Web For Dhanu Jatra

District Collector Indramani Tripathy launched website of Dhanu Jatra of Bargarh http://www.bargarhdhanuyatra.nic.in, which provides details on the unique festival of Western odisha.

Dhanu Jatra Mahotsav Samiti Secretary Sureswar Satapathy, ADM Bargarh Tapiram Majhi and other senior officials were present.

Collector Mr.Tripathy gave out details on the Festival which started 70 years back in 12 January, 1948 is one of the remarkable and distinguished festival different from all other plethora of festival of the country.

It’s a festival of both folk and classical elements enacted in an open arena of 5 kilometers radius of Bargarh town. This Jatra is nothing but a theatrical presentations of Krishna Leela performed to bring the old myth alive. Scenes from the dethrone of Kind Ugrasena by Yuvraj Kansa, marriage of Devaki to Basudev till the death of Kansa staged for a period of 11 days starting from Pausa Shukla Panchami preceding to Pausa Purnima, the full moon day of Pausa with great pomp and show, grace and grandeur.

The geographical location of Bargarh, Ambapali and the river let Zeera flows between the two places conforms the devotees of lord Krishna and the then well cultured persons of both Bargarh and Ambapali to start Dhanuyatra here. Since, then, during the Dhanu Jatra, the city of Bargarh is treated as “Mathura”, the river Zeera to serve as “Yamuna”, the village on the other bank of Zeera becomes “Gopapura”. The most unique thing of this yatra is that is that the whole enactment played lively at different fourteen important open stages (place/venues) in Bargarh city with puranic descriptions blow by blow.

Mythological scenes like Gopalila, Kaliya dalana, Jamalarjun Bhanjan, Bastraharana, Dahichori enacted at “GOPA” (Ambapali), the kubuja uddhar, Nabakeli, Sudama mali veta (meet of Sudama mali with Krishna Balaram) Rajaka Uddhar at “MATHURA” (Bargarh).
The live elephant engaged for the Nagara parikrama of Kansa and the chariot made for Akrura’s visit to Gopa enchanted the audience and glorify the dignity of this Jatra.

Dhanu Jatra generally happens to celebrate in the month of pause (December-January) and ends on pausa purnima. The underlying reason of this celebration reveals that the western part of Odisha, particularly this area was dominated by a system of bonded labour under which the labourers were getting freedom from the bondage only on pausa purnima. So to keep the days in memory the founder members suggested to celebrate the ‘Jatra’ in pause and ends on purnima.

Most of the founder members who have started this Jatra are no more with us but their dedication and devotion will remain forever with this festival. Among them, those are remembered are Rishava Kar, Kangali Nayak, Chamaru Dash, Dhana Pradhan, Krishna Chandra Sahoo, Jadu Saraf, Brindaban Bishi, Nilamani Pujari, Chintamani Pujari, Valmiki Mishra, Hara Narayan Seth, Raghunath Dash, Viswakesan Mishra and many more.

Braja Mohan Rath popularly known as Bunde Rath led first acted as Kansa after him nine persons act on this role till date. The actors who have acted in this popular role are late Bunde Rath (1948-49), late Bhimasen Tripathy (1949-50), late Yudhistir Satpathy (15 times from 1957 to 1979-80), late Radheshyam Dash (1973), Debendra Biswal (1981), late Nilachal Dash (1981-82,1983), Gopal Sahu, (23 times from 1984 to 2008), Hrusikesh Bhoi (9 times from 2009 to 2017), Bhubaneswar Pradhan (3 times 1998-99, 2000 and 2017-18). Sanjib Dash acted for one day i.e. on 7 January, 1998 when Gopal Sahu falls ill suffering from fever.

Despite the Chief Character Kansa some other important characters are “Akrura”, the emission of Kansa, Ministers of Kansa “Chanura & “Mustika”, Nanda-Jasoda and Krishna, Balarama. Harekrishna Pujhari and Lalit Mohan Panda as Akrura, Murari Mishra and Pranabandhu Kar as Krishna-Balaram, Sindhu Kumari Dash as ‘Adimata’, Duti Keuten as Putana, Ghasiram Sahu the make-up man are some of the eminent personalization associated with Dhanu Jatra whose religion sentiments and devotional involvement made them popular which is still fresh in the memory of some old people.

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