The legend of Kharavela and Bhubaneswar’s Jain heritage impress trail enthusiasts

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Bhubaneswar: The epic tales of Kharavela and his reign unfolded in the Twin Hills of Khandagiri and Udayagiri today morning for the participants of the heritage walk – cave trails known as Monks, Caves and Kings.

The walkers today were fascinated to learn about the life and times of the emperor. They were especially intrigued by the well-chiselled panels near the Rani Gumpha which tells the tale of how the King Kharavela met his queen during a hunting expedition. They were also impressed by how he adopted the Jain teachings of the monks back then which was about ahimsa (non-violence) and leading a life of simplicity.

The walk was a fun-filled, interactive and informative two-hour trek through history and the caves of the twin hills of Khandagiri and Udayagiri. When the walkers reached the top of Udayagiri Hill, the stunning view of the city took everyone’s breath away. The intermittent drizzle, the cool breeze and the lush green vegetation around the hills were the perfect setting for an enchanting walk to remember.

Vishnu, a trainee officer at India Post, attended the Monks, Cave and Kings trail today and said “this walk was an excellent and enlightening experience. What I enjoyed most was the interactive experience and the beautiful natural setting of these hills. It is appreciable that the people here understand the historical relevance of this place and the way they love art, culture and heritage. I will definitely be recommending this walk to everyone, especially those who are interested in art, history, archaeology and tourism others to have a larger understanding of our history as well as the cultural ethos of Odisha, the ancient Kalinga.”

The 76th Monks, Caves and Kings trail played host to a team of guests which included professionals and students from the city and other parts of India. This trail is a part of the Ekamra Walks initiative by Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) and is curated by Detour Odisha. The Monks, Caves and Kings at the famous Jain heritage site of Twin Hills of Khandagiri and Udayagiri happen on Saturday morning and the Temple Walk at the Old Town area on Sunday morning. Both the days the walk starts at 6.30 am. Sunday’s afternoon walk at the Crafts The museum, Kala Bhoomi near Gandamunda starts at 3.30 pm on Sunday.

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