Culture & Heritage



Rarely has there been such a colourful vision of an open air festival (Yatra) in any other part of the country, comparable to Dhanu Yatra or the Festival of Bow in terms of length of tenure, emotional as well as devotional participation of masses, theatrical performances and other performing arts on about a dozen of stages based on Puranic legends of Vishnuite denomination with substratum of spiritualism, as of Bargarh town.

Bargarh in fact is a place of awaking of many an event social, economic, political and cultural etc. Pandit Jawaharlal Neheru, Dr. Ram manohar Lohia, Acharya Vinova Bhabe, Sunder Lal Bahuguna and the like have paid their visit to this place. Life is never unicoloured. It is rather a mosaic, and if there was ever a strange mosaic, it is Bargarh.

Starting its career in the post independent year 1948, it has grown luxuriantly like a banyan tree with hundreds of offshoots coming down the years and, along the continuum of time it has reached its peak.

Dhanu Yatra comprises two meaningful words: – Dhanu and Yatra. Dhanu meaning Bow, a classical or traditional weapon of our country of first rate importance and efficacy had been commonly used by warriors. Yatra is usually taken as a festival of the masses, an assemblage of people for some purpose like entertainment, religion, learning, observing some event etc. It is a destination from the commoner to the heighest elite do get together.

Dhanuatra the eleven day long annual extravaganza thus recognizes Bargarh in the Cultural Map of India. It is at par with the standard of Odishan Heritage and culture. It is an open air theatre stretching more than 5 sqare K.M and comprising a village and a town in between. The cast too is lengthy, virtually every villager has a role to play, and for the entire eleven days, the people of Bragarh oblige what King Kansa orders and not to the District Administration.

Like many traditional festivals of India ,following ceremonial calendar geared to the important events of the agricultural cycle, the DHANUYATRA was started after harvesting season of the year 1947-48, just after independence of India as a reflection of joyous atmosphere in the society for the end of British misrule .Since then it is performed every year at the end of the harvesting of paddy ,the major crop of the locality.It starts from the 5th day of “Pousasukla” to end on “Pousapurnima”, During the 11 days the entire area of Bargarh town and the adjacent sub –urban parts of Bargarh  Block like Cement Nagar ,Padhanpali ,Jamurda,Tora etc, render into the kingdom  of KANSA-“The MATHURA NAGARI”. The river Jeera flowing by the side of Bargarh transcribed as river Jamuna and “Ambapali “ at the other side of the river becomes “GOPAPURA” as per the mythological nomenclature.All around these places,


The existence of a lot of literary and cultural societies speaks of the vibrant cultural ambience of the district. The institutions working for the cultural development of the district are as follows:

  • Social Club, Bargarh, Est. 1945
  • Agragami Yubaka Sangha, Bargarh, Est. 1954
  • Gandhi Smruti Pathagara, Bargarh
  • Gangadhar Kalaparisad, Barpali
  • Gangadhar Sahitya Parisad, Barpali
  • Brajamohan Sanskrutika Sansad, Larambha
  • Soukhin Kalakar Sangha, Bargarh
  • Brajeswari Natya Kala Parisad, Kumbhari
  • Manahar Sahitya Sansad, Bheden
  • Abimanyu Sahitya Sansad, Ghess
  • Jayadurga Club, Bargarh, Est. 1965
  • Bindhyabasini Yubaka Sangha, Paikmal
  • Lengu Mishra Smruti Committee, Bargarh
  • Balmiki Pathagara, Bargarh
  • Gangadhar Meher Club, Barpali
  • Gangadhar State Level Smruti Committee, Barpali
  • Kala Bharati, Barpali
  • Basanti Sahitya O Sanskrutika Parisad, Barpali
  • Khageswar Sahitya Samitee, Sarsara
  • Sambalpuri Lekhaka Parisad, Bargarh
  • Ghanashyam Panigrahi Smruti Committee, Bargarh
  • Agami Sahitya Sansad, Padampur
  • Meher Smruti Parisad, Padampur
  • Guru Prakasani, Padampur
  • Abarni Gunda, Padampur
  • Lu, Padampur
  • Dulha Biha Sanskrutika Parisad, Ghess
  • Paschima Odisha Sahitya Sansad, Chichinda
  • Debrigarh Sahitya Sansad, Bhatli
  • Ekalabya Blood Donation Club, Bhatli
  • Kedarnath Kala Sahitya Sansad, Ambabhona
  • Meher Jyoti Yubaka Sangha, Bijepur
  • Madhur Sahitya Sansad, Bijepur
  • Alati Sanskrutika Sangha, Bijepur
  • Jharmalli, Pada
  • Satyarambha Club, Satalama
  • Prativa, Bijepur
  • Darpan, The Culture Society, Barpali
  • Bargarh Sahitya Sansad, Bargarh
  • Ame, Bargarh
  • Nata Baramasi,Padampur
  • Manchabarata,Bargarh

