Namaskar Odisha
Namaskar Odisha

Odisha – Oasis of Travel Tales


Glorious history, monuments by perfectionists,  invigorating beaches, lofty mountains, spectacular wildlife, enticing arts & crafts, breathtaking waterfalls, vibrant festivals, kaleidoscopic customs & culture, nature’s beauty & bounty – all are embedded in the state of Odisha, giving your visit an unforgettable experience. We are here to take care of your travel insight to see you back again & again. Explore to know more about Odisha, India’s best kept secret





Odisha, over the period also called as Kalinga, Utkal or Odradesha. Kalinga that was mentioned in ancient texts like Mahabharata, Vayu Purana and Mahagovinda Suttanta talks about the presence of Shabar tradition than Vedic ones. 

In 261 B.C emperor Ashoka, invaded Kalinga but unnerved by the terrible bloodshed on the banks of the river Daya, embraced Buddhism and preached peace and goodwill for the rest of his life.

The Kalingan Empire reached the pinnacle of glory during the reign of Emperor Kharavela who even drove the Greek King Demetrius out of India. The inscriptions on Hati Gumpha (Elephant Cave) on the Udayagiri hill in Bhubaneswar record the story of his reign. Sometime during the end of the 8th century saw the emergence of Jajpur-on-Baitarani as an epicentre of Brahminical religion. Thus Buddhism and Jainism took a back seat for Hinduism.

As early as the 4th and 5th centuries B.C Odisha witnessed  overseas trading, when the Sadhabs(Odia seafaring merchants) used to sail & trade  with islands of Java, Sumatra, Borneo and Bali with their merchandise.

Odisha started changing hands from Emporer Kharavela to Monarchs like Samudragupta, Kings of Somavamsi dynasty and finally shifting into the rules of Mughals in 1568 A.D. Subsequently, Odisha came under the Moghuls and the Marathas and finally in 1803 A.D., under the British. Odisha formed a part of greater Bengal but didnt lose its own separate cultural identity. The political capital shifted to Patna when the state of Bihar-Odisha was carved out of Bengal. Odisha became a separate province in 1936 A.D. with Cuttack as its capital. The new capital was built in Bhubaneswar after independence. However, the state took its present shape only in 1949 with the merger of 27 princely states.





Odisha is situated on the eastern coast of India bordering West Bengal & Jharkhand in the north, Chhatisgarh in the west, Andhra Pradesh in the south and the Bay of Bengal in the east. With nineteen Wildlife Sanctuaries, one National Park and two Tiger Reserves, the state offers varied experience to its visitors along with a host of activities ranging from trekking, birding, jungle safari and camping in spacious tents in the midst of forest beneath the star lit skies.


Simlipal National Park & Tiger Reserve is a huge expanse of lush green forest with waterfalls, inhabited by tigers, elephants, and other wildlife. Debrigarh Sanctuary is an excellent habitat for Leopard, Bison, Sambar, Elephants, Wild Boar, Chital, Chousingha, Nilgai etc and being flanked by the Hirakud Reservoir (right dyke of Hirakud Dam) attracts thousands of birds to the landscape. Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park is known as the “ Mini-Amazon” of India, is the second largest Mangrove ecosystem of our country after Sundarbans.  Sighting of  largest congregation of salt water Crocodiles, Spotted Deers and thousands of colorful birds including winter migrants from central-Asia and Europe is very common here.

The long coastline of 480 kms boasts of the coastal plains formed by the deposits of the six major rivers i.e. the Subarnarekha, the Budhabalanga, the Baitarani, the Brahmani, the Mahanadi and the Rusikulya. These alluvial plains are home to intensive rice cultivation. A major nesting ground for the Olive Ridley sea turtles can be found in the beaches of Gahirmatha and Rushikulya Confluence

Chilka Lake, a brackish water coastal lake on the Bay of Bengal, south of the mouth of Mahanadi River, is the largest lagoon in India. It’s Nalaban Bird Sanctuary  harbors over 150 migratory and resident species of birds. The Lake has emerged as the “single largest habitat of Irrawaddy dolphins in the world” and attracts large number of visitors round the year.For Nature tourists looking to experience wild landscapes in a sustainable way, from Camping to Eco-Resorts, from trekking to birding, from sightseeing to boating,Odisha offers something for everyone and the only thing surpasses the beauty of the State

The highest mountain Peak of Odisha Deomali 1762 mt. high nestling in the lap of the Eastern Ghats is an idealic for Aero Gliding and trekking expeditions.





