By Odisha Story Bureau, Bhubaneswar:
While several options are there to welcome the coming New Year in style, a group of management students from city-based Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar (XIMB), joined the 4th heritage walk at Udayagiri and Khandagiri hills to know more about the caves, the architecture, social customs, historical tales and genesis of the beautiful, but ancient caves in the Twin Hills and gathered a lot of insight following the weekly tour, titled Monks, Caves and Kings under Ekamra Walks.
The team of XIMB students included Prasad Khole, Sashwatha S, Deepayan Pattnaik, Purvi Mehta and Prashant Sharma. They enjoyed the every minute they spent at the historic site, which has predominant influence of Jain religious beliefs and as per the inscriptions the site was at its best during the rule of Kharavel, who had built a huge empire and especially dominated the Eastern part of India.
The students of India’s one of the top 10 B Schools, however, were also surprised to know that the caves do not stand testimony to the influence of the Jain rulers, but many caves in Udayagiri were existing from the pre-historic era and to support it there are beautiful cave art, which were discovered much recently, in 2008 by Professor Sadasiba Pradhan, former History Professor of Utkal University.
The XIMB students said that they joined the heritage walk at Udayagiri-Khandagiri as they wanted to celebrate something more substantial than the usual celebrations before the New Year. “The city has got a huge historical background and it has also a tremendous influence of three major religious beliefs i.e. Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism and we must explore how the city has evolved through the ages since the time when it was called Ekamra Kshetra,’’ explained Deepayan Pattnaik.
Purvi Mehta, another member from the XIMB group said “the sociology of the time of the Kings, their working and governing styles, the welfare schemes for their public and patronage for the cultural functions and shows, all were so beautifully documented on the walls through carvings. More and more youngsters should join the walk to know about Bhubaneswar.’’
It can be mentioned here that while the Ekamra Walks (Old Town circuit around Lingaraj Temple and other important shrines) would celebrate its 55th week tomorrow, the four heritage walks at the Twin Hills have equally attracting visitors across the country and even outside with its historic aspects. After 54 walks the Old Town heritage tour has so far received more than 3100 visitors from 26 nations. The event celebrated its anniversary on December 17, last.
Today at the 4th Monks, Caves and Kings Heritage walk in Udayagiri-Khandagiri the footfall was 25 including the students of XIMB. Last week 20 students of Raghunath Bidyapeeth Odagaon participated and discovered many unknown facts about the historic site.