Dance & Divinity enthrals visitors at city’s guided heritage walk

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Bhubaneswar: Members of the Ekamra Walks, the weekly heritage walk of the city, on Sunday were treated with two wonderful recitals of Odissi by the students of Art Vision in Old Town, the institute run by renowned Odissi and Chhow exponent, Guru Illeana Citaristi.

The 142nd edition of this popular temple trail saw more than 25 members get a warm welcome from Citaristi at her house which is also her dance school. Matching upto the architectural heritage, she has adorned her house with major elements from Kalingan style and even incorporated an open stage into the building, where her disciples performed two items in Odissi and left the heritage walkers in awe. The Odissi Guru said “we will now be associated for another long term so that the visitors of Ekamra Walks would have the opportunity to see the Odissi recital as the classical dance form is equally famous for its influences over Odisha and Odia culture. It’s a great opportunity for travellers and city dwellers to witness Odissi dance every weekend in Bhubaneswar.”

Rupak G, a regular walker with the Ekamra Walks Old Town Circuit said “I have been associated with this walk for the past few weeks and now waiting to participate in all the walks leading up to the 150th milestone walk. It would be a proud moment for all associated with this venture, which has created a new identity for the heritage city in India and all over the world.”

During the weekly heritage tour walkers today also had an experience inside the temple kitchen of Ananta Vasudev temple, the only Vishnu Temple in the Ekamra Kshetra, which is dotted with the maximum number of Shiva shrines. Earlier, at around 6.30 am as usual, the Ekamra Walks started from Mukteswar Temple and covered Parasurameswar, Swarnajaleswar, Kotitirtheswar, Bindusagar, Ananta Vasudev, Lingaraj, Suka-Sari Deula, Bindusagar Parikrama encircling the holy lake, Art Vision Dance Academy and ending at Ekamra Van to see the wonderful medicinal plant garden. There’s so much more to discover and this walk is precisely about the hidden stories of our timeless temples and their traditions .

Earlier on Saturday morning around 15 walkers explored the twin hills of Bhubaneswar famously known as Khandagiri Udaygiri Caves. It was an exciting walk through the sandstone caves and corridors that depict the tales of Odisha’s most loved King Kharavela. The HathiGumpha has one of the most iconic inscriptions that describes how after a remarkable role as a conqueror and a military genius, Kharavela suddenly changed the course of his life like Ashoka, and turned to religious activities. As a Jaina monarch, he entered upon his new role to champion the cause of Jainism.

Bhubaneswar is best explored and experienced by its curated heritage walks this season. The walks are expected to involve, engage and sensitize more people, in particular the youth, about their cultural heritage.

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