The Telegraph
Saturday , April 14 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Walk down history lanes

Children visit a temple at Old Town in Bhubaneswar
on Friday.

Bhubaneswar, April 13: Schoolchildren revisited history by walking down the lanes of heritage in Old Town in the capital on Friday. The “Heritage Walk” was organised by Indian National Trust For Art and Cultural Heritage (Intach) that celebrates the Odia New Year as Odisha Heritage Day every year.

Despite the high levels of humidity, students from different English and Odia medium schools gathered at the Kedar Gouri temple in Old Town at six in the morning.

Standing in queues and displaying banners to save the glorious heritage of the city, the students started the trip from the Parsurameswar temple. The members of Intach acted as guides, telling the youngsters about the history of the temple and the special features of the monument.

“The kids who live in the city do not much know about these ancient monuments and the perfection with which they were built. Hence, we conduct a ‘Heritage Walk’ every year to observe Odisha Heritage Day wherein we always involve schoolchildren who are the future caretakers of the state’s heritage,” said Namrata Chhadha, state convener of Intach.

From Parasurameswar, the walkers marched towards the Kotitirtheswar lane and visited the Swarnajaleswar and Kotitirtheswar temples.

They also visited the Ananta Vasudev temple and the Bindusagar lake. The walk converged at the Taleswar temple. The students were seen keenly observing the intricate artworks and the present condition of the ancient monuments.

“I had never imagined that such structures were situated right here in Bhubaneswar. I am surprised why we do not have the history of our own city ad state in our text books,” said Tania, a Class VIII student.

For Class IX student Siddharth, the motifs of the temples and the architecture appeared impressive. “I had read that many heritage sites in the world are taken care of by local residents and the respective governments. But despite having such amazing structures, it is sad that we are not doing much to save them. Active steps should be taken to preserve them,” he said.

After the morning session of heritage walk for school students, Intach also organised a heritage quiz programme exclusively for women from different walks of life at Mother’s Public School.

“This is the 12th edition of Odisha Heritage Day that we have been celebrating with heritage walks and quiz contests every year. The response this year was quite encouraging,” said Ananta Mohapatra, a senior member of Intach.