Himansu Shekhar Rout

The world’s largest open-air theatre, the Dhanu Yatra in Odisha's Bargarh kicked off on a colourful note on Monday. Bargarh Dhanu Yatra Committee has made massive arrangements for the 76th edition of the annual theatrical festival.

Bargarh MP Suresh Pujari inaugurated the Dhanu Yatra, which is based on the mythological story centreing on pastoral life and activities of Lord Krishna and his campaign against evil and injustice as unleashed by his uncle King Kansa. 

On the inaugural night, artistes showcased the marriage ceremony of Devaki and King Basudeva, parents of Lord Krishna. Demon King and brother of Devaki, Kansa heard an oracle about his future destiny that one of the would-be children of his sister would be responsible for his doom.

The next performance featured an infuriated Kansa usurping power by dethroning his father Ugrasen. Then, he puts Basudeva and Devaki in a dungeon so that he would be able to kill all the children borne by her sister one by one.

During the 11-day-long Dhanu Yatra, Kansa Maharaj will unleash his reign of power all over his kingdom, Bargarh, which is decorated as Mathura. 

River Jeera will symbolize river Yamuna while Ambapali located on the other side of Jeera, will be projected as Gopapura.

As per sources, King Kansa’s Raj Darbar was built at Hatapada while his Ranga Mahal was decked up with beautiful and attractive arch gates, colourful drapes, and decorative lights. 

King Kansa will showcase his stellar performance on 14 stages built in different locations in Bargarh town during the festival, which will conclude on January 25.

Report by Dharmadatta