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World’s Largest Open Air Theatre ‘Dhanu Jatra’ Kicks Off In Bargarh

02 January 2020


Bargarh: Annual drama-based open-air theatrical performance Dhanu Jatra began with much fervour in Bargarh town of Western Odisha last evening. Bargarh MP Suresh Pujari inaugurated the yatra in presence of Rajya Sabha MP Prasanna Acharya, MLA Debesh Acharya, Bargarh Collector Jyotiranjan Pradhan and SP Padmini Sahoo. The 11-day long festival starts from Pausa Shukla Panchami to Pausa Purnima and has been accorded the status of national festival by Government of India’s department of culture. It is observed in a field spread across a 6km radius area around the Bargarh municipality- the world's largest open-air theatre.

Based on the mythological story of Krishna and his demon uncle Kansa, the enactments of the play are performed in many other places in Western Odisha but the major one is at Bargarh.

The plays start with the dethroning of emperor Ugrasena by the angry prince Kansa, over the marriage of his sister Devaki with Basudeba, and ends with death of Kansa. Dhanu Jatra features mythological tales of ‘Krishna Leela and Mathura Vijay’. While Bargarh town turns tyrant Kansa’s kingdom Mathura, Hatapada here features as his Raj Darbar (royal court). On the other hand, Ambapalli, situated on the other side of river Jeera here, features as Gopapura, kid Lord Krishna’s nativity.

Well-known actor Bhubaneswar Pradhan is all set to play the larger than life character of demon king Kansa and expressed happiness over the fact that several female representation in the troupe is greater this year. The character of Kansa steals a march over others and rules the roost. He dictates the term over the headquarters town here. Besides all the denizens, all administrative officials, including the Collector and SP, become subjects and abide by his decrees. Even Ministers of the State Government are passed on strictures and penalised for alleged lapses and laxities in delivering governance and developmental works.

With the enactment of ‘Kansa Baddha’ (assassination of the tyrant Kansa by youngster Lord Krishna on the concluding 11th day, curtains fall on the mega mythological spectacular show.

The magnitude of the festival can be understood from the fact that Bargarh Collector Indramani Tripathy had recently unveiled its web portal and poster at his office in the presence of Dhanu Jatra Mahotsav Samiti secretary Sureswar Satapathy, ADM Bargarh Tapiram Majhi and other senior officials were present. Interested people from all over the world can watch live telecast of Dhanu Jatra on the portal (http://www.bargarhdhanuyatra.nic.in)