Cuttack District is one of the oldest Districts of Odisha. It is an important city and District headquarters. Cuttack, which lends its name to the District, is known as the business capital of Odisha. The word Cuttack derives its name from the anglicized Sanskrit word “Kataka”, which has two meanings-one being military camp and the other being the seat of government, protected by the army. Literally, it also means the fort, referring to the ancient Barabati Fort, around which the city developed. This city takes pride in the fact that it had been the capital of Odisha, before it’s shifting to Bhubaneswar during 1948.
Geographically, it is located at a latitude of 20 degree 03 to 20 degree 40 N and a longitude of 84 degree 58″ to 86 degree 20 E. Cuttack city is flanked by Mahanadi river on the north and Kathajodi river on the south. Covering a geographical area of 3932 sq K.Ms, the District is highly populated. The District experiences tropical climate, with the summer being hot and the winter cold. The maximum temperature that, this District experiences is well above 40 degree Celsius (during summer) and the minimum is as low as 10 deg C (during winter). Summer generally lasts from March to June and winter, from October to February. Rainfall is generally heavy during the monsoon, which occur during the months of July and August. The average rainfall received is around 1892.55 mm in the District. South West monsoon is primarily responsible for the rainfall. Monsoon rains last the city till September to middle of October. Winter season, between November and beginning of January is characterized by chilled wind blows from north and long nights when sun sets in around 5.30 pm IST in December. People wear heavy woollen clothes at night to beat the Winter. Between middle January to the middle of March, the climate is pleasant with temperatures ranging a minimum of 22.2oC. and a maximum of 33.4oC. This is ideal to visit the city.
Administrative Setup :
Cuttack district is divided into three Sub-divisions namely: Cuttack, Athagarh and Banki. It has 15 Tehsils 14 Blocks, one Municipal Corporation, 373 Gram Panchayats & 1950 villages. Established as a Municipality in the year 1876, Cuttack City became the Municipal Corporation during in 1994. There are Two NACs like Athagarh & Banki and one Municipality i.e. Choudwar Municipality. Cuttack has 9 Assembly Constituencies. 87-Baramba, 88-Banki, 89-Athagarh, 90-Barabati-Cuttack,91-Chudwar-Cuttack, 92-Niali, 93-Cuttack Sadar,94-Salepur & 95-Mahanga.
As per 2011 Census, total population of the district is 2624470 which consists of 1352760 (Male) and 1271710 (Female). The population density of the district is 667 per Sq. Km. and the Literacy Rate is 85.5 percent. Sex ratio of the district is 940 female per 1000 male.
About Cuttack City:
Cuttack City is one of the oldest cities in India dating back to more than 1000 years. The city was built by King Ananga Bhimadev III and was the former capital of Odisha. Hemmed on the north and south by river Mahanadi and Kathojodi afforded a natural fortified base for the kings of the yore. The 11th century embankment of Kathajodi the ruins of Barabati Fort, the shrine of Katak Chandi, the Quadam-e-Rasool. Netaji Subhas Bose Memorial Birth Place Museum, the Maritime Museum and some old churches are the major attraction of the City. Cuttack is known as the “Silver City” due to the finest Filigree works, the best in the country. From Bhubaneswar it is 25 Kms through the N.H.5. Buses and trains connect many major and small town and other states. Railways connect Kolkata-Delhi-Gauwhati-Chennai-Hyderabad-Mur-Bengaluru-Kazikhode.
After newly constructed Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Setu which is of 2.88 KMs long bridge, connecting Belleview point ( Near Judicial Academy) in CDA to Trishulia, the distance between Cuttack to Bhubaneswar has been lessened for about 12 K.M.s. This has been a new milestone in the development of History of Odisha.
Main Occupation and Sources of Income of the people of the District :
With limited industrialization, the people of this District depend upon agriculture as their main source of livelihood, with about 76 percentage of the population being dependent on it. Agriculture in this District is sustained by the numerous rivers and canals flowing through it. Rice, pulses, oil seeds, jute, sugarcane, coconut and turmeric are the major crops grown here. This District is a major exporter of cash crops, which in turn contributes immensely towards its economic growth. A number of reforms have been implemented in this agricultural sector by the government. Example of some of these reforms are broad basing of agriculture & allied sectors by bringing stake holders to a common platform and empowering farmers’ organization & utilizing farmers’ input into programme planning and resource allocations etc. National Rice Research Institute (NRRI) located at Bidyadharpur village on the Cuttack-Paradeep Road,is one of the premier national research institute under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research.
