BHAWANIPATNA: The mega annual cultural event of Kalahandi district - Kalahandi Utsav Ghumura-2015 - began on a colourful note on Wednesday. Organised by Zilla Sanskruti Parishad at the Lal Bahadur stadium here, it will continue till January 17. The Utsav is being simultaneously organised at Bhawanipatna and Dharamgarh.
The Utsav offers a platform to showcase the art, culture, music, drama, literature and handicrafts of the district. Folk dances of different districts of Odisha and neighbouring States like Jharkhand, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh will be staged during the event.
As a part of the inaugural ceremony, ‘mashals’ were brought from Manikeswari temples at Thuamul Rampur and Bhawanipatna, Shiva temples at Sapsilet and Mohangiri, Budharaja temple at Ampani, Dukri temples at Talgud and Urladani to the stadium by artistes. The festival was then inaugurated by Urban Development Minister Puspendra Singhdeo. The inaugural event was marked by folk dances of Kalahandi like ‘Ghumura’, ‘Banabadi’, ‘Dandari’ and ‘Madal’.
Besides, a Pallishree Mela, KBK Craft Mela, Krushak Mela and Handloom and Handicraft Mela are being organised. At Bhawanipatna, it has been planned to organise a ‘Kabi Sammelani’ and seminar on ‘Indravati - The Lifeline of Kalahandi’ and KBK-level volleyball tournament during the festival. Earlier, archery and boating competitions were organised for tribals at Mahulpatna.
At Dharamgarh, the main attraction of the festival is the stage that has been prepared depicting the heritage of Shiva Peetha Belkhandi and other tourist attractions of the district.
Among others, Collector Bijaya Ketan Upadhyaya, MLAs Dibya Shankar Mishra and Anama Nayak, Sub-Collector of Dharamgarh Binit Bharadwaj, his Bhawanipatna counterpart Sukanta Tripathy and Chairman of Bhawanipatna Municipality Aditya Nanda spoke.
Kalahandi Utsav was initiated by former Collector of Kalahandi PK Jena in 1996. It was organised at sub-division level at Dharamgarh by former Sub-Collector V Karthikeya Pandian in 2003.