Cuttack district Odisha

Cuttack district Odisha

Exploring Cuttack District of Odisha

Cuttack district, located in the state of Odisha, India, is a treasure trove of historical significance, cultural heritage, and natural beauty. With its rich history, diverse landscapes, and vibrant traditions, Cuttack has emerged as a prominent tourist destination in the region. This article serves as a comprehensive guide to help you explore the mesmerizing attractions, delve into its heritage, and experience the essence of Cuttack district.

Cuttack  is the former capital and the second largest city in the eastern Indian state of Odisha. It is also the headquarters of the Cuttack district. The name of the city is an anglicised form of Katak which literally means The Fort, a reference to the ancient Barabati Fort around which the city initially developed. Cuttack is also known as the Millennium City as well as the Silver City due to its history of 1000 years and famous silver filigree works. It is also considered as the judicial capital of Odisha as the Odisha High Court is located here. It is also the commercial capital of Odisha which hosts a large number of trading and business houses in and around the city.

Cuttack High Court

The old and the most important part of the city is centred on a spit of land between the Kathajodi River and the Mahanadi River, bounded on the southeast by Old Jagannath Road. The city, being a part of the Cuttack Municipal Corporation consisting of 59 wards. Cuttack stretches from Phulnakhara across the Kathajodi in the south to Chodwar in north across the Birupa River, while in the east it begins at Kandarpur and runs west as far as Naraj. Four rivers including Mahanadi and its distributaries Kathajodi, Kuakhai, Birupa run through the city. Further Kathajodi is distributed into Devi and Biluakhai which often makes the geographical area look like fibrous roots.


Shri Ramachandra Bhanj Medical College (SCB), the largest medical college of the state is located in Cuttack. The S.C.B. Medical College also has a dental wing which offers bachelor’s degree in dental sciences. Acharya Harihar Regional Cancer Centre (AHRCC), the only one of its kind in Eastern India, carries out high-end research and treatment in cancer. The Regional Spinal Injury Centre (RSIC) is also situated in the S.C.B. Medical College Campus. RSIC is an autonomous organisation under the administrative and financial control of Department of Health & Family Welfare, Government of Odisha and is headed by the director of the RSIC which provides rehabilitation measures to persons with disabilities especially spinal injury.

Asia’s largest rice research institute, the Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI) is situated in Cuttack.

Ravenshaw University  is one of the oldest institutes of India and the oldest college of the state which was founded by Thomas Edward Ravenshaw in 1868 and was granted University status on 15 November 2006.

Cuttack is also home to the prestigious National Law University Odisha, one of the 14 NLU’s in India, which was established under the National Law University Odisha Act of 2008, the National Law University(NLU Cuttack). It is one of the premier institutes for legal education in India funded by the Central as well as the State government. Housed in a sprawling campus the university sees a host of legal luminaries who impart education to the students.

Education and Institutions:

Cuttack is a hub of education and houses several esteemed institutions. The Ravenshaw University, one of the oldest and prestigious universities in India, is located here. The district is also home to renowned medical colleges, engineering institutes, and schools that have been instrumental in nurturing academic excellence.

Famous Festivals:

Cuttack district is known for its vibrant festivals that showcase the cultural diversity of the region. The Cuttack Bali Jatra, mentioned earlier, is a grand festival held on the banks of the Mahanadi River. Other notable festivals include Durga Puja, Kali Puja, and Kartik Purnima. These festivals bring the city to life, with colorful processions, artistic displays, and traditional music and dance performances.


  • Cuttack Chandi Temple: Dedicated to the Goddess Chandi, the presiding deity of Cuttack. The templeis located in proximity to the banks of the Mahanadi River. It is famous for its annual Durga Puja and Kali Puja festivals. The Durga Puja festivities are prominent in Maa Katak Chandi temple which takes place for 16 days stating from dark fortnight of Ashwina Krishna Ashtami till Ashwina Shukla navami and Vijayadashami. The Goddess popularly called as Maa Katak Chandi, sits and rules on the heart of the ancient city.
  • Gada Chandi Temple: Situated in the historic Barbati Fort, which is well known for its role in Odisha’s history. Gada Chandi temple is one of the oldest temples in Cuttack and is believed to be the older temple of Cuttack Chandi before her shift to the present Cuttack Chandi Temple.


  • Durga Puja: Cuttack is famous throughout the nation for its Durga puja celebrations.
  • Nearly 200 earthen idols of Goddess Durga are prepared by the different Puja Committees of the city to worship Goddess Durga The speciality Cuttack Durga Puja are its Chandi o Suna Medhas, in which the idols are adorned with huge amounts of gold and silver, with localities trying to outsmart each other by constructing more attractive idols. Cuttack celebrates Durga Puja with full energy on Maha Saptami, Maha Ashtami, Maha Navami and on Vijaya Dashami or Dussehra by burning an effigy of the demon Ravana. People from all of Odisha and nearby states visit Cuttack during this period observe the famous festival.
  • Kali puja: This festival is dedicated to the Hindu Goddess Kali and is celebrated on the new moon day of the Hindu month of Kartik. It coincides with the pan-Indian festival of Diwali amidst the bursting of firecrackers.

