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We continue our journey through Odisha and also take a deep dive into the Sonet’s road-tripping capabilities

Story: Harket Suchde
Photography: Nitin Suryavanshi and Tally Talwar

Leaving the tranquil Daringbadi behind, I said, ‘Hello, Kia,’ and when the Sonet asked how it could help, I instructed it to navigate to Sambalpur, in western Odisha. The second leg of our road-trip through Odisha had officially begun. I was quickly leaving the hills and forests behind, at least temporarily, as the road traded in the characteristic twisties that I had so enjoyed for straightforward highways instead. Time to put the hammer down. So, I switched the Sonet into Sport mode and went for it, the SUV building its revs and holding on before shifting up, no need to worry about matching the revs or shifting at the optimum moment; the Sonet did it all for us and with absolute precision.

I was having the time of my life as the Sonet and I scorched down the highway. So much so that I almost forgot I had to make a stop en route. The stop was important, though, so I took a slight detour to go check it out. The Leaning Temple of Huma was where I was headed. This rare example of a temple is one of the two leaning holy structures in the world and, taking in the sight up close, it was interesting, to say the least.

The temple structure is in use to this day and was originally built in the 13th century by the Eastern Ganga Dynasty. It has been rebuilt a few times since then under different rulers and while there is no clear consensus on where that slope to the edifice comes from, there is one thing that is certain: the locals in the region still visit the temple in droves to pay obeisance to the resident deity, Lord Bimaleshwar. From the temple, we headed through Sambalpur and beyond to the Debrigarh Nature Camp. Since the camp is part of the Debrigarh Sanctuary, we had to drive along the massive Hirakud Dam to get there.


About the author: Harket Suchde



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