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Indian mythology cannot be complete without mentioning the name of Lord Krishna. It is a name that is profoundly worshipped by the Hindus. And Dhanu Yatra or Dhanu Jatra is all about knowing the spiritual being who walked upon this Earth a few thousand years ago. This festival celebrates and depicts the Lord in full glory and happens sometime in the month of December in Bargarh, Orissa.

Dhanu Yatra is basically an annual open-air theatrical performance and the theatre where it is performed is spread across a radius of about 8 km. Interestingly, it is also the world’s largest open-air theatre.

History of Dhanu Yatra in Bargarh 

Many people believe that Dhanu Yatra has been a way of celebrating freedom of the newly formed India, the end of Kansa signifying the vanquished Britishers. It is said that this tradition was started by a few labour class workers sometime in 1948.

Major Attractions of Dhanu Yatra Festival

With the onset of this festival, one can witness a great number of tourists and devotees flocking in the region to witness a slice of life of their beloved Lord Krishna. The event is sprinkled throughout with a variety of local performances.

Also Read: The origin of this adrenaline-fuelled boat race is associated with Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru

The Theme

The major theme of this festival is based on Krishna Leela and his conquering of Mathura. The enactment of this event kick starts with the wedding of Kansa’s sister Devaki following with Kansa’s accession to the throne, then dethroning his father and finally after a chain of events ending with Kansa Vadh. 

It truly is a visual delight as the whole episode is depicted scene by scene giving a chance to the devotees to relish in the Leela of their lord, the supreme being Krishna. 

Bargarh Municipality

During this festival, the Bargarh Municipality limits and conforms Mathurapuri to the kingdom of Kansa on a temporary basis. The river Jeera represents the mighty Yamuna across the village of Ambapali. Celebrated for a period of about 11 days, this festival successfully recreates the magic of the ancient times for the joy of devotees.

Dhanu Yatra 2020 Dates 

This spiritual yatra has been scheduled to begin on December 31, 2019, and conclude on January 10, 2020.  

How to Reach

Bargarh might not get the limelight tourism wise but it still has a fair share of tourist attractions that will certainly stay in your heart forever. Some of them are Debrigarh, Nrusinghanath Temple, and Baseikela Gada. You can reach here conveniently by airways, roadways, and railways. From Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, and Mumbai you will need to cover a distance of about 1,386 km, 1,601 km, 712km, and 1,446 km respectively. Below we have listed some best travel options that you must consider if planning a visit to Bargarh.

By Air. Bargarh doesn’t have any airport of its own. The nearest airport is situated in Raipur situated at an approximate distance of about 210 km. Named as the Swami Vivekananda Airport, it is fairly well connected with other Indian cities.

Air India, IndiGo, and Vistara run non-stop flights from Delhi to Raipur. You can board direct flights by AirIndia and IndiGo from Mumbai. From Kolkata and Bengaluru you can pick IndiGo for non-stop flights to Raipur. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or get on a local bus to reach Bargarh.

By Road. Bargarh is well-connected with other Indian cities via well-maintained road networks. The following approximate distance and route can be considered if you are arriving from nearby prominent cities and states:

  1. Raigarh - 85 km via Bargarh-Ambabhona Road  
  2. Bilaspur, Odisha - 90 km via SH 55
  3. Cuttack - 340 km via Badakera - Athagarh Road
  4. Puri - 375 km via NH 57 
  5. Bhubaneswar - 350 km via NH 57

You can also consider traveling by govt run and private inter-state tourist buses. 

By Train. Bargarh Road railway station is the nearest to reach Bargarh. The station is 2km away from the main town hence you can take a taxi or bus to reach the desired destination. You can board trains like ISPAT Express, and HWH SBP JDB Express, from Kolkata, Durg Puri Express from Raipur, BLGR Express from Bhubaneswar, and Puri Ajmer Express from Puri.    

You can plan your trip and create your own route to the city with Adotrip’s technically driven circuit planner. Click here


  • 11 Days

  • Entertainment

  • Odisha
  • Event date

    31 December 2019 - 10 January 2020

  • Venue

    Sambalpur

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