Bhubaneswar: The Ekamra Walks Old Town Circuit today was a lovely group with visitors from faraway Manchester in UK, six from “God’s Own Country’’ Kerala, students from various city-based educational institutions including school and families.
Jamie Dennis, gardening professional from Manchester, UK, joined the walk as he landed on a five-day visit to Odisha on yesterday. Jamie on Couch-surfing tour, came with his city host Avinash Patnaik.
Jamie, who has visited India for four or five times earlier, has come to Odisha for the first time. “I have heard a lot about Ekamra Walks and thought must try it out when here. My friend Avinash also helped me to come here and I am delighted to be a part of this beautiful venture, which is a nice collage of history, archaeology, ancient architecture, music, dance and last but not the least, gardening and maintaining the beautiful medicinal plant garden called Ekamra Van. I just loved the heritage theme-based garden and the feeling was great.’’
The group from Kerala was led by Sandeep Kemar from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Bhubaneswar, originally from Kerala. His wife Vandana and four of their friends joined the Ekamra Walks Old Town Circuit as the couple came to join the Udayagiri-Khandagiri heritage walk yesterday.
Anu Mathew from Kollam, Kerala, said “we are really overwhelmed after participating in the tour and it was really great to know the ancient temple building tradition of the city, which was earlier known as Ekamra Kshetra.
There are three students from well-known business management institute XIMB, eight from ICICI Academy of Skills, Bhubaneswar, and families from the City. Three kids Tisya, Sampreeti and Tejal from Mother’s Public School and Loyala, respectively, also joined the walk with their parents and family members.
Ipsit Bibhudarshi from XIMB, said “the Odissi recital at Art Vision, an institute established by Italy-bron dance guru Padma Shri Ileana Citaristi is a wonderful experience. After seeing the sculptures on the wall of the beautiful temples, seeing the dance is an enlightening experience as the guide told us that the Odissi poses and postures were derived from the temple sculptures.’’
Karuna Soren, a student of ICICI Academy Skills, Bhubaneswar said “I heard that many students of our institute had visited Ekamra Walks Old Town Circuit before. After participating in it I really understood why there was such a craze about the event in our institute. It really reflects the cultural essence of the Ekamra Kshetra.’’
Tejal, a class VI student from Mothers’ Public School said “I enjoyed my morning and learned a lot about Ekamra Kshetra and the Odissi dance and medicinal plant garden at Ekamra Van added to the delight. I will request all my friends to join the walk during Summer Vacation.