Colourful dances, reflecting the rich culture and tradition of Orissa, marked the 76th Utkal Divas celebrations organised by Utkal Sanskrutika Samaj at the temple of Lord Jagannath at Siripuram here on Friday.

Konark Nrutya Natika, a fusion for pattern of Odissi dance drama, based on the theme “Save our old Sun Temple at Konark”, “Krishna Yatruviham Namah”, an Odissi dance on ‘Dasavataar of Lord Vishnu' based on the famous poet Jayadev's Ashtapadi, a candle dance, ‘Teri hi karam', a film song dance, a Sambalpuri folk dance and a folk dance from Kalahandi were presented on the occasion. The Orissa Government deputed a dance troupe from Orissa to present the dance performances.

Utkal Divas is celebrated on April 1 every year to celebrate the formation of Orissa State from the combined Bengal-Bihar-Orissa province. It was on this day in 1936, Orissa was separated from the combined State to become a separate State with Oriya-speaking people.

Sriram Chandra Bhanja of Mayurbhanj, Gajapti Krushna Chandra Dev of Parlakehmandi, Veer Surendra Sai of Sambalpur, Madhusudhan Das and Gopalbandhu Dash were some of the patriots who were among the frontrunners who were instrumental in the formation of a separate Orissa State.

Director (Commercial) of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant Tapan Kumar Chand participated as chief guest. The 10th issue of the annual magazine ‘Arunima' was released on the occasion.

Samaj president J.K. Nayak, general secretary Bijoy Mohapatra, Meera Choudhury, Punya Prabha Devi and Arunima Das were among those who were present.

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