Ekamra Walks enlightens visitors from Dharmapada’s village on Old Town tales

Bhubaneswar, September 16: Sasmita Choudhury is from the same village near Konark where the legendary Dharmapada was born, but she never knew about the stories of the old temples in monuments in Bhubaneswar!!
It may sound strange, but today, after taking part in the Ekamra Walks Old Town Circuit, the experience was so enriching that Sasmita was happy to know the stories behind the major temples, hold ponds and the unique medicinal plant garden _ Ekamra Van on the western bank of holy Bindusagar.
Dharmapada, the son of the chief architect of the Sun Temple at Konark, Bishu Maharana, according to the legend, fixed the top stone structure, which could not be fixed by the experienced artisans. However, after doing that with a selfless way and not to insult the senior artisans engaged in the temple building work, he jumped into the mighty sea to end his life.
Being from the same village of Dharmapada, Sasmita’s admission might surprise many, but in reality many citizens staying within the Ekamra Kshetra, never knew the stories behind our temples and the interesting temple building traditions of our ancestors, who even influenced the structures in the faraway South Eastern Asian islands as they were once linked with the maritime trade in the past.
Sasmita’s daughter inspired her to take part in the weekend heritage walk, which is the only guided heritage tour of the city organized by the city authority, tourism department and tour managers Detour Odisha. In fact, the heritage walk, which started in the Old Town area in 2016 has now proliferated in two other circuits like in the Twin Hills of Udayagiri and Khandagiri and Crafts Museum at Kala Bhoomi.
Impressed with today’s experience sharing from Ekamra Walks, Old Town Circuit, Sasmita, a resident of Brahmeswar area, is now ready to explore all the tours and also to invite her other friends and relatives to come, explore and enhance their knowledge base on the temples, their stories and the architectural history and legends.
Dabaprasad Das, another resident from the same locality said “we are staying here for nearly 30 years, but never had an opportunity to come and explore the temples and monuments with this outlook. In fact, the professional guides and their storey-telling ways are different and we are really impressed with the way the guide Satyaswaroop Mishra described the details to us.’’
Setupati Adinarayana, another walker said “I am staying in Bhubaneswar for nearly 33 years, but never had an opportunity to explore the monuments of Old Town area with such a guided tour. I am happy to learn that more circuits are being explored by the city administration. We would love to come and tell others also to join in the future ventures of such heritage walks.’’
Setupati also added that steps should be taken by the organizers and the city administration to induct more school students as a routine activity so that young students get a chance to explore the heritage treasure and be lost in the charm of the beautiful old world order.
The afternoon Museum Walk at Crafts Museum in Kala Bhoomi near Gandamunda had nearly 40 participants today with the group having a spectrum of visitors from various walks of life. They explored galleries on terracotta, wood and stone carving, metals, craft and traditional art, tribal art, pre-0weaving techniques and saree and traditional materials.
Banker Arvind Sahoo today visited the Crafts Museum with his little daughter Akriti, who is studying in DAV Public School, Pokhariput. They were delighted to explore the various galleries and saw the cultural programme at the end of the walk.

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