The festival showcases culture and development of the State
The 12th edition of the annual Dhenkanal Mahotsav, a festival showcasing culture and development, kicked off at the stadium of the district headquarters town of Dhenkanal on Saturday evening. The 11-day event is being hosted by the Dhenkanal district administration.
Inaugurating the festival, parliamentarian Pyari Mohan Mohapatra, who served as the District Collector of Koraput district, recollected how the movement of hosting district-level festivals in Orissa was launched way back in 1985 with Dangar Mahotsav in Koraput. All the 30 districts have been hosting their annual festivals that has created ample opportunity for the artists and artisans of the State and from other parts of the country to showcase their talent while earning from their participation. Information and Public Relations Minister Prafulla Samal, in his address, paid tribute to the great sons and daughters of the soil like martyr Baji Rout, freedom fighter Sarangadhar Dash, poet Brajanath Badajena, scientist Dasarathi Mishra and former Chief Minister Nandini Satapathy who have made Orissa proud. Textiles Minister Anjali Behera presided over the inaugural ceremony that was attended by the festival committee chairperson and District Collector Girish S.N.
The festival features a Pallishree Mela showcasing nearly 200 stalls and participation of individuals and institutions from 11 states and 29 districts of Orissa. The fair offers glimpses of the works of the artisans and craftspersons besides information on the developmental initiatives of the government. The inaugural evening witnessed a colourful cultural programme staged by the artistes of the Song and Drama Division, Kolkata.
The festival coincides with famed and age-old Gajalakshmi puja of Dhenkanal town that pulls large chunk of visitors from far and wide. Orissa Tourism Development Corporation has floated special package tours for the visitors of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar to visit the puja and the Mahotsav.