Ekamra Walks heritage encounter continues in cold weather

Bhubaneswar: It may have been just another Saturday morning for the masses, but for 22 students of Architecture from K.S. School of Architecture, Bengaluru it was certainly extra special. Despite being a cold and foggy winter morning, the weather seemed rather pleasant on the account of the rising sun.
The walk began at the foothills of the Udayagiri, where the group had gathered beating the sun in the process. Pleasantries were exchanged and a little bit of information regarding the purpose of the walk and the monuments itself were provided to the eager party after which the slow ascent began. These architecture students seemed hungry for knowledge devouring all the info and occasionally taking notes of things. The amused faces after learning there is a story behind each sculpture, panel and statue, were hard to conceal.
It was not just historical facts. It was the stories that formed a bond with the group. The curious students left no stone unturned in asking questions behind the story of every tiny carving and details.
Led by Architect Satya Prakash Varanashi, who currently resides in Bangalore had been a resident of Bhubaneswar in the late 80s. Impressed by the organizing of the walks, he said, “I was here for a while back in 88-89, working on the Ekamra Kshetra project. Today I am here with 24 of my students from architecture. I wanted to give them exposure to Bhubaneswar and then we came here through a common reference’’
He also added that today’s trip was interesting because the guide today covered all the main aspects and when the students asked him questions, he answered them all. It was nice because there was no point in giving all the information to everyone because people might get bored. So, he was giving the basic information and answering the questions about the specific ones.
The 101st heritage trails of Monks, Caves and Kings under Ekamra Walks proved to be exactly what it set out to be. It was about showing the visitors the story behind the culture, without barraging them with knowledge, about storytelling without the fanciness of a fairy tale. It’s speaking about the ordinary but never forgetting the “extra” that its history carries.
The famous Jain heritage site which is also linked to the great emperor Kharavela under whom the Kalingan empire flourished like anything and perhaps had the largest area from the Indian sub-continent under a single ruler. The empire and the saga of the great ruler was also discussed during the trail.

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