Cuttack, Nov 11 (LocalWire): Balijatra, the biggest trade and cultural congregation of the state, dates back to a hoary past and rich maritime legacy of Odisha.
Bali Jatra, is an annual event held in the Indian month of ‘Kartik’ (October-November) at the idyllic Gadagadia Ghat on Mahanadi river bed here.
Unarguably it is the state’s oldest trade fair that owes its genesis to Odia merchants visiting Bali in Indonesia on full moon days to carry forward maritime trading activities.
The weeklong trade and cultural festival will commence from 12 November.
Bolstered by the state government’s recent decision to confer ‘Bali Jatra’ as a state-level festival, the Cuttack district administration has gone all out to make it a grand and splendid event.
Authorities claim to have included several new things to make the week-long fete different from the past years. This has apparently aroused considerable interest and curiosity in people of the state.
The additions and special features in this year’s festival are:
1 To make the event well-organized, the district culture council headed by the district Collector has been entrusted with the responsibility to organize the Balijatra.
Earlier the Cuttack tehsil office was in charge of the management of the Jatra.
2 The organizer has chalked out the plan to make it a 24×7 affair.
3 There will be ‘Patha Utsav’ or roadside cultural show in the morning, which is a new feature this year.
4 For the first time, intellectual debate and panel discussions will be held at the Jatra grounds at noon. As usual, the fair accompanied by cultural shows is slated to begin in the afternoon and continue till midnight hours.
5 Three renovated ponds with boating facilities close to the Jatra ground will be the major attraction this time. It will provide a soothing natural ambience to the festival besides offering recreation to the visitors.
6 For the first time, ‘Ama Balijatra’ App is being introduced to disseminate information to the public. It will provide information on parking facilities to the location of stalls.
7 Two more pandals are added to the Jatra ground providing more scope to artists to showcase their creativity.
8 Rickshaw pullers are being pressed into service to take visitors to closest possible points of Balijatra riding through a sea of people. The rickshaws have been branded as ‘Mo Cuttack Balijatra Rickshaw’.
9 A web portal https://baliyatra.com/ has been launched providing meticulous details of the fete.
10 The administration has issued identity cards to vendors and registration of plot allotment has been made online to maintain transparency.