(Last Updated on : 18/04/2009)
Cuttack city is one of the most significant cities of Orissa that portrays rich heritage and prosperity. The city's name, Cuttack, has been derived from the Sanskrit word 'Kataka', which signifies a military camp or a fort or a Government seat protected by an army. Cuttack is one of the oldest cities in India and the Commercial Capital of Orissa and is the second largest city in Orissa.
The location of Cuttack is in a tongue of land formed by the Mahanadi River and its main branch the Kathajodi River at their points of bifurcation in 20°17?N 85°31?E / 20.28°N 85.52°E / 20.28; 85.52. Cuttack is known as the cultural capital of Orissa. It lies near Bhubaneswar, Puri and Konark. This city was founded almost thousand years ago, in 989 A.D and was the capital of Orissa for almost nine centuries, before Bhubaneswar was made the capital city in 1948. Cuttack along with Bhubaneswar is collectively known as the "twin cities" of Orissa. With its world famous exceptional filigree works in silver, ivory and brass works and textiles of woven silk and cotton, Cuttack city is perhaps the grandest showroom of Orissa.
Early history of Cuttack is associated with the Keshari dynasty. Contemporary Cuttack was established as a military cantonment by King Nrupa Keshari of Keshari dynasty in 989 A.D., as mentioned in Madalapanji, a chronicle of Jagannath temple of Puri. The reign of Markata Keshari was distinguished for the stone embank built to protect the new capital from devastating flood in 1002 A.D. according to historical evidence Cuttack was founded by Anangabhimadeva of Ganga dynasty in 1211 A.D. After the end of Ganga rule, Orissa was passed to the hands of the Gajapati Kings (1435-1541 A.D.) of Solar dynasty under whom Cuttack continued to be the capital of Orissa. After the death of Mukunda Deva, the last Hindu king of Orissa, Cuttack first came under Muslim rules and later under the Mughals.
During 1750, Cuttack was under Maratha rule. It flourished as a business center as it was a convenient point of contact between the Marathas of Nagpur and the English Merchants of Bengal. It was occupied by the British in 1803 and later became the capital of Orissa division in 1816. From 1948 onwards, when Bhubaneswar was made the capital city, Cuttack remained the administrative headquarters of Orissa.
There are several edifices that are the witnesses of Cuttack's glorious past. The remains of an old fort called Barabati still exists in the heart of Cuttack with the moat around the fort. Nearby is a modern stadium called the Barabati Stadium that hosts many national and international cricket matches. Recent growth of the city has resulted in expansion across the river Kathjori and a newer township towards the head of the delta formed between the distributaries Kathjori River and the Mahanadi. Cuttack is referred to as a city with Babaan Bazaar, Teppan Galee and many more market places. It is one of the rare Indian cities that have 52 markets and 53 streets.
Cuttack is located at the apex of delta formed by the rivers Mahanadi in the north and Kathajodi in the south. The city experiences a hot and humid climate in Summer, characterized by temperature going up as high as above 40 °C and a dry and cold climate in Winter, with temperature as low as below 10 °C. Summer starts at the end of March, and monsoon rains hit the city during September to middle of October and supply most of the city's annual average rainfall. The best time to visit Cuttack is from middle of January to the middle of March.
The highest temple of Cuttack is Paramahansa Nath Temple, which is situated near Biribati, 14 km away from town. The famous Katak Chandi Temple and Bhattarika Temple adds to this Millennium City. The holy historical Sikh Shrine "'The Gurdwara Daatan Sahib'" is situated here. It is here that the first Sikh Guru, Shree Guru Nanak Dev halted on his way to Puri. It is believed that a tree planted by him after using it as a Tooth Cleaner still flourishes here, hence is the name Daatan Sahib.
During the passage of time numerous Muslim monuments have built at Cuttack. The Qadam-I-Rasool is a monument of beauty built by Shujaddin Khan. At four corners of its high compound wall are four small yet strong towers constructed out of chiseled stone. This monument is adorned with four flat domes and pucca pavements from all direction of the graveyard to the main octagonal building with magnificent dome in the centre. It contains the footprint of the prophet engraved in a circular stone. The dome outside is adorned with a golden pinnacle. The Shahi Mosque is situated inside the Barabati Fort. In structure it is similar to the Ujale Khan Mosque at Mohammadia Bazar. These Mosques are adorned with beautiful domes on hexagonal base. Stones and tiles are used in construction of the mosque.
Cuttack is also noted for being the birthplace of the prominent Indian statesman, independence leader and freedom fighter Subhash Chandra Bose. The birth place of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose which is known as Janakinath Bhawan in Oriya Bazar has now been converted to a museum known as Netaji Birth Place Museum.
Among the culinary delights unique to the Cuttack, none compare the famed, "Dahibara Aludum", a spicy mixture of three basic dishes, namely "dahibara" or vadas soaked in skim yoghurt, "ghugni' or curried chickpeas and "aludum" or whole size potatoes immersed in fiery curry.
Modern Cuttack boasts of Barabati Stadium, an important venue for international cricket matches, filigree works in silver and also works of ivory, for which it is also called "Silver City". Cuttack is the centre of many educational institutions of national repute, like the Ravenshaw University (formerly Ravenshaw College), and national research laboratories like the Central Rice Research Institute, which is a foremost institute of rice research in the whole of South Asia. The Shri Rama Chandra Bhanja (SCB) Medical College and hospital is the largest hospital in Orissa. Regional Spinal Injury Centre (RSIC) at Cuttack is one of the institutions, which provide rehabilitation measures to persons with disabilities especially spinal injury. The Regional Spinal Injury Centre, Cuttack has been functioning inside the S.C.B. Medical College Campus since 2001.
There are many Engineering colleges and a Government Medical college in Cuttack too. The city has many historical sites like Barbati fort and others. The Aviation Research Centre airbase, an arm of the intelligence agency RAW, is located at Charbatia, Cuttack. Schools in Cuttack are either "municipal schools" (run by the CMC) or private schools (run by trusts or individuals), which in some cases receive financial aid from the government. Oriya or English is the general language of instruction.
Cuttack lies on the national highway no. 5, connecting the eminent cities of Kolkata and Chennai. Well connected by rail, Cuttack is an important hub for most trains. The nearest airport is Biju Patnaik Airport, which is 28 km away. It also has the largest bus terminus of the state. An Indian Air Force Airport is also present in Charbatia at Cuttack.
All the Oriya festivals are celebrated in a grand way in Cuttack. But the Unique festivals of Cuttack are Dusshera and Baliyatra. Dusshera is the festival of goddess Durga. It is celebrated with much fanfare all across the city. Cuttack is famous for its chandi medha, which are basically silver filigree works. Baliyatra is the festival of remembering the ancient tradition of trade between Orissa and Java, Bali and Sumatra, held every year in the month of November. Among other celebrations the Kite flying festival is very much attractive in Cuttack that is held in the month of January. Cuttack is one of the finest cities in Orissa with multifaceted culture and heritage.
For complete business listing of Cuttack visit Cuttack Yellowpages