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Monday, January 10, 2011

Kalahandi Utsav - Most Popular Fair of Kalahandi


Kalahandi Utsav is a great fair of Kalahandi District of Orissa. It also the most popular festival in Kalahandi. It is a platform to encourage, motivate and show case the art, culture, music, drama, literature, handy crafts and to place the strength globally. The Utsav starts from the first day of Makar Sankranti and continues for four days at District head quarter Bhawanipatna and Sub‐division Dharamgarh simultaniously but now it organising block wise in district. Artists from Kalahandi as well as across India every year participate in this Utsav. Kalahandi Utsav was initiated by Mr. P.K. Jena, esteemed Ex‐collector of Kalahandi in the year 1996. Then it was organized at Sub‐division level at Dharamgarh by Ex‐Sub‐ Collector Mr. V. Karthikeya Pandian in 2003.

The final function of the mega annual cultural event of Kalahandi ‐ Kalahandi Utsav Ghumura‐ 2010 organised by Zilla Sanskruti Parishad ‐ is scheduled to be held from January 14th to 17th at Lalbahadur stadium of Bhawanipatna and simultaneously in the Sub‐divisional head quarter at Dharamgarh. Artists from all across the State and country will perform a series of folk dances. These include Raibani martial art dance from West Bengal, Mewasi from Gujarat, Bodo dance from Assam, Chau from Saraikala and Mayurbhanj, Ghodanach from Sakhigopal, Sabda Nrutya from Kumbhari, Pasunrutya from Bhanjangar besides Ghumra, Singhbadya, Ghodar dance forms from Kalahandi.

Apart from these, Pallishree Mela, KBK Craft Mela, Food Mela and agriculture fair will be organized in 258 stalls at the Lalbahadur stadium. Volley ball tournament among youths of KBK Districts, Kabi Sammelani and a seminar will also be held. On the eve of the Utsav, the Ghumura dance marathon will be organised. At Dharamgarh, besides cultural shows the major attraction will be an exhibition Namaste Kalahandi showcasing culture, heritage, and literature and development aspects of Kalahandi.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Asurgarh - The Ancient Fort Of Kalahandi


Asurgarh is very ancient in the history and culture of Western Orissa. The very literal meaning of Asurgarh is “the fort of demons”. Forts bearing names Asurgarh are found in different parts of Western Orissa usually on the bank of river or in the outskirt of the villages/towns. From very ancient times people had associated such places with rulers and administrators. In course of time, such places were abandoned and only structural remains and antiquities are found. These places are fearful for common people but are important for archaeologists and historians. Forts bearing the names ‘Asurgarh’ though found at near Barpali, Rampur, Manamunda and Adgaon, exploration and excavation are conducted only at Asurgarh, near Manamunda in the district of Sonepur and near Narla in the Dist. of Kalahandi.

Asurgarh fort is situated one and half miles to the north-east of Rupra road Railway station on Sambalpur-Vishakhapatnam railway lines. The fort of Asurgarh is located at latitude 20’: 30’ and longitude 83’: 83’. It is about 20 K.Ms from Bhawanipatna, the district headquarters of Kalahandi. About one K.M. to the south of this fort, there is an old village named Asurgarh and it is perhaps the fort was named after the village or it may also that the village has been so named after the old fort. This fort is the largest and most important one and the excavation there throw significant light on the history and culture of South Kosala and Mahakantara region.The ramparts as found at present are about four meters in width and 15 to 50 meters in height and are made of rubbles and mud with bricks facing close to the western ramparts, the river Sandul flows to the north to meet the river Tel and there by providing a natural boundary.

The P.G. Dept of History, Sambalpur University and the Dept. of Culture, Govt. of Orissa had undertaken limited excavation of Asurgarh jointly in the year 1973.5 Antiquities were already exposed at Asurgarh as mentioned by Scholar P.K. Deo,6 late Maharaja of Kalahandi.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rindo Majhi (Freedom fighter)

Everyman struggles till his breaths last. That struggles may be individual or social. But history witness very less that very few people sacrifice their life for society or nation. Rindo Majhi is one among them.Rindo Majhi may not be a popular or well- acquainted name in the history of freedom struggle of India. But he was a great man for rural tribal people of kalahandi district who lived in the route less dense forest.He himself is an example of his own freedom struggle.

Rindo Majhi, born in Urladani situated in deepest Kalahandi region close to the boundary of Phulbani district, was very much courageous and freedom conscious from the childhood like other scheduled tribe people. He could not tolerate others sanction over his freedom. He was very much aware but, conservative of the culture, custom, rituals and traditions of the Kondhas.

Kondhas are generally worshipper of nature. They revere soil as their mother. They have a strong belief that everybody lives in the world by mercy of soil. So they never hesitate to sacrifice one of them for mother soil who gives and continues lives to everyone.With such custom they celebrate Maria every year. As the Britishers treated this system as superstition and antisocial, they raided the tribal areas of Kalahandi and Phulbani under Major General Campbell. But the tribal people kept much faith and believe on their own custom and tradition and raised voice against the Britishers.

On the other side the Kondhas were nearest to Kalahandi King. So they were tax free people. But, when the Britishers captured Nagpure, Kalahandi went under their control and as per the institution of Kings and Zamindars of Kalahandi collected tax from the Kondhas. There rose the voice of Kondhas and Rindo Majhi was the key figure of the movement. Though he knew well about the power of the Britishers attacked repeated to them and their flattering people. All the Kondhas also assisted him a lot as he was the chief among them. Right at that time another Kondha chief named Chakra Bisoi with his people attacked the Britishers repeatedly and turned non-coerative towards to them. Being fad up over the activities the Britishers were in search of Chakra Bisoi inquisitively.

In 1853 Lt. Macniell arrested Rindo Majhi and the Kondhas chief was imprisoned in Rasalkanda jail without trial. The fire of revolution grew much and worse among the Kondhas by the arrest of Rindo Majhi. Rightly after two years, in 1855 Lt. Macneill with him brought Rindo Majhi who was tied with iron chain in legs and hands and moved village to village in order to created fear among the Kondhas leaders. But the Kondhas went out of toleration witnessing such brutal and inhuman act upon their leader Rindo Majhi. On 10 December the Kondhas attacked the residence of Lt. Macneill at Urladani with their weapons like arrows and boxes, axes etc. But the Britishers had guns and powers. The fight went terrible though it was very difficult to fight against the Britishers. Hundreds and hundreds people died. Lt. Macneill escaped narrowly because the Tahasildar of Kandhamal Dinabandhu Pattanaik came and rescued him and his people. The Britishers being revengeful over the fight hanged Rindo Majhi and he remained as unlighted sure in the records of freedom struggle movement. But he is a figure who sacrificed his life for his people, nation and soil.