Bhubaneswar: The world famous Dhanu Jatra at Odisha’s Bargarh town got off to a colourful start today.
The festival, considered as the largest open-air theatre in the world, will continue till January 25.
Bargarh MP Suresh Pujari, MLA Debesh Acharya, Collector Monisha Banerjee and SP Prahlad Sahai Meena among other dignitaries attended the inaugural ceremony of the mega event. The administration took out a religious ceremony at Bargarh town to mark the occasion.
The annual festival is celebrated across 8-km radius at Bargarh municipality and its nearby areas. The festival is enacted on the theme of ‘Mathura Vijay’, which depicts the victory of Lord Krishna against his uncle and demon king Kansa.
The entire Bargarh town has been decked up as Mathura while nearby Ambapali village has turned into mythological Gopapura for the drama-based open-air theatrical performance.
“The Jeera river, located close to Bargarh, is considered as Yamuna during Dhanu Jatra. Each and every residents of Bargarh consider themselves as the subjects of demon king Kansa during the festival. The district administration has arranged an elephant, four camels and several horses for the enactment of several episodes related to the childhood of Lord Krishna and Lord Balaram during the 11-day festival,” said a local.
Several cultural troupes from across Odisha and outside are scheduled to perform at the court of demon king Kansa during the festival. The district administration has organised a handloom fair and a Meena Bazaar to attract the visitors, he added.
The people of Bargarh have been organising the festival since 1947. “Dhanu Jatra was first organised at Bargarh in 1947 to celebrate the independence of India from the British rule,” he said.