TNI Bureau:The historic Bali Yatra of Cuttack in Odisha has begun on Wednesday. Chief Minister Navin Patnaik inaugurated the seven- day long festival last evening beside the bank of river Mahanadi. Addressing the gathering, the Chief Minister said Bali Yatra symbolises the rich cultural heritage and the glorious maritime tradition of Odisha. He also recalled the state’s trade ties with Bali, Sumatra, Java and Sri Lanka at the function.
Hundreds of people thronged the fair venue to get a feel of the state’s rich art, craft and cuisine. More than 1300 stalls by the traders from Odisha and outside have been set up in an area of about 37 acres of land.
Odia traders, showcasing different aspects of the state, are selling stone and bamboo household items like sila, chaki, kula, and tokei to latest electronic gadgets at the fair and on the paths leading to the ground. There are also stalls selling the famous dahi vada-alu dum and thunka puri that people look forward to savour at Bali Yatra.
Adequate police personals have been deployed to maintain law and order at the venue, while for the first time this year a special pavilion for the differently-abled people has also been installed. People from far and near have started pouring in to be a part of this mega fair.
The Bali Yatra is celebrated to commemorate the voyage by Odia traders to far off islands like Bali, Sumatra in modern day Indonesia and Sri Lanka, since the era before Christ till around the fifteen century AD. The day also marked Kartik Purnima when people floated boats in different water bodies of the state.