Cuttack is one of the oldest cities of Odisha State. For quite a long time, this city served as the capital of Odisha. It was founded in the early 10th century by Nripati Kesari. Cuttack is situated on the delta formed by the rivers Mahanadi and Kathjuri. Since the city has such strategic position, it serves as the main base for commercial activities. Cuttack is known for its handicrafts and shopping in the city is a delight for shoppers.
You can get an amazing variety of Ikat fabrics and appliqué work over here. The fine silverwork done here usually renders the visitors speechless. Infact, Cuttack is famous throughout India for its exquisite silver filigree work. While on a shopping spree, you can always stop for a halt in one of the restaurants in the city and relish the yummy mouthwatering seafood. Presently, tourism in Cuttack is on its boom.
The best part about the city is that, it is very well connected to almost all the major cities of the country. It is accessible from almost all parts of the country via train and buses. However, if you want to travel to Cuttack by air, then Bhubaneswar will serve as one of the most convenient entry points. There are a large number of sightseeing places in Cuttack, for instance Barabati Fort, Chandi Temple and Kadam Rasool Dargah.
Cuttack Tourist Attractions
Cuttack, the former capital of Orissa, also holds the distinction of being one of its oldest towns. The city has seen frequent power transfers, from the Keshari Kings (who founded the city) to Mughals to Afghans and then, the Marathas. Finally, it came under the rule of British Empire, which gave it the status of the capital of Orrisa. Though Cuttack does not hold this title anyone, it is, nonetheless, one of the most visited cities of South India. One of the major reasons for this is the large number of tourist attractions and excursions it offers. In the following lines, we have covered the main places that you must visit on a sightseeing tour of the city.
Barabati Fort: Barabati Fort, situated in Cuttack, is one of the most sought-after tourist attractions of Orissa. Situated on the bank of Mahanadi River, this fort lies on the western side of the city. It is located at a distance of about 8 km from the heart of Cuttack. Barabati fort once housed an illustrious nine-storied palace. More
Kadam Rasool Cuttack: Kadam Rasool is a famous mosque located in the vicinity of the old quarters in the Cuttack city. The domed mosque is spread over an area of 57 acres. The origin of Kadam-I-Rasool, in the Cuttack city of Orissa, can be traced back to the eighteenth century. More
Stone Revetments: The ‘Stone Revetments’, situated on the banks of Mahanadi River, were constructed by King Marakata Keshari in the eleventh century. An architectural as well as engineering wonder, these Stone Revetments stand as a proof of the advanced technology of Indians so long back also. These revetments served as the protection of Cuttack during floods, helping the city attain the status of the capital.
Chandi Temple: Chandi Temple is dedicated to Goddess Chandi, an incarnation of Goddess Durga. The temple is highly revered by devotees and people visiting the city make sure to offer their prayers here. It’s magnificently carved interiors and gateways stand as a testimony to the architectural ability of the previous times.
Location: 8 km from the heart of Cuttack
Founded In: Initially in 11th century and reestablished in 14th century
Significance: The moat, elaborately carved gateway and the earthen mound of the fort speak of the glorious past of the Ganga dynasty.
Barabati Fort, situated in Cuttack, is one of the most sought-after tourist attractions of Orissa. Situated on the bank of Mahanadi River, this fort lies on the western side of the city. It is located at a distance of about 8 km from the heart of Cuttack. Barabati fort once housed an illustrious nine-storied palace. The local authorities have now taken over the task of maintaining this royal structure. Barabati fort is spread over an area of 102 acres.
The moat of the fort, more popularly known as Gadakhai, is a 20-yards wide ditch. The fort was initially constructed around the eleventh century and was later reestablished during the fourteenth century. Archaeological excavations carried at Barabati fort suggest that the walls that enclosed this magnificent monument once were made from laterite and sandstone. The gateway of the fort is totally splendid and stands embellished with beautiful intricate carvings.
The moat of Barabati fort, along with its elaborately carved gateway and the earthen mound, speaks of the glorious past of the Ganga dynasty. The fort has undergone a lot of transformation since its construction. Its interiors have been converted into a stadium, which has the capacity to accommodate more than 30,000 persons at a time. Since its inception, it has been serving as the venue of sports tournaments and cultural events.
Location: 100 km from Bhubaneswar and 70 km from Cuttack
Highlights: Buddhist shrines and sculptures
Ratnagiri is a splendid Buddhist site that comes under the Jajpur district of Orissa. It is situated at a distance of approximately 100 km from Bhubaneswar and 70 km from Cuttack. The site, situated on a small hill, stands surrounded by rivers from all the sides. As you climb up to Ratnagiri, you will come across magnificent views of vast plains, full of lush greenery. Excavations were carried out at the site and they led to the unearthing of two large monasteries, one of them being Sri Ratnagiri Mahavihara Aryabhikshu Sangha.
