Bhubaneswar: Senior BJD leader and Rajya Sabha member Prasanna Acharya has requested the Centre to accord National Festival status to the weeklong Dhanu Jatra in Bargarh.
The biggest annual open-air theatre will begin on December 31 this year.
In a notice dated December 7 in Rajya Sabha, the MP stressed the mythological and cultural significance of the festival, which is believed to have been initiated in 1948 to celebrate the fall of British imperialism.
The premise of the festival is to show the defeat of evil over good. The cultural extravaganza is a visual delight with different episodes being depicted frame by frame, beginning with wedding of Kansa’s sister Devaki with Basudev followed by his accession to throne, dethroning his father Ugrasen and it concludes with the death of the demon king at the hands of his nephew Lord Krishna.
“During the eleven-day-long festival the whole town of Bargarh becomes the city of Mathura, the capital of Kansha’s kingdom and the river Jeera becomes the river Yamuna and village Ambapali situated on the other side of the river Jeera becomes Gopapura, the childhood place of Lord Krishna,” he said.
Hundreds of well-trained artistes enact in the extravaganza and it is witnessed by lakhs of people from across the country as well as foreign tourists, he said, while demanding national tag for the festival with adequate financial assistance.
In November, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has urged the Centre to accord ‘National Maritime Heritage Festival’ status to Balijatra at Cuttack, which celebrates the glorious maritime history of Odisha. “As the country looks to the East to revive the old contacts with South East Asia aiming at mutual economic growth, it would be appropriate and timely that Balijatra which celebrates the enterprising spirit of ancient India is recognised at the national level so that the daring initiatives of our seafaring ancestors are duly acknowledged,” Naveen added.