City of the Fort situated at the apex of a delta formed by the river Mahanadi on the north and its distributary, the Kathajodi on the south, and located at 14.62 meters above sea-level, the city of Cuttack has a history of more than one thousand years. Geographically, it is between 20-55 E longitude. Hot in summer, humid during the monsoon and dry in winter, this densely populated city is spread over an area of 59.57 square kilometers. Cuttack (or Kataka) was founded by King Nrupa Keshari in 989 A.D. King Marakata Keshari built the stone revetment on the left bank of the Kathajodi in 1006 A.D. to protect the city from the ravages of floods. Due to its strategic location, King Anangabhima Dev III shifted his capital from Choudwar Kataka to the present Cuttack, then known as Abhinaba Varanasi Kataka and built the fort of Barabati in 1229 A.D. Cuttack has witnessed the rule of several dynasties : the Kesharis, the Gangas, the Gajapatis and the Bhois.
The Chalukya King, Mukundadev Harichandan, built a nine-storey building in the precincts of Barabati Fort in 1560 A.D. This last independent Hindu king of Odisha died fighting the Sultan of Bengal, Sulaeman Karni in 1568 A.D. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Barabati Fort was defended by two rings of forts on either side of the Mahanadi and the Kathajodi. In 1568 A.D., the city passed to the hands of Afghan rulers of Bengal, then to the Moghuls in 1592 and the Marathas in 1751. Cuttack, with the rest of Odisha, came under the British rule in 1803. The Bengal-Nagpur Railways connected Cuttack with Madras(Chennai) and Calcutta(Kolkata) in 1919. It became the capital of the newly formed State of Odisha in 1936 and continued to be so till 1948 when the capital was shifted to Bhubaneswar. The city completed one thousand years of its existence in 1989.The major places of interest are listed in alphabetical order and distance from the railway station is indicated in respect of each entry. Although town buses ply to certain areas, it is not always possible to reach most places by them because of narrow lanes and bylanes and traffic congestion. A cycle-rickshaw is a better way of getting around.
The ruins of the old Barabati Fort lie on the right bank of the Mahanadi, in the western part of the city. All that remains of the Fort is an arched gateway and the earthen mound of the nine-storeyed palace. Archaeological surveys reveal that the Fort was roughly rectangular in structure having an area of over 102 acres, and it was surrounded on all sides by a wall of Laterite and sandstones. To the west of the mound there is a tank. In the north-eastern corner of the mound are remains of what once was a temple. The temple was made of whitish sandstone over foundations of Laterite blocks. About four hundred fragments of buildings and some mutilated pieces of sculptures have been recovered so far. This temple of the Ganga period containing a stone idol of Lord Jagannath was razed to the ground by Feroz Shah Tughluq in1361 A.D.
The idol of Gadachandi is enshrined in a newly built temple. Towards the east of the mound stands the Shahi Mosque and to the west of the tank, the Mazar of Hazrat Ali Bukhari.Barabati Stadium (4 km) Adjacent to the ruins of Barabati Fort is the Barabati Stadium with its impressive structure covering an area of about 25 acres. It has a seating capacity of nearly thirty-five thousand. The structure of the Stadium closely resembles that of the Brabourne Stadium of Bombay. Towards the southern part of the Fort area stands the modern Jawaharlal Nehru Air-conditioned Indoor Stadium with a seating capacity for six thousand spectators.Central Rice Research Institute (5 km)The Institute was established in 1946. Its basic aim is to conduct research on crap development in order to increase overall productivity of rice. It has so far produced 42 high-yielding varieties.
