Locals enjoy 153rd Ekamra Walk: The first walk of the year in Old Town
Bhubaneswar, January 6 : As the early morning remained hazy today, with the Sun playing hide and seek throughout, 25 walkers gathered at the 10th Century Mukteshwar Temple for the first walk of the year in the Old Town area of the State Capital.
This group consisting of mostly locals and some visitors had a mixed bag of regular walkers and first timers. The walk started with the classical combination of flute and tabla. With the music filling the atmosphere, the tone set for the walk was jubilant.
Some say there’s nothing new under the sun. They’ve certainly never been to the Ekamra Kshetra.
Today’s walk brought such an experience for the walkers. Although most of them had visited the same temples, the same heritage sites, they were awestruck to learn so much more about these places. One of those places was the Curzon Mandap. A small British era structure with footprints of colonial building patterns. According to locals Lord Curzon, a viceroy, was denied entry into the majestic Lingaraj Temple for being a non-Hindu. So he had ordered for the construction of this view tower alongside the compound wall near the north gate of Lingaraj Temple complex which provides an elevated platform for the visitors to take a glance at the majestic temple structure.Every temple covered on this walk was as beautiful as they were mysterious. Each of them had a story.
The walkers also stopped by the dharamshalas of old town. The two prominent dharamshalas count their foundation day back to nearly 100 years. Sharing close to 60 rooms in between them, they offer the perfect place for visiting pilgrims and common folk alike.
When the group reached near the Suka Sari Temple, they were astonished to learn that the relics that remain of the once monumental temple structure, was excavated as recently as three years . These remnants also bolster the popular legend that we were once the proud host to over seven thousand shrines.
Biranchi Panda, an architecture student from CET said that despite being from the city itself today’s walk was enlightening for him. He learnt a lot of new things and all in a very interactive way, which according to him was a very positive thing. His friend Aditi added the importance of the walk and expects more informative walks like this to be rolled out in different cities.
For Shilpi Nanda, another walker today, the highlight was the visit to the kitchen area of the Ananta Basudev Temple, which is not something they usually get to visit.
The walk ended with the rhythmic rituals performed to perfection by the Odissi dancers of Padmashree Ileana Citaristi’s Art Vision Dance Academy. The group also gained some invaluable insights on the dance form itself. With the walk coming to an end, the walkers expressed their gratitude and departed with the promise to be back for another edition, with friends and family.
With the first walk of the year concluded, Ekamra Walks hopes to continue informing and enlightening everyone about the history and heritage of our beloved city, for every city has a story, Ekamra Walk