Ekamravan: Providing the healing touch
With work taking centre stage, spending time amidst nature’s beauty has become need of the time to keep one fit physically and mentally. One such place is Ekamravan close to ancient Lingaraj Temple. If you are in Odisha’s capital city do not forget to spend some time in the bounty of nature.
Ekamravan, the unique herbal garden is situated on the western side of Bindusagar, the massive heritage pond and is maintained by the Department of Forest, Government of Odisha. The brainchild of Hon’ble State Chief Minister Sri Naveen Patnaik it has proved to be a healing point for people interested in health tourism.
With about 200 progenies of herbal species, it is interesting to find a few rarest of the rare category herbs which are almost on the verge of extinction. However, the credit is to Forest Department for taking special care in collecting these rare species from the nook and corner of the country while preserving them in this unique garden.
Ekamravan has three platforms named after the three presiding deities Shiva, Ganesh and Durga. Herbal species associated with each of these deities has been planted in the space adjoining these platforms. Each herb carries a board displaying its local name, botanical name and its medicinal value.
The space around the platform of Goddess Durga has been planted with herbs used in medicines to treat diseases specifically affecting women. Similarly, herbs that are prescribed by Hindu scriptures for developing memory are planted around the platform of Lord Ganesh. As is well known, Lord Ganesh represents knowledge and wisdom. Since ‘bela’ is the favourite herb of Lord Shiva, it has been planted around his platform, along with other preferred herbs of the Lord.
Although the area of plantation of these rare herbs covers a small patch of 2 acres only yet Ekamravan has earned a special place as a health tourism destination. Care has also been taken to look after the comfort and convenience of the tourists. Chairs made of stones have been placed at short intervals. Subways have been provided for the visitors to walk in the garden. The beautification of the garden has been done by stone sculptor Sri Amit Shah who has represented the Mughal architecture on the stones inside the garden.
Ekamravan had been developed over a period of 5 years. The calm and serene atmosphere along with the medicinal herbs has not only attracted the health conscious people but also several eminent personalities visiting the state found to enjoy the beauty of nature as well as to know more about the herbs. Despite his busy schedule and political activities, Hon’ble State Chief Minister Sri Naveen Patnaik frequently visits the herbal park at his leisure.