Chandi Temple (5 km)The temple of Goddess Chandi, the presiding deity of the city, to the south of the Barabati area is visited by hundreds of devotees everyday. The image of the deity is older than the temple.Church, Baptist (5 km) The present Baptist Church or Jubilee Church at Mission Road was constructed in 1872 to commemorate the golden jubilee of the work of the Baptist Missionary Society at Cuttack. Established in 1822, the Mission conducted church services first in a bungalow before shifting its activities to a Church at Tinkonia Bagicha which was washed away by a flood. A new church was built in its place in 1828.Church of England (4 km) Church of England, later known as the Anglican Church, is presumed to have been established during the days of the East India Company. The Church conducted services in a bungalow at Cantonment Road. The present church building was, however, constructed later.Church of God (4 km) The building of the present Church of God at Cantonment Road was constructed in 1928. But the congregation started its services at Cuttack in 1905 with the visit of John A.D. Khan, the President of the Church of God Association of India. Sunday services were held in the Verandah of the Mount House till the construction of the new building.Church, Roman Catholic (5 km)Situated at Cuttack Chandi, to the north of the Mount House,the Catholic Church is one of the oldest in Odisha. It is believed that the first Catholic Church at Cuttack was built on the rank of the Kathajodi by the Portuguese merchants, but there is no trace of it now.
Gadagadeswar Temple (4.5 km)The temple of Lord Shiva on the banks of the Mahanadi towards the northern part of the Barabati area is not very old. The modern temple probably stands in the place of a certain Visvesvara temple of the fifteenth century mentioned in the Oriya by Sarala Das.Gurudwara Guru Nanak Datan Sahib (2 km)Situated on the bank of the Mahanadi to the west of the NH-5, Gurudwara Guru Nanak Datan Sahib is one of the oldest Gurudwaras of Odisha. It was built in 1935 in memory of Guru Nanak Dev who visited Odisha in 1506 A.D.Hanuman Temple (2.5 km)Situated on the bank of the river, Kathajodi, the temple of Panchamukhi Mahavira, a form of Hanuman is visited by the devout. A small temple established in 1914 has been renovated and modernized, There are the shrines of Ram, Sita, Lakshman and Lord Siva in the temple premises.Jami Masjid (7 km)Built by Nawab Ikram Khan in 1689 A.D. on the orders of Aurangzeb Alamgir, the Jami Masjid at Balu Bazar is an Islamic prayer hall. The mosque stretches from east to west to enable the devotees to turn towards Mecca while praying. The present access to it is through the southern gate built much later. There is a Hauz (distern) in the courtyard and a pulpit in the main hall. There are two tall and elegant towers on both sides of the mosque. One can get a view of the city from the top of the towers.
Municipal Office (5 km)Cuttack Municipality was constituted in 1876 before which the affairs of the town were looked after by the Town Committee consisting of both nativeEuropean members. The area of the Municipality gradually went on increasing to bring the adjoining places under its control. The present office building is, however, a structure raised at a later date.Odisha High Court (7 km)This majestic red-brick structure, with slim decorative columns on the top was constructed in 1948. Oriya Bazar (5 km) The house at Oriya Bazar where Subhas Chandra, the ninth child of Prabhabati and Janaki Nath Bose was born, is visited by many people particularly on 23 January, the birthday of Netaji.Publishing Houses (6 km) Almost all the major Oriya publishing houses are located at Balu Bazar - Binod Behari - Banka Bazar area. Cuttack Students, Stores, Friends Publishers, Grantha Mandir, Vidyapuri are some of the leading publishing houses. Although the first Oriya printing was made in the early nineteenth century in Calcutta soon after a press was set up at Cuttack for missionary purposes. The number of presses have increased manifold since then.
The first Oriya newspaper, Utkal Dipika was brought out in Cuttack in 1868. The Samaja(Buxi Bazar:4km) and The Prajatantra (Chandinichowk : 7km), the oldest of the existing Oriya dailies also come out from the city.Qadam-I-Rasool (5.5km)Located almost at the center of the city, Qadam-i-Rasool is enclosed on all sides by high stone walls. Covering an area of 57 acres and having a tower at each of the four corners, it has three mosques with beautiful domes and a Nawabat Khana (music gallery) inside. The central building with a magnificent dome shelters the footprints of Prophet Mohammed engraved on a circular stone . The main burial ground of Muslims in Cuttack, Qadam-i-Rasool has the graves of some of the Nazims who were in charge of the administration of Odisha in the early eighteenth century. It is a good example of Indo-Islamic architecture and a shrine dear to both Hindus and Muslims.Raghunath Jew temple (3.5km)A monument of Maratha period, the temple of Sri Raghunath Jew, also known as Sitaram Thakurbari is situated at Telenga Bazar in the southern part of the city.