One of Orrisa's veteran cities and its commercial capital, Cuttack lies 30 km north of Bhubaneswar. Situated at the alluring conjuncture of river Mahanadi and its adjuvant, the Kathjuri, Cuttack was established by Nripati Keshari in the 10th century.
¤ Major Attractions
Stone Revetment of Cuttack
The stone revetment on the banks of Kathjuri river, an example of marvellous Oriya architecture, dates back to 11th century. Constructed by the Keshari kings, the revetment protects the city from seasonal floods.
On the banks of river Mahanadi, the Barabati fort, with its exquisitely carved gateway, moat and the earthen mound of the nine-storeyed palace, still flaunts the glory of the Ganga dynasty. The fort was built in around 11th century and was reconstructed in 14th century. The interiors of the fort have been modified in to stadiums, but the ancient savour can still be felt. The Stadium with its grand structure rests on an area of twenty five acres and can offer sitting capacity to more than 30,000 persons. Constructed in the year 1954, this delightful green stadium regularly hosts a lot of sports events and cultural functions.
Cuttuck Chandi Temple
Dedicated to an incarnation of Goddess Durga, the Cuttuck Chandi temple attracts tourists from every pocket of the country. The temple still bears the architectural resonance with its splendidly carved interiors and gateways.
A sacred shrine made by a Hindu king for the Muslim community in the 18th century, this synagogue attracts equatable respects from both the sects. With a tower at each corner, the shrine is beautifully structured with 3 mosques and a Nahawat Khana (music gallery) inside.The central mosque even contains a stone with the footprints of Prophet Mohammed.
On the shores of river Mahanadi, around 37 km from Cuttack is Dhawaleshwar. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this divine temple with its angelic green surroundings elevates one's soul to a spiritually higher dimension.
Being the commercial capital of Orrisa, Cuttack is the market junction of varied items, brought from every corner of the state. Apart from being decorative, these artefacts also render daily uses. The markets are usually flanked by applique works from Pipli, exquisite fabric designs and stone works from Puri, lovely horn and brass products and splendid tie and dye textiles from Manibandh and Sambalpur.
¤ Nearby Excursions
Ansupa (70 km)
Ansupa is famous among visitors because of its picturesque landscapes. On the lap of Saranda mountain and fringed by mango and bamboo groves, this pictorial lake is a home to migratory birds. In this ornithologist's paradise, you can hire a boat and enjoy the resonance of water of this emerald green lake, blended perfectly with the cool breeze, while keeping an eye open for some rare avian species. Fishing is another privilege, that delights the tourists.
Jajpur (92 km)
Also known as Vaithrani Tirtha, Jajpur is the abode of Goddess Viraja, an incarnation of Goddess Durga. A Hindu pilgrimage site, Jajpur is flanked by hundreds of tourists during Pitripaksha (in October), to offer a Pinda (food for spirits) for eternal salvation of their ancestors. The place is dotted with numerous shrines including that of Shweta varaha (the white boar incarnation of Vishnu) and Goddess Parvati.
Ratnagiri, Lalitgiri and Udayagiri (55 km - 70 km)
A renowned Buddhist pilgrimage, Ratnagiri, Lalitgiri and Udayagiri, form the Diamond Triangle of Orrisa. The aura of Buddhism still rings the bells at these places with the rock-cut caves, excavated monasteries, viharas, chaityas and sacred relics in terracotta chambers. Hieun Tsang, the famous Chinese globe-trotter of 7th century, was amazed to see the Pushpagiri University and even wrote of a magnificent stupa on hill top which emitted a brilliant light because of its sacredness. Ratnagiri is 70 km, Lalitgiri is 55 km and Udayagiri is 60 km from Cuttack.
¤ How to Reach
The nearest airport is Biju Patnaik Airport at Bhubaneswar, which is 30 km away. Cuttack is a major junction and is well linked with other major destinations of the country. Regular trains from New Delhi, Kolkata, Bhubaneswar and Orissa connect with Cuttack. Private and state-owned buses ply frequently to all nearby excursions and major towns of the state.