Among other industries, the District has a rich tradition of handicraft and cottage industries. The District is famous for its silver filigree works. Horn works, Patta Chitra, Dokra Casting, Terra Cota, Wood Carving, Art Leather and Brass/Bell Metal works are also quite evolved here. The District also generates substantial revenues from the exports of these handicraft products. The presence of a number of handicraft cooperatives and handicraft training institutes gives a boost to this handicraft industry.
Silver filigree work of Cuttack city attracts the visitors from near and abroad. Among others wood carving work is mostly practised in the Cuttack town as well as in Salipur Block. Banki-Dampada and Jilinda Narsinghpur is famous for cane and Bamboo work. Terracotta work in Banki and Jute craft in Nischintkoili and Salipur Block is famous. Dhokra casting in Baramba Narsinghpur. Bhatimunda of Tangi Chudwar is famous for Brass and Bell Metal. Mahanga is known for stone carving. Applique work is also followed as occupation in Banki as well as in Cuttack City. Baranga is for art leather. Athagarh is famous for Patta Chitta work and Palm leaf products of Cuttack Sadar Block is famous. Artisans do Jarimali works and also horn works in Cuttack Town too.
There are a number of other large and medium industries functioning in this District as well. Some of the prominent among them are Indian Metals and Ferro Alloys (IMFA), Paradeep Oxygen and Odisha Magnetics etc. The micro and small industries functioning here are chemical based, textile based, leather based or any other category based. The most important aspect as regards the industrial growth of the District is the presence of industrial estates.Many enterprises are also in the pipeline, prominent among them being Odisha Cement Ltd, Tata Power, Visa Power, Nilachal Power, Arati Steel etc.
Secondary Board High School, Ravenshaw University, Ravenshaw Collegiate School,SCB Medical College, National Law University (NLU) , Shri Shri University, Madhusudan Law College are some of the premier educational institutions of the District. It has also a number of technical institutes like Bhubanananda Odisha School of Engineering (BOSE), IPSAR, Institute of Textile Technology (ITT),) etc. National Institute of Rehabilitation and Training (NIRTAR), Regional Spinal Injury Centre (RSIC) and Acharya Harihar Regional Cancer Research Centre (AHRCRC) are the pioneer research institutes functioning here. Netaji Subash Chandra Bose, Utkal Gourav Madhusudan Das, Karma Veera Gouri Shankar Ray, Dr. Radhanath Rath, Dr. Harekrushna Mahatab, Biju patnaik, Pyarimohan Acharya were some of the prominent personalities this District who have earned name and fame in world abroad due to their noble did for their contribution to Odisha as well as for our Country.
Silver Filigree work, uniqueness of Cuttack City :
Silver Filigree work of Cuttack is distinguished from other ornaments and jewellery work by excellent finish, fine foils, textures and snowy glaze. That is why these are presented as gifts to persons of national and international eminence visiting the state. Decorative pieces of Lord Krishna’s chariot, Konark Chakra and variety of other eye catching and spectacular silver ornaments are a craze among the modern fashion loving people. Very soon Cuttack is going to be hub of “World Filigree Centre” with all support of Govt.
Tourism and Culture :
Tourism of Cuttack District occupies a profound place in the State of Odisha. The ruins of Barabati Fort with its moat and gate and the earthen mounded of the nine-storied palace of the Ganga dynasty lie on the bank of the river Mahanadi as the silent witness of the vicissitudes of Odishan history. Another item of interest is the Barabati stadium adjacent to the fort. The stadium with its impressive structures covers an area of twenty-five acres and affords sitting capacity for thirty-five thousand persons.
Its delightful soft green turn hums almost daily with programmes of sport events and cultural functions.
The installation of Flood light system is another attraction of Barabati Stadium. Nearly is the Jawaharlal Nehru Air-conditioned Indoor Stadium having a sitting capacity for 6,000 person.
