Adivasi Mela, the annual culture-cum- trade fair was first started in 1951 at Cuttack, the then state capital of Odisha. It was shifted to Bhubaneswar, the new capital city in 1954 and held at Adivasi Exhibition Ground, Unit-1, Bhubaneswar. Subsequently, in view of law and order situation, the Adivasi Mela is being held at IDCO Exhibition Ground, Unit-III, Bhubaneswar from 2018 onwards. The Mega Event is organized by the ST and SC Development Department, Govt. of Odisha. Initially, the Adivasi Mela was held for a week and subsequently from 2010 the duration of the fair has been increased to 15 days considering popularity of the event gained over the years.
The Chief objective of the Adivasi Mela is about promotion and celebration of the traditions and handicraft of the tribes of Odisha. The fair showcases the colorful tribal art and craft, forest and tribal produces, tribal cousins along with stage performance of cultural programmes of tribal dances every evening. The other major motive of Adivasi Mela is to spread awareness about the required development of the tribes of Odisha by becoming a major tourist attraction. Local residents of the capital city eagerly wait for this Annual event to collect their yearly household needs while tourists throng to get in overall picture and feel of the tribal society. Now a-days Adivasi Mela witnesses huge footfall of 8-10 lakhs visitors attracting tourists from the foreign countries. The Annual Adivasi Mela provides all facilities like, fast-aid, ambulance, ATM, services etc at the venue. It also ensures safety security measures for the visitors and participants with insurance coverage.
Due to COVID-19 pandemic situation, the Annual Adivasi Mela, 2021 was organized in hybrid mode at Adivasi Exhibition Ground, Unit-I, Bhubaneswar with participation of only 100 Tribal SHGs sponsored by ITDAs & Micro Project Agencies. During current year, due to resurgence of COVID-19, the Adivasi Mela could not be organized from 26th January to 9th February, 2022. Later, due to improvement of situation and relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions, the Adivasi Mela, 2022 is being held from 23rd April to 2nd May 2022 at IDCO Exhibition Ground, Unit-III, Bhubaneswar, which will be inaugurated by the Hon'ble Chief Minister, Odisha on 23.04.2022 at 6PM. There will be 100 nos of stalls in total i.e. ITDAs (45), MPAs (17), Mission Shakti (21), ORMAS (15) and TDCC (2) to provide the ST SHGs with a platform to showcase and sell their agricultural and forest products. Besides, 56 Tribal Dance Troupes will be stage dance performance in each evening of the Adivasi Mela.