Cuttack is located in the eastern Indian state of Orissa around 30 km off Bhubaneswar. The place extends from latitude 20°28¢ in the North to longitude 85°54¢ in the East. The city is well connected to other parts of Orissa and the country by the means of rail and road network.
The former capital of Orissa and the oldest city in the region, Cuttack today is a bustling commercial center. Situated on the delta formed by the Mahanadi and Kathjuri rivers, Cuttack assumed significance due to its strategic location. The warlike Keshari Dynasty founded a Kataka or "military camp," here in AD 989. The place was a major river crossing for the busy north-south land route as well as a nexus for the canals that connect the Orissa interior with the sea. The island proved an ideal platform from which to dominate the region's economy. In the 11th century, the Kesharis were again responsible for building the impressive granite embankment on the south bank of the island. Barabati Fort was added on the north bank in the 14th century. Two hundred years later, Orissa's last independent Hindu ruler, Mukunda Harichandan, built a much grander, nine-story palace on the same site. The Raja never had much of a chance to enjoy it however, as only eight years after his succession the Mughals and, soon after, the Afghans of Bengal, annexed the city.
Marathas took over Cuttack in the 18th century, and during this time, it expanded further. Lucrative trade with the British on the coast financed the construction of new temples and, thanks to a particularly liberal administration, of mosques for the city's sizeable Muslim minority. When the British finally merged the region's twenty-six princedoms, Cuttack was a logical choice as state capital, but for some geographical and climatic problems, the capital was transferred to Bhubaneswar after some time.
Fairs & Festivals
The most famous festival celebrated in Cuttack is Durga Puja. Due to its nearness to West Bengal and a large population of Bengali people residing here, Durga Puja in Cuttack is no less interesting than that of Calcutta.
Best Time to Visit
The climate of Cuttack is pleasant round the year with temperatures ranging between a minimum of 22.2°C in the winter to a maximum of 33.4°C in the summers. Annual average rainfall is around 144.39 cm. It is advisable to avoid the rainy season in the months of July to August.
How to Reach
BY AIR -The nearest airport from Cuttack is Bhubaneswar, which is around 29 km away. Flights to other important cities in India can be taken from here.
BY RAIL -Cuttack is an important station on the Calcutta-Chennai main railway line and connected to Calcutta, Chennai, Delhi, and Mumbai through regular trains.
BY ROAD -National Highway No. 5 passes through Cuttack and makes it the most accessible city of Orissa. The city is connected by road with Bhubaneswar, Puri, and other important cities of the state.
Cuttack is famous for its stone revetment on the riverbanks, a great engineering marvel of the 11th century AD and a remarkable example of ancient technological skill or Orissa.
The medieval Barabati Fort, with its moat and gate and the earthen mound of the nine-storied palace, is situated on the bank of the river Mahanadi.
A sacred shrine both for the Hindus and Muslims, Quadam-i-Rasool, has a compound wall and towers at each corner. Inside the shrine are three mosques with beautiful domes and a Nawabat Khana (music gallery). It is an object of veneration for Hindus and Muslims alike.
Chandi is the presiding deity of the city and the shrine dedicated to her is on the itinerary of all those visiting Cuttack.
A new attraction to the city of Cuttack is the sprawling modern cricket stadium near Barabati Fort. The stadium holds many test and one-day international cricket matches nowadays.
Places Around Cuttack
Banki is situated around 92 km away from Cuttack. The place has the shrine of eight-armed Goddess Charchika on the bank of river Mahanadi.
Nandan Kanan Biological Park, on the way to Bhubaneswar, is the place with the highest population of white tigers in the country.
Chatia, 30 km, has several shrines and the remains of an ancient fort.
Around 35 km away from Cuttack is Dhavaleswar, a scenic spot as well as a famous Shaivite center. It is a small island on the river Mahanadi and accommodation is available for the tourists.
Some other places to visit around Cuttack are Naraja (15 km), Niali (47 km), and Madhab.