Caves and Kings Heritage Walks: School students’ date with tales of Twin Hills

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Bhubaneswar: More than 100 students and their teachers from city-based Amrita Vidyalayam and 15 regular walkers at the 47th Monks, Caves and Kings (MCK) had a wonderful time at the famous Jain site of Udayagiri-Khandagiri as they explored the rock-cut caves listening to the tales and several students enjoying the sketches of the caves during their date with history.

Subhangi Mohanty a student of Class IX of Amrita Vidyalayam was fascinated about knowing the stories behind the rocky wonderland. “I have come here several times in the past, but never had an opportunity to know the interesting stories behind. I will definitely come again and join the walk,’’ she said.

Mayank Pattanaik from Class IX of the school termed the experience of the day as “wonderful’’ and “educative.’’

Saloni Priyadarshini from Class IX said “we are lucky to be part of the walk as the guide told the stories behind Emperor Kharavela, his empire and how once the Kalingan kingdom had a dominance over 40 percent of the landmass of the sub-continent.’’

Dattatreya Pattanaik from Class VIII was happy that a large group got the opportunity to paint the cave scene on their paper and the other one scanned through the hilly terrain and received the information on the hill, the influence of Jain religion and other stories of Emperor Kharavela and his kingdom.

Mousumi Pattanaik, Principal Amrita Vidyalayam, Bhubaneswar, termed the experience of the entire team of students and teachers as “very special’’.

“I had visited the caves four times in the past, but the information we gathered today was very interestingly told and all the students and teachers enjoyed their time especially at Udayagiri. Even on the Khandagiri Hills the priest beautifully explained the story of Goddess Barabhuja. We are definitely coming with more students on more trips in the future.’’’

Teacher Rupanwita Mishra, Pravati Nayak, Saloni Chauhan were also of the opinion that the heritage walk at Udayagiri-Khandagiri was really an educative experience for the school students and especially for them, with a little more interests on knowing history, anthropology, archaeology, and culture.

Dr. PVL Srinivas, Associate Professor in Department of Drama in Utkal University of Culture, who is a regular at all the three heritage walks across the city, said “it is nice to see the school students of Amrita Vidyalayam joining the Monks, Caves, and Kings and spending time for the knowledge-gathering on our heritage site. The students, sketching the caves also created beautiful works.’’ Dr. Srinivas was part of the regular group of 15 walkers today at the Twin Hills of Khandagiri and Udayagiri.

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