Odisha lies in the tropical zone as a result of which high temperature is recorded particularly during April-May. However, the sea exercises a moderating influence over the climate of the coastal belt whereas the hill tracts experience an extreme climate. For all practical purposes, the state experiences four major seasons: Winter (December to March), Summer (April to May), South-west monsoon (June to September) and North east monsoon (October–November). Best time to visit the state is from July to March, though it has surprise in every corner of climate





The historical monuments of Odisha stand testament to the glorious architectural heritage of the state. The Kalinga Architecture as it is known came into existence in the 6th century AD and continued unabated till the 16th Century AD. The Kings or Gajapati’s of Kalinga irrespective of dynasty encouraged the architects to express their creativity by infusing life into stone. What makes the Kalinga Architecture so distinctive and pleasing to the eye is its, structural details, plan, elevation and skillfully crafted figurines which adorns the outer walls of the monuments. The other notable thing about the monuments of Odisha is that the architectural style wasn’t rigid and throughout its history it continued to evolve incorporating new styles and aspects which added to their legend.

The monuments were not just restricted to places of worship. Infact they were the epicenter of the socio- cultural activities which shaped our social customs and beliefs, which are followed even today.




The official language of the state, spoken by the majority of the people is Odia. Odia belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European language family. In the field of literature, the history of Odisha has been mapped into periods knows as ;Age of Charya Literature, Age of Sarala Das, Age of Panchasakha, Age of UpendraBhanja, Age of Radhanath, Age of Satyabadi, Age of Marxism or Pragatiyuga, Age of Romanticism or Sabuja Yuga, and Post Independent Age. Each of these periods, have contributed to the art history of Odisha with books like SandhyaBhasha, SaralaMahabharat, Gita Govinda to name a few.Mentioned here are few that you can visit and glimpse at the magnanimity of the Odia Literature.




Odisha is also known for its exquisite handicrafts. Silver filigree work of Cuttack, horn work of Cuttack and Parlakhemundi and the famous applique work of Pipili deserve special mention. Apart from those, Odisha is the treasure trove for varieties of handicrafts like Dhokra or brass metal artefacts, Cane works, Terracota& pottery, Stone Carvings and various handlooms of fabrics. Their irrefutable presence make the state a favorite amongst the Explorers and Shoppers around the globe. Read more about the handicrafts of Odisha and where to find them.





The culture of Odisha showcases a myriad number of Temples and monuments.These temples are a living proof the exquisite architecture of the region. The early monuments date back to the third century B.C. The remnant of an Ashokan pillar, turned into a Siva Lingam and enshrined in the Bhaskaresvara temple at Bhubaneswar and the lion capital of an Ashokan pillar, presently in the State Museum, speak volumes of Odishas past glory. The rock-cut caves of Khandagiri and Udaygiri and the inscriptions recording Kharavelas short but eventful reign during the first century B.C. constitute the second phase of the evolution in Odishan art.The Naga and Yaksha images found in places around Bhubaneswar belong to the post-Kharavela era. Odisha was at the height of her superb artistic glory during seventh to thirteenth century A.D. you will find a great deal of information as you read through the Temple Architecture in Odisha.Ruled by various kings and dynasties, Odisha has acquired many a traditions in its wake.Thus Odisha can best be defined through its racial and cultural amalgamation that lives through its heritage.





