This weekend, tour the valley of Odisha’s holiest river and soak in the heritage!

Bhubaneswar: Prachi river is one of the holiest rivers in the eastern part of India. Parts of Khurda, Cuttack, Puri and Jagatsighpur districts, comprise the Prachi valley that is of utmost cultural and architectural importance due to the presence of about 300 monuments, all witnesses to history.

Kalinga Diaries, a start-up dedicated to spreading awareness about the not-so-known and unexplored rich architectural heritage of Odisha, is organising the first-ever guided tour in this region.

“Our aim is to highlight the importance of this valley and the monuments nestled in it. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that all major sects such as Buddhism, Jainism, Vaishnavism, Shaivism, etc. have their imprints in forms of temples and other structures here,” said Ashish Sarangi, one of the founders of Kalinga Diaries.

Though it’s a Herculean task to wake up early on wintry mornings, this tour is slated to begin at 7 am on December 24 at Jayadev Vihar and shall trace the route of the valley via Uttara Square, Nimapada, Gop, Chaurasi, Pitapadam, Niali and back to Jayadev Vihar.

Picture courtesy: Facebook/Kalinga Diaries

This 12-hour tour will be a scenic and informative, extensively covering Gangeswari temple (Bayalisabati), Barahi temple, (Chaurasi), Angeswara temple (Pitapada), Madhaba temple and Sobhaneswara temple (Niali), the architectural marvels of the region.

Gangeswari temple is said to have been constructed by 1200 workers as a conceptualised template before building the Sun Temple of Konark.

Picture courtesy: Twitter/Prateek Pattanaik

At the Barahi temple, guests will get a glimpse of the fish-loving sow-headed (boar-headed) goddess Barahi and it was built in the 8th century.

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Angeswara, the terracotta temple, was built by the then king of Anga (currently in Bihar) and still stands tall in all its majestic glory.

Picture courtesy: Facebook/Kalinga Diaries

Similarly, Madhaba temple is the slightly tilted temple of Lord Madhabananda. The main attraction of this temple is its imposing Garuda statue. Locals say it is the abode of Lord Jagannath’s maternal uncle.

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Sobhaneswara, the God of travellers, was revered by Odia sailors in the ancient times and guests on this trip will get an experience of this lofty masterpiece. Haihara (Lord Shiva) is the presiding deity of this temple and what sets it apart from other Shiva shrines is the presence of a natya mandap.

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Kalinga Diaries is the brainchild of Ashish Sarangi, Taranisen Pattnaik and Prateek Pattnaik and they will also be present to guide the guests and point out the historical, iconographical, strategical and cultural aspects of every temple.

To be a part of this tour, a registration fee of Rs. 999 is being charged that includes map kits, transport, lunch, photography and cost of hiring the expert guides.

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