As the Durga Puja is round the corner and Shakti or worshipping of the goddess was a prime objective in many temples in the Old Bhubaneswar area besides presence of Shiva shrines, visitors at the 41st Ekamra Walks today get to know the various forms of Shakti or Durga and the evolution of the different forms of the Shakti.
While they first saw the seven forms of Mother Goddess (Shakti) on the ceiling of Mukteswar Temple and on the walls of Parsurameswar Temple, during the walk along other monuments and important places of tourism attraction the guide also explained about how, the seven forms of Mother Goddess gradually got to the present form of 108.
Explaining in details during the visit near 7th Century Parsurameswar Temple, Ekamra Walks official guide Satyaswarup Mishra said “previously people thought that Gods are the epicenter of divine power, but later the focus changed to Goddess and by the time the Parsurameswar Temple came up the forms like Chamunda, Indrani, Brahmani, Varahi, Vaishnavi, Maheswari and Kumari . Later the forms were increased to 64 as shown in the 64 Yogini Temple during the Tantric influence and after that again it has gone up to 108. For this reason during religious procession of “Kalash sobhayatra’’ we see 108 holy pitchers being carried with water from a holy waterbody nearby.’’
Santosh Kumar Gahan, Chief Construction Engineer at Upper Indravati Hydroelectric Project, who came all the way from Nabrangpur district, said “during our engineering days at UCE Burla we had a study tour to Delhi and from there I had bought two books on monuments of Bhubaneswar and Delhi and as I was very much interested in them, I still have those books published by the Archaeological Survey of India. Today, while seeing those monuments with explanation from the guide, I was remembering my old engineering college days.’’
Gati Narvekar, a pass out from National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, who is working as a designer at an international consulting agency in Delhi, said “every time I visited the city in the past, my work ended on Friday and I was going back on Saturday. However, after hearing a lot about Ekamra Walks, I stayed back this time only to take part in it and I am really happy to see so many beautiful monuments starting from as early as 7th Century.’’
Naina Thota, from New York USA, who is on a Odisha tour for six months to work for rural health projects of Gram Vikash, said “I am really happy to see so many old monuments in this historic city and also the rich traditions which are still there since ages.’’
It can be mentioned here that last week during the 40th Ekamra Walks Naina’s friend Lauren Hafford, from Colorado USA participated in the heritage tour in the city. Lauren is also working for Gram Vikash for the sanitation issues in rural Odisha.
More than 60 visitors today came for the guided heritage tour in the Old Town area and touched the temples like Muteswar, Parsurameswar, Swarnajaleswar, Kotitirtheswar, Ananta Vasudev, Lingaraj, Chitrakarini, Sari, Mohini and Vaitaal. They also visited Bindusagar, Old Dudhwala Dharmashala and the medicinal plant garden Ekamra Van, which has collection of more than 200 medicinal plants.