Handlooms in Odisha have ushered in exquisite fabrics, breathtaking in their own range. Yet they are durable and economical. The mastery of the weavers has especially touched sylvan heights in tassar silk. In fact, the tassar cooperatives produce the finest quality of yarn, the popularity of which is testified by its brilliance, glaze and texture. Below are the unique fabrics of Odisha

Berhampuri Pata - These are heavy silk saris with narrow borders, generally woven without any intricate motifs. Their uniqueness comprises of the typical Odissi style of weaving, crafted in temple type of designs besides having borders of beautiful zari work. This pata has another distinction: it is draped around Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Devi Subhadra in Puri Jagannath temple. 

Saktapar/ Passapalli sari - It from the weaving looms of Sambalpur, Bargarh and Sonepur are identifiable by the double ikat checkerboard pattern (passapalli) and brocade border. The weaving arts of Sambalpur-Sonepur and Nuapatna-Maniabandha have greatly influenced each other.

Bomkai Cotton - These cotton saris from Simminoi, Dhenkanal & Sonepur named after a Bomkai village of Ganjam District, have been influenced by tribal art, and are embroidered with temple spire patterns on the border.

Sambalpuri Ikat - Reflecting the baandha style of craft, Sambalpuri fabrics range from geometric patterns to landscape, potratits and other motifs such as sankha (shell), chakra (wheel) and a variety of phula (flower). 

Khandua Pata - Khandua Pata is noted for the texts of Gita Govinda eteched on it. Traditionally red or orange in colour, these colours are procured naturally from sal trees. This fabric originated in Nuapatna and Maniabandha. 

Kotpad cotton - Woven by the Mirgan tribes of Kotpad  in Koraput, this fabric with a GI tag is renowned for being dyed organically. Vegetables are used to obtain the required colours with black and maroon being the major dyes. 

Habaspuri - Kondha weavers of Chicheguda in Kalahandi district intertwine magic with Habaspuri, one of the major cotton-based textiles of Odisha(Orissa) with fish, flower and temple motifs.


Kapdagonda -Embroidered with colourful motifs & designs on both sides, this cloth is a prestigious shawl of the Dongria Kondh along with beautiful sarees which truly are stunning works of art. Hand embroidered with colourful motifs on off-white ‘chaddars’, the Kapadagonda is a representation of love in Niyamgiri.



Music & Dance 


Odisha has a glorious tradition of music. The figures or dancers and musicians carved on ancient temple walls, speak of Odisha's rich musical heritage. Odissi Music is a classical form consisting of all the necessary ingredients common to Hindustani and Karnatic Music.

In sync with the greatest music of Odisha, the Odissi dance is said to be an effort to come near God and experience true bliss. Therefore, this dance was a legacy kept alive by the devadasis who used to dance to the recitation of hymns and bols of talas. The Odissi dance is evolved from the millennium old dance form called Mahari that used to be performed at the temple of Lord Jagannath at Puri by devadasi dancers called maharis. Later on, it was promoted as the classical dance form of Odisha. The gurus who raised the dance form to the level of international eminence are late Kavichandra Kalicharan Patnaik, Padma bhusan Kelu Charan Mahapatra, Padmashree Pankaj Charan Das and Deba Prasad Das to name a few

Apart from the classical Odissi, below are prominent dance forms in the world of Odisha music and dance.


Gotipua – Widely regarded as the precursor to Odissi dance, the dance form involves acrobatic moves performed by young boys dressed as feminine characters. The dance form is famous in Puri and the heritage craft village of Raghurajpur, which also houses theGotipua Dance Academy. 


Chhau Dance – Typical of Mayurbhanj district of Odisha, this dance form essentially depicts the movement of a soldier involved in the battlefield, albeit in rhythmic and synchronized way. The dance was believed to have been the dress rehearsal of Paikas, the warrior clan of Odisha.


Ghumura Dance – Typical of Mayurbhanj district of Odisha, this dance form essentially depicts the movement of a soldier involved in the battlefield, albeit in rhythmic and synchronized way. The dance was believed to have been the dress rehearsal of Paikas, the warrior clan of Odisha.


Ranappa – Meaning dancing on a stilt. The dance is prevalent in Ganjam district especially in the villages. Usually, the dancers enact chapters from Lord Krishna’s childhood during the performance.


