Rashmi Rekha Das

Hata or haats are open-air markets that serve as a trading venue for people residing in rural areas and small towns, especially in India. When it comes to Odisha, there are specific haats like vegetable market, cattle market, fish market et al.

But have you ever heard of market specifically for weddings and marriages? Don’t be surprised because such market does exist in Odisha.

Boudh district is majorly known for ginger and turmeric production. And it has created a name for itself in India for spices. But do you know it also has a really fantastic market to buy clothing, jewellery and furniture for your big day? Yes, the marriage haat which is fondly known as 'Bahaghara hata' is popular for being a budget-friendly wedding shopping destination.

Every year, the haat remains open for four days beginning Makar Sankranti so that people enjoy both the Makar Mela and shopping in the market. The reason why it’s on everybody’s radar is that you will find everything from accessories like luggage bags and jewellery to bespoke lehengas and sherwanis, all at affordable rates. It is popular for its budget-friendly wedding shopping. Be it brass utensils, furnitures or jewellery, you can find everything in this market.

Traders eagerly wait for this seasonal haat to make brisk business every year.

It may be mentioned that the haat was not organised for last two years due to Covid restrictions. That’s why, it witnessed heavy rush this year.

Lilima Guru, a customer, said, “Makar Mela is popular in our district. Here you can get everything related to weddings. Most importantly, we get things at cheaper rates compared to malls. Besides, the Meena Bazaar is another centre of attraction of the fair.”  

Rabindra Pradhan, President of Makar Mela Committee, said, “As many as 500 stalls have been set up this year. Apart from buying things, people are enjoying cultural programmes here. This market is being organised in Boudh since time immemorial.” 

Reported by Rabindra Hota, OTV