‘Baliyatra – The journey to Bali’ is one of the most awaited socio-cultural festivals in Odisha as it celebrates the rich maritime heritage of Kalinga with the several South-East Asian countries. If you’re from Odisha or have been in this state for more than a few years now, then the excitement regarding this festival might have caught your attention. It was a few centuries ago when the mariners from Odisha went to Bali, Indonesia for the trading of beeswax, spices, pearls gems, silk, camphor, and sandalwood. This trading relationship was such strong that it is believed that these cities got their name from the names of Odia kings!
Balinese dancers in Baliyatra
Paradeep is known for its grand Baliyatra or rather known as ‘Kalinga Baliyatra’ fest that is to be started from November 22nd, 2018. According to the Indonesian culture, the Baliyatra is a parallel celebration in the Masakapan Ke Tukad with a similar offering of boats for their maritime ancestors as they worship Mabinukukung – the Goddess of wealth and prosperity like Lakshmi in Odisha. In in the temporal world, we see a sharing of aesthetic and worldview in the fields of architecture, performing arts, particularly the enactment at the Ramlila, leather shadow puppetry, masks, the Ikat tradition in textiles and Pata painting on fabric and palm leaf, common to both cultures.
Women gathering around river beds to sea-off miniature boats
In order to retain the same traditional values, the married women of today still gather in the bed of river Mahanadi and float miniature boats as they chant “ Aa-Ka-Ma-Bai, Pana-Gua- Thoi, Pana-Gua Tora, Masaka Dharma Mora.” From being one of the biggest fairs in western India that has thousands of brands coming together and launching their products in Baliyatra that is awaited throughout the year. From good food, luring offers as well as a spirit of coming together with other countries is what Baliyatra stands for. Let us tell you, it gets pretty crowded in Paradeep during these times of Baliyatra since both entrepreneurs across the world and tourists accumulate for this festival. But, there’s no need to worry since we, at Hotel Golden Anchor offer several offers to make your stay in Paradeep a memorable one.