Goddess Katak Chandi and Gadachandi are presiding deities of Cuttack City. Besides there are many Hindu temples we find many Musjids, Churches, Jain temples, Gurudwara in Cuttack City.
Surrounded by the holy river Mahanadi , Kathajodi, it is the scenic beauty of water at Jobra Bride, Mahanadi Bridge and Naraj Bridge which attracts the Tourists.
The famous Ansupa lake coming under Banki Sub-Division in opposite side of Banki And Mahanadi, is a source of attraction to the tourists. Though it is a small, a picturesque freshwater lake that offers asylum to migratory birds in winter. The water spread is ideal for fishing and boating.
All effort has been taken by Tourism department with regard to eco tourism in Ansupa. Since last few years Anshupa Mahotsav and Pallishree Mela is being organised with support of District administration and local people to promote tourism and development of Ansupa. Banki, which is situated at a distance of 52 Kms from Cuttack and also about 82 KMs from near by airport Bhubaneswar is the nearest airport is famous for Sakti Pitha “Goddess Charchika”. There are also the famous Ramnath Deva and Singhanath Dev Temples which are situated at Baideswar of Banki Sub Division and is about 18 KMs from Banki.
A picturesque island in Mahanadi, the place named after its is the presiding deity Lord Sree Dhabaleswar(Shiva) is also a great source of attraction to devotees as well as tourist. The enchanting water spares of Mahandi her provie ample opportunities for boaring. There is a hanging bridge connecting the island from its northern side to Mancheswar. One can go From Cuttack to Mancheswar via Choudwar from Cuttack covering about 30kms by taxi or auto.
From the northern side of Cuttack boats ply on the Mahanadi river straight to the island of Dhabaleswar, Maa Bhattarika Sakti Pitha of Badamba, Sri Sri Singhanath Dev Pitha Baramba, in the Sri Sri Champanath Temple at Champeswar, Narsinghpur, Maa Mahakali Temple of Kharod, Baramba, Maa Pragala Pitha, Baramba, Sri Sri Singhanath dev Pitha, Sri Sri Radha Gobinda Dev Temple of Athagarh are major source of attraction for tourists. Coming to Cuttack Sadar Sub Division one can find the Famous Madhab Temple and Sobhaneswar Temple in Niali, Sri Sri Achutananda Pitha of Nishcintkoili, Sri Sri Gangeswar Mahadev Temple at Dharmagatpur, Salipur, Sri Sri Baladevjew and Sri Sri Hanuman temple of Umar, Mahanga , Sri Sri Harachandi Temple at Nishcintkoili, Dhakulei Pitha of Pratap Nagari and Sri Sri Paramhansha Mahadev Temple at Cuttack Sadar Block are some of the places of tourism and Cultural importance in Cuttack District. Situtated on the Origin of river Kathajori, a tributary of Mahanadi, gives panaromic view of the vast expanse of the river Mahanadi. There are many Buddhist images found. The place is frequented by devotees offereing prayers at Lord Sidheswar. This is also a beautiful picnic spot. The Odisha Maritime Museum, at Jobra now has been a source of attraction for the tourists, where one can find the show case of our glorious past of maritime activities, placed in 10 gallaries beautiful aquarium having over 60 aquatic species and4Dimension SFX hall which can accommodate 48 persons.
There is PANTHANIVAS, stationed at Buxi Bazar,Cuttack facilitates the tourist development in the District, There are 20 rooms for accommodation of 60 persons, and one big conference hall holding meetings. There is facility of tourist bus strvices from where one can take the advantage of visiting to other tourist places of the District and to other places of the other district like to Kapilsh Saiva pitha, Maa Biraja Pitha, Chandikhole, Paradeep, etc.
Fair and Festivals :
Observance of many socio-religious cultural festivals are common features of the City as well as the District.
Akshaya Trutiya: This is an important agricultural festival, falls in the month of Vaishakha and characterized by the ceremonial sowing of paddy in the field.The construction of Chariots for the Car festival and the Chandan Yatra starts in this auspicious day. In cuttack District, the rural households observe Akshaya Trutiya very piously.
