World’s largest open-air theatre Dhanu Yatra begins in Odisha’s Bargarh

Entertainment Odisha

Bargarh, January 15: The ‘Dhanu Yatra’ festival, considered to be the world’s largest open-air theatre, began on Monday in the western Odisha town of Bargarh.

Bargarh MP Suresh Pujari inaugurated the 11-day festival which marks the victory of good over evil.

The Dhanu Yatra came into existence in Bargarh in 1947-48 as part of the celebration of the country’s Independence and is held annually since then.

The plays in the festival start with the dethroning of Emperor Ugrasen of Mathura by angry Kansa over the marriage of his sister Devaki with Vasudev. The festival concludes with the death of demon king Kansa and restoration of the throne to Ugrasen.

With the commencement of the festival, Bargarh becomes King Kansa’s Mathura, and Amapali, located about eight km away, becomes Gopapura, where Lord Krishna is said to have spent his childhood. The Jeera river which flows between the two places becomes the Yamuna river.

The rule of Kansa, his death and the exploits of Lord Krishna are enacted in 14 places across the area during the open-air festival.

Ministers, politicians and Government officers get sucked into the show as the rule of King Kansa holds sway during the ‘Dhanu Yatra’.

During his rule in Bargarh, the demon king Kansa conducts ‘Nagar Parikrama’ by riding an elephant and imposes fine on the traffic violators on the streets and also enters the Government offices and pulls up officials for not discharging their duties properly. He also listens to the grievances of people at his ‘durbar’ and passes orders even to Government officials.

He even summoned Government officials like Bargarh Collector, SP and Secretaries of various departments over public issues.

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