Chaiti Ghoda Dance – Popular amongst the fishing community in the coastal belt, this dance form involves dancers dressed in elaborate costumes, besides being seemingly mounted on a dummy horse.


Sambalpuri Dance - Typical to western Odisha, this is one of the most popular folk dances of the state. The earthy elements and colourful costumes accompanied by rhythmic beats make it very pleasing to watch. 



Theatrical Performance


Unlike its folk counterparts, theatre in Odisha (the conventional theatre) took wings in the early twentieth century. To its credit, it had managed to survive the onslaught of television and the internet revolution while retaining its popularity particularly in the southern and western Odisha. One can catch a glimpse of the entire canvas of folk theatre in Berhampur and Puri, where every year in December, a weeklong theatre festival is held.



A long musical narrative punctuated with explanations typically rendered by a singer accompanied by a motley group of four to five people, and instruments like the drum (mridanga), as well as others playing musical instruments like cymbals. The content is usually the chapters from epics or sacred texts. And, the narrative is interspersed with music and chorus, followed by light rhythmic dance.



This folk theatre is the enactment of a play comprising of an ensemble of actors, musicians and dancers. During the medieval period, Jatra was extensively used by kings and novelty to communicate religious values and sermons. With time, Jatra also evolved, and as of today, it is essentially a medium to communicate social messages, albeit in modern settings.

Jatra is typified by the loud make-up and attire, plenty of theatrics and high pitched long dialogues to catch the attention of the onlookers.


Widely considered as a mode of expression and entertainment for the rural belt, puppetry usually comprises of short satirical skits against the oppression of the ruling class that are skillfully punctuated between narration of an episode from the epics or the Puranas.The Puppetry is usually performed in open spaces and are interactive in nature.

Incidentally, Odisha is the only state in India where all four forms of Puppetry exists - Shadow Puppetry; Rod Puppetry (where the metal rod attached to the puppets are used to hoist them), Glove Puppetry (where the puppets are formed by a ‘glove’, with the index finger becoming the head and the middle finger and thumb the arms of the puppet), and String Puppetry (where strings attached to the limbs of the puppets are pulled to make them move on stage). 



Tribal splendour in Odisha


Very often tribal communities maintain a secluded life, but the 62 tribes of Odisha have always remained an enigma for any socio-cultural community. They express their cultural identity and distinctiveness in their social organization, language, rituals and festivals. A sojourn into their life is an unusual adventurous journey that you will fondly remember for years to come. 

A major portion of the tribal habitat is hilly and forested, and the major settlements are beside rivers that have alluvial plains. Tribal economy is characterized as subsistence oriented. The subsistence economy is based mainly on collecting, hunting and fishing or a combination of hunting and collecting with shifting cultivation. Based on their economic disposition, the tribal communities in Odisha were categorized into hunters, collectors and gatherers (Kharia, Mankidi, Mankidia and Birhor tribes in forests of Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar and Sundargarh districts),  cattle-herders (Koya tribe of the Malkangiri District), simple artisans (Mahali and Kol-Lohara tribes near the SanthalPargana division of Jharkhand), and hill and shifting cultivators (Juang and Bhuyan in the northern Odisha, Kondh, Saora, Koya, Parenga, Didayi, Dharua and Bondo in southern Odisha) to name a few.



Weekly Markets


Weekly markets are not merely places for trade for the tribal communities of Koraput district but centres for communicating their experiences. The importance the tribal give to these markets could be understood from the fact that they calculate the space between two events in terms of the number of weekly markets that had passed rather than the number of weeks. Even proposals marriages are arranged for their unwed children, here in the market.


