As the country celebrates the full moon day of the Hindu month of Kartik as per the Saka-era calendar, in the far wast, Odisha remembers its sailors who sailed through the mighty Mahanadi river into the sea towards Bali. The state on November 12 is celebrating the ever famous Bali Yatra in which natives of Cuttack and entire Odisha remember the long-gone sailors. As per tradition, the wives of the sailors called 'Sadhaba Bahu' meaning married woman went to the bank of river Mahanadi to see off their husbands who would set sail from the river in the wee hours on the day. Today there are no sailors, yet the citizens of Cuttack and the rest of Odisha get up in the wee hours and reach the water bodies to set sail hand made boats, even shells of the banana tree with candles, incense and flowers paying tribute to the long-gone sailors.
Bali Yatra is not only about sailing boats but also the beginning of the Bali Yatra fair which is claimed as Asia's largest trade fair. This year the fair is starting on November 12 and will end on November 19. The state's public visits the fair in bunches every day with visitors of above 10 lakhs last year. There are endless items in the fair from handicrafts to spices and whatnots. There are merry-go-rounds, giant wheels and a lot of attractions for kids as well. For a few years, Bhubaneswar also conducts the fair. This year Cuttack Baliyatra will be visited by Sona Mohapatra, Daler Mehndi, and many more stars. There will be a huge number of cultural events on the ground until November 19. Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Internationally acclaimed sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaikhave tweeted on the occasion.
#CuttackBaliJatra 2019 is going to be a starry affair !!— Cuttack Balijatra (@CtcBalijatra) November 12, 2019
Get set to witness power-packed performances each day starting from 12-19th November at BaliJatra ground #Cuttack. #BaliJatra2019 @odisha_tourism @CMO_Odisha @sonamohapatra @K_K_Pal @dalermehndi pic.twitter.com/4RPH67cDSQ
'Bali Jatra' is celebrated every year on the occasion of Kartik Purnima on the banks of river Mahanadi in Cuttack, Odisha. Let us remember and celebrate Odisha's rich maritime legacy and trade relations with South-East Asia and Indo-Pacific. pic.twitter.com/DOgKpOQIAZ— Dharmendra Pradhan (@dpradhanbjp) November 12, 2019