Folk Dramas


Jatra in its opera form came to Odisha from Bengal in the last quarter of the 19th century. The pioneers in the field of Jatra in Odisha were Baishnab Pani, Gopal Das, Jagannath Pani and Balakrishna Mohanty. Presently, Jatra has gained popularity and appeal to the urban mass and are performed in pandals. The subject matter has replaced old mythological and historical themes with social plays with present-day powerful issues.

Mughal Tamasha

The ‘Tamasa’ is a form of opera which reminds us of the ‘Mughal’ administration widespread in Odisha and represents their culture. The Mughal Tamasha is divided into two parts: ‘Badasahi’ and ‘Soudagari’ Tamasha. It is a multi-lingual performance, with songs and dialogues being used in Persian, Urdu, Hindi languages. The ‘Tamasha’ is confined to the Bhadrak area in the district of Balasore and nowadays is not performed in any other part of Odisha. Violin, Pakhavaj, Jodinagara and Kubji are the main instruments used in the Tamasha.


Suanga is a folk drama and mostly concerns itself with stories from legends, folklore, and episodes from mythologies and often from history. In Suang, all the characters sing, dance and act. Due to the greater popularity of ‘Jatra’, Suanga is slowly dying out.