Bhubaneswar/Bargarh: All of Bargarh in Odisha has turned into a stage with the town hosting the famous Dhanu Jatra. The 11-day festival kicked off yesterday with the completion of rituals at Samaleswari temple.
Krishna Leela and Mathura Vijay are the central themes of the festival. During this period, Bargarh turns into virtual Mathura and people of town subjects of King Kansa, who is both revered and feared, the Jeera river represents the Yamuna and Ambapalli situated on the other side of the river becomes Gopapura, where Lord Krishna was brought up.
Dubbed as the biggest open-air theatre, it tells the story of the demon king Kansa, his accession to the thorn, his tyranny and death at the hands of Lord Krishna. The scenes are enacted in Bargarh and Ambapalli along with different cultural shows, which draws people in hordes to the town.
The festival began with the wedding of King Kansa’s sister Devaki with Basudev after a colourful procession, accompanied by folk dancers and musicians, reached Kansa durbar at Hatpada from the Samaleswari temple.
Dressed in full regalia, King Kansa will be seen moving round the town on a caparisoned elephant issuing order and pulling up errant officials.
The district administration and Dhanu Yatra Mahotsav Samiti have made massive preparations for smooth conduct of the festival.