It is during the world famous Dhanu Yatra that a religious aura engulfs Bargarh. Because the top officials of the district administration no longer hold the sway but Maharaja Kansa who dictates terms for long 11 days.
The portly king perched on an elephant visits in the length and breadth of the town and gives reward or punishment to persons entirely based on his discretion. He looks majestic and his orders are followed without fail by the people regardless of their socio-political and economic status.
There is no excuse in Kansa’s kingdom for any act of commission or omission. No matter whether you are the SP, the District Collector or even the Chief Minister, you have to obey what the king asks you to do. All have to bow before him and follow his direction. The Dhanu Yatra is held based on the mythological stories of the birth of Krishna to the nemesis of Kansa.
During the last few days, during the ceremonial visit of the king Kansa of the jail compound, National Highway and other places across the town, he enquired about the welfare of the his subjects and the functioning of the administration to the district officials on the way and asked them to take immediate steps for the solution of the problems.
The unique festival is celebrated after the harvesting season in commemoration of lord Krishna’s visit to Mathura. The festival gives pleasure to the tired farmers who go through a hectic schedule of farming. The yatra is still a rich and vibrant source of entertainment for the locals as well as the outsiders.
During this yatra, Bargarh town turns into Mathura and Ambapali village to Gopa Pura where lord Krishna and elder brother Balarama spend their childhood and adolescence. The yatra ends with killing of king Kansa. The autocratic king loses sense, falls and rolls down from his throne and dies at the first sight of Lord Krishna. The river Jira that separates Bargarh and Ambapali turns to river Yamuna during the festival. The world famous open air theater this year has attracted lakhs of people from India and abroad.