Genral Information - Cuttack
Cuttack, the erstwhile princely capital of Orissa lies on the banks of the Mahanadi, Devi and Kathajuri Rivers. Cuttack's main attractions are it's 14th century fort Barabati; the 18th century shrine sacred to both Hindus and Muslims called Kadam Rasul with the imprint of Prophet Mohammad's foot and shops that sell silk and cotton textiles, horn and brass ware and Tarakasi, Orissa's famous silver filigree. History :
The city is only a few hours driving time from Bhubaneshwar and worth visiting for a couple of days. One can get to Cuttack by air, train or bus. The nearest airport is Bhubaneswar, 29km away. The drive to Cuttack will take you past cool green paddy fields, edged by palm and mango trees. An important railway junction, it has regular trains from Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai. Cuttack is also on National Highway 5 making it the most easily accessible city in Orissa.
The word "Katak" etymologically means army cantonment and also the capital city. The history of Cuttack amply justifies its name. Habitat :
The city of Cuttack started as a military cantonment because of its impregnable situation that further devolped into the capital of the state of Orissa. Inscriptions of Anangabhimadeva lll fefers the orginal city as Abhinab-Baranasi-Katak.Like the city of Baranasi situated in between Baruna and Asi,Cuttack is situated between the rivers Mahanadi and Kathajodi and was therefore named as Abhinab Baranasi (Newtype of Baranasi).Cuttack developed into a city out of fivevillage viz.Choudwar Katak,Saranasi Katak,Sarangagarh Katak, Viraja Katak and Amaravati Katak.
In the remote past Cuttack was connected both by land routes and waterways with the renowned medieval ports like Chelitalo,Palur and Tarmalipti.Although politically Cuttack was not that significant before the eight century A.D>,but it was a flourishing mart of Eastern trade.However,Cuttack became a capital city as the end of the 10th centuary A.D.during the reign of somavanansi dynasty of Orissa.
The importance of Cuttack rapidly increased after the occupation of Orissa by Chohagangadeva early in the 12th century A.D.Chodaganga transferred his capital from Kalinganagar to Katak which was more centrally located.The famous Barabati Fort was constructed in 1229A.D.by the famous Ganga ruler Anangabhimadeva lll.
After the Ganges,Orissa passed intothe hands of the Gajapati under whom Cuttack continued to be the capital of the state.The reference from Ain-i-Akbari clearly denotes That Cuttack was a flourishing capital city during the time of Mukunda Deva.On the eve of Afghan occupation,Cuttack was found a well guarded and heavily fortified capital.
The Afghans however were not destined to rule Orissa and they were soon ousted by the Imperial Mughals.Cuttack continued to be the capital of Mughal Orissa and Abul Fazl celearly mentions that Mughal Governor was residing in that city.
During the rule of Marathas,Cuttack greatly prospered as an emporium of trade and commerce and became a central market of exchange between the Marathas of Nagpur and the English merchants of Bengal and Northen Circar.
As per the treaty of deogaon,Cuttack came under British occupation in 1803 and the Enhlish set themselves to the task of consolidation and land revenue administration.As an after effect of the devastating famine of 1866,the government gave serious consideration to remove the isolation of Cuttack from the outsite world and at the same time to prevent the recurrence of such calamities in future. Along with several water ways,roads were also opened during the tater part of the 19th century toprovide Cuttack with internal communication. Then towords the last decade of the 19th century railway line of BNR connected Cuttack directly with Madras and Calcutta.
The first Newspaper of Orissa "UtkalDipika" was publish by the Cuttack printing Company due to the efforts of Gourisankar Ray in 1866.There was a great change in the educational scenario of Cuttack after British occupation with the establishment of first Government English school in 1841 and it slowly progressed as the Higher English school unitil the famine of 1886.Then the school was converted into a college with intermediate teaching in 1868 which in due course of time took the name of Ravenshaw college. Ravenshaw college was coverted to Ravenshaw University on 15th November 2006.Orissa Medical was established in 1875 following the establishment of Cuttack general hospital in 1874.The Cuttack Municipality came into existence in 1876.In 1923 two new educational insituions were opened in Cuttack.One was Cuttack Training College and the other wos Orissa School of Engineering,which developed out of the old survey school separated from the Ravenshaw College in 1915 and from the Government workshop located at jobra.
