FEST: Nature, art trails captivate audience

Bhubaneswar: While the city is gripped by the hockey fever and the enthralling party atmosphere created by the .FEST (Bhubaneswar City Festival), 18 nature lovers joined for the latest morning escapade to Nandana Kanan Biological Park as a part of the city festival.

Popularly known as Nandankanan Park Walk, this nature trail includes a guided tour through the conservatory, enabling the participants to witness the unsung heroes and the roles they play to conserve a plethora of remarkable biodiversity at the famous Nandankanan Biological Park.

Bhubaneswar Nature Walk with its two pronged approach aims to conduct two walks on Saturday and Sunday at Nandankanan Biological Park and Chandaka Wildlife Reserve respectively. However Nandankanan Park Walk today as a part of the .FEST saw a surprising diversity of audience including journalists, architects and food bloggers from different parts of the country. Designed to encourage community participation and to educate the masses regarding the ‘behind-the-scene’ of the zoo management, the walk has seen a warm response from the city dwellers and tourists alike.

The open air aviary left the wildlife enthusiasts awestruck by visual feast of kaleidoscopic range of birds.  From a close up view of the feeding centre to the Veterinary Centre , the walkers were  startled by the excellent efforts of the zoo keepers add the wide array of animals like the Asiatic Lion and Royal Bengal Tiger. Young visitors were inspired by the exemplary work done towards the conservation and propagation of some endangered species.

Nandankanan Park Walk is an initiative by Bhubaneswar Development Authority and curetted by Playbook to encourage the understanding of the role of community in the preservation of nature.

The Bhubaneswar Art Trail features 1.3 km of medieval monuments, monasteries , schools and residential buildings and is the setting for artworks by 24 artists from India and abroad. These art works, part of a unique public art exhibition in lived spaces, can be viewed by the public from 8 AM to 7 PM every day.

Guided walks by volunteers are conducted every Saturday and Tuesday at 8:30 am and 5 pm. These guided walks start at Guajhara premises and end at Nilakantheswar temple, which marks the end of the trail.

The guided walks have attracted visitors of many kinds from international tourists, school children from various schools, families and local denizens of Old Town. The walks include detailed descriptions of the various exhibits, explanation of artist concepts and a poster exhibition titled ‘Mahatma on Celluloid’ consisting of rate film poster of movies on Gandhian values from National Film Archives of India, Pune.

Visitors have found the mix of contemporary artworks using materials like bamboo , metal , found objects like used food pots and earthen lamps a riveting visual mix and repeated visits in the evening are quite common to take in the lighted artworks and sights and sounds of Old Town.

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