Bhubaneswar: The 18th Ekamra Walks, the heritage walk of the city got a shot in the arm with influx of more than 40 students of the Sai International School of the city and their teachers along with five foreigners and equal number of travelers from metro cities to explore the rich Kalingan architecture.
There were more than 80 participants and so far it is one of the highest comparing the past 17 walks as three groups led by three guides ventured out from the Mukteswar Temple and coincided at Art Vision, the dance institute of celebrated dancer Padma Shri Ileana Citaristi and saw three beautiful recital of Odissi dance making a nice collage of the heritage and culture through the heritage walk.
It can be noted here that apart from the traditional CBSE curriculum, the SAI International School has always focused on extra-curricular activities making its students exposed to all development related to wildlife, nature, slum development and welfare, rural work, tribal upliftment and heritage tours.
“In the past we have taken our students on a heritage exposure visit and conducted a customized tour on the Buddhist Circuit in and around the city, nature and wildlife exposure visit to Himachal and nearby Chandaka Sanctuary, city slums, village works in the vicinity of the state capital so that our students would always be open to other challenges in life. The Ekamra Walks was chosen as we are watching its success every week and thought about giving our students to know their heritage and especially the ancient monuments of the city,’’ said Chairman of the school, leading Charted Accountant, Bijay Kumar Sahoo.
Sahoo and his students were so happy with the tour and the experience of the heritage walk and the dance recital after that, he promised to ask his students to come to the walk regularly so that all the students of SAI International get a basic idea of the major ancient monuments of the city.
Anwesha Panda, a student of the school said “we are happy to explore a part of the city’s heritage and would love to know more about other prominent and lesser-known monuments in future.’’
Aman Chanduka said “more places must come under the ambit of such tour and it must be organized in phases covering all major monuments of the city so that people can explore more and have a choice to join the monuments of their choice to explore and enjoy the trip.’’
During here explanation on the Odissi dance, Ileana Citaristi said “the statues of the graceful statues on the temple walls were actually the basic inspiration of the origin of the classical Odissi dance. It is always better and complementing to see the dance recital after the walk so that one can understand the dance and also the temple architecture in a better way.’’
While the walks passed through Mukteswar, Parasurameswar, Sampurnajaleswar, Kotitirtheswar, Bindusagar, Ananata Vasudev, Old Dharmasala, Chitrakarini, Suka-Sari Temple, Mohini Temple, Parikrama of Bindusagar, Vaitaal Temple, Ekamra Van Medicinal Plant Garden, at Art Vision, they saw the three-legged performances in Odissi. While the first one was on Shivastakam describing Lord Shiva’s life, the second one was Pallavi on Raga Kalavati, the last one was on Dasavatara, the dance drama on the 10 incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
Deepa Rekha, a lawyer from IT Capital Balgaluru, said “this is my first trip to the Temple City, but it was very exciting with the heritage walk, dance recital and I am overwhelmed with the cultural richness of Odisha and especially its temple architecture, which is unique in its own way.’’
Soyo Omechi, said “the city is beautiful and with more diversified tours including cycle tours more and more tourists can come and explore its tradition and cultural essence.’’
Romanova Maria also termed the Ekamra Walks experience as a an educative and enriching experience towards knowing Odia culture and traditions.