Cultural Societies:-

Bargarh has a rich Cultural heritage with internationally acclaimed Sambalpuri folk Dance.

The Artist federations namely Zilla Kala Sanskruti Sangha, Block Kala Sanskruti Sangha & Nagar Kala Sanskruti Sangha have been formed and inaugurated by the Hon’ble Chief Minister Odisha on 1st April 2011 on the occasion of Utkal Divas-2011 .The main objective was to support the traditional folk arts.These organisations aim for the promotion and protection of the traditional folk arts and dissemination of information on welfare scheme of Government through the traditional folk arts.

In this contest the BKSS in 12 Blocks & one ZKSS in Bargarh District have been formed since 2012. Various art groups have been registered in said Sanskruti Anusthan. There are 9 Art forms have been registered under the BKSS namely. 1-Sanchar,2- Sambalpuri,  3-Sabda Nrutya , 4- Pala, 5- Khanjani Bhajana, 6- Dulduli, 7 – Karamsani, 8- Danda Nrutya, 9- Krushna Guru.


Sanchar is the most popular dance form of Western Odisha and eastern part of Chhatisgarh.It is the blending of both classical and folk dace form.In this region it is better known as Bahak-Gahak.The Bahak who holds the Mrudangam sings, dances and explains the theme himself and his bayamana or palia assists him on the Mandali (stage).It is a Trimukhi form of art.On the occasion of Nehru Centenary celebration (1989) sanchar was performed in Japan and international recognition was attained for this dance form .Mohan Das,Durlabha Das,Rasik Das,Gaja Pasayat,Biranchi Majhi,Mayadhar Seth,Hari Tiar etc are considered to be the pioneers of this dance form.



(A view of Dalkhai Dance)


Village Kumbhari of Bargarh district is famous for SabdaNrutya. Since last two centuries the dance was in its original classical form. Late Bhagabana sahu & Bhagabatia Sahu are the major promoters of this dance form .Accoding to  research scholar Dr Dhirendranath Pattanaik SabdaNrutya of Kumbhari is a primitive Tandaba dance form of Odissi classical dance ( Book : Bharatiya Nrutyakala & Odissi dance ) . Odissi dance is based on Lasya where SabdaNrutya is totally based on Tandaba. Late Bhagabana sahu promoted this dance throughout Odihsa & Chhatisgarh .AlthoughSabdanrutya of Kumbhari village was very old it came to the limelight when it was performed in the folk festival of Western Odisha held at Sambalpur . The then secretary of culture, Govt. of Odisha Dr Dhirendranath Pattanaik was very much impressed at that time.  During the year 1983 Doordarshan (Odisha) first time broadcast Sabdanrutya of Kumbhari.After that it has been staged in various places of Odisha.

  • PALA

Various art groups have been registered in said Sanskruti Anusthan are as follows-

