30 June 2019
Bhubaneswar: The 126th Heritage Walk with 27 participants ended with many beautiful experiences for all, but the visit to the medicinal plant garden Ekamra Van stole the show as the participants were delighted to know all about the various plant species, their roles in our lives and how traditionally they have become part of our socio-cultural life.
Explaining the concept of Ekamra Van, however, City Divisional Forest Officer and curator of the beautiful garden said, "Despite all our traditional link with the medicinal plants most people fail to recognise and name the plants, but surprisingly foreign tourists are recognising many species and they are also growing the plants for their qualities in their nations. Italian tourists as visitors of the Ekamra Walks Old Town Circuit could identify Arjuna tree, but many locals fail to do so. Calling for a need to spread such awareness, he also lauded the heritage walk for serving the purpose to a certain extent."
Today the walk mostly had students and professionals as participants. They explored the history and cultural heritage of Ekamrakshetra through its temples and lanes. The participants enjoyed the walk as the weather was pleasant with an overcast sky, a little drizzle every now and then and the constant cool breeze.
Class XI Humanities students of Sai International School Akanksha and Apurba participated in the walk for the first time and said, "It was an amazing and informative experience. Even though both of us live in Bhubaneswar we have never been to the Mukteswar Temple. We loved the fact that these intricate carvings on the temple walls are much more than what they appear at first sight. Their stories and meanings are fascinating".
Rituparna, a 4th year Architecture student of Indraprastha University, New Delhi, joined the walk today as part of her research on Kalinga Temple Architecture. She said, "Previously I have done my research through books and the Internet, but coming here and experiencing it visually and physically was an enriching experience. I got to learn much more than what I expected and my perspective about our temples has completely changed. I have already told my teachers that our next project trip should be to Bhubaneswar".
Many of the walkers today were architecture students, interior design students and many were invited by their friends who had attended the walk earlier. The walk culminated at the beautiful Ekamra Van on the western bank of Bindusagar Lake where the walkers got an insight into the medicinal benefits of various trees and why there is an urgent need to save and protect our invaluable natural heritage.
On the 50th Museum Walk more than 15 visitors joined including two students, who will be starting their intership at Kala Bhoomi from tomorrow. Victor, a tourist from Mexico, who joined the Old Town Walk in the morning, also joined the Museum Walk. "Today's experince was wonderful as I got to know so many things on Kalingan temple arcitecture and also the art, craft, fabric and tribal traditions and crafts making activities," he said. Five foreigners from Europe also joined the afternoon walk. They are working with a city-based project.