Bhubaneswar, May 27, 2018:
Four young Indian Administrative Service (IAS) probationers, undergoing training at city based Gopabandhu Academy, explored the rich heritage and Kalingan temple architecture of old Bhubaneswar area, as part of enthusiastic walkers in 76th Ekamra Walks, the first weekly guided heritage tour of the city, organized jointly by Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA), Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Tourism Department.
The four 2017 batch Odisha cadre IAS probationers S Upadhyaya, Ashish Kumar Patil, Anwesa Reddy and Hemakanta Shaw had a great time, knowing the rich culture, art and temple architecture in the heritage trails of the old city along with 30 other participants in today’s Ekamra Walks. Sharing the experience, one of the trainee officers S Upadhyaya, a native from Bihar, said “It is really commendable and very nicely curated for any visitor to experience the rich heritage and culture of the old Bhubaneswar area. The stories behind each of the temples and monuments beautifully explained by the organizers further add to the memorable experience. Four of us undertaking training as IAS probationers feel really good about making it to this early morning Sunday heritage walk and will surely suggest others to visit the same.” Equally enthralled to witness the finest carvings on stone and vivid temple architecture in different iconic temples and monuments in old Bhubaneswar, IAS Probationer Anwesha Reddy said “This provides an excellent opportunity to know about the glorious temple architecture of Odisha and everyone, be it the residents or visitors to Bhubaneswar should leverage this to know the rich traditions, culture and artistic excellence of our previous generations spanning over 2000 years.”
Similar was the experience for Kochi based Viswanathan Nair, who participated in today’s Ekamra Walks with his wife Uma Viswanathan and son Arvind Viswanathan, an Urban Planner working as consultant with Brahmapur Development Authority (BeDA). Though it was their 2nd visit to Bhubaneswar and first time to Ekamra Walks, both Viswanathan and Uma were in much praise of the intricate stone carvings on temple walls, varieties of temple architecture and the unique culture of old Bhubaneswar.
A family from Rajsthan also made it to the Ekamra Walks today, enjoying the heritage tour. Chandan Jha and Shivani Jha with their two children Ishit and Arnav took the nearly two kilometer walk along the streets of old city. Sharing his experience, Shivani said “many of our friends who had visited Odisha earlier, told us about the rich temple architecture and we made it a point to make the most of our two-day trip to Bhubaneswar by participating in the beautifully organized two heritage walks along the old city as well as Jain circuit of Khandagiri-Udayagiri caves, this weekend.”
Three young students in their teens Abhishek Prusty, Umakant Nayak and Sourav Patra, who recently finished their schooling, had a very good time together in the heritage walks. The three friends, who came to know about the walk from social media, were seen taking selfies and pictures at heritage monuments and the cool ambience of Ekamra Van medicinal plant garden. A young filmmaker from Sambalpur Divyajeevan who had come to the walks with his friend highly praised the walk and asserted that every temple and monument in the city presents very interesting stories which needs to be told to people from the state and the world.
A total of 35 heritage enthusiasts including children took the tour today and visited the heritage sites such as temples of Mukteswar, Parsurameswar, Kotitirtheswar, Ananta Vasudev, Lingaraj, Chitrakarini, Sari Deula, Vaital, Bharti Mutt, Old Dharamsala, Bindusagar lake and ended the trip after visiting the unique medicinal plant garden, Ekamra Van, which has over 220 varieties of medicinal plants.
It may be noted here that Ekamra Walks, the first guided heritage walks in the city, has witnessed over 4000-3000 participants from over 25 countries. It is jointly organized by Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA), Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Odisha Tourism. The walk is curetted by Detour Odisha.