Bhubanswar: Aitiha is an initiative to promote heritage & culture through guided tours & trails. Founded by a dedicated team, determined to make more people aware of the lesser known sites along with the popular ones, its maiden trip to Mahanadi valley was successfully organised on a cool Sunday on 30th June 2019.
A total of 11 cultural enthusiasts came together for this one-of-its-kind event. From the hundreds of temples & scenic spots that dot its banks, the maiden tour touched a handful of magnificent sites including Ansupa Lake, Sarandagada (near Ansupa), Trutiyadeba Deula (Subarnapur, Banki), Singhanatha (Gopinathpur Sasan) and Padmeswar Temple (Baneswar Nasi), all in the Mahanadi valley of Cuttack district. The route is a dream come true for travellers and a photographers alike. Interactive discussions sprung up every second while the team showed everyone around the heritage sites amidst nature’s lap.
The 141 hectare Ansupa Lake is a well known place for all nature lovers and bird watchers. The fort at Saranda hills, popular for its sunset point, was built by the Dhala dynasty of Banki. Although, the Sarandagada fort has collapsed, still the entry gate, a few wells and the Baruda Ghara (explosives house), used by king to stores arms & ammunition is still there. The 14th century Trutiyadeba Deula, around 50 kms from Cuttack, is said to be an exact replica of Puri Jagannatha Temple. The 9th century Singhanatha Temple, situated on a hill turns into an island in Mahanadi river, which remains inaccessible during peak monsoon. Padmeswar Temple at Baneswarnasi is a picturesque hillock on the banks of Mahanadi, once a major Buddhist establishment, constructed in and around 10th-11th century.
Nivedita Aggarwal, one of the participants said, “I did not knew anything about these temples until I came here. These are fascinating pieces of our history & heritage that every one of us ought to know about.” Amaresh Mahapatra, a participated in the tour, said “During weekends, I normally take my family to my village. Thanks to this initiative, we will be happy to go on tour.” he said.
The next tour is planned in July to Prachi valley on popular demand. More details can be found at the website www.aitiha.com , through the social media handles on Facebook (aitiha1), Twitter(https://twitter.com/aitiha1 ) and Instagram (aitiha_ ) or via email at [email protected]