This monastery stands adorned with gorgeous doorways, cella sanctum, a huge stupa, Buddhist shrines, sculptures and a massive idol of Lord Buddha. Ratnagiri was one of the first sites to be excavated in India in the period 1957 and 1960. The artifacts and relics found here have been found to be as old as the reign of Narasimha Gupta Baladitya of Gupta dynasty, which dates back to 6th century AD. Initially, the site serves as one of the most prominent centers of the Mahayana sect of Buddhism.
With the advent of 8th and 9th century, the focus shifted to the Tantrik Buddhism or Vajrayana art and philosophy. One can still see a number of sculptural relics on the walls, serving as a proof of the popularity of Vajrayana divinities during that time. As per the Tibetan account of Pag Sam Jon Zang, Ratnagiri contributed to the emergence of Kalachakratantra in the 10th century. As you enter the first monastery of Ratnagiri, you will notice that its walls are adorned with exquisitely carved stone statues of Vajrapani and Lokeshwara.
One can also find sculptures based on the Hindu mythology, in the monastery. There is an isolated chamber inside its complex, in which a 10 ft idol of Lord Buddha, engaged in meditation, has been enshrined. The courtyard has been adorned with a magnificently carved door. There are a number of other fabulous sculptural evidences strewn throughout the monastery. In the second monastery of Ratnagiri, you will come across a life-size granite statue of Lord Buddha. Ratnagiri also boasts of a splendid a Hindu temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna.
The site is known for housing a massive stupa, which stands encircled by a number of small stupas, which were donated by the followers of Buddhist religion. They make Ratnagiri, probably, the only site in India with such a large number of monolithic stupas. Wherever you go in Ratnagiri, you will come across splendid motifs known as Kunjalata and Patralata. These motifs stands as testimony to the cultural transfer taking place at that time. Even the Buddhist sculptures adorning the site reflected the rich art of old times and have contributed to tourism in Ratnagiri.
Location: Jajpur District
Highlights: Buddhist monastery, sculptures, stupas, etc
Udaigiri, along with Ratnagiri and Lalitagiri, forms the Buddhist Triangle in India. The city is situated in the state of Orissa and holds the distinction of being its largest Buddhist complex. Excavations are being carried out at the site by the Archaeological Survey of India, since quite a long time. The most recent ones led to the unearthing of a monastery, by the name Madhavapura Mahavihara. This monastery is adorned with a large number of Buddhist sculptures, which are definitely worth having a look at.
As per the historians who have witnessed the excavations, the monasteries situated here date back to somewhere 7th and 12th century. Today, Udaigiri is one of the most popular Buddhist destinations in India and has led to a boost in tourism in this part of the country. Art lovers, history buffs, tourists and researchers travel from various part of India as well as the world, to have a look at the monastery, which serves as a storehouse of information on the history of Buddhism in India.
The famous Chinese traveler ‘Hieun Tsang’ has made a reference of Udaigiri in his travel accounts. He also mentioned the existence of a number of Buddhist monasteries in the region. Udaigiri boasts a number of brick stupas, carved sculptures and ancient inscriptions. Though they stand mostly in ruins now, their glory has not been lost completely. The entire city is located at the foothills of a large hill, which proves to be an impressive background and further adds to its appeal.
Location: In the vicinity of the old quarters in the Cuttack city
Founded In: 18th century
Significance: It has the footprints of Prophet Mohammad
Kadam Rasool is a famous mosque located in the vicinity of the old quarters in the Cuttack city. The domed mosque is spread over an area of 57 acres. The origin of Kadam-I-Rasool, in the Cuttack city of Orissa, can be traced back to the eighteenth century. The mosque holds a lot of religious significance in the eyes of Muslim devotees, as it contains the footprints of Prophet Mohammad, which have been preserved in the central hall.
Quadam Rasool also serves as the epitome of the magnificent Indo-Islamic architecture. It is the most prominent Muslim cemetery in Cuttack and has the graves of many Nazists. People believe that a Hindu king had established this holy shrine for the Muslim community. Quadam-I-Rasool mosque is visited by Hindus as well as Muslims. It basically consists of three mosques, along with the Nawabat Khana (music gallery).
Known as the commercial capital of Orissa, Cuttack is situated at a distance of approximately 30 km to the north of Bhubaneswar. It lies at the conjuncture of river Mahanadi and river Kathjuri and dates back to the 10th century. Founded by Nripati Keshari, the city of Cuttack is one of the preferred destinations for the tourists visiting Orissa. Apart from the numerous tourists places within the city, there are a number of excursions near it that are definitely worth a visit. Given below is more information on Cuttack excursions.
Lalitagiri: Known for attracting hordes of pilgrims every year, Lalitagiri is a popular Buddhist pilgrimage in India. It is located in the state of Orissa, around 90 kilometers from the capital city Bhubaneshwar. Lalitagiri looks like a tiny ancient village, which has a lot of greenery and open spaces. Tourism in Lalitgiri is gaining much popularity due to the scenic locales and the magnificent Stupas and ancient sculptures that this site boasts of.