  1. Bayak Sanchar Kalakar Sangha, At- Mahada, Bhatli, Bargarh
  2. Samaleswari Samparda Cultural Assocation, At- Ganthiapali Po- Bhoinatora, Ps- Ambabhona, Dist- Bargarh
  3. Bayak Sanchar Kala Sangha, At-Lekhapathar, Po-DumerpaliPs-Sohela, Dist- Bargarh.
  4. Maa Samaleswari Dhalia Khusa Kala Parisad,At- Talipada, Bargarh
  5. Kure Phulara Jhupa Sanskrutika Sagathan, at-San Sahaj Bahal, Block- Gaisilet, Dist-Bargarh
  6. Maa Samaleswari Loka Sanskruti Gabesana Kendra, At- Tora, Dist- Bargarh
  7. Sangit Samiti, At- Rajborasambar, – Padmapur
  8. Ahinsa Club, At- Bhuti Bahal,Block-Gaisilat
  9. Bodhana Kala Sanskrutika Anustan, At- Tora, Dist- Bargarh
  10. Prajapati Anustana, Barpali
  11. Kusuma Kadhi, Pipilipali, Po- Bardol, Bargarh
  12. Moon Light Anusthan, At/Po- Babebira, Attabira, Bargarh
  13. Jaynti Yubaka Sangha, At/Po- Babebira, Attabira
  14. Udian Tara Parisad, At- Badgaon, Po- Gopeipali, Barpali, Bargarh
  15. Nupur Club, At/Po- Barpali, Dist- Bargarh
  16. Samleswari Sanskrutika Sansad, At- Ganthia Pali, Post- Bhinatora, Ambabhona,
  17. Samleswari Sanskrutika Sansad, At/Po- Kangaon, Sohela, Dist- Bargarh
  18. Natraj Sangita Mahavidyalaya, Padmapur, Dist. Bargarh
  19. Soukin Vidyalaya, Bargarh
  20. Swechasebi Sanskrutika Parisad, Kadalipali, Papanga, Bheden, Bargarh
  21. Budhadev Sanskrutika Parisad,Chichinda, Bheden, Bargarh
  22. Nupur Kala Parisad, Bargarh
  23. Maa Samalai Sangha, ( DalKhai)At/Po- Khandagada, Block- Gaiselet
  24. Sambalpuri Folk Academy, At- Baramunda, Post/P.S – Gaiselet
  25. Baul Jhupa Sanskrutika Parisada, At- Khaliapali, Po- Bardol, Dist- Bargarh
  26. Dulah Biha Sanskruti Parishad, At- Ghess, Sohela.
  27. Bharati Nrutya Kala Parishad. At- Mahulpali, Barpali
  28. Chetana Sanskrutika Anusthana, Sohela.
  29. Sanskrutika, Padampur
  30. Maa Samleswari Nupur Kala Parishad, At- Banduritikra, Bargarh
  31. Sri Sri Maa Brajeswari Nrutya Kala Sangha
  32. Brajeswari Nrutya Kala Sanshad, At- Kumbhari, Block- Barpali, Dist- Bargarh
  33. Satysai Sabda Nrutya Research Center,At- Kumbhari, Block- Barpali, Dist- Bargarh
  34. Sabda Nrutya Shikshya Kendra, At/Po- Kumbhari, Block- Barpali, Dist- Bargarh
  35. Om Jay Jagarnnath Jhia Pala Party, At- Dhandupali, Temri, Block- Paikmal
  36. Maa Maheswari Pala Party, At- Udepur, Post- Desh Bhatli, Block- Bheden
  37. Santha Kabi Bhimabhoi Khanjani Bhajana Sangha, Bhoipali, Gaisilet.
  38. Khanjani Bhajana Party, Katangapali, Jharbandh
  39. Alekha Bhajana Sangha, Karlajori, Bhatli.
  40. Maa Samaleswari Dulduli Baja Kala Parishad At- Talipada, Bargarh
  41. Maa Karamsani Nrutya Dala, At- Tora, Bargarh
  42. Maa Karamsani Kala Parisad, At/Po- Resam
  43. Karamsani Troup, At/Po- Nuapali , Padmapur
  44. Danda Nrutya Anusthan, At/Po- Kharmunda, Block- Gaiselet
  45. Prabhati Sankirtana Madali, At- Kuchipali
  46. Radha Krishna Sanskrutika Mandali, At- Chhalukulunda, Po- Kubedega,Bheden
  47. Gour Gobinda Sankirtana Mandali, At- Pipilipali, Block- Bheden, Dist – Bargarh
  48. Radha Madhaba Sankirtana Madali, At-Kapasira, Ambabhona, Bargarh