Tribals reach these markets early in the morning even by walking miles from places with the least connectivity. The entire market place wares a festive look with neatly dressed tribal women with plastic flowers on their heads. Apart from trading of vegetables and other farm produces, sale of forest products, traditional ornaments and transmitting their tradition and culture have retained their flavour in the weekly markets ‘Haat’



Tribal Market Places


Monday : Subai,Kakirigumma, Ambadola, Sourapalli.
Tuesday : Guneipada,Ramgiri,Kotpad, Majhiguda, Gumma, Dahikhal,Dukum.
Wednesday : Nandapur,Podagada, Chatikona, Kashipur, Muniguda.
Thursday : Ankadeli,Padua, Rapkona, Mukundpur, Hatmunuiguda
Friday : Kundli,Boipariguda, Tikiri
Saturday : Lamtaput,Dumuriput,Laxmipur,Baligaon, Seshikhal, Gorakhpur
Sunday : Koraput, Narayanapatna, Dongasil, Amlabhatta



Odia Cuisine


Odia loves food, owing the importance of it in the religious culture of the state.Odia cuisine is very simple yet delicious, prepared in little or no oil which gives out the flavors of the spices that are sparingly used themselves.The spread is vast and is very easy on the palate. Odia love food, owing the importance of it in the religious culture of the state. Odia cuisine is very simple yet delicious, prepared in little or no oil which gives out the flavors of the spices that are sparingly used themselves. The spread is vast and is very easy on the palate.

The Mahaprasad - The offering to Lord Jagannath, Puri known as the Mahaprasad is coveted by an Odia. The Mahaprasad is cooked in a unique way. Earthen pots are kept on top of the other over the burner. The pot at the top cooks first.



Dalma - The wholesome food of Odisha


Dalma is essentially dal (lentil) cooked with an assortment of vegetables and spices. Apart from being a part of the main course, people relish the dish with a variety of dishes like Dalma with Pitha (local pancake), Dalma with Vada (fried lentil cake). The high protein and healthy dish is the most essential component of any Odia meal.



Pakhala - The coolest food of Odisha


Pakhala is essentially rice which is fermented overnight with water and consumed with an accompaniment of fried vegetables and fish. Pakhala is the food for an Odia especially during the summers. The food is known to be a preventive for heat stroke- which is quite prevalent in the region during the summers and some researchers opine that it’s the only food which has vitamins for the nerve cells.



Pitha – Odia Delicacy


Pitha is essentially cereal based steamed cake. It’s the food for any occasion from the perspective of an Odia household. The dish has many variants and much sought after amongst them are ChakuliPitha, PodaPitha, Sijha Monda,Enduri Pitha, Kakara, Aarisa, Rasagulla, Chenna Poda,Chenna Jhili, Korakhai etc.



Events in Odisha: Cultural Tunes


Mandei at Nabarangpur : 1st to 3rd November 2020

Parab Statel Lever Tribal Festval at Koraput :  16th to 18th November 2020

Beach Festival at Puri : 23rd to 29th November 2020

Konark Dance Festival: 1st to 5th December 2020

International Sand Arts Festival : 1st to 5th December 2020

Chausathi Yogini Mahatsav at Hirapur : 23rd to 25th December 2020

Marine Drive Eco Retreat : 14th December to 15th February 2021

Beach Festival at Gopalpur on Sea : 24th to 28th December 2020

Folk Dance Festival at Sambalpur : 4th to 6th January 2021

Mukteswar Dance Festival at Bhubaneswar : 14th to 16 January 2021

Rajarani Music Festival at Bhubaneswar : 18th to 20 January 2021

Dhauli-Kalinga Mahotsav at Bhubaneswar : 6th to 8th February 2021



Fairs in Odisha- Lively Vibes


Baliyatra at Cuttack : 30th November to 6th December 2020

Toshali National Crafts Mela : 15th December to 27th December 2020

Ekamra Utsav at Bhubaneswar : 23rd December 2020 to 1st January 2021

Sisir Saras at Bhubaneswar : 4th January to 14th January 2021

Aadivasi Mela at Bhubaneswar: 26th Jan to 9th Feb 2021



Festivals in Odisha- Religious Opulant


Odisha, the land of diverse cultural heritage, celebrates numerous religious festivals round the year, which are typical to the particular region. The festivities are usually vibrant, marked by colourful processions, huge gatherings, and the entire region revels in a festive atmosphere. We list down a few popular festivals of Odisha.


