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Odisha’s ‘Dhanu Yatra’ the largest open-air theatre performance begin

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‘Dhanu Yatra’ festival:

The ‘Dhanu Yatra’ festival, the largest open-air theatre festival began after a gap of two years, in Bargarh at the Odisha. The vibrant Dhanu Yatra is associated with the culture of Odisha. The Festival is being held from December 27 to Jan 6, 2023. Several artists from 130 cultural troupes from across the country are scheduled to perform during the festival. Around 3,000 artistes of 130 cultural troupes from across the country is participating in the festival. However, Kansa is the central attraction of the Dhanu Yatra.

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About the Dhanu Yatra Festival:

Dhanu Yatra, the eleven day long annual extravaganza places Bargarh in the Cultural Map of India. It is at par with the standard of Odishan Heritage and culture. It is an open-air theatre festival stretching more than 5 square K.M and comprising a village and a town in between. The cast too is lengthy, virtually every villager has a role to play and for the entire eleven days, the people of Bargarh oblige what King Kansa orders and not to the District Administration.

Dhanu Yatra Festival: History

  • The Dhanu Yatra was started after the harvesting season of the year 1947-48, just after independence of India as a reflection of joyous atmosphere 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 major crop of the locality.
  • It starts from the 5th day of ‘Pousasukla’ to end on ‘Pousapurnima’. During the 11 days the entire area of Bargarh town and the adjacent sub–urban parts of Bargarh Block like Cement Nagar, Padhanpali, Jamurda, Tora etc, render into the kingdom of KANSA – ‘The Mathura Nagari’. The river Jeera flowing by the side of Bargarh transcribed as river Jamuna and ‘Ambapali’ at the other side of the river becomes ‘Gopapura’ as per the mythological nomenclature.
  • Dhanu yatra was held last time from December 31, 2019 to January 10, 2020. While the following year, it could not be celebrated due to the Covid-19 threat, earlier this year, another season of the yatra was cancelled after the executive committee unanimously decided to not hold the festival to avoid congregation of the public amid Covid restrictions imposed by the State government and ensure the safety of people.

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