Bhubaneswar: Students and faculties of Utkal University of Culture along with locals came for the 37th Monks, Caves and Kings the heritage walk at the Twin Hills of Udayagiri and Khandagiri under the umbrella Ekamra Walks and were soaked in the knowledge-sharing experience of the ancient caves.
CVL Srinivas, a faculty in Drama with Utkal University of Culture, who came to the heritage walk for the first time, said “after several trips to Ekamra Walks Old Town Circuit, today’s experience at Udayagiri-Khandagiri was really a different encounter. I am really lucky to be here and received so much knowledge on the Twin Hills and how the historical chronology of the ancient Kalingan kingdom was associated with the two hills.”
Interestingly, another walker Pushpita Choudhury, a resident of Niladri Nagar, Khandagiri added that though during past three years she had visited the Twin Hills on several occasions, today’s experience was very special and no one could inform her about such interesting aspects of the monument and how the Jain heritage site was associated with the Royals, who ruled the vast Kalingan empire, which was almost or more than 40 percent area of the erstwhile Hindustan.
“The simple things like naming of the caves, the tales behind them and how the monks, royals and the pre-historic caves transform with the passage of time was nicely narrated by the guide. I did not even know that there is a path near Khandagiri leading to such beautiful images of Jain Tirthankars made from stone relief,’’ she observed.
Prachi Dutta, a post-graduate student of Utkal University of Culture in applied arts, who joined the walk on the fifth day in the City of Temples, was in fact, overwhelmed with her experience at the 37th Monks, Caves and Kings. “I am from Kolkata, but I know that as a land of art and culture how rich and famous was Ekamra Kshetra for its ancient structures and especially the beautiful temples. I am really lucky that I would study here at the Utkal University of Culture and looking forward to have many inspirations from the temple art, designs and motifs,’’ she added.
It can be mentioned here that the Monks Caves and Kings heritage walk at the Twin Hills is at 6.30 am on Saturday, whereas on Sunday Ekamra Walks starts at 6.30 am from Mukteswar temple and ends at the medicinal plan garden Ekamra Van. The Museum Walk at Kala Bhoomi starts at 3.30 pm in afternoon on Sunday and continue for one and half to two hours. Recently the BDA authorities have initiated a tender process to introduce five more heritage walks and cycle tours across the city.