In line with GOI’s Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat (EBSB) initiative, Indiatourism Mumbai presents Katha Yatra – a unique concept to uncover geography-based narratives of India. Created and curated by The Dhī Project for Indiatourism Mumbai, Katha Yatra will explore India’s known and unknown story trails tracing local legends & myths, freedom trails, regional art and culture, traditions, practices, architecture, sports, music, cuisine and so on.
As a tribute to Sardar Patel, EBSB was designed for inspiring national integration. EBSB aims to enhance interaction and promote mutual understanding between different states/UTs through a state/UT pairing system to understand and appreciate each other through cultural connections and interactions.
Taking forward Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat (EBSB) initiative, Indiatourism Mumbai commences Katha Yatra at Colaba’s Kendra Vidyalaya No.2 for the students of Std. 8th and 9th. This Katha Yatra will cover EBSB’s focus on Maharashtra and Odisha to educate students about India’s glory by highlighting the connections and narratives between these two states. Through an innovative exploration of India’s location stories, histories, and practices, this session will encourage India’s young minds to discover, introspect, connect, and belong.
Historically, Maharashtra was formed on 1st May, 1960 also known as Maharashtra Day. It is India’s 3rd largest state by area with Marathi as its official language. Mumbai is the capital city of Maharashtra, also the commercial capital of India. On the other hand, Odisha was formed on 1st April, 1936 and the day is celebrated as Utkala Dibas. It is the 8th largest state of India by area with Bhubaneshwar as its capital. Odia is the official language of Odisha.
Despite its different geographies, the two states share many cultural similarities. For instance, the food habits, music, art, festivals and certain words have common grounds. Sanskrit forms the basis for the vocabulary of both the state languages with similar meanings such as: aapan, tumhi and many others. It is also said that Maharashtra’s natya sangeet and Odisha’s light music have similar music notes. Due to their long coastal stretch the two states share similar sea food delicacies. Both Odisha and Maharashtra are popular for their temples and share sites of sacrilegious pilgrimages. The two states have also significantly contributed to India’s independence struggle with respectable freedom warriors.
For one, Odisha’s Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra attracts lakhs of visitors from all over the country every year. In Maharashtra, the Padharpur Wari in honour of Vithoba is held annually for lakhs of devotees. Both deities are forms of Lord Vishnu with rich mythological relevance. Similarly, the two states share distinct but similar-looking tribal art forms such as Warli and Saura. However, the two states are very richly diverse in their heritage, folklore, weaves, and histories.
One of Odisha’s most important rivers, Mahanadi was formed when Sage Shrangi dropped his water pot there. However, Maharashtra’s Godavari river was formed when Ganga agreed to stay there with lord Tribakeshwara (Shiva). Narali Purnima is celebrated in coastal Maharashtra to celebrate and thank the sea god with coconut offerings. The festival also marks the beginning of the fishing season. While, Magha Saptami or Ratha Saptami celebrates the Sun god and signifies the state of the harvesting season.
Katha Yatra aims to bring to fore many such similar and distinct stories between India’s states for creating awareness and belongingness among the country’s youth.