Odisha: Day out for consultants, NRI Aussie and students from IITTM at Old Town heritage walk

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Bhubaneswar: Consultants from various fields, NRI and Australian health sector expert with geologist son and seven students of Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management (IITTM), Bhubaneswar and many locals formed the walkers for the Ekamra Walks Old Town Circuit today even if the Old City is yet to come out from the spirit of celebrating Shivratri, the biggest festival for Lord Shiva to offer him `puja’ and also to wish something offering prayer during the entire night. The day was celebrated on February 14th, last.
Jagdish Atrie, an Epidemiologist with Department of Health, Western Australian Administration is an NRI based in Australia, but his roots are here in Old City. He stays there with his family, but currently on a trip to Bhubaneswar. His son Sameer Atrie joined the walk and was happy to know the details from the tour guide.
Jagdish was so happy after visiting the Monks, Caves and Kings heritage walk at Udayagiri, he came to the Old Town walk with his Sameer. A student of Curtin University in Perth Sameer is currently majoring in Geology and Finance and would be surveying various mining sites in Odisha besides having a nice vacation with the family.
Neha Joshi and Nidhi Prabha Tewari, both consultants with Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and working as Social Sector Specialists under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojna, were overwhelmed with the tour of temples, old monuments and water bodies.
“I have been coming to the City of Temples on several occasions, but never got time to explore the monuments through Ekamra Walks. Today’s experience have given me a different perspective of the city and the ancient monumental wealth scattered across the city and especially, around the Old City area,’’ said Neha, who is a native of Uttarakhand.
Three consultants from MicroSave, a multi-national consulting firm working for financial inclusion mostly across many developing nations joined the Ekamra Walks Old Town Circuit today as they are in the city for the marriage of their friend, who is originally from Koraput. Nitish Narain, Surbhi Soodh and Ishita Sharma from different locations of India have come to attend the marriage of their colleague Manoj Nayak’s wedding in the Temple City.
“We are new to the city, but the heritage walk today has given us a very good understanding of the art, culture, tradition and other aspects of this ancient place, which was not only a sacred place for Lord Shiva, but where the “Chandashoka’’ was transformed to “Dharmashoka’’ as we learnt from the pages of History,’’ said Nitish.
Surbhi was impressed with the Odissi recital at Art Vision, an institute established by renowned dancer from Italy, Ileana Citaristi, who has made the Old City of Bhubaneswar her home. “The dancers, in fact, staged a mesmerizing performance and we are really lucky to watch their performance,’’ she added. Her friend Ishita also echoed the same.
Jagdish Atrie, an Epidemiologist with Department of Health, Western Australian Administration was very much impressed with the concept, theme and design of the medicinal plant garden Ekamra Van on the Western bank of Bindusagar. “We must propagate our indigenous ways as the plant products have no or negligible side effects. This is a wonder project,’’ he pointed out.
Seven students of IITTM are regular both at the Khandagiri-Udayagiri and the Old Town circuits under Ekamra Walks. Sneha Dey, a student of BBA from IITTM put her day’s experience as “a lesson from a practical exposure.’’

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