Dhanu Yatra attracts the global attention

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Bargarh Dhanu Yatra, the festival that came into existence in 1948 to mark the celebration of India’s Independence Day and victory over the British rule, has now turned to be the world’s biggest open air theatre festival. Despite being a folk play in Odisha, the Dhanu Yatra attracts the global attention of all kinds of people.

2017 dates: 03rd – 13th January 2017.

Spanning for over 11 days, the festival portrays the victory of Lord Krishna, the embodiment of truth, justice and righteous over demon king ‘Kansa’ who personifies arrogance and wickedness. The city of Bargarh becomes the city of Mathura, the river Jeera becomes the river Yamuna and Ambapali situated on the other side of Jeera becomes Gopapura.

During the festival, the Bargarh town is transformed into stage, where the story of Kansa, his death and the noble deeds of Sri Krishna are enacted in 14 main places at Mathura and 4 main places in Gopapura. The demon king ‘Kansa’ rules in the city and people are penalised the violating the law in the 11 days. Beside this, Kansa hold durbars to listen to public grievances against the government officials.

People of Bargarh physically get involved in the play and play different characters to make it more lively and attractive. Dressed in the traditional and mythological character costume the, people perform on live stage. From giving splendid dialogues to traditional dance of Western Odisha. The festival is of the people, by the people and for the people.

The special attraction of this play is rounding through Bargarh town by Kansa sitting on a well adorned elephant. He puts orders to anybody whenever and wherever he finds dislocation in spheres of health, sanitation, transportation, administration etc. For which everybody remains alert. It has been told that high level officers, ministers, actors have also come across his penalty zone.

Nearly 3,000 artistes of over 100 cultural troupes from across the country perform at the Raj Durbar and Ranga Mahal during the festival in the 11 days.

In view of the amalgamation of domestic and international tourists, the administration have organized state-level handloom exhibition and trade fair to encourage the traditional art and crafts in the state. Apart from witnessing a live stage, with all the mythological characters in their traditional attire, tourists can visit lush green forest, beautiful hills, colorful wildlife, enchanting water falls, ancient moments, handloom and handicraft and rich folk culture in Bargarh.