By Odisha Story Bureau, Bhubaneswar:
Families, visitors from other states, IT professionals and locals constituted the list of visitors today at the 17th Monks, Caves and Kings at the Twin Hills of Khandagiri and Udayagiri today.
Neethi Lavanya, an architect working here in the city originally from Karnataka came with her brother Arjun NK and sister-in-law Pooja L. Bhat, both IT professionals settled in Bengaluru, enjoyed their time at the heritage walk and were overwhelmed with the stories of the caves, the erstwhile rulers from 2nd Century BC and the monks and nuns who frequented the place in the past.
Neethi, being an architect, who had studied temple and other forms of architecture during her student days, said “I have found the monuments of the Temple City special with their unique blend of local tradition. The caves and other structures in Udayagiri and Khandagiri also speak a lot about the socio-cultural transition and transformation as they reflected many issues which were happening in the past and still seen now like the man-animal conflicts, i.e. human-elephant issues near the Chandaka Sanctuary on the city outskirts.’’
Pooja and Arjun also appreciated their time at the site and asked several questions while the guide explained the various stories and facts on the historical perspectives and their political ramifications as during the rules of emperor Kharavela the Kalingan empire was a force to reckon with across the Indian sub-continent.
Sanjay Barnwal, a teacher with a Missionary school at Ukhra near Asansol, came with his family of five to the walk and enjoyed the time completely. “My daughter Smriti studies here at the Regional Institute of Education, Bhubaneswar and had joined the heritage walk before. That experience of her inspired the family to join Monks, Caves and Kings and we are really fortunate to see, listen and explore the caves and other historical structures at the Twin hills, which is a major Jain site,’’ he said.
Babita Nayak, an IT professional working with TCS in Kochi said “though I am from Odisha, today’s participation at Monks, Caves and Kings gave a new experience as I had no knowledge of many interesting facts about the Twin hills. I would definitely invite and inform my friends to join in, enjoy and update their minds.’’
AV Priyamvada, a student and blogger came with her friend from Chennai KV Susmitha. “I had been to Old Town Circuit of the Ekamra Walks, but this is a special event and I liked it very much,’’ said Priyamvada. Susmitha, an entrepreneur said “I enjoyed the place and was delighted to know its history and also knowing about the cave art in Hati Gumpha.’’