Bhubaneswar: After a brief break the sought-after Ekamra Walks, the first guided heritage walk of the city, comprising Monks Caves and Kings, Old Town Temple Circuit and Museum Walk at Kala Bhoomi will start from June 15. This will coincide with the famous Raja Festival of the State.
While on June 15, the walk at the famous Jain heritage site of twin hills Udayagiri and Khandagiri will start at 6.30 am, the next day on Sunday the Old Town Walk and Museum Walk will start at 6.30 am and 3.30 pm respectively.
The Ekamra Walks were temporarily out of the usual weekend schedule of the city as in the aftermath of severe cyclonic storm Fani a number of trees were uprooted and these was communication and power supply issues. Secondly, the heat-wave like condition following the natural calamity with a very high wind speed of more than 200 kmph also affected the visitors’ footfall.
However, the recent cooling effect following the thunderstorms has again made the morning times conducive to take up the heritage tours as the events are followed by enthusiastic participants from India and abroad.
It can be mentioned here that the Ekamra Walks have so far attracted more than 10,000 visitors from over 30 nations across the world. While till April 27 the Ekamra Walks conducted 71 heritage trails at the Twin Hills of Khandagiri and Udayagiri, the Old Town saw 123 walks till April 28 and Kala Bhoomi saw 47 walks at the Art and Craft Museum.The severe cyclonic storm Fani hit the city on May 3.
A joint initiative of the Bhubaneswar Development Authority, Odisha Tourism and Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation and managed by De Tour Odisha, the popular heritage walk has got a unique identity of its own with many visitors from faraway lands enquiring about it after touching down at the Biju Patnaik International Airport. The regular international air connectivity and Odisha’s link with Buddhism has also given a different impetus to this programme.
“I will definitely try to join the Ekamra Walks on June 15 as it coincides with the Raja Festival and the day will be special for every Odia family for the swings, special cakes made from rice and also paan,’’ said Pratyusha Biswas, a regular at Ekamra Walks.