Bhubaneswar: The heritage lovers of Odisha capital defying intense fog assembled for the sixth edition of Monks, Caves and Kings at Udayagiri-Khandagiri Twin Hills heritage walk today.
As many as 33 heritage walkers climbed the hills to discover the tales of the lost empire, emperors, queens, monks, dancers and the techniques with which the caves were built.
Tour guide Satyaswarup Mishra explained to the walkers about the ancient pre-historic caves at the Twin Hills. He said the caves had received royal patronage and become one of the best cave shelters for monks. Even there were instances, where queens were also staying in the caves of Udayagiri and hence a cave getting its name as Rani Gumpha or Queen’s Cave, he added.
Student of Architecture, Pratit Kumar Das of College of Engineering and Technology (CET), Ghatikia in Bhubaneswar, who had come to take part in the heritage walk, was accompanied by two of his friends from the Architecture branch of CET.
Das said “the way the caves were built with proper ventilation and the monks’ well-being in mind, shows the proper use of natural lights and air just like we are designing modern day structures”.
Swayam Swastik Das and Suman Routray, who are regulars at Ekamra Walks’ Old Town and Udayagiri-Khandagiri Circuits, were also happy to know that the caves were of so many different varieties and even some had two floors just like modern-day duplex structures.
Besides, walkers asked tour guide Mishra about rock cutting tools of that period, doorkeepers with western outfit and especially wearing boots, dancers performing at a royal hall with full costume on and the various war processions with elephants.
The weekend heritage walk at Udayagiri-Khandagiri caves starts at 6.30 am every Saturday, whereas the Old Town circuit (Lingaraj, Bindusagar and nearby monuments) is scheduled every Sunday morning at 6.30 am, which starts from Mukteswar temple precinct.