Bali Yatra Festival in Orissa marks the culmination of all the religious festivities held in the month of Karthik, which is considered the most auspicious month of the 12 months in a calendar year. Held on the full moon day in November - December that is celebrated all over Orissa as Karthik Purnima, Bali Yatra commemorates Orissa's ancient maritime legacy.
Karthik Purnima was considered the most auspicious day by the traders (sadhabas) of Orissa to venture on a journey to distant lands namely the islands of Bali, Java, Sumatra, Borneo and Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Tourism of Orissa offers tours to Orissa during the Bali Yatra fair and festival so that you can get a glimpse of Orissa's rich cultural history and colorfully vibrant present on your tour of Festivals in Orissa.
Bali Yatra is a hugely popular fair held on the banks of Mahanadi River in the fort area of Cuttack city from where the traders of Orissa (sadhabas) undertook voyages, along the sea trade route, on huge boats called Boita. To celebrate the glory of the ancient times, the people in Cuttack as well as in the rest of Orissa float small boats made of cork, colored paper and banana tree barks in the river and water tanks.
The ritual of launching tiny paper boats lit by lamps placed within its hollow is known as Boita Bandana. You too can marvel at the spectacle of thousand lamps afloat in the rivers and tanks on your tour of Festivals in Orissa with Tourism of Orissa tour packages.
As images of Karthikeswar are worshipped and immersed in the waters of river Mahanadi, near the Shiva Temple, to mark the end of the month of Karthik; the banks of the river in Cuttack come alive with chants and rejoicing people. Suddenly Bali Yatra takes a life of its own.
Held over 3-4 days till the full moon day, the fair of Bali Yatra is attended by thousands of enthusiasts and is marked with fun and frolic at the riverbanks where countless shops selling food, clothes, curios and miscellaneous items and swings come up during the evenings. You can indulge your shopaholic side or go on boat rides under the full moon on your tour to the Bali Yatra festival in Orissa with Tourism of Orissa tour packages.