Festivals of Odisha

                                                                Dhanu Jatra

                                                                                                                  Sudhansu Sekhara

Dhanu Jatra, is considered as world's biggest open air play. It is held in Baragarh town of Sambalpur (Now is a district) of Western Orissa. The grandest festival falls on Pausha Purnima (Full moon day in the month of Pausha) in winter season and lasts for seven to eleven days. In the festival, the whole Baragarh town turns into a massive open-air theatre. The main crux behind this festival is to celebrate the victory of Lord Krishna over Kans, the demon. The festival decorates Baragarh town as the epic town of Mathura (Birth Place of Lord Krishna); where the local river Jira turns into river Yamuna and the village Amapalli turns into Gopa pur native of Srikrishna. 

The holy festival started in the year 1949 although opinions vary in this regard. Few people opine that it started in eightieth century. Whatever the commencing period of the festival in Baragarha may be, the cultural spirit has abided the mind and soul of the people of Sambalpur and Baragarha to celebrate the festival with gusto till date. In the very festival, as the whole town turns into a grand theater, the people also turn into actor and actresses of the mythological play. Few dress themselves as the main characters like Krishna, Radha Yashoda, Nanda, Balaram, Kansha etc and others dress themselves as people of Gopa and Mathura.

                                             Picture Courtesy-  http://www.navratnanews.com                                           

In the festival, Kans takes the pivotal role and the whole village comes over the streets of bargarh to enjoy and participate. Kans moves around the town with his (sena) military strength and everyday he reaches out to specific location to sort out certain issues as the part of duty of a king which is called Nagar Parikrama. As he moves around the city, all levels of people (starting from lay man to the persons with high positions like Collector, DM, SP etc) attend his meeting (known as Kans Darbar).

                                               Picture Courtesy-  http://www.navratnanews.com                                    

That time he can summon any person to his Darbar by exercising his kingly power. Dhanu Yatra is part of rich cultural heritage in Orissa. It’s not only the festival with a noble consequence of social harmony, friendship and brotherhood, but also it has great iconic importance of celebrating the victory of righteousness over evil.




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