‘Dhanu Yatra’ begins in Odisha’s Bargarh

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‘Dhanu Yatra’ begins in Odisha’s Bargarh

The ‘Dhanu Yatrafestival, considered to be the world’s largest open-air theatre, began on 27th December in the Western Odisha town of Bargarh.

Important facts

  • President Draupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted the people of the eastern state as the 11-day festival began. The festival began after a gap of two years.

  • In this festival, events related to Lord Shri Krishna will be presented through folk arts that touch the hearts of millions of people.

About  ‘Dhanu Yatra’

  • The 'Dhanu Yatra', which symbolises the victory of good over evil, came into being in Bargarh as part of the country's independence celebrations in 1947–48 and is held annually.

  • 'Dhanu Yatra' is associated with the culture of Odisha.

  • It is an open-air theatre festival which is spread over more than 5 square kilometres and includes a village and a town.

  • As per tradition, for the whole eleven days, the people of Bargarh obey the orders of Raja Kansa and not the district administration.

Background of the festival

  • Dhanu Yatra was started after the harvest season of the year 1947-48, just after the independence of India as a reflection of the atmosphere of joy in the society for the end of British misrule.

  • Since then it is performed every year at the end of the harvesting of paddy, the main crop of the area.

  • It starts from the 5th day of ‘Pousasukla’ to end on ‘Pousapurnima’.

  • During 11 days the entire area of Bargarh city and sub-urban areas around Bargarh block turns into 'Mathura Nagari', the kingdom of Kansa.

  • The festival begins with a drama depicting the downfall of Ugrasena, the emperor of Mathura, by Kansa, enraged at the marriage of his sister Devaki with Vasudeva.

  • The festival ends with the death of the demon king Kansa and the restoration of the throne to Ugrasena.

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