Bhubaneswar: With a varied group of walkers the 23rd Monks, Caves and Kings, guided heritage walk under the umbrella of Ekamra Walks at the Twin Hills of Udayagiri and Khandagiri, today experienced participation of travellers i.e. officials from the GST Council, Ministry of Finance, wildlife conservationist, PR person, dentist, students and many families, who were overwhelmed with all the stories the mute stones, caves and images speak as the guide unveils the wonderful tale before them.
Shashank Priya, Joint-Secretary GST Council under Ministry of Finance said “I had been to Odisha before, but today’s experience at Monks, Caves and Kings was wonderful and I really enjoyed the moment with detailed description on the various subjects by the guide and also participants sharing their knowledge and views.’’
The senior bureaucrat from New Delhi, who is on a national conference on GST (Goods and Services Tax) in the city, was also keen to join the Ekamra Walks, Old Town Circuit, but with a pre-engagement in Puri could not plan that. “I will definitely join the Old Bhubaneswar walk one day during my next visit to Odisha,’’ he added.
Rajesh Pandey, Additional Director General in DG-GSTI , Pune Zonal office, said “we had been to Udayagiri two days ago, but we just entered and went away as the tour was not interesting. Today we are really lucky to know so much of history, tradition, sacrifice and love of the ruler Kharavela for his people and State. The experience was unique.’’
PK Sharma, originally from Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh, but currently working as Executive Engineer with Central Public Works Department, said “I am fortunate to stay and work here as the city is full of several wonderful monuments and a person interested in engineering must be happy to explore all these beautiful edifice.’’
Senior dental surgeon Nagendra Behari Panda from the city said “I am happy that such an initiative has started by the city authorities and it would certainly help in city branding to the next level.’’
Dharitri Satapathy, a PR professional from national aluminium major Nalco said “the heritage walk is providing a special identity to the city. There should be more circuits added to these two so that the travellers would have a bouquet of choices.’’
Wildlife conservationist Rudra Narayan Mohapatra observed that even though the historical structure at Udayagiri dates back to 2nd Century BC, the images on the wall of the first floor of Rani Gumpha caves represent the animal-human being conflicts, which are still there even today.
As the schools are closed for the Summer Holidays, four school kids also joined the walk with their families.