A Documentary on Chakulia Panda by Prangya Paramita Pradhan - Blogs by Sangram Keshari Senapati

Monday 3 September 2018

A Documentary on Chakulia Panda by Prangya Paramita Pradhan

Chakulia Panda (Odia: ଚକୁଳିଆ ପଣ୍ଡା), is not one person, it belongs to one sect who are living in Odisha. They used to walk around villages and recite some religious poems. They never beg from anyone, which people give them, they would accept that. Even they don't stop for anyone.

When I was a child, I used to see them passing by our home and we used to offer them some rice or something. And if you call them to stop, they didn't. Once I did that same mistake, I called one person to stop, but he didn't stop there. So ran to him to give some rice.

After that incident, I asked my parents why he didn't stop. Then they explained to me that they are Chakulia Panda and they are not the beggers to stop. They are representing our ancient culture, from Tretaya Yuga. According to some legends, they are from the family of Lord Parsuram and according to some legends Bhima, the strongest Pandav used to recite poems like this and accepts the things which people offer him. 

File:Chakulia panda walking at a village area in Odisha.JPG
Chakulia Panda. Photo: Aditya Mahar. Published under

They used to carry one handmade beautiful big umbrella which is made up of palm leaf called as Chhatri (Odia: ଛତ୍ରି), one bag to carry the things offered by people and one Kamandalu on their hand. They put marks of white sandalwood on their forehead and on their soldiers. 

Their appearance is similar to the Bamana Abatara or Vamana Avatar from the 10 Avatars of Lord Bishnu. In Bamana Abatara, lord Bishnu defeated Asura Bali. So, they are representing some basic ancient legends.

File:Deshaavathaaram5 vamanan.jpg
Bamana Avatar, Photo: KS. Mini Published under CC-BY-SA-3.0
But why today, I'm saying these things, why I'm sharing those pieces of information. Because nowadays, these people are not taking interest in this field. Why? They are not getting much respect for which they are known, not getting that amount of food to survive in this world. But some are doing this job, just to spread and share that old culture with this new world. 

Today, I saw one video made by Prangya Paramita Pradhan, one storyteller, a filmmaker who used to share stories through the lens of a camera. She documented the whole story from one village, where Chakulia Panda are living.

In that documentary, she captured their life, the story behind their job, the poems they recite, their problems, etc. They are the most ignored sect nowadays. If this thing would go on, then the new generation couldn't see them, couldn't know about them.
I would thank her for making such a beautiful documentary for us, for the world, for the other people who don't know about them. And for those, who are staying outside Odisha and their children never got the chance to see them live. 

Here is the YouTube link to the video. Must watch and Share with other.


  1. A valuable article on the 'Chakulia Panda' it could catered some information to the new generations about this ancient culture and section of people of Odissa.

  2. Bahuta bhala collection. It's a good effort to conserve our great culture.