Bhubaneswar, Dec 17: Odisha state capital will have its heritage walk every week starting this Sunday, at 6 am from Mukteswar Temple, in the Old Town area. The heritage walk is known as “Ekamra Walks“, meant for connoisseurs of culture, art and heritage and niche tourists. The walk would end at Mukteswar Temple again covering a length of around 2 km via Pabaneswar, Parsurameswar, Taleswar, Bindusagar, Kitchen Complex of Ananta Basudev and nearby shrines, old Dharmshala, Lingaraj Temple Precinct, Chitrakarini, Papanasini, Bharati Math and Baital temple, old world charm of the Ratha Road and its Sahis or lanes, medicinal plant garden at Ekamra Van, Uttareswar Temple premises before ending at Kedar Gouri-Mukteswar Temple complex. Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation, Odisha Tourism, Bhubaneswar Development Authority will organise the event every week and city-based tour start-up Detour Odisha Private Limited will work as the programme manager and facilitator for this ambitious venture.
The “Ekamra Walks” will have minimum 30 people in a group and will be provided with guide assistance so that the participants can enjoy their walk learning about the brief history and traditional rituals associated with the ancient monuments. If response is more in future, then more groups and customised “Ekamra Walks“ on days other than Sunday would also be organised the tour managers so that more and more visitors, foreign tourists and visitors to various city hotels could be accommodated.
“Ekamra Kshetra” is the ancient name of Bhubaneswar and it was once the epitome of the traditional temple building activities. Its wealth of monuments is testament to one ancient architectural and historical heritage covering almost 2,000 years from the 3rd Century BC to 15th Century AD represented through a congregation of 700 temples, which once stood there. In the “Ekamra Kshetra” reference is also made to “Ekonakoti Lingas” i.e. one less to a crore and a crore is completed when ‘Lingaraj’ is taken into account. In future days there are plans to include cycle tours to the list of activities in the Heritage District of the Smart City as it would also ensure more and more participation of tourists and promotion and branding of the city, which was an established Shaivaite pilgrimage in the past.