Bhubaneswar: Known as the Ekamra Kshetra in Odisha, Old Town area is the soul of the City of Temples, Bhubaneswar. With a cluster of 700-odd temples spread over this entire area, every stone carving has a story to narrate. Age-old rituals are observed with utmost reverance by the locals whose lives revolve around the essence of faith. Odisha Tourism organises guided walkthroughs called Ekamra Walks where visitors are taken through a route dotted with temples, every Sunday morning.
While randomly surfing on Facebook, we came across a Facebook page that has some incredible images of this holy place. From shots of various temple complexes to rituals observed during holy occasions, this page called The Incredible Old Town has breathtaking pictures of temples and traditions of Ekamra Kshetra, courtesy Amit Jana, a photographer who hails from the same locality.
“Yes, Lingaraj Temple is the most renowned landmark here. But there are so many other temples that have a rich cultural and religious history with incredible architecture. My aim is to showcase the City of Temples like never before and make it a tourist destination,” said Amit who calls himself Camera Baba, and loves to explore the nook and cranny of one of the oldest inhabited area of Bhubaneswar.
On occasions such as Mahashivratri, he chronicled the entire event from sunrise till sundown and even released a video of the same that won him rave reviews. He begun cataloguing the Rukuna Rath Yatra since the making of the chariots and the religious rites associated with it.
Similarly, he featured the typical Prathamashtami ceremonial rituals with snippests of information on the page along with other rites associated with the numerous deities in the temple cluster of Old Town. “Basically I click pictures to complete a story. Sometimes I shoot for 8-9 hours depending on the lighting. I do not rest until I have all the good footages. Moreover, I make sure to inform the netizens about the background of each picture,” Amit explained.
From night time shots of silhouette of ancient temples, to trivia about landmarks, shrines and candid shots of the local buildings, people and devotees, this page captures the distinct ethos of a town that is a cross between the ancient and the contemporary.