Bhubaneswar: Making a wonderful mix of students, professionals and heritage enthusiasts, the Saturday heritage walk at the Twin Hills of Udayagiri and Khandagiri saw more than 25 participants, including five students from two universities of Australia and two students from a leading business management school in France.
Stefanie Gulli, Ambrose Phey, Clare Shelton and Montana Waters from Deakin University, Australia, Ben Harper from Melbourne University, Australia and Johan Sunthareswaran and Joachim Manhes from- International Business School, Paris were part of the 11th Monks, Caves and Kings_ heritage walk at Udayagiri and Khandagiri as part of the Ekamra Walks.
All the students are doing their Internship at city-based Centurion University of Technology and Management. Some have also participated in the Ekamra Walks (Old Town Circuit) last Sunday.
Jagadish Atrie, an epidemiologist by profession, who stays near Puducherry also joined the walk today and was delighted to see the interests of the participants and the organisers.
“I am happy that the City of Temples has come up with two heritage walks in a week and I am really proud as I have my roots here at Old Town,’’ he added.
While three professional guides working at different organisations joined the walk today, three BBA students from Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management (IITTM) were also there to enjoy their time.
Hrudananda Nayak, a trained guide and professional associated with the installation of rope-ways across many locations in India was very happy to learn that the weekly walk at the Jain monument has garnered very good response and people from every walks of life and especially students from different institutes of Bhubaneswar are taking part.
Pratyusha Biswas from IITTM, a regular walker at both the circuits, said, “We are very happy to join the walks as it is not only learning experience to know the details about monuments and old Bhubaneswar but also to interact with nature as the morning hours are wonderful occasions to explore the city. The simian population in and around Udayagiri and Khandagiri also forms an interesting combination for the walkers.’’
Ambrose Phey from Deakin University, Australia said, “I visited with the nice teams in both the weekly heritage walks and found that the city has got a terrific potential to attract tourists and the authorities need to plan it properly with adequate infrastructure and support from campaigns.”
Stefanie Gulli, also from Deakin University, Australia, said, “We are very happy to know the social culture, fabric and rituals of the Old City and the monuments and Odissi recital and these memories would be with us forever.”
Aariz, a student of UKG class at city-based Little Star Play School, the youngest walker at Monks, Caves and Kings today, who came with her father, said, “I am very happy to see so many monkeys at Udayagiri and how people fed them with bananas. I felt like being in a zoo.”
Despite all enthusiasm by the walkers, the last leg to see the relief images of Jain Tirthankars on Khandagiri Hills was cancelled at the entire hill was closed by the officials of Forest Department, as they were suspecting straying of a wild elephant from the nearby Chandaka Reserve Forests to Khandagiri. The Forest officials are also keeping a vigil over the entire Twin Hills and the nearby areas.