During Freedom Struggle,Swaraj Ashram of Sahebazada Bazar was the center of all nationalist activities. The Ashram is place of pilgrimage for all Gandhites as Gandhiji indoctrinated the youths of Orissa with the mantra of truth and nonviolence.
Cuttack has been enjoying all along the unique privilege of being the administrative and commercial nerve center of Orissa .It was the seat of the commissioner of Orissa Division till 1936 and with the formation of the province of Orissa in that year it was exalted to be the head quarter ofthenew province.the historic Lalbagh place which was being occupied by the commissinor became the Governor House.Now it was been converted to children,s hospital called "Sishu Bhawan "A stadium know as the Barabiti Stadium has been built on the famous Killa Maidan near the Barabati fort.The High court came into existence in 1948 and its building is another impressive structure of indo-European style.In 1948 Akasvani (All India Radio)was established in the old Madhupur building of Cuttack.
The city is reputed all over the country for its exquisite and delicate filigree works,artistic horn works, fine and multi-coloured textile products.
The state government finally selected Bhubaneswar situated at a diatance of eighteen miles from Cuttack as its new capital in accordance with the plan of grater Cuttack.Though Bhubaneswer has been made the new capital of Orissa,still then ,Cuttack acts as bridge linking the past ,present and future of state’s History and Heritage.Till the date is ranked sa one of the old cities of India with her life spread over more than thousand years being famous as the :"Millennium City".
Cuttack Habitat for Humanity works in partnership with God and people everywhere, from all works of life, to develop communities with people in need by building and renovating houses so that there are decent houses in decent communities in which people can experience God’s love, and can live and grow into all that God intends.
Place To See :
Kadam Rasool How Get There :
Location: In the vicinity of the old quarters in the Cuttack city
Founded In: 18th century
Significance: It has the footprints of Prophet Mohammad
Kadam Rasool is a famous mosque located in the vicinity of the old quarters in the Cuttack city. The domed mosque is spread over an area of 57 acres. The origin of Kadam-I-Rasool, in the Cuttack city of Orissa, can be traced back to the eighteenth century. The mosque holds a lot of religious significance in the eyes of Muslim devotees, as it contains the footprints of Prophet Mohammad, which have been preserved in the central hall.
Quadam Rasool also serves as the epitome of the magnificent Indo-Islamic architecture. It is the most prominent Muslim cemetery in Cuttack and has the graves of many Nazists. People believe that a Hindu king had established this holy shrine for the Muslim community. Quadam-I-Rasool mosque is visited by Hindus as well as Muslims. It basically consists of three mosques, along with the Nawabat Khana (music gallery).
Location: 8 km from the heart of Cuttack
Founded In: Initially in 11th century and reestablished in 14th century
Significance: The moat, elaborately carved gateway and the earthen mound of the fort speak of the glorious past of the Ganga dynasty.
Barabati Fort, situated in Cuttack, is one of the most sought-after tourist attractions of Orissa. Situated on the bank of Mahanadi River, this fort lies on the western side of the city. It is located at a distance of about 8 km from the heart of Cuttack. Barabati fort once housed an illustrious nine-storied palace. The local authorities have now taken over the task of maintaining this royal structure. Barabati fort is spread over an area of 102 acres.
The moat of the fort, more popularly known as Gadakhai, is a 20-yards wide ditch. The fort was initially constructed around the eleventh century and was later reestablished during the fourteenth century. Archaeological excavations carried at Barabati fort suggest that the walls that enclosed this magnificent monument once were made from laterite and sandstone. The gateway of the fort is totally splendid and stands embellished with beautiful intricate carvings.
The moat of Barabati fort, along with its elaborately carved gateway and the earthen mound, speaks of the glorious past of the Ganga dynasty. The fort has undergone a lot of transformation since its construction. Its interiors have been converted into a stadium, which has the capacity to accommodate more than 30,000 persons at a time. Since its inception, it has been serving as the venue of sports tournaments and cultural events.
