Bargarh is known for the annual festival, Dhanu Jatra which attracts lot of tourists. Dhanu Jatra, celebrated every winter, is an open stage dramatization of Krishna Leela with virtually the whole town as a stage. Dhanu Jatra is spanning over a period of 10 days and a radius of 5 km, with the universal theme of triumph of good over evil. It depicts the mythological story of Krishna starting from marriage of his parents till the death of Kansa, the evil king. For this whole period, the town turns into the mythological city of Mathura with Kansa (played by a theater artist) ruling over it. The natives of the town claim this festival to be the world largest open stage play. Now dhanu yatra had been declared as national festival of Odisha.
Nuakhai is a social festival of unity among the people of Bargarh. This festival is observed among the people during the month of Bhadraba. The appropriate date of the Nuakhai is just the day after the Ganesh Puja. It is also regarded as the New Year of the Sambalpuri people. It is a festival of harvest of crops. On this occasion the new grain after harvesting is first offered to the local deity and during this festival the people get themselves lost in merrymakings. Wearing new clothes, preparing delicious foods the people of this area celebrate this festival with enthusiasms. It is mostly an agricultural festival of Western Odisha.
After Bengal, Bargarh has the prominence of Kali Puja from medieval era. Kali-puja is one of the big festivals at Kali Mandir road, Bargah when Goddess Maa Shyama Kali is worshiped on the occasion of Diwali and yagans are organized. The big beautiful statue of Goddess Shyama is made up of alloy including 8 kinds of metals. A new temple for the Goddess built recently is really an attraction point for the pilgrims. Beside the kali temple, there are Sri Syameshwar Mahadeva temple and Hanuman temple.
Nrusinghanath Yatra is another major festival of the district, celebrated in the religious site of Nrusinghanath where Lord Vishnu is worshipped in the form of Marjarakesari. Nrusinghanath is also a historical site which attests the religious synthesis of tribal people and non-tribal people; and among Saivism, Vaishnavism, Tantrism and Buddhism. This fair is celebrated from Triyodasi to Purnima in the month of Baisakh at Nrusighanath Temple. It is celebrated on the occasion of Nrusingha Janma (Birth) and also known as Narsingh Chaturdashi Mela. There becomes a huge gathering of devotees on this occasion.
Cart Festival of Bhatli
Cart Festival of Bhatli celebrated at Dadhibaman Temple of Bhatli on the Dwitiya Tithi of Asadha. On this day Lord Dadhibaman rides on the chariot and sets out on a journey to Mausima Mandir. The Lord stays in Mausima temple for 9 days and again on the Dasami of Asadha the return Cart Festival is celebrated. On this day the Lord returns to his temple. There becomes a huge gathering of devotees at Bhatli. This cart festival is said to have affinity with that of Puri. So it is famous in Western Odisha.
Maha Shivaratri at Kedarnath Temple celebrated on the Chaturdasi in the month of Falguna. The temple is located on the foot hills of Bara Pahar, nearly 35 km from Bargarh town. Lord Shiva or Mahadeva is worshipped on this occasion. On this day the devotees observe fasting and remain awakened at night. Many cultural programmes are organized which the people enjoy. The day is observed in each and every Shiva Temple in Bargarh.
Sital Sasthi of Barpali
Sital Sasthi Yatra is celebrated in Barpali on the day of Sasthi in the month of Jestha every year on the occasion of the marriage ceremony of Lord Shiva with Goddess Parbati. There is a huge gathering of devotees at Barpali. Many folk dances, cultural programmes are organized which the people enjoy at night. For the last few years it has also been celebrated in proper Bargarh town. It is the second biggest as per devotees after the Sambalpur Sital Sasthi Yatra.
Vasant Utsav of Beherapali
Vasant Panchami is celebrated in Beherapali, a village near Sohela every year. The major attraction along with the worship of Saraswati Devi is the 3 days long open air drama performed by artists. Based on the historical story line of Gupta dynasty, the actors enact the King Vikramaditya, Kalidas and attacker Paschim Satrap and the villagers play the role of resident of Ujjain. Artists from different parts of the state come to showcase their skill in the courtyard of King Vikramaditya. After the defeat and killing Paschim Satrap, the Vasant Utsav is celebrated with happiness. Many people come to witness the festival along with marvellous acting.
Bali Yatra or Sand Yatra is celebrated on the sand-bed of river Zeera at Khuntpali on the day of Kartika Purnima. On this occasion Lord Shiva is worshipped with all serenity on the sand-bed. During this many trade fares are held on the sand-bed at Khuntpali.
Cities of Orissa
Temples of Odisha
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