Bhubaneswar: Heritage and culture aficionados taking part in the 130th Ekamra Heritage Walk at Old Town this morning were taken aback by the intricate craftsmanship on the walls of Mukteswar Temple and Parsurameswar Temple. They loved the idea of how free the artists were back then who could integrate their ideas and experiences into their art. One of the panels that everyone loved today was that of the depiction of the ‘Monkey and the Crocodile’ tale from Panchatantra. This famous children’s tale is depicted beautifully on one of the window panels of Mukteswar Temple.
Another thing that fascinated the walkers today was the kitchen at the Ananta Basudev temple. This kitchen prepares food everyday for thousands of people and it is a favourite among the locals and visitors as well who love to explore the traditional palette of tastes. The heritage walkers got to see the ingredients of the dishes to be prepared as they were coming into the kitchen early in the morning. The cooking techniques used and the tales behind various dishes was savouring for the walkers.
Maya, a Consultant for the Innovations for Successful Societies of US-based Princeton University, took part in the trail this morning. She said “this walk was the highlight of my stay at Bhubaneswar. I absolutely enjoyed it and loved to get an insight into these majestic temples and monuments here”.
The 130th Heritage Walk at Old Town culminated at Ekamravan, a medicinal plant garden on the western bank of Bindu Sagar Lake. Here the walkers strolled through the garden as they learned about the various herbs and plants and were intrigued by the story of transformation of how an open defecation site was converted into a beautiful garden dedicated to healing.
The Museum Walk at Odisha Crafts Museum – Kala Bhoomi was an interactive session and the guests were in love with the place. The Natural Crafts and the Tribal Crafts galleries were the center of attention during the walk. The walkers were delighted to see the horn crafts section in the Natural Crafts gallery as for many it was a call back to their childhood days. There was a time when many Odia households used to have decorative horn crafts on display. Sadly this art is dying. This specific craft is one of the few ones that is made out of animal horns but is not illegal as the horns are collected after an animal dies.
Also the Tribal Crafts gallery was a fascinating experience as the visitors got to learn about the everyday lives of the tribal communities and how they have successfully coexisted with nature for hundreds of thousands of years. Their organic ways of life is something we can probably only dream of in today’s world of hyper connectivity. Everybody felt that we should care and protect our tribal cultures as we have a lot to learn from their ways of living. The tribal clothes and jewellery which also have multiple utilitarian uses was very interesting to the young walkers who joined the Museum Walk today.
The Monks, Caves and Kings at the famous Jain heritage site of Twin Hills of Khandagiri and Udayagiri happens on Saturday morning and the Temple Walk at the Old Town area on Sunday morning. Both the days the walk starts at 6.30 am. Sunday’s afternoon walk at the Crafts Museum, Kala Bhoomi near Gandamunda starts at 3.30 pm on Sunday. Join the experience for a walk to remember.