Cuttack- Where happiness manifests itself in a plate of dahibara aloo dum and khatti
- Brief History
- Cuttack- the City of Landmarks
- Things to do
- Where to Stay
- Where to Eat
- Important information
The erstwhile capital of the state is more than a thousand years old and is also known as the Millennium city and is the second largest city of the State. Cuttack was built in the year 989 CE by King Nrupa Kesari. The word Cuttack literally means military cantonment in Sanskrit. The ruins of Barabati Fort reminds us of its past as a military base and seat of administration for the Kings of Kalinga.
Since the base level of Cuttack was below the water level of river Mahanadi and its tributary Kathjodi which surround the city from both sides, there was a danger of the city being constantly flooded especially during the monsoons. As a protection against the impending floods, a villager by the name of Baimundi in the year 1006 AD, implored the then king Markata Kesari to build a stone wall around the city. Taking heed of his concerns Markata Kesari built a stone embankment which stands till date protecting parts of the city. This makes Cuttack perhaps the only city in the world after Amsterdam which is below the water level.
After the death of Raja Mukunda Deva I- the last Hindu king of Odisha in 1568 AD, Cuttack fell into the hands of the Mughals, then the Maratha’s in 1750 AD, finally the British captured the city in 1803 AD. The city continued to be the administrative and military head quarters of the region.
After the horrific famine of 1866, Cuttack was made the hub of inland waterways and irrigation projects for the Bengal province which included the modern day states of West Bengal, Bihar and Odisha by the British Empire. The waterways and boat building workshop, the only one of its kind then was set up in Cuttack has been renovated and open to public as Orissa Maritime Museum in 2013.
Because of its proximity to Bhubaneswar (22KM), Cuttack and Bhubaneswar are often referred to as the twin cities.
Cuttack as a tourist place doesn’t quite have the heritage sites that Bhubaneswar has, but its significance in shaping the history of present day Odisha is immense. It’s the birth place of imminent freedom fighters like Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Utkal Gourav (Pride of Odisha) Madhusudan Das and Utkal Mani (Gem of Odisha) Gopabandhu Das.
The High Court of Odisha is located in Cuttack. The other landmark of the city is the famed Ravenshaw College now a deemed university, this hallowed campus saw many a landmark moments since its inception in 1868 by its founder Thomas Edward Ravenshaw. On 1st April 1936, Orissa was declared a separate province in the grand hall of the college. It housed the state’s first legislative assembly till the capital was shifted to Bhubaneswar .
Amongst its notable alumni are Shri. Janaki Nath Bose – Noted lawyer and father of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Netaji himself studied here for a while before shifting base to Kolkata, so did eminent figures like Late Shri. Biju Patnaik (former CM of Odisha), Late Shri. Biren Mitra (former CM of Odisha and freedom fighter), Ex Chief justice of India Late Shri. Ranganath Mishra amongst others. As token of recognition to this prestigious college’s contribution to the India freedom struggle and society in general, the Indian Government had released a commemorative stamp in 1978.
The Khatti Culture No mention of Cuttack is complete without a mention about the Khatti culture, just like the popular adda in Kolkata; khatti is a congregation of friends who meet daily at a particular spot for a chit chat. The river banks of Mahanadi and Kathajodi on either side of the city offers the perfect spot for Khatti. Spots of each group are fixed and so are the timings. The topic ranges from world politics to movies, opinions are shared, debated, viewpoints challenged, policies are formulated and implementation modules discussed threadbare over a disposable cup of tea accompanied by a cigarette or paan as per choice from the vendor.
Apart from acting as base to travel further to all corner's of the state, Cuttack has a few interesting sites of its own.
The city is known as the Silver City .Shopping for silver filigree for which Cuttack is famous world wide should be on the cards. The shops lined across Nayasarak opens the window to the world of filigree and provide ample options for gifts and souveniors.
Maa Katak Chandi
Odisha State Maritime Museum
Qadam E Rasool
Paramhans Sanath Dev Temple
Cuttack has some very interesting sites though not as popular as the sites of Bhuabneswar or Puri or Konark, but equally rich in history and heritage and as beautiful nonetheless.
