Bhubaneswar, Dec. 9: The annual light and sound show depicting the saga of emperor Kharavela’s life began at Pathani Samanta Planetarium here today. Though the 50-minutes’ show usually starts in the last week of November every year, this time it got delayed by nearly 15 days because of the unseasonal rain in October.
Sources in the planetarium said that since its introduction in May 2006, the light and sound shows used to be held every year between the last week of November and mid June. “The show stops once the rainy season sets in. The process of reinstalling the equipment starts again in October. But as there was rain during October this year, the process of reinstalling the equipment were delayed,” said an official of the planetarium.
The light and sound programme was inaugurated on the premises of the Pathani Samanta Planetarium on May 14, 2006. The programme is based on the use of a laser projector, a water screen, an intelligent moving head projector and an eight-channel audio track. Musical fountains are also attractive features of this programme. The programme is based on the theme of the Kalinga War and emperor Kharavela.
During the first year, the event was able to attract some 8,100 visitors. The show’s tickets are priced at Rs 30 for adults and Rs 20 for children aged 15 years and below. The planetarium authorities also have concession for students visiting in groups.
Audio equipment have been placed in the planetarium to create the sound-effect that is required to give a feel of the times to the audience. The authorities have also tried to enhance the appeal of the show by adding a “realistic touch” to the ambience and putting up a replica of the emperor’s palace, his throne, the Rani Gumpha and the famous Dhauli Hills. But very few light and sound shows have taken place in the planetarium in the last two years because of its ongoing renovation work. Some 24 shows were conducted during 2010-11 while the number was 22 during 2011-12. The planetarium was closed between August 8, 2011 and May 29, 2012 for renovation. Sources in the planetarium said that 10 shows have so far been organised in the planetarium after its renovation.
“Though the planetarium’s shows were disrupted during the renovation. The light and sound shows went on as usual. But, the footfall of the visitors for the light and sound show was affected by the planetarium’s closure,” said deputy director of planetarium Subhendu Patnaik.