The famous 11-day long ‘Dhanu Jatra’, considered as the largest open-air theatre festival of the world, that finds a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records, begins at Bargarh in western Odisha. The annual festival came into being in 1947-48 to celebrate Indian’s Independence and to symbolize the victory of good over evil.
The Jatra is based on the mythological story of Lord Krishna and his demon uncle King Kansa. It is about the episode of Krishna and Balaram’s visit to Mathura to witness the Dhanu ceremony organized by their (maternal) uncle King Kansa.
Over 70 artists performed and another 45 artists played different roles at Gopapura during the festival. Around 3,000 artists of 120 cultural troupes from across the state and from neighboring states will perform at the Raj Durbar, Nanda Durbar, and Rangamahal during the festival.
The department of Culture of the Government of India has accorded National Festival status to Dhanu Jatra in November 2014.