Udaigiri: Udaigiri, along with Ratnagiri and Lalitagiri, forms the Buddhist Triangle in India. The city is situated in the state of Orissa and holds the distinction of being its largest Buddhist complex. Excavations are being carried out at the site by the Archaeological Survey of India, since quite a long time. More
Ratnagiri: Ratnagiri is a splendid Buddhist site that comes under the Jajpur district of Orissa. It is situated at a distance of approximately 100 km from Bhubaneswar and 70 km from Cuttack. The site, situated on a small hill, stands surrounded by rivers from all the sides. More
Dhabaleshwar: Dhabaleshwar is a beautiful island located at a distance of 37 kms from the Cuttack city. One of its major attractions is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, embellished with carvings that can be traced back to 10th and 11th century.
Kendrapara: Kendrapara is a small town, which is famous for a temple devoted to Lord Baladeva. Another major tourist attraction of this small town is the Car Festival that is celebrated every year with great pomp and show.
Ansupa: Located at a distance of 70 kms from Cuttack, Ansupa is popular for its tranquil lake. The flowing waters, lush green bamboo trees and serenity of the place serve as the perfect respite from the hectic everyday life. The long stretch of the lake enables you to take relaxing walks. In case you don’t want to go in for boating, just laze around or indulge in bird watching.
Paradeep: Paradeep is one of the major seaports of Orissa, which lies 94 km away from the Cuttack city. From the tourists point of view, the major attraction of the city is its beautiful beach, where one can spend hours playing, swimming or just lazing around, soaking the sun.
Jajpur: Jajpur town lies approximately 92 km from Cuttack. It is popular as the abode of Goddess Viraja, an incarnation of Goddess Durga, and is also known by the name of ‘Vaithrani Tirtha’. Devotees come here in large numbers, mainly during Pitripaksha, to offer Pinda (food for spirits) to seek the eternal salvation of their ancestors. The town also boasts of a number of shrines, like that of Shweta Varaha (White Boar incarnation of Lord Vishnu) and Goddess Parvati.
Max: Above 40 deg C
Min: 25 deg C
Max: 16 deg C
Min: 10 deg C
Annual Rainfall: 144.39 cm
Cuttack, just like any other city of Orissa, experiences a tropical climate. In summers, the weather is quite hot, while in winters, it is cold. In the monsoon season, the city experiences heavy rainfall, most of which falls in the months of July and August. The average annual rainfall received by the city is somewhere around 144.39 cm. The summer season in Cuttack lasts from March to June. The maximum temperature in this season goes well above 40 deg C.
The minimum temperature, on the other hand, hovers around 25 deg C. The winters in Cuttack are quite cold and stretch on from October to February. The maximum temperature in winters is around 16 deg C and the minimum temperature may fall as low as 10 deg C. This is the best time to visit the city as the sun will be gentle and the weather pleasant. However, do remember to bring along your woolen clothes to beat the chilly winds coming from the north.
Cuttack is the shopping hub of Orissa. The shopping places in the city are stocked with distinctive kinds of handicrafts and textiles. They have something or the other for everyone, be of any age group. Infact, there are so many things in Cuttack that are worth buying that you will be forced to think what to buy and what not to buy. The city is famous for its silver filigree work, which is used in making exquisite jewelry.
You can also check out other decorative items made of fine quality silver. For those who want to buy traditional fabrics, the best option is the Government-run state emporia, where one can see an amazing variety of cotton and silk fabrics. Lacquer work is also very much in demand in Cuttack. After applying several coats of lacquer, the surface of the material is embellished with delicate motifs, depicting different aspects of nature.
This work is usually found on the colorful boxes made by tribal people residing around the city. Among the other shopping items available in Cuttack, the more popular ones are brass and metal ware, including fashionable ornaments made from brass and metal that are a favorite amongst the women. For men, there are the lovely brass made tiepins and cufflinks. Stone carvings of the city can also make extremely good souvenirs to take back home.
How to Reach Cuttack
Cuttack is one of the oldest cities in Orissa and is visited by a large number of tourists every year. The city once served as the capital of Orissa and even today, it is the administrative headquarters of its district. It lies at the tip of the delta formed by the Mahanadi River in the North and Kathajodi River in the South. The first information that tourists coming to Cuttack seek is ‘how to reach’ there. Reaching the city is very easy, as it is well connected by all the major modes of transport. In the following, we have provided travel information to help tourists in getting to Cuttack.
How to reach Cuttack by Air:Biju Patnaik Airport of Bhubaneswar is the nearest as well the most convenient entry point for people traveling to Cuttack. There are a number of flights, operated by the Indian airlines as well as private operators, connecting the city with other major cities of India, like Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam.
How to reach Cuttack by Rail/Train:There is a railway station at Cuttack, which lies on the Kolkata-Chennai main railway line. Plenty of fast trains operate from here, connecting the city with the other prominent cities within and outside Orissa. Thus, reaching Cuttack via train is a very convenient as well as a very reasonable option.
How to reach Cuttack by Road:There is a good network of National Highway connecting Cuttack with the rest of the country. One can easily get buses as well as taxis for traveling to places in and around Orissa.