Belgian guests ecstatic over football win, celebrate through heritage walk

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Bhubaneswar: For the two Belgian guests the 31st Monks, Caves and Kings Heritage walk in the Twin Hills of Udayagiri and Khandagiri came as another celebration of the great win of their nation over the powerful Brazilian team, as the European nation displayed a brilliant performance to knock the five-time winners out of the 2018 World Cup and reach the semi-finals for the first time, since 1986.
The two visitors from Belgium, Alan Watterman and Lola Snackers joined the heritage walkers of the 31st Monks, Caves and Kings along with 20 others including a leading advertising professional from Singapore and banker from Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh.
Despite the early morning monsoon rains, the walkers braved the weather to explore the Jain heritage site at the Twin Hills. “We would have been happier if we were in our city Liege and could have celebrated the win with our family members and friends. However, with the beautiful rainy weather we are also celebrating the superb win in a innovative way by spending time with the other walkers at the Udayagiri-Khandagiri caves,’’ said Lola.
The other visitor from Belgium Alan said “we have come to Odisha for the first time. We love the State and especially the historic city of Bhubaneswar, which has a huge potential of tourism with so many beautiful heritage sites.’’
Nihar Das, Global Account Director for P&G spanning across 65 markets worldwide, came to the walk with his college friend at BJB College, Bhubaneswar, Santosh Sahoo. Both were in Plus Two Science Class of 1985-87. Santosh is now a Chief Manager with the Oriental Bank of Commerce, Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh.
Nihar, originally from the Nayapalli area in Bhubaneswar is in the field of advertising and media. He leads the global media operations of world’s largest advertiser P&G, for Mediacom and currently lives in Singapore with his family. An avid travel enthusiast, he also enjoys photography and motorcycling.
Santoash, on the other hand, loves to explore the historic and cultural sites and listens to music. “Had been to this site on many occasions in the past, but as a heritage walker today’s was a special experience,’’ he added.
Susmita Pani a retired reader in English Literature from Ravenshaw University came to the 31st Monks, Caves and Kings Heritage walk with her family members and especially with a niece, who lives in Mumbai. Earlier, she had also joined the Ekamra Walks Old Town Circuit, with her other niece Seema Misra, who is a writer, blogger and painter.
Despite rains, not only young and old, but kids also joined the walk and enjoyed their time during the rainy weather under umbrellas. The walkers came to know about Emperor Kharavela, his patronage for Jain religion, various man-made and pre-historic caves and also cave art inside the Hati Gumpha.

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