Bhubaneswar: Last day of the year, last day, last day of the month and last Ekamra Walks (Old Town Circuit) was a memorable day today with senior citizens, young walkers and architects making it a meaningful discussion on the temple building style and uniqueness of the city monuments, dotting mainly in and around the old city near the majestic Lingaraj Temple and the holy Bindusagar lake.
While the walkers came to know about the temple building style and the building plan of the 10th Century Mukteswar Temple, which is famous for its unique arch, the participants including kids had a meaningful discussion over the types of stone used for the construction, the images of different Gods and Goddess and how the different forms of Goddesses evolved through the passage of time.
It was near 7th Century Parasurameswar Temple, where the discussion on Saptamatrika images or the seven fierce forms of Parvati gained momentum and guide Satyaswaroop Mishra detailing out the evolution of Goddess-centric shrines at a later stage, though in earlier period the Gods’ shrines were predominantly seen.
“With the genesis of more forms of Parvati or the Shakti the society gradually turned towards Goddess worshipping which might have carved a niche towards the Shakti Upasana or Shakti cult, and the general social belief gradually turning towards the new orientation in Hindu belief,’’ he explained.
Fourth year architecture student from the College of Engineering and Technology (CET) Swayam Swastik Das said “our temples are the perfect example of scientific adaptation of knowledge of the Sun Band prevalent in different seasons and their opening doors and side doors and the other parts were planned as per the directions of wind circulation during the two major seasons which we feel the most, I.e. Summer and Winter.’’
Another friend of Swayam, Suman Routray, also a fourth year student of architecture from CET and participant at the heritage walk today, said “the ancient temples were so much based on the basic scientific principles and observations that with the proper use of light and wind circulation, the temple makes were able to create a cooling micro climate, which was providing a nice experience to the visitors and they were feeling tremendously cool physically, along with getting the religious cooling from the Gods and Goddesses.’’
A regular participant with Ekamra Walks (Old Town circuit) Hitesh Seth said “as a common visitor we are looking at the temples as our monuments for the future by our past generation. However, we have to scientifically explore the architectural and structural details to know more about our ancient Engineering Science.
After visiting major monuments like Mukteswar, Parasurameswar, Swarna Jaleswar, Kotitirtheswar, Bindusagar, Ananta Vasudev, Old Dharamsala, Lingaraj, Chitrakarini, Sari, Mohini and Vaitaal, they also went to the medicinal plant garden i.e. Ekamra Van with a rich collection over 200 plant varieties. Apart from the Old Town Circuit of the Ekamra Walks, a second weekly heritage walk has also started at the twin hills of Udayagiri and Khandagiri and it is held every Saturday.
At the Old Town Circuit of the Ekamra Walks more than 3,150 walkers have joined so far during its 55 editions so far. People from 26 nations have joined the heritage walk as it has become a happening thing among tourists, thanks to the various social media options, the craze is gradually increasing.