Odisha Travel Bazaar delegates join special heritage walk in Old Town

Bhubaneswar: One Special and another scheduled heritage walks were held today. While 20 domestic tour operators from the third edition of Odisha Travel Bazaar (OTB) 2019 joined the Old Town Circuit, others joined the Monks Caves and Kings at the Twin Hills of Khandagiri and Udayagiri as part of the city’s first guided heritage tour, i.e. Ekamra Walks.
The objective of a Special Heritage Walk for the OTB 2019 delegates was to familiarise the group about the great heritage corridors of the Temple City of Bhubaneswar which was in olden days was known as Ekamra Kshetra.
The walk started from near 10th Century Mukteswar Temple withi its unique arch and passed through the 7th Century Parasurameswar Temple and finished near the Ekamra Van, the heritage herbal garden with more than 200 rare medicinal plants on the Western Bank of Bindusagar lake. The OTB delegates visited seven monuments led by tour guide Tapan Kumar Mishra.
The Operators were spellbound to see the great architectural efflorescence and are keen to promote the State. “We will definitely promote Odisha’s best kept secrets in our tour plans and advisory when the customers will come to us and seek assistance and travel plans. We have also received a splendid hospitality here which will take Odisha Tourism to new heights,’’ they added.
Mishra narrated the group about the specialty of Kalingan architecture and temple building traditions and how in the past the same had also influenced temple structures in far away South East Asian nations across the Indian Ocean as Kalinga, the ancient land was having a strong maritime link with these island nations.
Apart from the Special Heritage Walk for the OTB delegates the scheduled city heritage walk, i.e. 88th Monks, Caves and Kings was held at the Twin Hills of Khandairi and Udayagiri.
AP Mishra and Sanjukta Panda from Sanbalpur had come with their daughter Ankita who is based in Bhubaneswar. AP Mishra was a former employee of BSNL and his wife Sanjukta was a lecturer.
“I had last visited the caves in 1973. Then I used to carry my bicycle from Sambalpur in bus and with our friends we used to explore Bhubaneswar. This time it’s a different adventure and now, in fact I always wished that this walk, Monks, Caves and Kings could be more longer!
Abhishek Parashar and his mother Sudesh Kumari Parashar were from Himachal. Abhishek works in Bhaba Atomic Research Centre in Tarapur. He was glad that his mother explored the trail in spite of her age. And it was their first time in Odisha.
Nikhil Singla and his son also joined the trail at the world famous Jain heritage site at the Khandagiri-Udayagiri hills. Singla was very happy with the unique idea of a heritage trail and applauded the initiative. A keen listener, he now believes he can also share more insights about his city. He is from Delhi but based here in the State Capital for the past few decades.

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