PARADIP: The Kalinga Baliyatra, which was under cloud due to the battering inflicted by the cyclonic storm Bulbul, took off as per schedule on Monday. The festival symbolising the maritime trade of Odisha with South-East Asian countries, was inaugurated by Minister for Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water Pratap Jena.
“The festival glorifies the legacy of maritime trade and prosperity of erstwhile Kalinga. I laud the efforts of the organisers for organising the festival despite difficult circumstances,” Jena said. Minister for Agriculture and Information and Public Relations Raghunanada Das also spoke on the occasion. Among others, MP Rajshree Mallick and legislator Sambit Routray attended the function which was presided by Collector Sangram Keshari Mohapatra.
Apart from the cultural programmes by troupes from across the State, Gramshree Mela, Odissi performance and other events would be major attractions, the organisers said. However, due to influence of the cyclone and stir by the local leaders, the vendors came in less number.
Former Chief Minister Biju Patnaik had started the Kalinga Baliyatra in 1992 to revive the glories of Kalinga’s maritime history and highlight the 2500-year-old cultural heritage of the State.
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