Bhubaneswar, Nov 28 : People from various age groups floated tiny boats in ponds, rivers and sea across coastal Odisha Wednesday to celebrate the auspicious 'Kartika Purnima' to remember the state's glorious maritime past.

Thousands of people, among them women and children, performed 'Boita Bandana' ritual near Dhabaleswar temple in Cuttack and Bindusagar pond in state capital Bhubaneswar.

Similar crowds were seen in Puri and on Paradip beach, officials and witnesses said. A large number of devotees also visited temples.

The Jagannath temple in Puri, about 56 km from here, saw a crowd of nearly half a million, said an official.

In ancient times, sea traders known here as 'sadhabas', would begin their sea voyages on the full moon day of Kartika month of the Hindu calendar to the Indonesian island of Bali.

The days are now gone, but people float tiny boats made out of cork and colour paper and perform the ritual 'Boita Bandana' (worshipping of voyage) every year to remember the past glory.


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