Balijatra off to colourful start
By Express News Service | Published: 18th November 2013 03:18 PM |
Phailin and floods notwithstanding, the historic Balijatra fair got off to a colourful start on Sunday.
More than two lakh footfalls marked the opening day of the fair, which commemorates the ancient maritime glory of the State as well as the culmination of the holy Kartik month. The fair was inaugurated by Housing and Urban Development Minister Debi Prasad Mishra.
Though the largest trade fair of the State, which brings modern technology and the traditional craft under one platform, was billed to be a low key affair this year on account of the natural calamities, there was no let up in people’s enthusiasm. The fair has been conspicuously softened in content this year with no cultural and entertainment programme or the giant wheels and train rides.
More than 1,300 stalls have been put up on both the upper and lower Balijatra grounds. The national-level Pallishree Mela showcasing rural art, craft and handloom is the biggest draw with over 300 stalls. The famous Chanderi sarees and brass metal products from MP, woollen items from Kashmir and Punjab, leather products from Rajasthan, woodcraft from AP, cane and bamboo craft from Tripura besides Odisha’s handloom and handicrafts are being showcased at the Mela that has drawn participation of more than 28 States of the country.
Traditional food like Balijatra’s exclusive thoonka poori, dahibara aloo dum titillated the taste buds, giving the fast food stalls dishing out chowmein and other snacks a run for their money. The fair expects footfall of more than 14 lakh over the seven days with business transactions to the tune of around Rs 100 crore. Pallishree Mela alone expects a business of about Rs 10 crore.