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Bali Yatra Essay

Orissa Bali Yatra is more commonly known as the fair of Karthik Purnima. Read about the Bali Yatra in Orissa, India.

Travel to India : Orissa : Fairs : Bali Yatra

Bali Yatra

Time: Full moon day in the month of Kartik (November-December)
Duration: 3-4 days
Location: Banks of river Mahanadi in Cuttack city of India
Significance: Celebrates the glorious past of voyages that were organized to the islands of Bali, Sumatra & Java for commercial reasons

Bali Yatra is a very well known festivity that takes place on the banks of river Mahanadi in Cuttack city of Orissa. It usually falls on the full moon day in the Hindu month of Karthik (November-December). The yatra is also popularly known as Karthik Purnima and is celebrated to commemorate the glorious past of voyages that were organized to the islands of Bali, Sumatra and Java for commercial purposes. During this festive period, the idols of "Kartikeswar" are constructed and worshipped. Bali Yatra lasts for a period of three to four days.

On this great occasion, a fair is organized on a very large scale, where myriad varieties of goods are displayed for buying and selling. For entertainment purposes, there are boating facilities, which can be enjoyed in the moonlight. As a part of the celebrations of Bali Yatra, the people of Orissa float small boats, which are made up of cork, paper and banana tree barks, in the river and water tanks. Some of them also place lit lamps in the hollow of the boat and this ritual is known as Boita Bandana.

On the day of Bali Yatra, the images of Lord Karthikeswar are worshipped and then immersed, amidst huge fanfare, in the waters of Mahanadi River. The immersion serves to mark the conclusion of the holy month of Karthik. Thousands of enthusiasts from different parts of India come to Cuttack to take part in this yatra. This is the perfect time to explore the cultural heritage of the rich state of Orissa and indulge in some fun too.

Cuttack: Kiosks and showrooms at the Bali yatra this year will have to put up signboards in Odia.

Officials said there had been clear instructions for display of signboards and business names in Odia in Bali yatra since 2012. Initially, the idea was not to enforce it and the authorities had expected traders to do it willingly. But very few did that.

"A special drive will be carried out to ensure that the standing instruction was followed and sign boards are written in Odia at Bali yatra this year. We will take action against those who do not do it," additional district magistrate (revenue) Raghuram Iyer said. "Kiosk-owners can use English, but only second to Odia on the boards."

A special squad will move around the fair and check on the use of Odia signboards.

"The squad will ask the violators to comply with the order. If they continue to flout the rule, we will fine them," Iyer said.

Utkal Sammilani, a socio-cultural outfit, had demanded the inscribing of signboards in Odia at Bali yatra. President of the organisation's Cuttack chapter Rabi Ranjan Sahu said: "We have been pursuing the use of Odia signboards at Bali yatra for several years now. We expect the district administration to enforce it successfully this year."

Bali Yatra Byabasai Sangha secretary Sukanta Sethi said: "We are not averse to using signboards in Odia. We will follow the rules."

The annual fair will be held from November 4 to 10.

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