Bali Yatra festival is held in the city of Cuttack on the banks of Mahanadi river, to mark the day when ancient Sadhabas would set sail to distant lands of Bali, for trade and cultural expansion.
It also marks the culmination of all the religious festivities held in the month of Karthik, which is considered as the most auspicious month of the 12 months in a calendar year.
It has been an inseparable part of the socio-cultural mileu of the millennium city of Cuttack. To commemorate the ancient maritime glory of the past, this vast trade fair of national repute is being organised every year.
In Cuttack, Bali Yatra is celebrated annually as a large open fair near the Barabati Fort area. It is said to be the largest fair of Odisha state. There are several attractions for children, and food stalls selling Oriya delicacies. Every year millions of people from all over the nation come to experience it.
Bali Yatra 2013 date – 17th November.
Cuttack district administration has decided not to cancel the annual Bali yatra fair and to hold it despite the cyclone and subsequent floods in the state.
“Keeping in view the rich tradition of Bali yatra and the scope it provides to thousands of traders and other people, we have decided to organise the fair in a simple way this year,” said collector Girish SN.
Bali yatra is usually held over 37 acres, including 23 acres on the Mahanadi river bed and 14 acres at Kila Maidan in front of the Barabati fort.
The amusement section featuring around 40 to 50 joyrides, including giant wheels, toy trains and so on, have always been a crowd-puller at Bali yatra.
The district administration has decided to ban joyrides at Bali yatra fair this year, keeping in mind unfit ground conditions, especially the upper ground, along the Mahanadi river bed.
“Since the ground has been badly damaged, we have decided not to allow any joyrides at Bali yatra keeping safety in mind,” said collector.
However, a final decision will be taken at the meeting of district council for culture.