Baliyatra held over 7-8 days till the full moon day,the fair of Baliyatra is attended by thousands of enthusiasts and is marked with fun and frolic at the riverbanks where countless shops selling food,clothes,curios and miscellaneous items and swings come up during the evenings.
Odisha: Centuries ago Baliyatra marked the start of the journey of hundreds of traders from Odisha to destinations like Bali, Java, Sumatra and Borneo. During those days, it was one of the biggest fairs in this part of the continent. However, with time, it was reduced to a district-level fair that saw traders primarily from Odisha and neighboring states.
Baliyatra festivals in Odisha marks the culmination of all the religious festivities held in the month of Kartik,Which is held on the full moon day in November-December that is celebrated all over Odisha as Kartik Purnima.
While Baliyatra is an important time for local traders given that it generates huge sales and revenues, visitors also go with a lot of expectations. The department of tourism promises to make Baliyatra an affair to remember for the visitors, who can also expect a spate of new features this year.
Biswaranjan Biswas, additional tehsildar, Cuttack, says, “A lot of new features will debut at this year’s fair. The expectation level among visitors too is soaring. We can assure they will go back with a different experience this year. The plans have been finalized and we are working on them. We also want to keep a few surprises for the visitors. We hope the fair regains its lost glory. We are also expecting a surge in footfall from this year and are banking on the new features for this.”
Day by day the event is going more and more digital. For years, cash payment was the preferred mode, or at times even mandatory, when it came to booking stalls. Although debit card payments were introduced a few years ago, it wasn’t much in vogue. In an effort to go digital, organizers from this year will be stressing more on digital payments and are making necessary arrangements to make traders comfortable while making and receiving payments.
Given that there has been robust growth in users of UPI payment system, a number of assistance booths too will be set up. The organizers will also be urging traders to receive more digital payments.
Pathostav, which will make its debut in this year’s edition of Baliyatra, is being touted as one of the biggest attractions. The organizers will come up with an elaborate event on Ring Road. Each day will see a series of events such as rangoli making competitions, painting competitions and health camps. The series of events will start at 6 am and wrap up at 9.30 am. During the event, vehicles won’t be allowed to ply in that area.
If u cant able t walk any more ? go hire a rickshaw. Keeping in mind the comfort factor of the visitors and in a move to go eco-friendly, organizers have arranged for rickshaws and bicycles. After parking your vehicles, you can hire a rickshaw from the Baliyatra entrance gate or simply opt for a bicycle to roam around in the fair.
Plastic bags have been long banned at the fair. However, the idea from this year is to make the fair a plastic-free affair. Hence not only plastic carry bags but also other plastic products like cups, glasses, plates and spoons too have been banned. Violating the rule will attract penalty.