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Bali Yatra

Location : Gadagadia Ghata, Cuttack
Time: Kartika Purnima ( end of October and November )
Speacility:
Description : Bālijātrā (also Bōita Bandāṇa (Oriya: ବୋଇତ ବନ୍ଦାଣ) literally means A Voyage to Bali. This festival is held in Odisha, in the city of Cuttack at Gadagadia Ghata of the Mahanadi river, to mark the day when ancient Sadhabas (Oriya mariners) would set sail to distant lands of Bali, as well as Java, Sumatra, Borneo (all in Indonesia), and Sri Lanka for trade and cultural expansion. They sailed in large vessels called Boitas. Bali Jatra is also associated with Taapoi and rituals like Bhalukuni Osha or Khudurukuni Osha and Bada Osha. Taapoi is closely associated with the Bali Jatra festival, which recalls traditional memories of young maidens waiting for the return of their sailor brothers. To commemorate this, the festival is celebrated every year from the day of Kartika Purnima according to the Oriya Calendar.


The festival marks its beginning at Kartik Purnima which comes around the end of October and November, and goes on for a period of seven days from the full moon. This is the specific time that was considered auspicious by the Sadhabas to begin their voyage in vessels called Boitas. The voyage is begun on Kartika Purnima to take advantage of the favorable wind blowing during this time. Ajhala or big fabric sails were used to harness the wind power to move the Boitas.


In Cuttack, Bali Jatra is celebrated annually as a large open fair near the Barabati Fort area. It is said to be the largest fair of Odisha state.


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