Dhanu Yatra Festival at Bargarh in Orissa – world's largest open air theatre

Dhanu Yatra held at Bargarh in Orissa is a theatrical performance based on the stories of Lord Krishna and is considered to be the world's largest open air theatre performance. Dhanu Yatra is observed for eleven days preceding Pausha Purnima – the full moon day of Pausha (December – January) – as per traditional Oriya calendar. In 2014, Dhanu Yatra is from January 6, 2014 to January 16, 2014.

The play comprises of three episodes in the life of Krishna – birth of Krishna and his childhood Leelas, visiting Mathura and the killing of Kansa. The episodes take place in a radius of 5 km and the town of Bargarh turns into Mathura and is ruled by Kansa during the 11 days of Dhanu Yatra. Neighboring village of Amapali is Vrindavan and the river Jeera separating Bargarh and Amapali becomes Yamuna.

The uniqueness of Dhanuyatra lies in the fact that the action in the drama takes place at several locations in Bargarh and Amapali, which correctly fits into the episodes in the life of Krishna. Both actors and audiences move from place according to the requirement of a particular scene. Government servants, politicians, business men, laborers and public in Bargarh are part of the play.

The festival also provides opportunity to local artists and for those from outside the region to showcase their talent and culture. You can find more details about the Dhanu Yatra festival in this article.

The theatrical performances are held from 1500hrs to 2100 hrs.

Bargarh is located on National Highway 6 and is around 60 km from Sambalpur and 220 km from Raipur, the capital of Chhattisgarh. Bhubaneswar, the capital of Orissa, is 360 km away. Bargarh Road Railway Station is on the Chennai – Howrah rail line.