| Local people perform mythological plays on Lord Krishna in Puri. Pictures by Sarat Patra |
Bhubaneswar, Aug. 17: The streets of Puri come alive every evening with local people enacting the childhood stories of Lord Krishna following Janmashtami.
The street plays about the adventures of Lord Krishna and His sibling, Lord Balaram, fill the streets with enthusiasm as local people gather to watch demons being killed by the deities.
Dressed up in attires to transform into mythological characters such as Bakasur or Garud, the artistes appear to be enjoying this cultural extravaganza that last beyond a fortnight.
“After Janmashtami was observed last week, a series of celebrations have begun here. A group of servitors performed the chronicles of Lord Krishna such as the killing of demon Bakasur on Monday. The legend of Kalia dalana was enacted yesterday,” said Surya Narayan Rathsharma, an expert on the Jagannath temple rituals.
Residents of the town, along with the servitors of Jagannath temple, are also enacting stories of young Krishna’s mischief and bravery discussed in mythological texts. From wearing costumes of demons and heroes portrayed in the stories to singing and acting on the streets with a view to carrying on with their ancestors’ tradition, the artistes give their best as actors.
“Last year, I made my debut in playing the character of Garud, the mount of Lord Krishna. Before me it was my father and his forefathers, who used to play the role. Performing the part of such a mythological hero was a spiritual experience for me,” said Prashanta Kumar Mohapatra, an artiste.
“The last episode of the series will be Kansa badh, which will be performed on the 17th day of the street plays. Just as Ramlila is enacted in a different locale everyday by residents of that area, Krishnalila is also being performed in different areas across the city,” said Rathsharma.