In the period 1512 to 1517, LordChaitanya on his return from Vrindavan paid a visit to Cuttack, the capital of the Gajapati empire of Orissa. The then emperor of Orissa, Gajapati Pratap Rudra Dev, known as King Prataprudra, received him at Gadagadia Ghata, situated near the river bank of Mahanadi. Gadagadia Ghata is very close to the king's Palace, which is popularly known as Barabati Fort. To commomerate this pastime King installed Lord Chaitanya footprints in a small temple here as shown below.
After welcoming Lord Chaitanya mahaprabhu at Gadagadia ghat , King arranged for a secluded place close by for Lord to reside. Lord stayed on for 3 more days at this place. This place of Lord’s residence is now located in a busy locality called as Mohamadia bazar (Near to famous Oriya bazar). A small garden and a beautiful small temple still stands here to commemorate Lords stay here. The temple compound also has footprints of Lord Chaitanya and the tree under which lord sat.
Next door just across the road is an old well which Lord Chaitanya used when he stayed here. It is known as Chaitanya’s well.
Though not so popular today , yet this place is locally known in this area as Chaitanya math or Pancatatva math or Mahaprabhu Badi. Celebration of Bali yatra festival on river Mahandi near Gadagadia Ghat
There are two stories relating to the celebration of Bali Yatra inCuttack. The first one rel;ates to the visit of Lord Chaitanya to Orissa some 500 years back ,who upon his visit to cuttack crossed the Mahanadi river and proceeded for a darshan of “Sakhigopal” at the Barabati Fort. He is then supposed to have taken a bath in theMahanadi on the full moon day of Kartika and then have rested on the sands at the river bed. Since sand is called “Bali” in the local language, the festival came to be called Bali Yatra in consonance with Sri Chaitanya’s historic visit and bath. The other more popular and widespread belief is that of the commemoration of the trade relations between the merchants of Orissa and that of IndonesianislandofBali. The ships carrying merchandise from Orissa to the island country sailed out on the auspicious day of the kartik Purnima. Hence the day became synonymous with the festivities. Oriya merchants who went for trade overseas would return with riches and tales of adventure. their wives accompanied by their children and neighbors thronged the Gadgadia ghat to welcome their husbands on arrival. In those days women were not allowed to venture out. However on this day, they went out to see off their husbands and willingly bought out things of their choice. This was the reason why a fair was organized in front of the Barbati Fort for the ladies . In the course of time the fair came to be known asBaliyatra.