Bhubaneswar: Nearly 100 students with their faculty members and staff from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bhubaneswar came to Udayagiri-Khandagiri Twin Hills today as part of their cultural outreach programme and joined the heritage walk – Monks, Caves and Kings under Ekamra Walks.
Apart from the IIT students a small regular visitors’ group including a researcher from Emory University in US Valerie Bauza and IT professional from Bangalore Bandana Rani Rauta from Legato Health Technologies were there.
Prajwal V S a student with the IIT Bhubaneswar’s School of Mechanical Sciences said “this type of programme would definitely expose the rich heritage and cultural traditions to the students who come from different corners of the nation to study at IIT.”
Sweta Kumari, also from that school was happy to know the stories of monks, caves and kings and how the story of Kalingan empire was linked to the story of the Twin Hills and how emperor Kharavela during his supreme rule enhanced the territory of Kalinga to more than 40 percent of today’s modern Indian territory.
Purimetla Naresh Babu from Electronics branch was overwhelmed to see the ancient caves, which were once the epicenter of Jain religious activities and spiritual in the spiritual renaissance past when Jainism was patronized by the rulers of Kalinga.
Yeddula Kavya, also from Electronics branch termed the experience as a new experience for the young students who want to explore more of Odisha as it was once an epitome of Indian cultural, architectural and economical progress with world heritage site like Konark and a rich maritime tradition with lands in the South East Asian region.
Subhodeep Mullick and Srinivas Pinisetty, both Assistant Professors with IIT Bhubaneswar’s Mechanical and Electrical Schools, respectively, said “the Monks, Caves and Kings would definitely help students from other states to learn more about Odisha and it would be a turning point for them to explore the nearby and faraway destinations during their stay at IIT Bhubaneswar.”
Valerie, from Emory University in Atlanta in US, said “I am currently doing my research project with several institutions, but have discovered both the Ekamra Walks Old Town Circuit and Monks, Caves and Kings as gateways to Odisha’s rich cultural traditions and architectural and unique temple building ways. I would love to explore more such sites during my stay here.”
IT professional from Bangalore Bandana Rani Rauta from Legato Health Technologies, who was at Monks, Caves and Kings with her father Pramod Chandra Rauta, a retired government employee and uncle Sushant Kumar Pradhan, an engineer from Ganjam district, said “I had heard a lot about the walk from my uncle and today discovered it live and was also delighted to see so many students from IIT Bhubaneswar exploring the caves with much interests and learning enthusiasm.”