Odisha’s Dhanu Jatra: King Kansa To Ride Elephant From UP, Search For Another On

Bargarh: Dhanu Jatra is round the corner but the organisers are short of one elephant. The world’s largest open-air theatre festival is slated to be held on December 31. This is the time when Bargarh literally transforms into Mathura.

Traditionally, two elephants are required, one for the person who plays the role of King Kansa and the other for his minister. The elephant meant for King Kansa’s role is being brought from Uttar Pradesh but the hunt for the other elephant is still on.

Every year, during Dhanu Jatra, the actors who play King Kansa and his minister go around the city in a procession sitting on elephants. This scenario doubles the joy of the people.

With the D-day approaching, preparations are on in full swing with the town being decked up with traditional frills and lights inviting people to be part of the grand annual show.

The artistes have been rehearsing the play at Akhada Sala, the Kalyan Mandap in Bargarh. They are preparing themselves both mentally and physically to essay the roles to perfection.

“We have started the Akhada from today. The main role is that of the King. We are trying to do something new to entertain the audience,” said one of the artistes.

“We have come up with a new script and dialogues this year. It will definitely pull the crowd. We always try to bring in some novelty,” said Bhubaneswar Pradhan, who is playing the lead role ‘Kansa Maharaj’.

There was some controversy around the process of selecting an artiste to play the role of Kansa Maharaj. Finally, Bhubaneswar Pradhan was selected to enact the titular role of the demon king

The Jatra will continued till January 10.


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