Puri Ratha Yatra : 12th July 2021

This is an annual chariot festival of Lord Jagannath and his siblings, and is the biggest festival celebrated in the state, in terms of footfalls and following. The festival falls on the second day in bright fortnight of Aashaadha month, during June/July. RathaYatra is a symbol of universal brotherhood, in the sense that the Lord comes out in the streets to meet with people of all caste, creed and communities.


Joranda Festival Denkanal: 25th & 26th February 2021

Joranda Festival is one of the famous festivals held annuallyat Joranda, Dhenkanal district, Odisha on the full moon day of Hindu calendarmonth of Magha (Magha Purnima) which falls in the month January or February. Jorandais the centre of the Mahima dharma. The followers of mahima dharma worship him as SunyaBrahma or the shapeless lord. A Havan or Yagya is held in 'Yagna Kund' as a part of Jorand Mela. The Sadhus worship their supreme sadhus (who wear only lean tree bark on their lower part) at their monastery and offer holy fire. Atmosphere reverbs with the sound of 'Alekh Brahma' by devotees in rhythmic tone Prayers are made to bring harmony upon earth. It is only a mass prayer of monks for the welfare of the world, which goes for spreading the message of love and humanity in the name of Mahima Gosain, the founder of Mahima Dharma.


Dussehra  : 11th  to 15th October 2020

The Saradiya (autumn) Durga Puja is celebrated with great pomp and show across the state in its typical fashion. Grand and colourfully illuminated puja pandals with dazzling lights, gigantic gates and huge tableaux are the hallmarks of the festival.

While in Cuttack, the attraction is the silver backdrop and gold ornaments, in Bhubaneswar it’s the Pandals which catches the attention, whereas in Puri, the festival is called Gossaini Yatra, and is marked by fierce looking Mahisamardini killing Mahisasura (the demon with a head of a buffalo and body of a human, hence the name)

In Western Odisha, during the Mahastami (eighth day of the festival)women observe Bhai Juntia, wherein the ladies fast and pray for the long life of their brothers. 

Raja – The festival of the swing : 14th June to 16th June 2020

Raja (pronounced as rawjaw) celebrated at the onset of the rainy season is an important festival with a strong social message. The festival is associated with the farmers as the onset of the rains moistens the parched soil making it ready for sowing. This festival is also one of the few festivals in the country which celebrates menstruation and conveys the message of empowerment against the societal taboos.

The festival spans three days. The first day is called Pahili Raja (first day), second is Raja and third is Basi Raja (the day after Raja). It is believed that the first drop of rain on the parched soil signifies that Mother Earth undergoes menstruation and all agricultural activities are stopped for three days. On the fourth day, Mother Earth is worshipped, what is locally called as “Basumati Puja”. Just like the Mother Earth, girls of the household are also discouraged from doing household work during the festival.


Swings are an integral part of the Raja festival. The swings may be of different varieties, such as Ram Doli, CharkiDoli, PataDoli, DandiDolietc. and crop up in every nook and corner of the street. In some places, swinging competition is held between girls of various villages. The vibrancy of the festival is palpable in almost every Odisha village and city .The festival is also associated with the Odia delicacy of "Podapitha" which is prepared in almost all households. Secondly, chewing of specially made Raja Pan (betel leaf) is a part of culture.


Dola Purnima : 29th March 2021

Popularly known as Holi, the festival is celebrated by every household in the locality, where people greet each other with a splash of colours and sweets.

Apart from the revelry associated with Holi, the day also happens to be the birth anniversary of great Vaishanava Saint Chaintanya Mahaprabhu.

Traditionally, this festival begins on Phagu Dasami, wherein idols of Lord Krishna is carried on a palanquin to every household in the locality, and culminates on the day of Dola Purnima when people apply colours to one another and revel in the festive atmosphere.

