Open-air theatre begins in Odisha

Bhubaneswar, Jan 14 (IANS) The 11-day-long Dhanu Yatra, the world’s biggest open-air theatre, kick-started in western Odisha’s Bargarh town on Thursday.

Dhanu Yatra sees the biggest assembly of theatre artistes, with almost all the residents of Bargarh, about 380 km from Bhubaneswar, and its nearby villages participating in the play.

The play has gained national festival status and comprises of three mythological episodes related to Lord Krishna’s life – ‘Krishna Leela’, ‘Mathura Bijaya’ and ‘Kansa Badha’.

“People are excited, so are we for our performance. This year, the drama will be more lively,” said Hrusikesh Bhoi, who plays the role of Kansa.

During the Dhanu Yatra, Bargarh city transforms into Mathura, the river Jeera becomes the Yamuna and Ambapalli situated on the other side of Jeera becomes Gopapura.

“We have put up several stages and stalls for the enactment of the drama. Besides, security arrangements have been put in place for the festival’s smooth conduct,” said Bargarh district collector Anjan Kumar Manik.

The popular festival came into existence in 1948 amid lingering festivities of Independence and is now regarded as the world’s biggest open-air theatre.

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