Bhubaneswar: With the famous annual Khandagiri Mela just days away, heritage lovers today had a nice time knowing the tales behind the ancient, man-made caves of Udayagiri and Khandagiri and also the stories behind the former rulers of Kalinga, who were known for their heroic deeds and making almost 40 percent of territory within the Indian sub-continent under their rule.
However, five students from Institute of Mathematics and Applications, Andharua, on the outskirts of the city enjoyed the most as all were from neighbouring states and they heard so many interesting stories about the rich and colourful history of ancient Kalinga.
Riddhiman Dutta Roy, a undergraduate student from the prestigious institute of Mathematics, said “our institute is so near to the Twin Hills, but we never came here with such an interesting group or professional guide. With this beautiful experience we will definitely tell our other friends to join the Monks, Caves and Kings heritage walk. We are having nearly 80 students at our institute including both the undergraduate and post-graduate classes.’’
Megha Chakrabarty, also from Institute of Mathematics and Applications, Andharua, said “the Khandagiri Hills is known for its monkeys, but today we could see beautiful relief images in stone of Jaina Tirthankars and it reminded me the types of rock-cut Buddha statues in other places, I have seen in pictures. In olden times how the artisans and stone carving experts could manage to do this type of work is actually a matter of surprise to us.’’
Sampad Lahiri, also from the group said “after this nice experience at Monks, Caves and Kings we qill also invite many friends from our institute to join the Ekamra Walks, Old Town/Lingaraj Circuit on a Sunday in near future.’’
Sarbani Roy, an IT professional from Pharmaceutical sector, who stays in US for her work, said “these two heritage walks in the city have generated so much of interests in the non-resident Odias like me. In fact, some months ago I missed the opportunity to go for the Old Bhubaneswar heritage walk, but after today’s experience tomorrow I will try my best to join the other walk.
Johnson Babu Puthuparambil and Sandeep Kumar S, from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar, Sijua, said “last time also we joined the walk and found it interesting. Now we will be inspiring others in our circle to join the heritage walks, both in the Old City and the Twin Hills of Udayagiri and Khandagiri.
Jennifer Harrison, who is a regular walker at Old Town and the Twin Hills and enjoying the sharing of heritage knowledge with the group said “more and more students must join these week-end events to know about their city’s heritage and especially how the city emerged from an old village economy to a progressive urban settlement and now becoming a Smart City.
Today there were 25 heritage walkers from different walks of life. Guide Satyaswarup Mishra also interacted with the visitors and inspired them to ask more questions.