different claims and controversies claiming the various builders.


Only leaning temple in the world:


Temple complex as seen from Kali temple
The reason for having a leaning structure of the shrine is again shrouded in mystery.Only the edifice of the temple is leaning keeping the base perfectly perpendicular to the ground. This is baffling and thus put forwards some theories to explain the phenomenon. First and Obvious theory questions the foundation. As the temple is positioned on the rocky base on the bank of Mahanadi, reason of technical flaw doesn't hold good. Chauhan Kings were known to build several of the enormous temples. 


Rocky bed of Mahanadi
Second reason reason might be the natural calamities such as the flood or the earthquake. Flood cannot be again the cause as the main temple is tilted to one direction and other small temples are tilted to some other directions. Odisha is not lies in the earthquake prone zone, however reason is plausible. Archaelogist are also speculating some geological reason like uneven earth crust. The angle of inclination is yet to be measured [2].


Another appealing theory come from the belief that the architect has deliberately made a leaning design from the beginning. Deliberation is done in order to safe-guard the temple from the violent currents of the two rivers i.e. Mahanadi and Dhulijore during the flood in monsoon. This is why different structures are made leaning to different sides. This theory also explains why the degree of tilting remains unchanged all these years, and does not grow as in case of the other renowned tilting structures including the Leaning Tower of Pisa [2].




Legends about the temple and Mystery about the fish:


Apart from the leaning temple, a kind of reddish fish (popularly called Kudo) in the river is another attraction for tourists. The length of the fish seen is up-to six feet long.Tourist enjoy feeding the fishes which have become very good pets over the years. Feeding these fishes is considered very sacred. Also, it is a legend that the one who kills and eats the fish from this part of Mahanadi, doesn't survive much.




The worship of Shiva is said to have been initiated by a milkman, who crossed the Mahanadi daily to a place on the bank where the underlying rock cropped out. There are two varieties on who offered the milk. One says the milkman he offered his dole of milk, which was immediately consumed by the rock. Other story has it that a cow from a nearby village was regularly visiting the place and secreting milk over the Linga and her master saw rocks beneath consumes it quickly. This miraculous circumstance led to inquiries, which ended in the construction of the present temple [1].


Annual Fair:

An annual fair takes place at the foothill of the temple in March every year on Shivratri, which is a typical village fair. This fair attracts a huge crowd which includes foreign visitors. The Government of Odisha has proposed a hanging bridge to attract more tourists to the annual fair [1].




How to reach:

Nearest railway station: Sambalpur City and Sambalpur road
Private vehicles from station are available for hire.









Near by attractions:

Metakani Temple
Kali Temple
Ghanteshwari Temple


References:

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leaning_Temple_of_Huma
[2] http://odisha.gov.in/e-magazine/Orissareview/2013/Feb-Mar/engpdf/90-92.pdf




Metakani Temple, Sambalpur


Metakani Temple, Sambalpur


Maa Metakani temple is located in a forest at Rengali near to Ulunda in the Subarnpur district of Odisha. The name of the goddess is believed originated from a lady called "META".


About 2 Km drive through Rengali range after diverting from from the SH15 is the location of Metakani Temple


Temple is very popular among local people. Animal Sacrifices are done on regular basis. Photos are not allowed inside.

Temple gets flooded specially on the Tuesdays. 

Facilities are quite good at the place for: Parking, cooking food, offering pujas etc.

How to reach:

  • Temple is at about 65 Km west from the Sambalpur City.
  • Temple can be reached by road using private or public vehicle. Road condition is very good.
  • Best season to visit is from September to February.