20th Ekamra Walks: Air Asia and other delegates from Malaysia walk through the heritage trail of Old Town

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Bhubaneswar: At a time when Air Asia has started linking the Temple City with a prominent airway gateway of the East, Kuala Lumpur, and Bhubaneswar is hoping to draw more and more tourists from the Buddhist world, an 11-member team from Malaysia comprising staff of the airlines and media representatives joined the 20th Ekamra Walks and soaked themselves with the beauty of the old world Kalingan architecture, traditional lifestyle of Old Town and experienced the lucid and rhythmic ways of Classical Odissi dance.

The Malayasian team and other members of the Ekamra Walks, totaling 35 visited monuments like Mukteswar with its Buddhist-Hinduism synthesis in architecture and concept, its famous and unique arch, 7th Century beautiful and intact temple Parsurameswar, 7th Century Sampurnajaleswar, 15-16th Century Kotitirtheswar, ancient lake Bindusagar, 12-13th Century Ananta Vasudev Temple, 13th Century Brahma temple, Old Dharmasala, 11th Century Lingaraj Temple, 12-13th Century Sari Temple, Mohini Temple and the Parikrama along the Bindusagar lake, Odissi recital at Art Vision, the institute run by eminent Odissi dancer Ileana Citaristi and the medicinal plan garden Ekamra Van.

Qastury team leader of the delegation and a staff from Air Asia termed her experience of Ekamra Walks as interesting and enriching.

Danny, also from Air Asia, said “the experience is fine. The explanations at the monuments could be in more detailed format to engage the walkers.’’

Salman from New Straight Times, Kuala Lumpur, said “the heritage walk of Bhubaneswar with so many ancient monuments is interesting as the stone carving work is outstanding and the temples are so beautiful.’’

Zarina from New Straight Times said “the Ekamra Walks is really charming as one will get to see the old world charm near a modern city and the contrast in the two culture is so huge.’’

Citing examples of the vegetable market and other stalls nearby, she said urban traditional way in the present day old city is an interesting phenomenon to discover through the heritage walk.

Nantene from Tamil Malar Daily said “the entire heritage walk was a learning experience to know the culture of the Temple City, but the humidity is a major cause of concern for all of us from Kuala Lumpur.’’

The walkers towards the end of the heritage journey visited the Art Vision to see Odissi Classical dance and saw the dance of three budding dancers and disciples of Ileana Citaristi.

Among others Director Tourism Nitin Bhanudas Jawle was present at the walks and also explained some points and clarified doubts of the Malayasian guests. The Malayasian delegation is currently visiting various tourism destinations in and around the State Capital.

Yesterday they went to Ratnagiri, Lalitgiri, Udayagiri and Langudi, the Diamond Triangle of Buddhist heritage sites. After the Ekamra Walks today, they went to Chilika to have a look at the largest brackish water lake of Asia, which is famous for its Irrawaddy dolphins, migratory birds and biodiversity.

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