Dhanu Jatra, Bargarh: world’s biggest open-air theatre festival

Dhanu Jatra is the world’s largest open-air theatre one that finds a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records, celebrated in Bargarh, Odisha since  1947.

Dhanu Yatra has been accorded National Festival status in November 2014 by the Department of Culture of the Government of India. Dhanu Jatra is based on the mythological story of Krishna and his demon uncle Kansa. The stage was spread across an 8 km radius area around the Bargarh municipality. The whole drama is all about an effigy of Kansa is burnt to symbolize that evil is short-lived and truth prevails in the end.

Dhanu Jatra Venue   

Bargarh’s main municipality region turns into the historical city of Mathura Nagari, the Jeera river becomes the Yamuna, Ambapaali village turns into Gopapura. A Pond by the side of the Jeera river in Ambapali becomes the Kalindi, Lake of the mythology. Nishamani School Ground has been used as the Rangamahal – Cultural stage of the festival.

Dhanu Jatra Mahostava

Over 70 artists carried out in the Dhanu Yatra at Mathura, any other forty-five artists performed distinct roles at Gopapura all through the festival. This apart, around 3,000 artists of a hundred and twenty cultural troupes from across the country and from neighboring states will operate at the Raj Durbar, Nanda Durbar, and Rangamahal at some stage in the festival.

The 11-day festival will showcase ‘Balya Leela’ of Lord Krishna in Gopalpur including Vastra Haran, Kalia Dalan, killing of devils such as Putuna, Sakata, Truna, Baka and Dhenu,  and cruelty of the demon king Kansa in Mathura

the day one of Drama will begin with the wedding of King Kansa’s sister Devaki with Basudev and will conclude with the ‘Kansa Badha’ at the hands of Lord Krishna.