The district has a long tradition of meticulous and sophisticated craftsmanship in Silver filigree works, which are highly appreciated in national and international markets mainly for their superb designs. There are about thousands families in and around Cuttack engaged in this craft.
For this purpose Cuttack is also known as Silver City. The monuments prepared by the artisans are presented as souvenirs and gifts by important functionaries including the State Govt.to persons of national and international eminence visiting the state. The Silver Filigree or .TARAKASHI. as it named locally is being the highest exported handicraft of Cuttack.The Cuttack district enjoys a pride of place in the state for its rich traditional handicrafts. The popular crafts on silver filigree work are widely appreciated.
The promotion of the artisan sector where with limited investment employment prospects were very high as these were labour intensive type of industrial activities. In the process the economic condition of a large number of artisans were about normal standard.
Artisans are located in and around Cuttack City are in Mansingpatna ,Mahamadiabazar , Ramgarh , Seikhbazar , Chandinichowk , Alisabazar, Dagarapada, Nimchoudi, Nayasarak, Choudhury bazaar, Nuapatna , Mangalabag , Chauliaganj of Cuttack City and also in other blocks like Athagarh, Baramba, Narasinghpur of Cuttack District.The products include ladies foot strap, Bangles, Armelts , Nacklace, Earrings a), Filigree Guava flower , Rose, Varieties of flower, Leaves shaped ear flowers, rings, necklace lockets, bigger size bangles .
Traditionally in National and International market the Silver filigree of Cuttack enjoyed high appreciation and named as the city of Silver Filigree. . Historical monuments like the Shree Mandir of Puri, the world famous replica of Tajmahal, QutbMinarthe Santi Stupa of Dhauli, the famous Sun Temple of Konark are also included and models of varieties of car shaped toys, aeroplanes, ships and the great chariot of Mahabharat depicting Srikrishna and Arjuna, Eifel Tower, Statue of Liberty of the U.S.A., the picture made of model of Monalisha and the like are made of as filigree products.
Filigree Work of Cuttack –Popularly known as Tarakasi is a type of super-finely designed art-wire in silver and gold from Cuttack, the oldest city of Odisha. The history of tarakasi goes back to more than five hundred years, and the traditional BaniaCaste(filigree makers) who are highly skilled in handicraft art design prepare various articles of art-wire in silver and gold. The traditional art still thrives in many parts of Cuttack city like BaniaSahi, Jaunliapati, Mansingh Patna, Shaikh Bazar and Nayasarak. Filigree still remains not only ascreative techniques for designer jewellery, but also uses for various gift items.
According to some sources, the art may have come to Odisha through its trade links with Indonesia as the workmanship is similar to that done in Indonesia.
In Jagannath temple , Puri , Gotipua the traditional dancers decorate themselves with filigree ornaments to perform dance before the Deities during PuriRathaJatra (Car Festival). The classical Odissi Dancers perform dance after being decorated with Sambalpuri, Maniabandhi, BomkaiPatta Sarees and various filigree ornaments. Other dancers like Chou Dancer of Mayurbhanj. also use filigree ornaments during performance. Tarakasi (Filgree Work) the traditional craftsmanship is depicted in exotic designs in silver and gold for artefacts of Gods and Goddesses, Konark Temple and Konark Chakra, Lord Jagannath with Lords and Jagannath temple Puri, boats, Rising Sun, various flowers like Rose, Lotus etc. animals and birds like swan, peacock etc. and it includes more particularly various ornaments for girls and women worn in ceremonial occasions and marriage ceremony. The filigree items for women include Paunji, Anta Suta (Waist Belt for ladies), Bahuti, Kankan, Naka Chana for nose, Sinthi/ Mathamani for head and Hair-Bend/ Hair Pin of various design. Apart from the classical designs, the ultra-modern designed silver and gold filigree ornaments/ jewelleries etc are even worn by cinema heroes and heroines, models and glamour girls of the tinsel world in Hollywood, Bollywood and Ollywood and have fascination to collect filigree items of Cuttack.
The filigree jewelleries are important for tourist attractions for promotion of Tourism in Odisha.
The Handloom fabrics of the district is a perfect blend of “TRADITION AND TECHNOLOGY”. Khandua is one of the richest textiles of not only Odisha but also of India.
The main product of Nuapatana & Maniabandha area of Cuttack District is Khandua silk saree and the art of tie dye weaving of Nuapatana area is more than 800 years old and is linked with the temple Lord Jagannath at Puri. Silk fabrics for the Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra for various religious occasion are being weaved in Nuapatna and Maniabandha. Nabakhoti Saree of Nuapatana are being used for festival of Goddess Laxmi with nine motif like lotus elephant temple, peacock, pot, conch butterfly and deer etc. These activity continuing since long.
The tie & dye art of weaving of Nuapatana & Maniabandha area has been appreciated all over the country and abroad because of its exquisite workmanship design, colour combination and languishing craftsmanship. In the part handloom products of these area are great demand at the International market and other neighbouring countries. The Silk, Tassur, Kantia and Cotton products developed in handlooms by the traditional weavers of Nuapatana area, Since ages, have also acclaemed for their novelity, superb craft manship high weaving qualities and development of eco-friendly natural dyes. The Nuapatana Cluster has prominence in the Indian silk Industry.
The borders and the pallu of Khandua saree have tremendous variety and each of them is attractive and praiseworthy. Common motifs are star, temple, conch, rudraksh, fish, chakra, lotus, swan, peacock, parrot, deer, elephant, horse, lion etc. The inspiration of all its designs comes from nature.
Khandua is the weave of the single largest cluster in Odisha situated at Nuapatna. Maniabandha, located just 3 kms away from Nuapatna also has a population of weavers and looms that help to add to the total of the region. The two villages are synonymous with the production of Khandua. Khandua sarees are made only with high quality natural fibers like cotton and silk, which make them light in weight and easy to carry. The Khandua sarees are so versatile that those can be used up and down according to the occasion.
Apart from silk products , products like saree, dress material, dhoti etc are also being weaved in cotton and tussar yarn.
Betel leaves of Niali area of Cuttack District have a special identity in and outside the State due to their quality. Most of the people in this block depend on cultivation of betel leaves. There are plenty of betel vineyards in Niali area of the district which cater the requirement of betel leaves of the state ,neighboring states and other Cities as well where its demand is high. Betel leaf is a main product for Niali area.