Odishatv Bureau

Cuttack/ Bhubaneswar: Thousands of people thronged rivers and other water bodies in different parts of the State today to celebrate Boita Bandana, the festival to remember Odisha’s rich maritime history.

People across Odisha observed the festival with much enthusiasm as the day also marks the start of the week-long Bali Jatra festival in Cuttack that has emerged as one of the biggest fairs in the country.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also greeted the people of Odisha through his tweet message.


The Boita Bandana Utsav is celebrated on the holy Kartik Purnima day. As per popular belief, traders, particularly the sailors or the ‘sadhabas’ used to go to far off islands in Bali, Java, Sumatra through sea routes in boats called Boita for trading purposes.

Reminiscing the past glory, people float miniature boats in various water bodies even today to commemorate the rich maritime past of Odisha.

Braving the early winter chill, thousands of people gathered at Gadagadia ghat on the Mahanadi river to sail miniature size paper and boats made from banana barks in the Millennium City. Similarly, in Bhubaneswar people swarmed to the Bindusagar tank near Lingaraj temple for the festival.

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Keeping in view the congregation of thousands of people for the Boita Bandana utsav, the Fire Services department and district administration had made elaborate measures for the smooth conduct of the rituals at various ghats.

Three special rescue teams were also deployed by Fire Services with adequate power boats at Mahanadi and Kathajodi river to put a check on incidents of drowning.