The Millennium City of Odisha
|Type of Tourism||: City, Heritage|
|Area||: 398 sq km|
|Population||: 606,007 (As per Indian census- 2011)|
|Altitude||: 36 meters|
|Best Tourist Season||: October to March|
|Telephone Code||: India (0671), International (+91)|
|Pin Code||: 753001|
|Clothing recommended||: Light Cotton in Summer, Woolen in Winter|
|Languages spoken||: Oriya, Hindi, English, Bengali, Kosali, Santali, Punjabi, Urdu, Telugu, Gujarati, Marwari, etc.|
|What To Buy||: Tarakasi - Filigree Work in Silver and Ivory, Horn and Brass Ware, Lacquer Work, Ornaments, Stone Works, Cuttacki or Katki Saris, other Cotton and Silk Fabrics, Tie and Dye Textiles, Idols & Statues from Puri, etc.|
|Food Specialties||: Dahi Bara, Aludum, Ghuguni, Seu, Piaji, Aluchop, Singada, Pakudi, Chakuli, Pithas, Bara, Gupchup, Thunka Puri, Various Types of Rice, Dahi Baigan, Chadachadi, Ghugni, Dahi Bhendi, Fish and other Sea Food Delicacies, Rasgulla, Chhenapodapitha, Rasmalai, Rasabali, Khirmohan, Kalakand, Bel Pana, etc.|
|Local Transportation||:Cabs, Auto Rickshaws, Cycle Rickshaws, City Buses, etc.|
|Must Do||: Mahanadi Cruise|
Priding on its illustrious history of over one thousand years, Cuttack; the ‘Millennium City’ of Odisha is one of the oldest existing civics of the state that served as the erstwhile capital of the province until after the Independence when in 1948 the center of operations was shifted to Bhubaneshwar. This historical conurbation positioned at the mere distance of 26 kilometers to the north east of its twin city Bhubaneshwar is the second largest metropolis of the state that presently functions as the headquarters of the Cuttack District & Division. Also referred to as the ‘commercial capital’ of Odisha, Cuttack the ‘Silver City’ of India has earned international repute for its world famous silver filigree work and its cotton & silk textile. Established in the year 989 AD under the patronage of a Keshari King; Nrupa Keshari and formerly reckoned as the ‘Bidanasi Katak’, the Cuttack City derives its epithet from a Sanskrit word ‘Kataka’ meaning a fort or a military base camp. Burgeoned around the ancient Barabati Fort and nestled at the origin of the river delta created by the alluvium of the Mahanadi & Kathjodi Rivers, the Cuttack City is divided into 54 jurisdictional wards; some of them being Phulnakhara, Salipur, Bidyadharpur, Choudwar, Bidanasi, etc. Proliferating on the global front as an advancing metropolitan, Cuttack has successfully retained its ethnic traditions and customs amidst the strong currents of modernization. This salmagundi of old & new, typical & atypical and standard & novel is celebrated all over the map for its palatial Dussehra Festival. The silver & gold Medhas and the idols of the Goddess Durga adorned with extravagant ornaments are some of the extraordinary hallmarks of the Cuttack Dussehra not witnessed anywhere else in the world.
History of Cuttack
Cuttack was originally established as a military cantonment in the year 989 AD under the benefaction of a Keshari Monarch; Nrupa Keshari. His successor Markata Keshari constructed the Stone Revetments on the banks of the river Mahanadi in 1002 AD so as to protect the city from the floods. In 1211 AD, Cuttack served as the administrative capital of the Orissa Kingdom constituted by a Ganga King; Maharaja Anangabhimadeva. With the decline of the Ganga Dynasty, the Kingdom of Orissa fell into the hands of the Gajapati Kings of the Solar Clan under whose ascendancy Cuttack upheld its status as the state capital. As quoted in Ain-i-Akbari, Cuttack blossomed under the rule of King Mukunda Deva and was well guarded and profoundly fortified during his tenure. However, King Mukunda Deva turned out to be the last Hindu king of Orissa after whose demise Cuttack came under the Afghani Muslim dominance and afterwards under the Mughal domination.
By mid 18th century (1750 AD) Cuttack came under the Maratha Sovereignty and flourished as a thriving mercantile hub. Cuttack prospered as the pivotal market of exchange between the Marathas of Nagpur and the English merchants of Bengal and Northen Circar. However, under the ‘Treaty of Deogaon’ the British East India Co. seized Cuttack in 1803 AD and in 1816 AD it was declared the capital of the Orissa Division. Subsequent to the fatal famine of 1866, several water ways, roads and railway lines were constructed so as to establish a connection between Cuttack and the outside world. During the Freedom Struggle of India, the Swaraj Ashram of Cuttack located at the Sahebazada Bazar operated as the axis of all nationalistic revolutionary activities. After the Independence of India, the state capital was moved from Cuttack to Bhubaneshwar with Cuttack being reduced to the rank of a district headquarters. The present day Cuttack City is divided into three constituencies namely Barabati-Cuttack, Choudwar-Cuttack and Cuttack Sadar.