Daily Archives: January 6, 2012

Foreign flavour to desi beats

 Dhanu Yatra got a new flavour this year with dance troupes from Russia and Japan putting up shows. But all them were dancing to desi beats of Dhol and Nishan much to the amazement of the people, who had gathered around the Rang Sabha for a glimpse of the yatra.

“We were surprised when dancers from Russia started dancing to local Sambalpuri beats. The dance was worthy of applause because it was something rare. We are thankful to the organizers for this brilliant idea,” a local, Ram Kumar Seth, said.

Dhanu Yatra, the world biggest open air theatre begins every year during January and continues for 11 days. During this festival, Bargarh is transformed into Mathura and demon king Kansa begins his rule. The event concludes with the death of Kansa in the hands of Krushna.

The nearby Ammapali is transformed into Gopapur and river Jira is considered Yamuna. The entire town become subjects of the kingdom. Officials of the district, including collector and SP become officials of the king. “Since the event started in 1948 we have seen many artistes performing the role of Kansa. Among them are Judhistir Sathpathy and Gopal Sahu, who performed for 15 and 22 years respectively. Hrusikesh Bhoi has been performing this role since 2009,” a member of the organizing committee said.

All-powerful Kansa dictates terms at Bargarh

It is during the world famous Dhanu Yatra that a religious aura engulfs Bargarh. Because the top officials of the district administration no longer hold the sway but Maharaja Kansa who dictates terms for long 11 days.

The portly king perched on an elephant visits in the length and breadth of the town and gives reward or punishment to persons entirely based on his discretion. He looks majestic and his orders are followed without fail by the people regardless of their socio-political and economic status.

There is no excuse in Kansa’s kingdom for any act of commission or omission. No matter whether you are the SP, the District Collector or even the Chief Minister, you have to obey what the king asks you to do. All have to bow before him and follow his direction. The Dhanu Yatra is held based on the mythological stories of the birth of Krishna to the nemesis of Kansa.

During the last few days, during the ceremonial visit of the king Kansa of the jail compound, National Highway and other places across the town, he enquired about the welfare of the his subjects and the functioning of the administration to the district officials on the way and asked them to take immediate steps for the solution of the problems.

The unique festival is celebrated after the harvesting season in commemoration of lord Krishna’s visit to Mathura. The festival gives pleasure to the tired farmers who go through a hectic schedule of farming. The yatra is still a rich and vibrant source of entertainment for the locals as well as the outsiders.

During this yatra, Bargarh town turns into Mathura and Ambapali village to Gopa Pura where lord Krishna and elder brother Balarama spend their childhood and adolescence. The yatra ends with killing of king Kansa. The autocratic king loses sense, falls and rolls down from his throne and dies at the first sight of Lord Krishna. The river Jira that separates Bargarh and Ambapali turns to river Yamuna during the festival. The world famous open air theater this year has attracted lakhs of people from India and abroad.