22 December 2019
Bhubaneswar: Braving the morning fog that engulfed the entire Ekamra Kshetra, 35 walkers and heritage enthusiasts gathered around the 10th Century architectural marvel of Kalingan temple building style, Mukteswar Temple with its unique arch and took part in the 151st Ekamra Walks, Old Town Circuit.
As the sun began to shine, finally filtering in through the fog, the walk began with a soulful music epilogue. Starting from Mukteshwar Temple, the walk this time saw a host of families and students participating. For the walkers, it was an experience that opened their minds to the history that surrounds the city.
When you walk along with practically strangers around Old Town, listening to stories of the carvings and temples and the history, you don't realise when you become a storyteller alongside them. Roshini, a conservation architect from Bangalore, was one such walker. As the walk progressed, she provided insights into the temple architecture and the process of building a temple, the history of Dharamshala and how it was inspired by a blend of Indian vernacular architecture and colonial architecture.
As you follow the walk from the start to the end, you never realise that it comes to an end as you sit in Padmashree Ileana Citaristi’s Art Vision Dance Academy, enjoying, what is one of the most graceful dance forms, learning about mudras from Odissi dancers and how with movements, they tell stories. One of the best things of the walks is that it doesn’t tire you but makes you feel more refreshed; with your heart full and head buzzing with stories and history behind the city’s heritage.
This walk also saw people being persuaded by the young ones and friends. Parents joining their children to become a part of this edition and students chiming in with their own facts to tell. Three students from XIMB finally found themselves motivated by their friend who had been a part of the walk which turned out to be an eye opener for them that the city that they’ve been spending so much time is a city that carried so much of history in its temples and monuments.
The 151st walk, being the penultimate edition for 2019, remains something to reflect upon. How some became storytellers along the way and how some kept coming back. Bonds were made and moments were shared. Every walk became a walk to remember. Every walker, walking out of these trails, carrying their own stories and new found knowledge of history and heritage to share.
With the year coming to an end, one more walk remains. If you haven't been a part of the heritage walks yet, make sure to join the one next Sunday. Come be a part of the story and discover a storyteller in you at the end.