Families from neighbouring states, foreign guests and senior bureaucrats join 78th Ekamra heritage tour

Bhubaneswar: Three families, one each from Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh, travelers from Germany and Italy, senior bureaucrats of the State Government and Centre and many more heritage enthusiasts constituted today’s Ekamra Walks Old Town Circuit, as the cloudy weather came to rescue in a time of humidity and when the discomfort index in the local weather is quite high. More than 45 walkers joined the 78th Ekamra Walks.
Komal Gupta from Ayodhya, the birthplace of Lord Rama and incarnation of Lord Vishnu, according to Hindu mythology, termed her experience at the major Shaivite religious circuit, earlier known as Ekamra Kshetra, “wonderful’’.
“This was my first visit to Odisha, but today’s heritage walk really introduced me to the beautiful and unique temple building style and architecture of Kalingan era, which as per our guide was prevailing between 6th and 16th Century AD. I liked the tour very much,’’ added Komal, who was with her family.
Similarly, N. Priyanka and N. Srinivas from Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh and Gayatri Soni from Baloda near Raipur in Chhattisgarh also enjoyed the heritage walk and termed their experience as “educative and culturally enlightening as it profusely dealt with Kalingan art and especially temple building style and other traditional stories.’’
Rebecca Hof, a graduate student from Munich University also joined the heritage walk with her friend Shraddha Mehta. Rebecca, after completing a three-month-long internship at Kolkata-based NGO Kadam, has arrived here in the city to explore the major tourist destinations. Rebecca was working as an intern on women empowerment.
“I found the heritage walk interesting and the way the guide explained things with a comparative study with other regions of India was an interesting addition. I will stay a couple of days here,’’ she said.
Shraddha, who has passed out from National Institute of Fashion Technology, works for Kadam and known to the city. “Me and Rebecca are exploring more interesting destinations so that she could get to see more of Odisha’s beautiful places, traditions and crafts,’’ she informed.
Anna Madaschi, an Italian tourist, who is exploring the entire country of India said “I want to explore all these Buddhist sites near Bhubaneswar and Cuttack and would like to go to Dhabaleswar shrine near the Millennium City. Odisha is a nice place and I feel like at home here.’’
Anna had also joined the Monks, Caves and Kings, yesterday. She belongs to a small city Bergamo, 40 km away from the famous metropolis Milano.
Principal Secretary to Government of Odisha, General Administration and Public Grievance Department, Additional Chief Special Secretary to Government, Finance Department and, Additional Chief Principal Secretary to Government, Electronics and Information Technology Department Ashok Kumar Meena took part in the walk with his friend Anurag Bhushan, Joint Secretary with the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi. Both had also joined the Monks, Caves and Kings heritage walk at Udayagiri-Khandagiri, yesterday.
“We found both the heritage walks engaging, interesting and informative,’’ the senior bureaucrats said.