The heritage lovers were left awe-struck
at the architectural marvels, rich history and legacy of ancient Kalingan
The Ekamra heritage walk that is being
undertaken under government initiative since past nineteen weeks in the temple
city today 23 April ‘17 attracted active involvement of many overseas visitors.
Braving heat and humidity, the heritage
walkers relished the artistic excellence of Kalingan style of architecture and
Special performance of Odishi music
was an added attraction for all. Among others, the family members of the Dutch
Ambassador i.e. his wife, son and daughter-in-law took part in the guided tour
of the city.
While the walk started with a nice recital
of flute by Jagat and troupe the guests enjoyed every bit of the nice music
created by the artists, the guide of the day explained, led the troupe and told
them in details the basis behind the walks and the essence of the Kalingan
architecture of the temple building tradition.
Among others, principal secretary Tourism
Arti Ahuja and principal secretary Cooperation Manoj Ahuja and director tourism
Nitish Bhnudas Jawle were present.
The heritage walkers discovered new
stories behind each temple as they touched Parsurameswar, Swarnajaleswar,
Kotitirtheswar, Bindusagar, Old Dharmasalas, Lingaraj Temple, Suka-Sari temple
complex, Mohini, Vaitaal, Ekamra Van and in the end saw the Odissi recital at
Art Vision, the school by famous Odissi and Chhow dance Guru, Padmashree Ileana
On the way while visiting the monuments
the walks also interacted with the members of Urban Sketchers, as they were
busy sketching the locations near Lingaraj Temple and the historic Devipadahara
tank. There were 15 artists, of which six were at Lingaraj Temple and nine at
Devipadahara tank. The tank with 100 small temples on its bank is one of the
most beautiful water bodies in the city. It is under the conservation list of
the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
The walkers also saw the dismantling of
the Rukuna Rath, the chariot of Lord Lingaraj as it takes the deity to Mausima
Temple during Ashokastami. The visitors also interacted with local vegetable
sellers, florists, whose lives are associated with the socio-cultural ways of
the Old Town area in the city.
The family members of the Dutch Ambassador
to India also keenly observed the conservation work at Suka-Sari Temple as no
cement is needed to join the stones and instead lime and the gum from stone
apple plant is used to make a special paste to join the stones. More than two
years ago the temple complex was excavated by the ASI Excavation branch in
The visitors also went to the `parikrama’,
made of laterite stone to give the Bindusagar lake a classic look. Near the
Mohini temple, they had a brief discussion with the guide on the importance of
the holy lake, the different `ghats’ and their use and how to make the lake
clean and sustainable.
The travelers later went to Vaitaal
temple, which has a top like an inverted boat and it is unique one in the city,
which has another 360 ancient structures. Later, they went to Ekamra Van the
medicinal plant garden, along the western coast of the Bindusagar Lake, which
has more than 220 kinds of various herbal plants, shrubs and creepers. It has
the plants arranged in three different segments representing plants used for
males, females and paediatric use and in other way for Shiva, for Parvati and
their son Ganesh.
After a hectic walk the guests were given
a surprise performance of a music as Bishal Panda played the guitar and
Shriddhi Dash sang a beautiful song to match the mood.
Before introducing the guests to Odissi,
Ileana Citaristi, Italian-turned Indian dance Guru said ``Odissi has three
major components i.e. Mangalacharan, Pallavi and Abhinaya and the dance fprm
has been derived from the stone carvings of the ancient temples. Later her
students staged three different dances representing the three sub-sets of
Odissi. However, the dance-drama under Abhinaya with a beautiful song ``Kahin
gale mulari phoonka, jubati rasiya kamini ranka…’’ were interesting and
engaging. The subject matter was on the different ``leelas’’ of Lord Krishna.
Dimtri, son of the Dutch envoy said ``the
professional way in which the Ekamra Walks is being conducted, is a nice thing
to notice.’’ The youthfulness of the heritage walk and the spirit of the people
associated with it also inspired him.
``The city is full of ancient monument and
I am really fascinated by them as one emerges within every 500 metres,’’ he
David Stein from US said
``this is my first visit to the city, but I would like to come to almost all
Ekamra Walks as the experience is amazing.’’