Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. File photo
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. File photo

Accord National Maritime Heritage Festival Status to Bali Yatra: Odisha to Centre

ANI | Updated: Nov 13, 2019 15:03 IST

Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], Nov 13 (ANI): Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday wrote a letter to Union Tourism Minister Prahlad Patel urging him to accord National Maritime Heritage Festival Status to Cuttack Bali Yatra festival.
The letter said the Bali Yatra is an integral part of the cultural ethos of Odisha. It is deeply embedded in the collective consciousness of the Odia people. Hence, I would suggest you to kindly consider the social-cultural importance of "Bali Yatra" festival and accord it the status of a 'National Maritime Heritage Festival'. And, I am sure that would be a befitting tribute to our heritage and on the inspiration for our future.
Bali Yatra (also known as Boitabandana) is an ancient festival held in the city of Cuttack in Odisha to commemorate the glorious tradition of the Seafaring activities of Odia mariners ( Sadhavas).
"It marks the days when ancient Sadhavas (Odia Sailors) would set sail to distant lands of Bali, as well as Java, Sumatra, and Borneo for trade and cultural expansion. They sailed in large vessels called Boitas. This rich legacy is observed through the celebration of Bali Yatra. The festival begins in the month of November on the full-moon day of Kartika (Purnima) and continues for seven to ten days. It is celebrated annually as a large open fair and is considered to be one of the most celebrated festivals of Odisha," the letter added.
As India looks to the East to revive the age-old contacts with South East Asia aiming at the mutual economic growth of India and the countries in that region, I would be appropriate and timely that Bali Yatra which celebrates the enterprising spirit of ancient India is recognized at the National Level. (ANI)

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