Bhubaneswar: The Temple City image of Smart City Bhubaneswar will be revived with a weekly heritage walk starting this Sunday (December 18) at 6 am from the Mukteswar Temple in the Old Town area of the city.
The heritage walk, to be known as ‘Ekamra Walks’ and meant for connoisseurs of culture, art and heritage and niche tourists, would end at the Mukteswar Temple again after covering around 2 km via Pabaneswar, Parsurameswar, Taleswar, Bindusagar, the kitchen complex of Ananta Basudev and nearby shrines, old Dharmshala, Lingaraj Temple Precinct, Chitrakarini, Papanasini, Bharati Math and Baital temple, Ratha Road and its Sahis or lanes, medicinal plant garden at Ekamra Van and Uttareswar Temple premises.
The Ekamra Walks would have a minimum of 30 people in a group and would be provided with guide assistance so that the participants can enjoy the walk learning about the brief history and traditional rituals associated with the ancient monuments.
Looking on to the response, more groups and customised Ekamra Walks on days other than Sunday would also be organised by the tour managers so that more and more visitors, foreign tourists and visitors to various city hotels could be accommodated.
Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation(BMC), Odisha Tourism, Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) will organise the event every week and city-based tour start-up Detour Odisha Private Limited will work as the programme manager and facilitator for this ambitious venture.
As per sources, there are also plans in future to include cycle tours to the list of activities in the Heritage District of the Smart City to ensure more and more participation of tourists and promotion and branding of the city, which was an established Shaivaite pilgrimage in the past.
It may be noted here that, ‘Ekamra Kshetra’ is the ancient name of Bhubaneswar and was once the epitome of the traditional temple building activities. Its wealth of monuments is testament to one ancient architectural and historical heritage covering almost 2000 years from the 3rd Century BC to 15th Century AD represented through a congregation of 700 temples, which once stood there. In the Ekamra Kshetra, reference is also made to Ekonakoti Lingas, i.e., one less to a crore and a crore is completed when Lord Lingaraj is taken into account.