Dhanu Jatra: Bargarh Town Preps For The Grand Annual Festival

Bhubaneswar: Light and action sans camera form the cue for Dhanu Jatra take, the 11-day-long festival slated to be held at Bargarh from January 11 to 21.

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It is the world’s largest open-air theatre festival when Bargarh town transforms into the ancient city of Mathura. With the D-day closing in, preparations are on in full swing with the town being decked up with traditional frills and lights inviting people to be part of the grand annual show.

The artistes have been rehearsing the play at Akhada Sala, the Kalyan Mandap in Baragarh. They are preparing themselves both mentally and physically to essay the roles to perfection.

Costume are also being designed for the actors. Jhankara Chitralaya Chief Debanand Sahu’s family has been designing these costumes since the last 69 years. The emphasis is always on those for the demon king Kansa.

“We started working on the costumes in October. We study the flaws in the dress designed earlier and accordingly rectify them. This year, we are working on some new designs. The raw materials are generally procured from Cuttack, Kolkata and Raipur,” said Debanand.

Bhuban Pradhan will be playing the titular role at this year’s Dhanu Jatra. “Once I put on the costumes, the Kansa within me awakens,” he said.

A total of 20 colourful gates of 40 feet high will be erected in Bargarh town at an estimated cost of Rs 8 lakh. Artisans from Dhenkanal have been roped in to create these gates.

“Members in the general body meeting demanded better light decorations. We have decided to put up a few light gates in the town. Our focus will be on security arrangements and traffic management,” said Bargarh Collector Indramani Tripathy.

The festival 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 concludes with the death of the demon king at the hands of his nephew Lord Krishna.

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