Cuttack Balijatra 2016: A Fair at Sand

Historical Bali jatra is the symbol of Odia community’s business by voyage and history. It is celebrated from years to remember Odisha’s pride and prosperity. Bali jatra is the real image of Odisha’s art, culture,tradition,business and brotherhood. It is also the meeting point of cast, race, religion, group and community. It becomes grate festival of togetherness. Friends and family comes to their relatives in cities. Not only in cuttack balijatra rises in a festive manner all over odisha. It reminds Sadhaba’s voyage to Java, Sumatra, Borneo island. They travelled through seven seas and thirteen rivers to make business of odia art and crafts, which makes odisha prosperous. Every year, the improvement of Bali jatra symbolizing its popularity. From Dandi Ramayan, Bramhana Purana, kaibarta Gita, Hari Bansha, Kali Das’s Raghubansha, and also from Chinese traveler Huensha’s  and Telemi’s document much data can be found about Odisha’s business by voyage. It was easy to travel in seas in the month of kartika(odia month). Because, at that time the sea becomes calm. So there was no fear of storm. The odia people considering Kartika Purnima as the day of good luck and good time and start their voyage. To make that memory alive, everywhere in villages of odisha this day is celebrated as Boita Bandana Utshav.

The large area starting from Cuttack’s historical Barabati Durga’s KIlla field is well known as Bali jatra field. Taking the population and business in consideration it is now enlarged to Mahanadi river beach. Starting from Kartika Purnima at both upper and lower field Bali jatra festival is arranged. Every age finds here his likable product. The things that are rarely available in general stores, people find them here. So there is a proverb that, “you can find here anything except father and mother.” Bali jatra is not limited to cuttack only. It is also cheerfully celebrated at Paradip, Tirtol, Konark, Chandrabhaga, Chilika, Balugan, Bidanashi, Chahata, Astarang and Kakatpur. Bali jatra comes with the opportunity to sell and purchase art an craft, to enjoy some cultural programs , to develop culture and also to have a great hangout by meeting old friends. Every year Bali jatra enlarging its sarea. Where there were less number of tents, now a thousand of sellers opening their stalls. For which every year Bali jatra income is more than 1000cr.Due to large number of visitors there is an open challenge for both police and authority to maintain the discipline in the festival.

For the discipline of Bali jatra, police along with CMC and district authority had taken several steps. Last year where there were 1328 stalls handed over by the authority, this year that is limited to only 950. Use of polyethylene is completely banned. The sellers will use paper bags instead of polyethylene. If any seller caught using polyethylene, then his license will be cancelled and also he will be charged with a fine of Rs.500. Also for fire safety its mandatory for all stalls to have a fire extinguisher. Cultural programs for seven days is also arranged. Baishnaba Pani stage is made for this. Many renowned singers and dancers from all over the state will perform. At the important places of the field 8 CCTV cameras will be connected. There is a special logo and memorandum of Bali jatra published. Watch tower, close circuit camera, first aid cenre and drinking water are also provided. This year also there are special stalls for third genders and free education and food service for children.

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