Sambalpur, Jan 16 (UNI) If you are passing through Bargarh,the Mathura Kataka of the mythological age, be cautious.
It is Maharaja Kansa who is now ruling here and never bears with any indiscipline or high handedness.
This is the uniqueness of Bargarh Dhanu Yatra,considered to be the world's biggest open air theatre where Demon King- Kansa Maharaja's magisterial power added more colour to it.
Anybody-Minister to District Collector,shopkeeper to Administrator are summoned, asked for their duties and achievements and fined if found guilty or neglecting their duties.
The order of Kansa Maharaja is carried out instantly. The people of the region are yet to forget the mighty former chief minister Biju Patnaik being fined for one lakh Swarna Mudra (Golden Coins) for his late arrival at the ''Kansa Darvar''.
However, he was excused following a polite prayer to the Kansa Maharaj.
As a sacred tribute to the mythology and to mantain and conserve the traditional culture amidst the change that took place in the recent days The festival assumes further importance as it provides an opportunity to the farming community in particular to sooth their winter-weary nerves after end of the harvesting season.
The Yatra that begins on Chaturthi of the bright fortnight of Pausa turns Bargarh town to Mathura Kataka and its other end- Ambapali to Gopapura where the marriage of Basudev and Devaki, birth of Lord Krishna and his journey to Mathura at the invitation of his uncle Kansa on account of the 'Festival of Bow' (Dhanuyatra) are enacted lively at different places.
The river Jira that separates Bargarh town and Ambapali village virtually turns to Yamuna River during the Dhanuyatra where Bal (Child) Krishna performs the Nabakeli.
The uniqueness of the Yatra is that it is not performed or staged at one place like any other Yatra or Drama in the country but performed at different places spreading over an area of 10 km long and hence claimed to be the planet's biggest open air theatre where Kansa Maharaja the prime centre of attraction.
The Yatra continues for 11 days where Kansa rules the city with all power from his iridescent pendal 'Ranga Sabha' and Bal Krishna with his brother Balram and Gopis would display the Balya Lila in Gopapura (Ambapali).
The king Kansa, during the eleven day long Dhanu Yatra, moves round the city to have direct interaction with his Prajas (citizens) and know their problems. The city comes to a panicky silent when Kansa tours round. Kansa Maharaja also visits Bargarh jails to know about the inmates.
The yatra ends on Pausa Purnima after assassination of Kansa in the hands of Krishna.
Mr Anand Acharya the MLA of Bargarh inaugurated this year's Dhanu Yatra in presence of Sambalpur M P Prasanna Acharya, collector of Bargarh Harihara Panigrahi and senior citizens of the district last evening.
UNI XC BD LL/src1036