Cuttack - The Oldest of all
With history of over a thousand years, Cuttack is one of the oldest cities of India. It served as the capital of Orissa for more than nine centuries. At present, it is considered as the commercial capital of Orissa and is also among the busiest cities of Orissa. Around 30 km away from Bhubaneswar, Cuttack is situated at the highest point of delta formed by River Mahanadi and Kathjuri river. The city got its name from a military camp 'Kataka' that was set up here by Keshari dynasty. It is also called the city of Fort due to the Barabati Fort that dominates the Cuttack landscape. Stone revetments on the riverbank is another thing that has made Cuttack famous among tourists. One of the main ports of India is also situated in Cuttack at Paradeep. Climate in Cuttack is favorable throughout the year. Winters are not extremely cold whereas summers are not too harsh. Though rainy season in July and August are best avoided.
Cuttack is arguably the best place to go for shopping. The city is famous for many things ranging from brass works to textile like woven silks and cotton. But what stands out are the filigree and silverware. Durga Puja is the main festival of Cuttack. The city is not to far from West Bengal and many Bengali people reside here. And they celebrate this festival with all enthusiasm and gala.
Attractions - Simple And Enchanting
Cuttack has places that will appeal to all kinds of tourists. Temple of Cuttack Chandi and Paramhansnath Temple beckon pilgrims as well as enthusiastic travelers who wish to learn more about Indian traditions and religions. A must visit in the city is Qadam-i-Rasool Mosque. It is quite unique as it is a place that is sacred for both Hindus and Muslims. These are few of the main destinations of the city. There are many more places that are worth your time and admiration.
Barabati Fort is the most famous tourist destination in Cuttack. Build in 14th century by Ganga Dynasty, it is situated just 8 km from the city center. During the time of war, the nine storeyed Barabati Fort was defended by a ring of forts on either sides of the river. Today, there is an international stadium right adjacent to the fort.
Temple of Cuttack Chandi
Temple of Cuttack Chandi is dedicated to Goddess Chandi, the presiding deity of the city and is an important pilgrim destination for Hindus. The temple is located south of Barabati area and is visited by many devotees everyday. The number of pilgrims to the temple during the festive seasons, increases many times making the temple come alive with energy and devotion.
The temple is one of the main attractions of the city. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, it it is situated on the outskirts of Cuttack. Paramhansnath Temple is famous for the a large water hole. It is named as 'Ananta Garva'. On holy occasions, the water from the hole is let out into the Sanctum Sanctorum causing the Sanctum Sanctorum to flood.
This is probably the uniquest and most heartening of all attractions in entire India. Qadam-i-Rasool is a shrine that is considered holy by both Hindus and Muslims. The shrine has a high wall that marks the boundary of the shrine. Inside, there are three beautiful mosques that have attractive domes and halls. There is also a hall called Nawabat Khana (music gallery) which was built in 18th century. One of the domes have Prophet Mohammad's footprint engraved on a circular stone.
Stone Revetments on Riverbank
Build by King Marakata Keshari in 11th century AD, the Stone revetments were considered an engineering marvel of those times. They show us how advanced the technology and skills were even at that point of time. The revetments helped save the city form many floods and this became one of the reasons why Cuttack was chosen as the capital city.
Where To Stay
Cuttack is also one of the major destinations of Orissa. So there are good number of hotels inside the city. Though extremely luxurious hotels with world class facilities might be hard to find here but most of the hotels are above average. There are numerous budget hotels as well. OTDC (Orissa Tourism Development Corporation) has its own guest house near the city center. Other hotels that offer comfortable stay are Hotel Akbari Continental, Hotel Dwarika and Hotel Bombay Inn.
Biju Patnaik Airport is the nearest airport which is in Bhubaneswar. It is at a distance of 30 km from here. Flights from all major cities of India come to Bhubaneswar. You can hire a taxi or take bus to Cuttack for a half hour ride.
Cuttack has its own railhead and is well connected to all metro cities and other major cities of India. From cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, there are regular to and fro trains.
Road network in and around Cuttack is pretty convenient. There are state owned as well as private operators who have their buses and luxury coaches plying to all nearby areas and to major destinations in Orissa.
Buses are the main mode of transportation inside the city. You can also get auto rickshaws and taxis on hire to move around in the city.