Jajpur – Where the Future lies in the Past. These words line up to form a sentence in my mind, as I stand amidst vast tracts of Buddhist archaeological ruins and listen intently to the guide who is narrating tales of this place which has been hitherto unheard of by me.
I am at Jajpur, Odisha and I am excited to be a part of a media tour which is showcasing the treasures which this district holds. The place is intriguing and I quickly post an Instagram story, unable to contain the thrill of my discovery. In moments a friend messages me frantically, asking me why I have mentioned Jaipur, Odisha when it is actually in Rajasthan. Puffing up with a sense of superiority over my newfound knowledge, I amusedly reply to her saying – ‘This is Jajpur, with a J and NOT with an I as in Jaipur’. I smile at her obvious reaction of ‘Oh I was not aware that such a place exists’.
Well I am sure that most of you who are reading this are probably reacting similarly, so allow me to throw some light on my recent enlightenment as we step into the territory of the Enlightened one and traverse through excavated Buddhist sites which have yielded a rich collection of stupas, monasteries, sculptures and such like.
Jajpur also holds the distinction of being a bountiful hub of various arts and crafts that are being preciously protected from extinction. Apart from safeguarding them for posterity, this will also bring pilgrims, devotees and tourists to Jajpur and thus ensure a sustainable future for this place, which is poised on the threshold of emerging as a popular destination for tourists across a wide range of interests.
Come, wander far back into history as I take you on a trail of this gem of a district which lies in Odisha, a state which in itself is bejeweled with precious treasures that span heritage, arts, crafts and culture and let us learn how to be a part of sustaining and keeping alive these riches.
Yes the Past is going to ensure the Future of Jajpur and the Present is going to take the responsibility to cherish and preserve that Past.
A 2 part series featuring my experiences at Jajpur, Odisha and covering the overview of the place and the specific list of things to do here.
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