Odisha celebrates Kartik Purnima

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Bhubaneswar, Nov 4 (Sabyasachi Amitav): Lakhs of tiny paper boats with flickering lamps dazzled in rivers, lakes and other water bodies in Odisha this morning as the state remembered its maritime past on the occasion of 'Kartik Purnima'.

Scores of people, including a large number of women made a beeline for the riverside or to large water bodies at the crack of dawn to sail the colourful boats amidst prayers.

This also marks the end of a month of abstinence and prayer and kicks off the famous 'Bali Yatra' festival at Cuttack recalling the period when Odias sailed in large 'boitas' to the South-East Asian countries for maritime trade.

Bali yatras are also being held at present at the port town of Paradip and nearby Tirtol as well.

Historians have found links between Odisha - the ancient Kalinga - and places like Bali and Java in Indonesia.

Lakhs of people took dip in different rivers, canals and lakes to mark the occasion amidst bursting of crackers.

Though the floating of the tiny boats was a festival mostly celebrated in the coastal belt, the practice was now in vogue in interior Odisha as well.

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