Chandikhole – Located 40KM from Cuttack, it serves as an important junction to a lot of places in Odisha. It’s also the end point of NH200.
Moreover the dense forests and the perennial spring make it a popular picnic spot for the local’s. There is a famous temple dedicated to Maa Chandi from which the place derives its name. The temple is believed to have been established by the monk Late Baba Bhairabananda Brahmachari in 1932.
The eco tour cottages of Odisha Eco tourism at Mahavinayak provide an option for an overnight stay.
For bookings log onto the website -www.ecotourodisha.com – click on Mahavinayak
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org , Mgrkl.email@example.com
(M) - +91-7539821046 , +91- 9437279340
Buddhist Diamond Triangle – Lalitgiri, Udaigiri and Ratnagiri along with Langudi- are located in the Mahanga tehsil of Cuttack district at a distance of 60 km, 68KM ,73 KM and 42 KM North of Cuttack respectively- the sites give a sneak peek into the rich cultural heritage of Buddhism in the state which flourished from the 6th Century BC to the 13th Century AD.
The sites derive its name “Diamond Triangle” as they belong to the Vajyarajyana sect of Buddhism popularly known as the Diamond Vehicle. According to Prof Thomas Donaldson of Cleveland who has written many books on art and history of Odisha and India, Ratnagiri was a rival to Nalanda as a site of Buddhist learning and according to him some of the Tibetan texts even ascribe the origin of Mahayana and Tantrayana to Ratnagiri. Collectively the three closely situated sites certainly are comparable to Nalanda both in terms of seats of learning and aesthetically.
Due to its proximity to Bhubaneswar, most of the tourists make the later their base, however the city does have a few good options
Panthanivas Cuttack – Located in Buxi Bazaar, is a very good budget option and offers comfortable rooms.
Check in – 8am ,Check out – 8am
Phone- 0671-2306867 / 2306916
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Booking can be done online. Log onto the Website- www.otdc.in
Pramod Convention & Resorts – Is your best option while in Cuttack. They offer couple of varieties of suites the Kings Court and the Queens Court.
Check in – 12 pm ,Check out – 12 pm
Mobile- +91- 9438880081
Phone: 0671-2504530/ 31/ 32
Website – www.pramodresorts.com
Pramod Convention and resorts – Located on Chahata Road along the ring road of the Mahanadi River bank- run three restaurants and a pool side café and is a very good option for the entire family. The Rajwada- the multi cuisine restaurant offers a fine dining experience and the Vegetarian and Non Vegetarian food on offer is really good. Try the chef speciality “Dal Soormati” and “Paneer Papdi Kebab” are a must try for vegetarians, while “Mutton Dalcha”-tender pieces of lamb cooked with chana dal and seasoned with spices along “Jumbo ka Jalwa”- Tandoori Jumbo prawns marinated with spices are a speciality. There is also a restaurant which serves very goof sizzlers and a south Indian joint within the resort.
Golden Spoon - Located at Barabati Stadium- the restaurant serves good chinese as well as Indian dishes.
Barabati Restaurant- Located at Jail Road Cuttack -the restaurant with simple décor and dim lighting gives a simple look, it offers a variety of delectable items at a very reasonable price and is a very good value for money option.
Seasons – Formerly known as “Eats”- Located in Ranihat behind SCB Medical College-was always a popular hangout for students of SCB Medical College and young college goers. The Chinese ala carte is very popular and is one of the best in the city.
Blast – Located at Rex Plaza, 5th floor, Jobra Road- is a hookah lounge cum café; they offer some lips smacking continental dishes and mock tails. The beautifully laid out restaurant on the roof top just adds to the ambiance.
