Preparations for the historic Baliyatra in the Millennium City Cuttack are rushing towards the finishing point as the eight-day festival, which celebrates Odisha's (erstwhile Kalinga) maritime glory, will kick off on November 27. The festival will prominently feature a 35-ft high and 100-ft wide sand sculpture of a boat coupled with colourful lighting which is expected to give a different experience to visitors this time.
As per reports, people will get a feel of the rural settings on the festival ground. Apart from the massive sand art of the boat, models of thatched houses, temples, Meena Bazaar and various types of swings on the festival ground will give visitors a new experience.
The sand boat sculpture is being created by sand artist Sudam Pradhan and 10 other artists. Over 300 tonnes of sand are being used for the sand sculpture.
Besides, the festival will coincide with an eight-day open sky trade fair which is expected to draw several lakhs of people, sources said.
To ensure a smooth and peaceful celebration of the festival, the Commissionerate Police has made massive security arrangements.
Cuttack DCP Pinak Mishra said that 55 to 60 platoons of police will be deployed for Bali Yatra this year while 26 aid posts and five watch towers will be functional throughout the festival. In view of the possible huge rush at the festival, the DCP has advised people not to bring children and elderly people. If the children come, their guardians should write a contact number on a piece of paper and put it in their pockets which will help police and others in rescue, he added.
Besides, colourful cultural programmes will add glitz and glamour to the eight-day extravaganza.