There is an old saying in Odisha, “Bauna bazara tepana gali”. This means fifty-two kinds of markets and fifty-three kinds of streets.
That’s what meant to define the thousand years old city of Cuttack. Numbers may not be accurate enough. We can say that there are thousands of streets and lanes laid in the city.
Everything here is connected by an unmitigated spirit of brotherhood.
The word “Cuttack” has derived from a Sanskrit word meaning capital, fort, and military establishment or a cantonment.
The city was founded by the emperor of the Keshari dynasty, Maharaja Markat Keshari in 989 CE.
The city became the capital of Odisha under the rule of King Anangabhimadeva III. He was of the Ganga dynasty and continued to remain the capital of Odisha till 1947.
The remains of the ancient Barabati Fort present at the heart of the city. This still screams of the glory and dignity of past rulers of Odisha.
Civilization and business had bloomed in the city by the 18th century due to the presence of vast water bodies, Mahanadi and Kathajori.
The city port acted as the main connection between Marathas and the English merchants. Cuttack was flourishing as a prosperous city due to economic activities caused by various merchants and farmers.
Merchants were called ‘Sadhavas’ and they used to sail to foreign land to exchange their valuables with gold and diamonds.
To commemorate the greatness of these successful merchants, we celebrate the Baliyatra festival in Cuttack each year. This named after their voyage to the island Bali.
The Odisha State Maritime Museum was established in the year 2013. This was dedicated to the display of the ancient maritime heritage of Odisha.
This place is also famous for housing the birthplace of one of the prominent freedom fighters of our country, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
The oldest school of Odisha, Ravenshaw Collegiate School was established here. This produced many glorified freedom fighters as its alumni, including Netaji, Madhusudan Das, Radhanath Rath, Biju Pattnaik, and many others.
Cuttack is home to many ancient pilgrimage sites such as Maa Cuttack Chandi Temple, Dhabaleshwar Temple, Paramhansa Natha temple, etc.
Many masjids were also built here which include Qadam e Rasool, Bukhari Baba Dargah, and many more.
A church built in the 19th century is also present with all its beauty named ‘The Church of Epiphany’.
Four Jain temples and Guru Nanak Daatan Sahib Gurudwara are also present in this city. Which shows the tranquillity prevailing between every religious community in Cuttack.
Art and Culture
The city is famous for incredibly talented artists in Silver filigree work. The intricate details carved on the pieces of silver do serve as a treat to our eyes.
In the Dussehra festival, the headgear of Goddess Durga is designed with detailed filigree work in Gold and Silver which is certainly a unique feature available only in Cuttack.
Despite its rich heritage and ancient culture, Cuttack is also well equipped for the modern world.
The Barabati Stadium which is one of the prominent stadiums in India has been a host to numerous national and state-level cricket matches.
The Jawaharlal Nehru indoor stadium also serves as the perfect campus for various sports activities.
Recently, the place Gadakhai is being developed to promote boating activities. The serene sunset of Naraj will make you speechless and make you wonder about the beauty of nature.
Dahibara is the most famous food item available here in Cuttack. If someone is looking for sweets then Chhenapoda will serve your cravings. One can enjoy Odia delicacies in every restaurant present in the corners of the city.
Ravenshaw University, one of the oldest educational institutes in the country. It still attracts students from all over the world for various academic programs.
Many libraries have been constituted such as Kanika library, Biswanath Pandit Central library, PK Padhihari Pathagara, etc in order to promote literary activities in the area.
Cuttack is a very old settlement and the ancient culture and heritage are still alive within the inhabitants of the city.
It has produced many eminent personalities this world has ever seen and will continue to do so in the future.
This city has tremendous potential and it has a lot to offer to the present world, lessons from the glorious past, and opportunities for the future.
Now if you find Cuttackia being so proud about their city, you know why that is.