Bhubaneswar: On the grand occasion of Odia Naba Barsha (New Year Day) the heritage walk at the Twin Hills of Udayagiri and Khandagiri today saw participation of different families and students of the top business institute of the city Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar (XIMB) as they discovered the stories behind the monument, which dates back to nearly 2nd Century BC.
Pradeep Kumar Sahoo, a resident of Sailashree Vihar came to Monks, Caves and Kings with his wife, two daughters and a son and the siblings enjoyed their time to the fullest as they continued to listen to the guide and also took selfies and family photos while moving across the hills.
“We have come to this Jain heritage site a number of times, but never felt so special and came to know about so many things including a possible Buddhist structure atop Udayagiri and also the other stories including the first display of a courtroom dance form in full costume, which could be the earlier form of Odissi,’’ added Sahoo.
Manas Ranjan Patnaik, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Tourism, New Delhi, came with his elder brother Pradipta Ranjan Patnaik. “We are local residents and had been to this place since our childhood days, but I found something special in the heritage walk. I would rather suggest the city administration, Archaeological Survey of India and Odisha State Archaeology must work towards having basic facilities like drinking water, toilets, audio guides and light and sound show at this Jain heritage site,’’ said the senior Tourism Ministry official.
Pradipta Ranjan said “during childhood days we were coming to Udayagiri to do uphill exercises as the ramp near the monument is very stiff. Still today’s walk was very special.’’
Saswati Sahoo, Blossom Biswajit Sahoo, Upsit Bibhudarshi, Adyasha Hota and Soumya Panda from the top business institute of the nation XIMB joined the tour today and were very happy after thoroughly enjoying everything including the different types of man-made and pre-historic caves and rock art by ancient people.
Ipsit said “I am a local guy, but from the heritage walk the guides tell us many interesting stories, which have a different power to touch your heart and one remembers it instantly. I will definitely tell other friends of mine to join the walk in future.’’
Sudeep Parmanik, who works in a city-based office of a company, said “the monument hopping activity and an individual are two different experience. I would request everyone in the city to make time and join the walks to know Bhubaneswar better.’’
General Manager (Operations) of Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited Bijay Kumar
Swain took part in the walk today and was happy to discover new things from his trip. “I was a student of nearby Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology, but I had never gathered so many interesting tales about the Twin Hills in the past,’’ he observed.