Bali Yatra: Experience the historic trade fair of Odisha

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Cuttack: The historic festival of Odisha ‘Bali Yatra’ which is organised every year in memory of the rich maritime history of the state, was inaugurated in Cuttack on Tuesday. Over 1000 stalls have come up this time.

Also, for the first time, the festival has a maritime corner to exhibit the model of the maritime voyage of ancient sea traders, who were travelling to the different parts of South-East Asia for Trade and culture extension.

While Bali Yatra is a crucial occasion for local traders as it generates huge sales and revenues, visitors also go with a lot of expectations.

Here are some views of the visitors

 

Sandeep Mishra, Student

Considered as one of the major festivals in Odisha ‘Bali Yatra’ is a glimpse of Odisha’s rich cultural history which is more than 1000 years old. It not only symbolises the ancient maritime glory of Kalinga kingdom but also draws the attention of the historians as to how the cultural expansion took place with the South East Asian countries. Every year Bali Yatra sketches different socio-cultural event of our state which is the most attractive one for me.

Shreeprava Mishra, Student

Every year Bali Yatra makes something different and this year the showcasing art, traditional items, household craft, food items from the state and outside the state is the major attraction for the people. This is for the third time that I’m coming to this fair and the traditional food shop always makes me and my friends crazy about the Bali Yatra.

Prasanjit Pani, Teacher

Bali Yatra is not only a fair for me but also a season of enjoying. Unlike every year, this year also I have come to enjoy the festival with my friends and family members. Though I have left Cuttack for two years now, I come here during Bali Yatra. Every year, my childhood friend arranges a get-together party on this auspicious occasion. Bali Yatra is the only memory of mine which gets reformed day by day.

Subrat Kumar Sahoo, Sailor, Indian Navy

The very famous voyage of Eastern India to the Indonesian islands are also the major part of our tradition voyage and as a sailor, this year I’m representing my camp over here. How to recruit young students in Indian Navy and what is the basic features which attract every young sensation to the Indian Navy is our main aim. As Bali Yatra attracts a huge number of young people, this camp will be helpful for them.

 

Sarmistha Moharana, Medical student

Childhood memories are special for everyone, and I have a lot of unforgettable childhood memories with Baliyatra. The memories that I cannot forget is when I was 6 years old. That time I went to Baliyatra with my parents and I was very fond of balloons and I got 7 colourful balloons on that day. After school days I was going to the fair with my friends and family members but every year Baliyatra gives me different memories and this year also I’m going to ORMAS food stall with my friends.

Sujata Jena, Teacher

Is there anything better than visiting to Bali Yatra with friends? I don’t think so. Starting from my graduation carrier till now Cuttack is so close to me and specially Bali Yatra. Every year I wait for this historic fair. Delicious food items and Ram Jhula are my most favourites. By visiting Bali Yatra, I seek to revive the old connectivity and people to people contact which became the basis of emotional closeness between the people of Odisha and other places. This year, I would like to buy Berhampur special pickles and Ruchi spices for my house.

Shibadutta Das, Teacher

This year more than 1000 stalls are erected across the upper and lower Bali Yatra grounds selling everything from modern technology, traditional ethnic crafts to household articles. The famous Chanderi Saree and brass metal products from MP, woollen items from Kashmir, leather products from Rajasthan, woodcraft from AP, cane and bamboo craft from Tripura, besides Odisha’s own handloom and handicrafts, have been displayed. It is very amazing to see the whole India over here.

Sai Soumya Swain, Scholar, Dr Harisingh Gour University, MP

A giant Ferris wheel on the banks of Mahanadi, devouring anything edible available in thousands of food stalls, stepping on people’s toes, swearing, cursing, smiling at random strangers, parents clutching on to the hands of their kids, the constant fear of getting lost in the crowd.  These are the best part of the Bali Yatra as I have seen since my childhood days. But now the craziness of the fair has slowed down. Due to the dust allergy and heavy pollution near the river bank making the grand historic festival unhealthy but still we are coming here just because Bali Yatra gives us a lot of memories.

Shubham Das, student

As I am seeing plastic bags have been long banned at the fair. However, the idea from this year is to make the fair a plastic-free affair. Hence not only plastic carry bags but also other plastic products like cups, glasses, plates and spoons too have been banned. Nowadays Bali Yatra has become very popular for various food items. Since my childhood days, I’m seeing the diversity of various Indian cultures are getting merged in this trade fair.

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