Author: Bhuban Patra
Genre: Travel Writing
Order on: Amazon
About the book
Where is Ekamra is my journey through the old quarters of the famous Shaivite city of Ekamra now known as Bhubaneswar. The city boasts of over thousands of Shiva temples and the historians term it as the City of Temples. The book covers these magnificent Shaivite temples from the Sixth Century till the Eleventh Century giving an insight on the Kalingan architectural styles and its various inspirations. The book explores the stories, mythologies and the legends of this land that had inspired and influenced the religious beliefs. The book not just provides a detail on various aspects of these lovely temples but also shows its readers its real self through the photos. These magnificent self talking granite wonders of Ekamra have been captured and illustrate the glorious past this land had. This is a book that intends to glorify the Ekamra temples and influence travellers to include Bhubaneswar as one of their must visits while travelling to Odisha or India. Ekamra as a name is lost amongst many other names but its essence in form of these lovely sandstone temples will definitely impress the travellers.
Isn’t it always amazing to see and understand what our ancestors have built up enriching our history and creating legacies? Be it the awe-inspiring temples or ideologies and scriptures that could contribute as well as challenge the advancing technology? If you take some time to dwell into what our nation – India had, was and established in the ancient times, it could blow your mind for sure; for me, it is always so!
Where is Ekamra’, on first look reminded me of 7 Secrets of Shiva by Devdutt Pattanaik (a very impressive read, I must say) and couldn’t help but indulge in it. Mind it, they are not same at all but had me relate them maybe because of its essence exploring Indian temples and structures. ‘Where is Ekamra’ by Bhubhan Patra is like a travelogue, it takes you to Bhubhaneswar (Ekamra in the past) to visit the temples, the place, its stories and in fact, hear what each stone has to convey there. Through the author’s words you are actually in an enchantment, traveling along with him, seeing what he is seeing, experiencing what he is experiencing and exploring what he is exploring. The writing is very detailed and commendable; it is basically letting you have that travelling experience through words. The pictures added in along with the context add charm to this book.
The book is not simply stories or tales; it is the details, information and history of the place and the structures making it all the more insightful. Even though I haven’t been to this place, now I got to know in detail about it, just like I has a visit there. Ekamra astonished me with its wonders and this book aided in achieving just that. Did you know about the story of origin of Bindu Sarobar? Apparently, Parvati was parched after a battle against demons and Shiva to quinch her thirst summoned all holy waters to share drop or Bindu for a fresh pool of water to be formed. Bindu Sarobar birthed from this water pool! Similar stories and tales are shared through the pages of this book about several tourist attractions of Ekamra.
I personally feel that the east side of India is relatively under rated with regards to tourism and books like these uplift and prompt people to pick it as a tourist destination choice, adding a purpose. It would be very interesting to see more works from the hands behind this gem of a book about wonders of our nation. India has a lot to offer for that, hope I could see more.
The title and the cover design are very appealing; the blurb does justice to the book too. I liked the blue-black silhouette theme of Lord Shiva for the cover design. The title – Where is Ekamra, piques interest, the point that Ekamra is the old name of Bubhaneswar and is used in the title and what the book has to offer goes hand in hand. Overall, I loved reading this book thoroughly. Highly Recommended.