Bhubaneswar: Bhubaneswar Walks, an umbrella initiative of .FEST which provides various options to the visitors to explore the city, also ended with the conclusion of the 16-day.FEST (Bhubaneswar City Festival). These were special theme based curated walks and trails categorized into heritage, nature and museum walks.
Launched by Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA), the walks aimed at showcasing the diverse facades of Bhubaneswar to all age groups through these curated walks, trails and cycle tours. It was also the perfect opportunity to showcase the charm of the city to the tourists who had traveled to Bhubaneswar for the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2018 as well as the locals.
The Bubaneswar Nature Walks, encompassed heritage walks and art trails covering destinations of great historical and cultural significance. This included Nandankanan Nature Walk and Cycle Tour as well as Chandaka Nature Walk and Cycle Tour. A total of 14 walks took place over the course of 16 days and approximately 370 people took part, 80 among which were children from tribal schools. Curated by Playbook Consultancy, the nature walk series has been received with great enthusiasm by the city dwellers of all age groups. Emphasizing the need for conservation of green space and environment friendly modes of transportation such as cycling in the smart city, the development authority has come up with these cycle trails as a part of Bhubnaeswar Nature Walks.
The heritage trails, known as Ekamra Walks curated by Detour Odisha has made more than 9,000 heritage lovers, from and beyond the city, explore the undiscovered treasure of Bhubaneswar since 2016 December 18. This included Jain Walks and Trails and recently added Museum Walks and Streets of Ekamra. Rare of its kind, the Streets of Ekamra shelter stories that have been told over and over for generations. As we explore this side of the temple neighbourhood, we come across intangible histories about people and their palates!
A total of 20 walks and tours took place which was attended by approximately 345 people during the .FEST. Giving visitor an opportunity to travel smartly through Mo Cycles, BDA had introduced Heritage Cycle Tours as an added attraction for visitors to explore the beautiful heritage sites and enjoy the rich culture Old Town has to offer.
Bhubaneswar Art Trail (BAT) which spanned across a 1.3 km stretch in Old Town was another initiative which brought in the essence of heritage through contemporary artworks of 22 international and nationally famed artists. The art trail was hugely popular with approximately 500 people attending on weekdays. This saw a surge during the weekends with around 800 visitors.
It can be mentioned here that while the BAT will be over on December 18 other trails, i.e. Ekamra Walks and Bhubaneswar Nature Walks will continue as per their weekly schedule. Heritage and nature enthusiasts can follow their social media pages and websites for details.