Cuttack: Despite absence of attractions like joyrides and cultural programmes in view of recent natural calamities, the ongoing annual Baliyatra festival here is drawing lakhs of revellers.
More than three lakh revellers visited the Baliyatra on Sunday, the day the festival was inaugurated on the banks of river Mahanadi, organisers claimed. Similarly, a large number of people visited the festival grounds throughout yesterday.
"The Baliyatra this year is missing the magical touch. The cultural programme, a major crowd puller, is not there. So also the joyrides have been banned. We understand that this is for last month’s natural calamities like cyclone, flood and rains. We hope Baliyatra would get back its charm next year," said a group of college students visiting the festival.
In the absence of joyrides and cultural programmes, the people are making long queues in front of the stalls showcasing ethnic items. Even the stalls selling electronic gadgets are also major crowd pullers.
Meanwhile, police have made elaborate arrangements to maintain law and order in the fare grounds. At least 20 platoons of force are on duty to oversee the crowd movement and the traffic management in and around the fare grounds.
It?s not people of the city alone who are visiting the Baliyatra. People from far off areas, mostly from the rural areas of the region are visiting here.
Even some foreign tourists were also seen visiting the fair-grounds on Sunday evening and were happy to see the arrangements and large crowds.