Utkal Divas theme, songs at Ekamra Walks mesmerize heritage lovers

Bhubaneswar: Love for Odisha, Odia and Utkal Divas was the theme at the Ekamra Walks Old Town Circuit today, with visitors enjoying the heart-touching musical rendition at the premises of Mukteswar-Siddheswar temple complex.
Susanta Kumar Jena on Tabla and Chandan Sethi on the violin mermerised the visitors as they created tunes for patriotic numbers starting Vande Utkala Janani (I salute mother, land of Utkal). Visitors comprising NRI resident, IT professionals, tourists from Karnataka and West Bengal and locals enjoyed the heritage walk on the special day.
Mangalore-based dental surgeon Dr. U. Prabhakar, who is here in the Temple with his architect daughter Neethi Lavanya and son Arjun NK and daughter-in-law Pooja L. Bhat, both IT professionals based in Bengaluru was very happy to learn that Utkal Divas is celebrated on April 1 every year and on this day in 1936 Odisha was formed on the basis of linguistic considerations. He was very happy to hear the tune of Vande Utkala Janani by the musicians at Ekamra Walks.
US-based NRI Sharbani Roy, who had participated in the Monks, Caves and Kings heritage walk at Khandagiri-Udayagiri earlier in the past, said “the Ekamra Walks Old Town Circuit on the last weekend of my trip, which also happened to be Utkal Divas, was an amazing experience. This tour helped me rediscover my roots and understand the architecture of even other temples of this beautiful city. I would recommend this walk to not only visitors, but also to all the residents of the Temple City.
Sharbani also enjoyed the Odissi recital at Art Vision, the institute established by Italy-born Odissi Guru Ileana Citaristi. “I was really overwhelmed with today’s walk from the beginning till the end,’’ she informed.
Captain Sonia Sangwan from infrastructure major Sam Indus joined the Ekamra Walks Old Town Circuit. She learnt about the walk from friends and social media.
In her reaction to the walk she said “it was pleasure being part of heritage walk of the city. I have been working in Bhubneshwar on Smart City public private partnership (PPP) projects and was really impressed that Bhubneshwar has been selected as the Number One Smart City. We are working hard to bring the exemplary work here, but today after seeing its rich cultural heritage I am convinced that it is the best city of India being the perfect combo of smartness and rich culture. I am foreseeing the city being global in near future for its unique combination, which makes it smartest heritage city.’’
Sonia, who works as the Project Coordinator for two city-based affordable housing projects, also added that It couldn’t have been possible without the efforts and support of Odisha Government and its resident’s for preserving their rich culture while moving ahead with constant growing technology.
Family from Asansol led by Sanjay Barnwal, teacher from a missionary school Ukhra AG, who teaches history and literature, said “yesterday we were at the Twin Hills along with our daughter Smriti Barnwal, who studies here at Regional Institute of Education (RIE). However, seeing the traditions and beliefs of the people I am happy that people have created an atmosphere to carry on the way of their life and make the city beautiful.’’
Sanjay is here to visit her daughter at RIE and do some quality ventures to know the city more relating to its cultural heritage and traditions. “I am really impressed with both the walks,’’ he added.
He also appreciated the medicinal plant garden Ekamra Van, which is at the Western bank of holy lake Bindusagar. “Being a teacher and having a family touring this heritage city, this unique medicinal plant garden today made my trip more fun and educative, Sanjay added.

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