Lord Jagannath adorn the Chacheri Besa, a red dress along with red flowers symbolizing that the Lord is ready to partake in the Holi celebrations. During these five days, starting from the PhaguDasami to DolaPurnima, devotees throw Gulal on to Lord Jagannath.

The victory of Lord Vishnu on mythological devil Hiranyakashyap’s sister Holika is also observed at the Jagannath temple in Puri. The last day is kept aside to observe the ritual of Holika daahan (cremation of Holika) in the Jagannath temple premises.

One of the highlight of the festival is the Palanquins get together (Milana in Odia) accompanied by devotional music.


Budhi Thakurani Yatra : 29th March to 26th April 2021

The biennial Maa Budi Thakurani Yatra is held during the month of Chaitra (March /April) and is the main festival of Ganjam. The festival commences when the Desibehera (head of the weaver community) along with his wife dressed in traditional attire visits the Budi Thakurani Temple with an invitation for the goddess to visit her paternal home.

A temporary temple – depicting her paternal home is built at the Desibehera locality, to welcome the goddess. An interesting feature of the Yatra is hundreds of Vesadharies (people in disguise of mythological figures like Krishna, Hanuman etc) along with chariots, palanquins and processions which engulfs the region just like flash mobs.

The festival is celebrated with the concept that after her marriage, the Goddess returns to her paternal home, where is she doted and pampered just like a daughter who comes to her paternal home after marriage.

The jatra is marked by procession in the evening, where the Goddess is taken to various localities of the city, where the residents come to the streets to pay their obeisance, reminiscent of a daughter visiting her relatives when she comes home.
The festival is marked with festivities throughout the month, night long Jatra (a form of popular theatre in Odisha) accompanied by music and dance fill up the night. People take to the streets and partake in the extravaganza throughout the night.


Sital Sasthi Festval : 15th June 2021

‘Sital Sasthi’ celebrates the marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. The festival is celebrated on the sixth day of the bright fortnight in the Hindu month of ‘Jyestha’ which corresponds to the months of May-June. The festival is celebrated with immense fervour, especially in the Sambalpur district of Odisha. The carnival in Sambalpur attracts thousands of tourists from all over India and abroad. The three-day celebration is called ‘Sital Sasthi Yatra Festival’, wherein a family is chosen to play the role of Goddess Parvati’s family to propose marriage to Lord Shiva. Since Shiva is known as ‘Swayam Bhu’, no one plays the role of his family. The festival is attended by a large number of Hijras’ and ‘Eunuchs’, as

Shiva is also referred as ‘Ardhanarishwara’


Magha Saptami at Chandrabhaga Konark : 19th February 2021

MaghaSaptami is also one the biggest festivals of Odisha, after RathaYatra. The festival is observed in Konark, the abode of the magnificent Sun Temple. As per the legend, Sambha the son of Lord Krishna was cursed with leprosy by his father. Sambha prayed to the Sun God at Chandrabagha for twelve long years and finally got cured.

Since then, it is widely believed that by taking a dip in the Chandrabagha (Bay of Bengal) and praying to the Sun god on MaghaSaptami, one can get cured of ailments.


Dhanu Yatra at Bargarh : 18th to 28th January 2021

Though the origin of the unique folk theatre is shrouded in mystery, it got started in the year 1948. This folk theatre is essentially based on Krishna Leela and Mathura Vijay.

What makes this theatre special is that firstly, there are no fixed locations, secondly apart from the lead characters anybody and whoever is in the crowd is expected to chip in, and last but not the least, there are no written dialogues, everything is extempore.

The eleven-day long theatre starts with King Kansa’s accession to the throne, followed by the wedding of his sister Devaki with Basudev and ends when Krishna kills Kansa.

The festival is called DhanuYatra probably because it falls in the month of Pousa(Dec/Jan) which is called Dhanu, and also because King Kansa had invited Krishna and Balaram to the DhanuYatras, as per mythology.

This unique theatre is organized in the town of Bargarh in Western Odisha, which completely transforms itself during the festival. Each year the organizers add a new dimension the theatre to keep the interest levels intact.