1. Home
  2. Blog
  3. UPSC

Odisha’s Bali Jatra

Why is it in the news?

  • Odisha’s Bali Jatra was inaugurated on the banks of the Mahanadi River in Cuttack.


About Bali Jatra

  • Considered as one of Asia’s largest open trade fairs.
  • Held in Cuttack at Gadagadia Ghata of the Mahanadi River.
  • Marks the day when ancient Sadhabas (Odia mariners) set sail to distant lands for trade.
  • Begins on Kartik Purnima (full moon night in the month of Kartik).
  • During the fair, people sail decorative miniature boats to celebrate boita bandana, the worship of boats.



  • Originates more than 1,000 years ago when maritime and cultural links existed between ancient Kalinga (present-day Odisha) and Bali and other South and Southeast Asian regions.
  • Bay of Bengal region had several ports, and traders began their voyages on this auspicious day.
  • Decline started with the advent of Arab traders in the Bay of Bengal and later European traders.
  • Further, lack of patronage from rulers led to the complete decline of maritime trade in Odisha.
  • Ancient trade relations shaped India’s ‘Look East’ foreign policy, later replaced by ‘Act East Policy.’


·       India’s ‘Mausam’ project aims to reinvent ancient maritime trade routes, countering China’s Silk route initiative.

Get free UPSC Updates straight to your inbox!

Get Updates on New Notification about APPSC, TSPSC and UPSC

Get Current Affairs Updates Directly into your Inbox

Discover more from AMIGOS IAS

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading