Sunday as the Ekamra Walks, the only guided heritage walk of the city entered its 31st edition a group of 12 students from the famous College of Charleston (CofC), downtown South Carolina, USA, joined the event and had a beautiful time with the monuments and later also with the Odissi dance recital at Art Vision, the institute of noted Odissi danseuse Ileana Citaristi.
However, the heritage walk resulted in a great platform for cultural exchange as the students of College of Charleston had a nice interaction with other student members and general participants. Students from ICICI Skill Academy, Bhubaneswar and five members from two leading sea food processing and export firms and an entrepreneur were the other participants, who made the heritage walk a memorable event.
Professor Christine Finnan, who teaches social anthropology and education, led the students, who are part of a delegation of a student exchange programme of the city-based Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences, said “though I came to Bhubaneswar during 2014 and 2015, this heritage walk was a wonderful experience as the students learnt a lot through their journey in the Old City area.’’
Lavren, a student from College of Charleston said “Ekamra Walks twas an awesome experience for all of us.”
Crystina, another student of the CoFC said, “the old monuments and the wonderful architecture has actually created a lasting impression in our mind and the Odissi dance recital by the disciples of Ileana Citaristi was also captivating one.”
Rashmiprabha Palei, a student of ICICI Skill Academy actually came from Cuttack, his hometown to attend Ekamra Walks. She and one of her friends, Laxmipriya Mallick, also from Cuttack had started their journey for the heritage encounter from 4 a.m. in the morning to arrive at the right time near Mukteswar temple, from where begins the walk.
The beautiful and interactive walk today was attended, among others, Principal Secretary Tourism Arti Ahuja and Director Tourism Nitin Bhnudas Jawle. They also interacted with the visitors after the Odissi dance recital at Art Vision.
It can be mentioned here that the heritage walk is an initiative of the Bhubaneswar Development Authority, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation and Odisha Tourism and De Tour Odisha is the official tour manager. Till date around 1,200 visitors from 20 nations have participated in the heritage walk.
Rituparna Panigrahi from Falcon Marine Exports, who is a resident of Soubhagya Nagar, in the city said “being a local till date I could not take part in the walk, but after today’s experience I will come more and more and would definitely tell my friends to join in the programme.”
All students of ICICI Skill Academy, Bhubaneswar, also echoed the same and said that they would go back and spread the wonderful experience of Ekamra Walks among the friends so that more and more people and especially students and youth, would come and join the noble event.