Cuttack: The most awaited Bali Jatra fest is about to start in the silver city on Tuesday where the administration is trying to make the historic celebration more people-friendly.
The district administration has put in special efforts to make this yearly extravaganza a people-friendly affair. They have made an app, set to be inaugurated later today, which will help the visitors easily navigate and trace desirable spots in the Bali Jatra grounds.
Another innovative step is the introduction of non-motorized transportation facility. Visitors can opt for a cycle or hire a rickshaw to reach Bali Jatra grounds. More than 500 cycles and over 1500 rickshaws are made available this year.
The fair will be inaugurated by honourable Speaker Dr Surjya Narayan Patro at 4.30 pm today. Indonesia’s Ambassador to India Sidharto Reza Suryodipuro will be the Chief Guest of the event.
The gala opening will be attended by Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain, Housing And Urban Development Minister Pratap Jena, Tourism Minister Jyoti Prakash Panighrahi, Cuttack MP Bhartruhari Mahtab, Kendrapada MP Anubhav Mohanty, Jagatsinghpur MP Rajashree Mallick, Barabati-Cuttack MLA Mohammed Moquim, and RDC (Central Range) Anil Samal.
Reminiscing Kalinga (the historical name for Odisha) and Bali’s age-old connection, Indonesian Ambassador and today’s Chief Guest Sidharto expressed his utmost happiness in being able to attend the Bali Jatra this year and said that he feels ‘at home’ here. He said, “Being a Balinese and coming to a place from where your ancestors used to leave to trade with my ancestors, makes me very happy. How you people have kept the connection alive and respected Bali by naming a festival after it, amazes me.”
Further speaking on Odisha-Bali special connection, he said, “Rishi Markandeya of Kalinga had put ‘panchadhatu’ at Besakih Temple in Bali, the biggest temple in the world.” He stresses on further strengthening the relationship between Odisha and Bali.
As the auspicious month of Kartika concludes on the full-moon day (Kartika Purnima) people eagerly await for the week-long historic Bali Jatra (voyage to Bali) to begin which is the largest open-air trade and cultural fair in the state.