• Bibhuti Barik

Temple City's - Heritage Tale

Updated: Apr 5, 2018

A heritage neighbourhood dotted with temples - Inspiration Behind the Logo

Former Tourism Secretary Arti Ahuja on December 18, 2016 flagged off the heritage walk in Old Town area of the Temple City of India by unfurling a white flag with the logo of Ekamra Walks written in deep black at its centre. But, within a short span that simple, sober and black and white beginning has evolved into a nice spectrum of colourful journey, which took the heritage enthusiasts by storm and week after week, the show turned out to be a showpiece of Bhubaneswar’s pride, attracting citizens from more than 25 nations and with a footfall of 2500 plus walkers.

Heritage Walkers In Old Town

Yes! While the early Sunday morning walk, starting at Mukteswar Temple at 6.30 am,

includes all major monuments and shrines surrounding the majestic Lingaraj Temple and the

holy Bindusagar lake, the second walk at the Twin Hills of Khandagiri and Udayagiri, named

Monks, Caves and Kings has also walked into its 17th edition and adding an average of 30

enthusiasts each Saturday morning. It starts from the gate near Udayagiri, which is having a

beautiful landscape, maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India.

Soaking in the beauty of Lingaraj Temple

Ekamra Kshetra, as the ancient place was known in the past, was once a home to more than

7,000 temples, as experts have studied in archaeology and history. However, due to urban

development, growth and several other factors we are currently having a little more than

360 temples left in the Old City. All these monuments, big and small have emerged from 7 th

Century AD to 15 th or 16 th Century AD. Interestingly, most of the monuments have come up with beautiful water bodies near them making the atmosphere of the entire area cool,

comfortable and green.

Mukteswar Temple in Old Town

During each walk the guide would explain the walkers the typical design elements and

ground plan of Mukteswar Temple as it is regarded as a `Gem’ of Kalingan temple

architecture with a beautiful arch, carvings, windows on temple walls, Panchatantra tales on

its window panels, intricate carvings on the ceilings inside the prayer hall, small temples on

the campus and a beautiful sun dial on its green lawn.

Walking around Chitrakarini Temple

After the 10 th Century Mukteswar, 7 th Century Parasurameswar, 7 th Century Swarnajaleswar, Bindusagar, 12 th Century Ananta Vasudev with its efficient temple kitchen, Century-old Doodhwala Dharamsala, 11 th Century Lingaraj Temple from the View Point (locally called Curzon Mandap), 13 th Chitrakarini Temple with beautiful Pancharatha style, 12 th Century Sari Temple, 9 th Century Mohini Temple, 7 th Century Vaital Temple, medicinal plant gardenEkamra Van and Odissi recital at Art Vision are on the list, though the visitors enjoy their time with other cultural celebrations, rituals and traditional activities as part of the Old City’s religious trends.

In between all the temples this heritage building still thrives

Tantric Temple In Old Town

As the walkers view the beautiful carvings on temple walls with several types of postures or

``Mudras’’ the Odissi recital at Art Vision, dance institute established by Italian-born well known dance Guru Ileana Citaristi, remind them these postures in action and they could

relate how the Classical dance form has taken inspiration from the carvings and gradually

evolved into such a graceful, sensuous and engaging dance form, which has established

itself as a major Classical dance form in the world and with fan following in almost all


When Sculptures Come Alive

At Art Vision Dance School of Padma Shri Ileana Citaristi

From an agrarian economy around the Ekamra Kshetra in the past to the New Capital a

now an emerging Smart City in the making, Bhubaneswar has undergone a dynamic shift in

its historic and urban character. However, the heritage walks are there to remind the

visitors the great historical past of the city . If you are in Bhubaneswar or planning a trip to the Temple City, include the Ekamra Walks to your schedule as they would enlighten you with more insights, besides the usual tours to the age-old monuments. The guides and co-walkers would make you feel at home as every question from your mind would be addressed and explained with reciprocation and love.

Old Town stories beckon one and all..

Aesthetic. Appealing. Elegant. Let us walk through Ekamra...


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