asheshr

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Orissa's ancient maritime legacy.

Traders of Orissa used to venture on a journey to distant lands namely the islands of Bali, Java, Sumatra, Burma, Cambodia, China, Borneo and Sri Lanka.
To celebrate the glory of the ancient times, the people in Cuttack as well as in the rest of Orissa float small boats made of cork, colored paper and banana
tree barks in the river and water tanks. The festival is held in Cuttack on the banks of the river Mahanadi. The festival is celebrated as Bali Jatra (Journey
to Bali) or Boita-Bandana festival held for five days in October/November. Oriya women perform the rite of 'Boita Bandana'. The festival is similar to the
'Masakapan Ke Tukad' festival of Bali, and to the 'Loi Krathong' festival of Thailand, both of which involve ritualistic floating of model boats around the same time of year.

The maritime activity of Kalinga was so extensive that what is now called the Bay of Bengal was once called the Sea of Kalinga.

A Canal and boat building workshop was started in 1870 to carter to the requirement
of three provinces of Bihar, Bengal and Orissa under the Bengal Presidency of British
India after the great famine of 1866 in Orissa/Odisha. The workshop was set up by the
then PWD department of British administration through the efforts of
one Scottish Engineer Mr.G.H.Faulkner.


Odisha State Maritime Museum, Cuttack by asheshr, on Flickr
 
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