Bali Jatra: The festival which Cuttackis look forward to most is the Bali Jatra.

Bali Yatra is supposedly the second largest trade festival in Asia and the largest in India. The name Bali Jatra literally means A Voyage to Bali. In olden times, merchants used to trade with South-East Asian Island Countries of Bali, Java, sumatra, Boreo. Whatever items they brought from those places after trading Oriya goods used to be put up for sale in the capital (which was then Cuttack). People from all over the state and beyond used to come to Cuttack to buy these items. Bali Jatra is the festival of continuing this ancient tradition. It is held every year in November on the banks of the Mahanadi. Many stalls are set up selling both local and exotic goods. People from all over Odisha come to the Bali Jatra to buy items, as was the custom back in those days.

Historical Significance:

Cuttack has a remarkable historical legacy, dating back to ancient times. It was once the capital of Odisha and served as a pivotal center for maritime trade. The district has witnessed the rule of various dynasties, including the Keshari dynasty, the Ganga dynasty, and the Mughals. The iconic Barabati Fort stands as a testament to its glorious past, offering a glimpse into its architectural marvels and strategic importance.

Geographical Features:

Nestled on the banks of the Mahanadi River, Cuttack district boasts a diverse geographical landscape. The district encompasses fertile plains, rolling hills, and picturesque riverine stretches. The presence of the Mahanadi River not only enhances the natural beauty but also facilitates irrigation and provides a habitat for numerous species of flora and fauna.

Transport and Connectivity:

Cuttack enjoys excellent connectivity with the rest of Odisha and neighboring states. The district is well-connected by road, rail, and air. The Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar, located approximately 30 kilometers away, serves as the nearest airport. Cuttack has a well-developed road network, making it easily accessible from major cities and towns in the region.

Wildlife and Natural Beauty:

Cuttack district is blessed with natural beauty and abundant wildlife. The Bhitarkanika National Park, a mangrove forest and wetland of international importance, is a haven for nature enthusiasts. It is home to numerous species, including the endangered saltwater crocodile. The Mahanadi Wildlife Sanctuary, Athagarh Forest Division, and Deojhar Waterfall are other attractions that allow visitors to immerse themselves in nature’s splendor.

Tourist Attractions:

Cuttack district offers a plethora of tourist attractions that cater to varied interests. The Barabati Fort, with its ancient ruins and breathtaking views, is a must-visit destination. The Netaji Birthplace Museum, Chandi Mandir, and Qadam-I-Rasool are significant religious and historical sites. The Maritime Museum, showcasing the maritime heritage of Odisha, is also worth exploring. Additionally, the district is dotted with temples, parks, and lakes that add to its charm.

Chandi Tarakasi in Cuttack

The world-famous Chandi Tarakasi in Cuttack, Odisha, stands as a testament to the intricate artistry of the region. Renowned for its exceptional silver filigree work, this craft involves meticulously twisting and weaving fine silver threads into delicate jewelry and decorative pieces. The Chandi Tarakasi artisans showcase their expertise through intricate designs of animals, flowers, and geometric patterns, all crafted with remarkable precision. These masterpieces not only reflect the rich cultural heritage of Cuttack but also serve as cherished souvenirs for visitors. The Chandi Tarakasi craft continues to captivate art enthusiasts, making it an integral part of Cuttack’s identity on the global stage.

Picnic Spots and Lakes:

Cuttack district offers serene picnic spots and picturesque lakes, providing ideal getaways for leisure and relaxation. The Mahanadi River banks, the Jobra Barrage, and the Naraj Dam are popular picnic spots where visitors can enjoy the tranquil surroundings and indulge in recreational activities. The presence of lakes like Kanjia Lake and Kathajodi Reservoir adds to the district’s natural beauty.

Places to Explore:

Apart from the aforementioned attractions, Cuttack district has numerous places worth exploring. The Dhabaleswar Island, famous for its Lord Shiva temple, offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The Satkosia Tiger Reserve, located on the banks of the Mahanadi River, is another captivating destination for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Cuttack district in Odisha is a captivating destination that offers a blend of historical significance, cultural heritage, natural beauty, and warm hospitality. From its majestic forts and temples to its vibrant festivals and handloom industry, Cuttack has something to offer every traveler. Explore the district’s rich history, savor its culinary delights, immerse yourself in its local art and crafts, and embrace the scenic landscapes that make Cuttack an unforgettable experience.


    Leave feedback about this