Bhubaneswar: The Ekamra Walks, the only guided heritage walk of the city, which had already received a wide response from visitors across the Indian sub-continent and the world, today crossed the 1,600 marks.
Interestingly, today’s guests’ list was also of a mixed profile while the footfall remained at 140. The IIT Bhubaneswar students outnumbered all with 95 and the Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management, Bhubaneswar had eight. However, today there was a guest Samantha Deni Gascon from Malinalco in Mexico and she is perhaps the first guest from South America to arrive at Ekamra Walks.
Sunita Tripathy, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) from Philadelphia, US on the Eastern Coast, came today to Ekamra Walks and was delighted as she was once a student of BJB College in the city.
“I had the family, kids also in the city, but I could not wait for all to accompany me as I am terribly interested for the heritage walk. It’s really nice to see all these monuments and the cleanliness should be a bit challenge even today. We have to upgrade it,’’ she said.
Roshni Bajaj Sanghvi, food writer for Conde Nast Traveller India, who is on a trip to write on the food habits and the treasure of Odia cuisines, was part of the 35th Ekamra Walks. She got to know the temple kitchen of Ananta Vasudev Temple on the eastern banks of the holy Bindusagar, where the temple kitchen on a daily basis feeds thousands of people.
“I am delighted to know the cooking process very similar to the Jagannath Temple, which, I visited yesterday and also I am happy to note that being the only Vishnu temple in the Ekamra Kshetra, this is the oldest temple kitchen in the State Capital,’’ she said.
Samantha Deni Gascon from Mexico was delighted to know the mythology and stories behind the temples and the beautiful carvings of the monuments listed in the Ekamra Walks. “I am happy to see the beautiful stone structures, which were built by the old rulers with such dedication and love. They represent the socio-anthropological status of those bygone eras,’’ she added.
Abdurr Ad, a first year B.Tech student of IIT Bhubaneswar termed the experience as “great and interesting.’’ He also promised to tell other friends to come on the weekly heritage event.
Nishant Maurya from Lucknow, Vedant Gupta from Delhi and Nitisha Koppula from Hyderabad, all from heritage cities and currently at IIT Bhubaneswar in the first year of B. Tech have found the Ekamra Walks as an inspiring experience.
Their friends Reya Sadhu from Kolkata said “I had visited Bhubaneswar before, but today’s heritage tour has opened a different window to me and I am happy that this Old City area has so many things to offer.’’
Sushmita Barla, Urvashi Sahoo, Sawarisa Suiama, Priyanka Sharma and Ashish Sahoo, all students of MBA in tourism management with IITTM, Bhubaneswar at Dumduma termed the heritage walk as “educative, excellent and inspiring for all and especially for students associated with the trade of tourism and hospitality management. We will also tell our friends in our campus to come for the walk’’.
Apart from the monuments, the visitors today also had a quality time inside the Ekamra Van, the medicinal plant garden with more than 220 varieties on the western bank of the sacred Bindusagar Lake.
The Ekamra Walks is a joint initiative of the Bhubaneswar Development Authority, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation and Odisha Tourism. De Tour is the tour manager for this historic tour, which, has recently received and continuing receiving good response in all fronts, especially from Social Media.