It is not for nothing that Bali Yatra in Cuttack is famous as the largest open-air carnival in Eastern India. A smorgasbord of articles are bought and sold here. It is the meeting place for buyers and sellers. It is unlikely that any visitor returns home empty-handed.
For non-vegetarians, particularly for those who have a special liking for dried fish, this fair has been a place of attraction.
Like in the past years, this year too, the dry fish businessmen have spread out their offerings. These businessmen have come from far-off places. They are selling a variety of dried fish such as Pomfret, Hilsa, Khaanga, and Prawns. These dry fishes are selling at a price ranging between Rs 300 and 600 per kilogram. The seeds of Khaanga are selling at Rs 1200 to 1500 a kilogram.
“We come to Bali Yatra every year. We bring different varieties of dry fish to the fair. Visitors coming to the fair are buying as per their choice,” said Parasima Behera, a dry fish businessman.
Since the price of dry fish is comparatively less during the fair, fish lovers eagerly wait for this time of the year.
“At the very mention of dry fish, my mouth starts watering. The varieties of dry fish available during the fair are not available during the normal period. So, we wait for this festival eagerly,” said Nabaghana Parida, a customer.
“I come to Bali Yatra only for dry Khaanga fish. It tastes good,” said another customer, Nirupama.