The 'Stone Revetments', situated on the banks of Mahanadi River, were constructed by King Marakata Keshari in the eleventh century. An architectural as well as engineering wonder, these Stone Revetments stand as a proof of the advanced technology of Indians so long back also. These revetments served as the protection of Cuttack during floods, helping the city attain the status of the capital.
Chandi Temple is dedicated to Goddess Chandi, an incarnation of Goddess Durga. The temple is highly revered by devotees and people visiting the city make sure to offer their prayers here. It's magnificently carved interiors and gateways stand as a testimony to the architectural ability of the previous times.
By Air Accomodation :
The nearest airport for reaching Cuttack in Orissa is at Bhubaneswar, lying about 29 km away. The Biju Patnaik Airport at Bhubaneswar is well connected with regular flights to and from important cities in India.
A major rail junction on the Calcutta-Chennai main railway line, Cuttack is well connected with other major destinations in the country. Regular trains connect Cuttack to Kolkata, Chennai, Delhi, and Mumbai.
Cuttack is the most accessible city of Orissa. National Highway No. 5 passes through the city. Regular buses are available to reach Cuttack from Bhubaneswar, Puri, and other important cities of Orissa. The distance of Cuttack from some major cities in India is: Kolkata - 416 km; Delhi - 1720 km; Gaya - 749 km; Mumbai - 1482 km; and Varanasi - 940 km.
Take your pick from luxury to budget hotels that will offer comfortable stay. Conveniently located in the heart of the city, Hotel Ashoka is one of the best in budget hotels. Hotel Sagar Shree is a fine blend of traditional and contemporary sophistication. Located close to the commercial and shopping districts it is a good option for the busy traveler. Hotel
Manorama Plaza is suitable for both business executives and tourists. The hotel is ideally located near various places of interest and shopping centers. Other hotels that offer a comfortable stay are Hotel Akbari Continental, Hotel Dwarika and
Hotel Bombay Inn. Shopping :
Shopping in Cuttack Orissa starts with the handloom saris produced in the districts of Sambalpur and Sonepur which are popularly called sambalpuri and sonepuri gharana of handloom fabrics. Here you can also get a taste of traditional weavings and animal motifs indigenous to the Maniabandhis. They produce silk and cotton saris of very high standard. Events :
Shopping in Cuttack Orissa is a non starter without venturing out to the Silver Filigree or "Tarakashi" one of the places which produce good silver crafts. Here you get items like necklaces, ear pendants, brooches, anklets, hairpins, bangles and those worn by the Odissi dancers. The beauty of Shopping in Cuttack In India is that you can buy showpieces, Puja items and utensils at best bargain prices.
You must also try out some of the rare handicrafts that speak of a very old tradition that had influences of Buddhism, Jainism, Shaivism and Vaishnavism and strong tribal traditions. You have a lot to choose from, like Stone arts, Applique arts, Wooden paintings, Wooden carvings, Dhokra, Laquer arts, Paper Maiche Masks and Patta paintings.
If you are on a tour to Cuttack then Shopping in Cuttack is one of the primary things that you must do. It is an experience that you will treasure all your life.
Among the several festivals here, Dusshera is one of the most important. Celebrated in the month of October, this festival is marked by beautiful pandals dedicated to Goddess Durga, set up all over the city. All ten days of the festival witness great revelries and celebrations, and on the last day, the images are taken in a spectacular procession for immersion in the River Kathajodi. When visiting these pandals, you must watch out for the chandi medha, which are essentially silver filigree works used extensively for the construction. Another popular festival, Baliyatra is the festival of recollecting the ancient traditions of trade between Orissa and Java, Bali and Sumatra. Held annually in the month of November, its site is the Mahanadi River. Lakshmi Puja is held in September/October and witnesses great celebrations honoring the Goddess of wealth, Laxmi. Another hugely popular festival is the Kite Flying Festival held in January.