Bargarh: The famous Dhanuyatra festival is going on with all pomp and show in the western Odishan district Bargarh. While the 11 day long massive observation kicked off on December 31, 2019 it will continue till January 10.
Believed to be the largest open air theatre in the world the festival has received much more fascination as well as appraisal over the years. During Dhanuyatra, Bargarh town is transformed into the mythological city Mathura.
As the festival is organized every year in the Hindu month of Sagittarius (Dhanu or Pausa) it has been named as Dhanuyatra.
As per reports, more than 3000 artists of 120 cultural troupes from across the state have been invited to perform at the Durbar of the demon king Kansa that has been installed at the Hatpada. Another stage of the grand show, the Ranga Mahal of the King, has been erected at the Nishamani School ground in the town.
The plot of Dhanuyatra dwells upon the noble deeds of Lord Krishna. Being the Almighty Lord Krishna manifests himself on Earth to protect the saints and innocents as well as to destroy the wicked.
The great noble deeds of Lord Krishna have been instrumental in the creation of folk tales, music, art, literature and mythology. Accordingly, the same is being enacted in the festival.
Plot of the festival begins from the marriage between Devaki and Basudeva to continue till the death of Kansa. It begins on the 5th day of the bright fortnight of the Hindu month to continue till the full moon day.
For this occasion the town 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. The episodes related to the plot are enacted at 14 places in Mathura (Bargarh) and 4 places in Gopapura (Ambapali). The festival spreads across 8 km radius in the city.
This mass festival symbolically shows the victory of Lord Krishna, the embodiment of truth, justice and righteousness over Kansa who personifies arrogance and wickedness.
Significantly, the entire populace of the town gets involved in the process. Therefore, this festival is rightly called the greatest play in the world enacted in the biggest open air theatre.