Bhubaneswar: June 9: Senior bureaucrats, Italian traveler, three researchers from Centre for Policy Research, a Delhi-based public policy think tank, were among others at the 27th Monks, Caves and Kings (MC&K) , the heritage walk at Udayagiri-Khandagiri Jain heritage site.
Principal Secretary to Government, General Administration and Public Grievance Department, Additional Chief Special Secretary to Government, Finance Department and, Additional Chief Principal Secretary to Government, Electronics and Information Technology Department Ashok Kumar Meena took part in the walk with his friend Anurag Bhushan, Joint Secretary with the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi.
“We had a nice tour both exploring the beautiful heritage site and also enriching our knowledge on the ancient caves, rulers of the Kalingan empire and also knowing the socio-cultural elements of the old era,’’ they added.
Shubhagato Dasgupta, Senior Fellow with Centre for Policy Research (CPR) termed his day’s experience as extraordinary and also appreciated the job of the guide as he explained the historical facts with nice story-telling tradition. “I had been to Odisha on numerous occasions, but today’s experience was memorable one,’’ he observed.
Anju Dwivedi, researcher with CPR, said “I had been to Odisha before, but never had an opportunity to visit Udayagiri and Khandagiri. The heritage was amazing as we came to know many things on Odisha’s past and how as a leader Emperor Kharavela excelled during his time.’’
Another researcher with CPR Ambarish Karunanithi said “I have a special bond with Odisha as I was earlier working here and my wife belongs to this land, but I had never been to such a beautiful cave site full of ancient caves, rock art, historic connections with the erstwhile rulers and images depicting early form of dance form, which might be the precursor of Odisha’s classical dance, i.e. Odissi.’’
All three from CPR was very much interested for the heritage walk in the Old Town Circuit, but as they had to catch their flight today after the Monks, Caves and Kings walk, they promised to add the visit during their next trip to Odisha.
Anna Madaschi, an Italian tourist, who is exploring the entire country of India said “I had been here in India for quite some time travelling alone, but after touching down here yesterday I found the land very close to my heart, and the people are really nice.’’
Anna got to hear about Ekamra Walks in the Old Town Circuit and the Monks, Caves and Kings from an Odia fellow traveler while visiting the Sundarbans in West Bengal, recently. She plans to join the Ekamra Walks in the old city and also to visit places like Dhabaleswar near Cuttack during her stay here. So immense was her new-found love for Odisha, she visited 10 temples yesterday on her own after touching down.
Anna belongs to a small city Bergamo, 40 km away from the famous metropolis Milano. “My city Bergamo also has a new city and Old City as it is there in Bhubaneswar,’’ she observed.
Rashmi Deshpande, a child-psychologist, who joined the walk today said “the educational institutes like schools can devise ways to join the heritage walk in future so that from a young age the topics like conservation of monuments entre the young minds and ignite them to take action. The heritage walk in the Twin Hills is really enriching all with a loads of information on the past of Kalinga and its empire.’’