India’s ‘1st Anchor Couple’ From Odisha’s Berhampur Continue To Hold Stage For 30 Years

Berhampur: Claimed as India’s first anchor couple, they have transformed the anchoring into an art. They have been introducing renowned artists and personalities on stage for the last 30 years. Meet Hrushikesh and Sudipta Panigrahi of Berhampur in Odisha’s Ganjam district.

Hrushikesh and Sudipta have been working in perfect harmony with very rare overlapping or intrusion since Konark Dance and Music Festival in 1993. Staying at Ashok Nagar-10 in Berhampur, the couple have carved a niche for themselves as an anchoring team and emerged as pioneers in this arena.

The innovative style, sonorous voice and impeccable Odia of Hrushikesh along with Sudipta’s precise and spontaneous narration in English make the couple most sought after anchor duo. They have infused a touch of professionalism in their quest for perfection and rhythmic cadence which was hitherto non-existent in anchoring in Odisha.

“When we started anchoring in state-level functions in 1993, there were no married couple as anchors in the country. It has been a fulfilling journey for both of us as we feel proud to have tried to bring a sense of professionalism to the work,” said the couple, who have left the audience mesmerised with their impeccable skills.

“If you have to reach out to the audience, you have to cultivate your own style. A deep insight into our rich and varied culture and command over the language is the prerequisite to success,” they said.

The couple have enthralled the audience at 1st Pankaj Utsav Rabindra Mandap in Bhubaneswar, Raghurajpur Utsav in Raghurajpur, Mondei in Nowrangpur, Parab in Koraput, Gajapati Utsav in Paralakhemundi, Jajpur Mahotsav in Jajpur, Ganjam Mahotsav in Berhampur, State Tribal Festival in Bhubaneswar, State Krushi  Mahotsav in Bhubaneswar, State Handicrafts Mela in Bhubaneswar, Shiridi Sai Sandhya at Janta Maidan in Bhubaneswar, Sai Sandhya in Bhubaneswar, Kalahandi Utsav in Bhawanipatna and Dharamagarh, Mardaraj Mahotsav in Berhampur, Odisha Parba of Odia Samaj in New Delhi, Orissa Festival at Delhi Haat & Sai International Centre in New Delhi, Orissa Day Utsav in New Delhi, Boita Bandan Utsav in New Delhi, Dil Mera India in Mumbai, Ama Utkarsh Odisha, Mega Show in Mumbai, Sri Jagannath Pancharatra Utsav in Mumbai, Gita Govinda in Shirdi Sai Temple at Shirdi in Maharastra, International Drama Festival in Cuttack & Puri, Gopalpur Beach Festivals, Odia Sanskrutika Mahotsav at Surat, 40th Anniversary of Utkal Association in Chennai, 75th Platinum Jubilee of Odia Films in New Delhi, Odissi National Music Festival IPROCH at Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi, Kartik Purnima and Chadkhai Festival in Lucknow, Paika Festival at Gurgaon in Haryana, Utkal Divas by Baranesaya Utkal Samaj of Benaras Hindu University in Varanasi, Rathyatra Festival Utkalaa in Kolkata, Sri Jagannath Temple in London and many others.

The couple also gave live commentary for a worldwide television audience on the recent visit of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik during Taratarini Temple renovation programme.

Hrushikesh retired as Director, AIR Berhampur and Sudipta, who worked as Deputy Director, Mahatma Gandhi Academy of Prison & Correctional Services, Berhampur, took voluntary retirement in June 2022. Coming from culturally inclined families, they are also recipients of ‘International Stage Personality of Berhampur-2022’ award presented by Berhampur Municipal Corporation.

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