Aloo Dum Dahibara Joints
Cuttack is famous for its aloo dum dahibara the signature dish which is as unique as the combination suggests. A visit to Cuttack is incomplete without it. Mentioned below are few of the famous outlets of Aloo Dum Dahibara
Raghu Dahibara aloodum – at Bidanasi –The most famous name in the world of Dahibara Aloodum, Raghu has been in this business for the last sixty years. Timings- evening between 5 pm -6 pm
Tunia Dahibara aloodum – Chandan padia, Howrah motors- in the morning between 8 am -10 am
Ramo Dahibara aloodum – In front of Sailabala Women’s College- in the morning between 8 am -10 am
Bika Dahibara aloodum – High court chowk in the morning between 10.30 am to 12.30 pm
Iswar Dahibara aloodum – Biju Patnaik Chowk – in the evening between 6 pm to 9 pm
Trinath Sahu Dahibara aloodum – Kanika road in the evening between 6 pm to 9 pm
Somu Dahibara aloodum- Qila padia in the evening 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm
Sweet stalls & Snack Joints
Cuttack is famous for its sweet stalls which also serve awesome Indian snacks for breakfast. many of the stalls are over fifty years old and carry a rich culinary legacy of Odisha
Dama Maharaj – Jauliapatti near Nayasarak- Though many chains of the sweet store has opened across the city, none of them matches up to the original when it comes to taste and quality of the sweets and snacks.
Janaki Maharaj – Near Binod Bihari- one of the first sweet shops of the city, recently got a face lift both in terms of the interiors of the shop and the menu. They are making customized items for customers these days.
Bhagawan Das Sweet stall – Near Kanika Chowk, is famous for its snacks and sweets
Gourango Sahoo sweet stall– opposite GPO, Buxi Bazar is famous for its rasogulla’s and chenapodo (a typical Odia sweet dish, where the cottage cheese is burnt with sugar caramel wrapped in Sal leaves)
Bikalikar Sweet Stall – Located opposite Gaurishankar Park on the ground floor of a shopping complex- serves the most authentic Odia sweet dishes in the city. It’s a chain of the famous Bikalikar sweets in Salepur.
Calcutta Sweets - Located on the Ranihat main road- they serve Bengali sweets, famous is the Sandesh and Sweet Curd. However make sure you reach as early as 7 am to get your hands on a pot of sweet curd. The stock vanishes fast.
Nitai Sweets- Located near High court on Nayasarak serves very good thuka puri (another speciality of the region – basically an over sized version of the puri) and they also have the endangered Meehidana (miniature form of boondi) on the menu if one can reach on time.
Cuttack Sweets – Located at Ranihat, the outlet is famous for its snacks and malai chop sweet dish (cottage cheese baked and cut into oblong shape and coated with rabidi)
Rao idli and Dosa- Located at Gangamandir, this food stall offers sumptuous and authentic south Indian fare for breakfast or snacks. Timings: 7 A.M. to 10 A.M.
Chintamani Mistan Bhandar Located at Buxi Bazar,it is one of the best places to find "Mixture", another of Cuttack's famous snacks item
The other food item to achieve cult status is biryani- though Hyderabad, Lucknow and other regions of the country are famous for biriyani by virtue of being the city of nawabs, the biryani of Cuttack is unique and typical to the city and city dwellers swear that it just doesn’t taste as good anywhere else.
Some of the best places for biryani in the city are:
Mirchi - A small restaurant near GPO Buxi Bazaar, very reasonably priced. They also serve other dishes and are quite good.
Royal - Another small outlet located in the market complex adjacent to Mirchi. Along with Biryani, they also serve Mughlai dishes.
Deep Food Corner popularly known as Dada Biryani - Located at YMCA near Gopabandhu Park is also famous for its Biryani and Mughlai dishes.
** All the three Biryani joints are good take away joints, though they also have seating arrangements.
Besides there are host of cooks with whom one can place orders for Biryani, though it’s better to order when you have a gathering of at least 15-20 people- the more number of people the better it is.
The best way to commute within the city is through cycle rickshaws. The bylanes of the old city are too narrow and cumbersome for four wheelers. Though the outskirts and the ring road makes for a pleasurable drive
Avoid travelling to Cuttack during the summers- as the temperatures can rise upto 45 Degree Celsius and apart from high humidity, heat stroke is quite rampant in this part of Odisha. The best time for tourists is from October - the start of the festival season to march.
In case of health related emergencies, SCB medical college at Manglabag is the best option. The government run hospital has the best of doctors at your call, though the cleanliness of wards even though it has evolved over the years but nowhere near that of the likes of AIIMS or Appollo and their likes in Bhubaneswar.
There are other healthcare centre's like the Ashwini Hopspital at CDA and Sun Clinic which have a good reputation as health care centre's in the city