Dhanu Jatra begins in Odisha

Bargarh: The world famous Dhanu Jatra began amidst much fanfare and religious fervor here this evening.

Rajya Sabha MP Prasanna Acharya inaugurated the Jatra in the presence of Bargarh MP Prabhas Kumar Singh, local MLA Debesh Achary, district collector Indramani Tripathy and other dignitaries.

Dhanu Jatra, the annual drama-based largest open-air theatrical performance of the world, will continue till January 21.

Spread across a 6km radius area around the Bargarh municipality, Dhanu Jatra, is world’s largest open-air theater. It is based on a mythological story of Krishna (locally known as Krushna), and his demon uncle Kansa.

Originating in Bargarh, in the present day play, the enactments of the play are being performed in many other places in Western Odisha. The major one of these is the original one at Bargarh.

The Jatra is about the episode of Krishna and Balaram’s visit to Mathura to witness the Dhanu ceremony organized by their (maternal) uncle Kansa.

The festival begins with the dethroning of emperor Ugrasena by the angry prince Kansa, over the marriage of his sister Debaki with Basudeba, and ends with death of Kansa, and Ugrasen restoring back to become the king.

During the 11-day festival, Bargarh becomes the city of Mathura, the river Jeera becomes the Yamuna and Ambapali situated on the other side of Jeera becomes Gopapura.

No written script used in these enactments. During this festival Kansa can punish people with penalty for their mistakes.

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