In news– The ‘Dhanu Yatra’ festival, the largest open-air theatre festival began recently after a gap of two years, in Bargarh at the Odisha.
About the festival-
- Dhanu Yatra, the eleven day long annual extravaganza is an open-air theatre festival stretching more than 5 square K.M and comprising a village and a town in between.
- The cast too is lengthy, virtually every villager has a role to play and for the entire eleven days, the people of Bargarh oblige what King Kansa orders and not to the District Administration.
- Around 3,000 artistes of 130 cultural troupes from across the country participated in the festival. However, Kansa is the central attraction of the Dhanu Yatra.
- Like many traditional festivals of India, following a ceremonial calendar geared to the important events of the agricultural cycle, the Dhanu Yatra was started after the harvesting season of the year 1947-48, just after independence of India as a reflection of joyous atmosphere in the society for the end of British misrule.
- Since then it is performed every year at the end of the harvesting of paddy, the major crop of the locality.
- It starts from the 5th day of ‘Pousasukla’ to end on ‘Pousapurnima’.
- During the 11 days the entire area of Bargarh town and the adjacent sub–urban parts of Bargarh Block like Cement Nagar, Padhanpali, Jamurda, Tora etc, render into the kingdom of KANSA – ‘The Mathura Nagari’.
- The rule of Kansa, his death and the exploits of Lord Krishna are enacted in 14 places across the area during the open-air festival.
- The river Jeera flowing by the side of Bargarh transcribed as river Jamuna and ‘Ambapali’ at the other side of the river becomes ‘Gopapura’ as per the mythological nomenclature
- Kamsa was the tyrant ruler of the Vrishni kingdom, with its capital at Mathura.
- He is variously described in Hindu literature as either a human or an asura; The Puranas describe him as an asura, while the Harivamśa describes him as an asura reborn in the body of a man.
- His royal house was called Bhoja; thus, another of his names was Bhojapati.
- He was the cousin of Devaki, the mother of the deity Krishna; Krishna ultimately fulfilled a prophecy by slaying Kamsa.