Rathayatra: It is celebrated on the 2nd day of the month of Asadha. In Cuttack Town, the Car festival is being observed at Dolamundai Jagannath Temple, Chandini Chowk Jagannath Temple , Ranihat Jagannath Temple along with many other places of the District like at Jagannath Temple, Dampada, Athagarh Jagannath Temple etc. with huge gatherings.
Ganeshpuja : The festive season in Cuttack city starts from Ganesh Puja to Baliyatra. Lord Binayak is the household deity of prudence and prosperity. It is observed in the fourth day of bright fortnight of lunar month Bhadrav. The emersion ceremony of Lord Ganesh is celebrated in Cuttack City with much pomp and fanfare especially enjoyed by the youth.
Like wise Saraswati Puja, Khudurukuni Osha, Shiv Ratri, Magha Saptami and Mangal bara Osha are being observed by the people of the district.
Durgapuja: Maa Katak Chandi and Gada Chandi are famous Shaki Pithas in Cuttack City. The Shakti worship in Odisha goes back to the pre-Gupta period. It is said that the first mass celebration of Durgapuja was started observed in Cuttack City during the visit of Sri Chaitanya Dev in 15th Century CE. However a large nos of Durga, Siva,Parbati/Shakti idols are being built up by the artisans. The emersion ceremony of Durgapuja is very attractive, popular and enjoyable. This puja has been mingled with the Odisha’s socio-religious and cultural traditions . Since last 2 years Durga , Lord, Shiva and related idols are worshipped in 157 Puja Mandaps of the Cuttack City with much fanfare. The unique fact in emersion ceremony of Durgapuja is that almost all the idols are taken in a procession with very much discipline with the spirit of brotherhood called “Bhai Chaara” among the Katakias( people of Cuttack)
Kumar Purnima : It is celebrated on the full moon day of Aswina every year. Laxmi Puja is very much famous at Choudwar and Banki let alone Cuttack. At banki since 2000 CE, Banki Mahotsave is being celebrated for about 5 days every year with much joy and enthusiasm.This year Banki Mahotsav was held from 5th to 9th October.
Kalipuja : Kalipuja in Cuttack City is celebrated with immersion Utsav with much pomp and fanfare. This year Kalipuja along with Deepavali was observed on 19th October and Bhasani Utsav was held on 22nd October. About 75 idols of Maa Kali were worshipped in different Puja Mandapas in and around Cuttack City.
Maa Sholapuri Puja : Popularly known as Shola pua maa thakurani Puja is observed by the Telegu community in Cuttack city. This festival has been synchronised with Cuttack’s own traditions of worshiping mother goddess Durga.
Chhat Puja : Bihari community of Cuttack city celebrate the famous festival “Chhat” during the month of October. They go to the river bed to perform Puja to Sun God.
Kartik Purnima/Rasa Purnima and Baliyatra : The Odia month of Kartik is the most auspicious month of the year. The fool moon day i;e Kartik Purnima has been celebrated at Boita Bandana Divas since ancient times. The memories of Odisha Maritime activities are very much connected with the Kartik Purnima celebrations. The Sadhavas (Merchants) were beginning their voyage by boat from the Kalingan shores to Java, Borneo, Sumatra, Ceylon like East Asian countries on Kartika Purnima. To commemorate the day, even today, early in the morning of kartik Purnima ,boats made out of Banana stem with the lamps and betel leaves and betel nuts are set a sail on the river or in the tank by the people of Odisha.
The famous Balijatra Cuttack starts on this auspicious day. It has now extended from Killa Fort ground to the Sand bed of Mahanadi(Tala Padia) Thousands of stalls are open to exhibit various products. Like yester years , this year National level Pallishree Mela, Gandhi Silpa Bazar are being organized and the Balijatra Cuttack Utsav continues for seven days starting from 4th November.
Balijatra has now established a commercial approach like Puskar Mela of Rajashthan. This year cultural programme in Baishnab Pani Mandap of Balijatra ground are being organised form 4th to 10th November. Besides local artists from the District and rural folk artists (lok Kala) of Zilla Kala Sanshruti Sangha, cultural troupes from Cultural department of Odisha, different parts of Odisha as well as from other states like Assam and from abroad are participating in these week long cultural programme being organised on the occasion of Balijatra.
Source : District Information & Public Relations Officer, Cuttack