Baliyatra witnessing heavy footfalls

Cuttack: All roads in the millennium city are now leading to the Baliyatra festival held in the Barbati fort area near the banks of river Mahanadi here with thousands of revellers thronging the venue everyday to enjoy the fair which began on Thursday.

An estimated six lakh revellers have visited the fair ground so far since the week-long event was inaugurated on November 6, police sources said.

Looking at the pleasant climate and the fulsome enjoyment the festival is offering, the Baliyatra this year would witness record visitors,” a senior police officer of the city manning the traffic, said.

According to official sources, the stalls set up by ORMAS (Odisha Rural Development and Marketing Society) have done a business worth nearly Rs 30 lakh on first day of the festival on Thursday. The State Panchayat Raj minister Arun Kumar Sahu inaugurated the Ormas stalls on Thursday after the festival was inaugurated by the State Industries minister Devi Prasad Mishra.

Similarly, encouraged by winning the President?s medal for disabled welfare activities last year, the district administration this year has set up around 30 stalls run by self help groups (SHGs) in the fare.

These stalls are selling products made by disabled persons and on the first day, these stalls recorded a business worth Rs 55,000, informed the district social welfare officer Ashok Kumar Mishra.

The festival, Bali Yatra i.e.?Journey to Bali? is celebrated in the coastal Odisha every year on the full-moon day in the month of Kartika (October-November)as per the Hindu calender.

The festival is a unique socio-cultural event performed for more than 1000 years to commemorate the rich maritime heritage of Odisha had with South East Asian countries and Sri Lanka.