Bali Yatra is a very well known festivity that takes place on the banks of river Mahanadi in Cuttack city of Orissa. It usually falls on the full moon day in the Hindu month of Karthik (November-December). The yatra is also popularly known as Karthik Purnima and is celebrated to commemorate the glorious past of voyages that were organized to the islands of Bali, Sumatra and Java for commercial purposes. During this festive period, the idols of "Kartikeswar" are constructed and worshipped. Bali Yatra lasts for a period of three to four days.
On this great occasion, a fair is organized on a very large scale, where myriad varieties of goods are displayed for buying and selling. For entertainment purposes, there are boating facilities, which can be enjoyed in the moonlight. As a part of the celebrations of Bali Yatra, the people of Orissa float small boats, which are made up of cork, paper and banana tree barks, in the river and water tanks. Some of them also place lit lamps in the hollow of the boat and this ritual is known as Boita Bandana.
On the day of Bali Yatra, the images of Lord Karthikeswar are worshipped and then immersed, amidst huge fanfare, in the waters of Mahanadi River. The immersion serves to mark the conclusion of the holy month of Karthik. Thousands of enthusiasts from different parts of India come to Cuttack to take part in this yatra. This is the perfect time to explore the cultural heritage of the rich state of Orissa and indulge in some fun too.
Time: Full moon day in the month of Kartik (November-December)
Duration: 3-4 days
Location: Banks of river Mahanadi in Cuttack city of India
Significance: Celebrates the glorious past of voyages that were organized to the islands of Bali, Sumatra & Java for commercial reasons