Cuttack Baliyatra, Odisha| All You Need To Know

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Cuttack Baliyatra 2019
Cuttack Baliyatra 2019

Baliyatra, the festival of trade and maritime is the biggest open air fair which is more than 1000 years old and one of the major festivals in Odisha. It shares the basic information about Odisha’s marvelous maritime ancestry. Cuttack Baliyatra is a historic festival that takes place on the banks of river Mahanadi in Cuttack city of Odisha which usually falls on the full moon day in the Hindu month of Kartika(Nov-Dec).

Baliyatra means journey to Bali. When the wind shift and began to blow from the north, this marks the time of the year that Sadhabas (ancient sea traders of Odisha) would have set sail in Boitas (Large boat and ships) for Indonesian island of Bali(Southeast Asian Nation). So it is also introduced as Boita bandana Utsav (Boat festival).

Bali Jatra
Cuttack Baliyatra

Those days are now gone but the memories are still alive, now-a-days people float miniature boats made out of corks, colored papers and banana barks, lit by candles and diyas and placed traditional paans inside them in a river or ponds or in a lake nearby for the tribute to the marine traders (Sadhabas). People also reciting the odia lyrics i.e. “Aa ka ma boi, Pana gua thoi. To pana gua tora, masaka dharama mora”. It would be a spectacular event to watch thousands of such boats sailing on river and blowing of conch music, custom carnival and brusting crackers would be the mega event of the day and make it memorable.

On this festive period of kartika purnima, the idols of Kartikeswar(Son of lord Siva and Goddes Parvati) are built and idolize, later then the idols are taken out with full procession and immersed in the river Mahanadi.

A big fair commonly known as Baliyatra is held for about 2 weeks on river bank. Cuttack is the major city to host this historical event Baliyatra every year in the Barabati fort, which brings the technology and traditional craft under one platform.

Fair Set Up For Cuttack Baliyatra
Fair Set Up For Cuttack Baliyatra

More than 1000 of stalls are raised across the upper and lower baliyatra ground. Lakhs of people gathered in this place and it continue for 2 weeks, during this period at fair ground for buying and trading.There are different varieties of goods from modern technology, traditional ethnic crafts to small household things were sold. The stalls were full of fancy goods, selling different varieties of toys, gift items, hand loom outfits and household items, fast foods including Odia delectable like Thunkapuri, Rasabali, Gupchup, Chat, Ice-cream and the most famous Cuttacki “Dahibara-Aludam” etc.

Foods At Cuttack Baliyatra
Foods At Cuttack Baliyatra

The place is overcrowded with children, men and women. Also there is an opportunity to visit a circus, horse wheels, giant wheels and merry-go-rounds. All the people amused themselves in a great variety of ways, under the open sky moonlit night. This Baliyatra is not only famous in our Odisha but also in all over the world. The Tourism department of Odisha offers sightseeing to Odisha during Cuttack Baliyatra, so that tourist can get a sight of Odisha’s rich traditional marine history. The police were alert in the fair to provide security to the visitors. This fair is full of art and craft and it takes the proud of our state. It is the grand fair of Odisha which is celebrated with lots of enthusiasm by each and every entity of Odisha.

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Decoration at Cuttack Baliyatra
Decoration at Cuttack Baliyatra

Kalinga Baliyatra:

There are enormous festivals of Odisha which is observed annually on Kartika purnima day in Odisha. This festival reveals the maritime glory with Islands of Bali, Sumatra and Java (South Asian countries) for commercial reasons. Kalinga Baliyatra maintains a vital cultural background of trades and enlarges the dignity of major port of our country in mid nineties.

Origin of Kalinga Baliyatra:

Former chief minister of Odisha late Biju Patnaik have started Kalinga Baliyatra at Paradeep in the year of 1992 to restore the Kalings’s maritime antiquity and to illuminate one of the best traditional heritage of Odisha.

Kalinga Baliyatra is correlated with Tapoi and shares the custom like ‘Khudurukuni osha” which express the magnificent maritime legacy of Odisha. On this day several colorful boats are floated in rivers and in sea for reminding the present generations of kalinga merchants who used to sail on high seas in pursuit of maritime glory.

It is also believed that on day kartika purnima those who take a dip in the sea, rivers or in ponds and goes to temple early morning would get pardon from their misdeed. Every year this fair is awaited with lot of happiness and zeal by people.

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