Odisha celebrates Kartika Purnima, ‘Bali Yatra’ to begin today

Bhubaneswar: Kartika Purnima, the full moon day of the Hindu month of Kartika, is being celebrated across Odisha today.

Just at daybreak, men, women and children set afloat toy boats with lamps, betel leaves, crackers fruits and coins in nearest water bodies.

Besides, ‘Boita Bondana’ or Boat Festival is also being celebrated on Kartika Purnima to commemorate the maritime glory of the people of Odisha, which was known as Kalinga in ancient times. Some also believe the tradition is meant to offer prayers to the ancestors.

People in large numbers throng to Mahanadi and Kathajodi rivers in Cuttack to float toy boats. Similarly, Bindu Sagar in Bhubaneswar also witnessed huge footfall for the celebration of Kartika Purinima. People from different age groups rushed to the water body to sail miniature boats in memory of the glorious past.

Early in the morning a large number of people also gathered at Puri sea to celebrate the holiest day of Hindu calendar. Thousands of devotees throng to Shri Jagannath Temple in Puri to witness the ‘Sunabesa’ of the Lord Jagannath and his siblings.

Meanwhile, Bali Jatra, which is said to be largest fair of Odisha, is beginning from today in sands of river Mahanadi in Cuttack. The week-long festival will be inaugurated in the evening today by Finance minister Pradeep Amat.

The district administration has made elaborate arrangements to ensure an incident-free Baliyatra festival this year. Official sources said nearly 1500 makeshift stalls would come up at both the venues in the adjoining sprawling Mahanadi riverbed covering an area of 50 acres, which is now being decked up for the festival.

The district cultural society has also made elaborate arrangements to organise cultural programmes every evening at the Baishanb Pani Mandap near the venue. At least two dozen troupes from the State and outside would perform during the festival, sources said.

To maintain law and order, the commissionerate police would keep a close watch on anti-social elements through CCTVs placed at various locations of the venue.

Besides, armed police would be deployed to ward of any untoward incident.