The former capital of the Indian state of Orissa, Cuttack is nicknamed as ‘The Millennium City’ and ‘Silver City’ of India. The name Cuttack literally means a Fort and refers to the ancient citadel of Barabati, around which, the town of Cuttack is situated. The best time to visit Cuttack is during the winters (October to January) as the summers can be brutally hot and humid. The city is the most colorful during the festivals of Diwali and Dussehra and is growing as a new industrial hub. Let’s talk about the best places you can visit in the city of Cuttack.
1. Barabarti Fort
The titular fort of Cuttack, Barabati Fort was built in the 14th century by the rulers of the Ganga dynasty. However the fort’s origin goes back to 989 AD when King Marakata Keshari built embankments on the shores of the river to protect the city from floods. Later in the 14th century, Mukundadev Harichandan a Chalukyan King built a 9-storied fort in the embankments. Today the fort lies in ruins following several attacks and floods over the course of history but is a great place to visit during the winters.
2. Kataka Chandi Temple
Kataka Chandi Temple is also known as the Cuttack Temple and is dedicated to the Hindu Deity Chandika. The temple is a marvelous example of the Gajpati dynasty architecture and is located at the banks of the Mahanadi River. The best time to visit the temple is during the festivals of Durga Puja, Kali Puja and Dussehra. The temple is managed by the priests of the Utkala Brahmins and contains the idol of the goddess with was dug up by the Priest of the Gajpati Kingdom.
3. Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary
One of the most popular attractions near Cuttack, the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary is spread across an area of 672 sq kilometers. The Sanctuary is famous for being a home to the endangered and massive saltwater crocodile, White crocodile, Indian Python, Water Monitor Lizards, Black Ibis, The spectacled Cobra, Olive Ridley turtles and Chital etc. Again the best time to visit is during the winter season.
4. Kadam Rasool Mosque
Founded in the 18th century, the Kadam Rasool mosque contains the foot print of the Prophet Mohammed and is spread across an area of 57 acres. The mosque is an immensely sacred place for the Muslims across the country and is visited by several tourists each year. The mosque is a marvelous example of the Indo-Persian architectural style and is said to have been built by a Hindu King.
5. Netaji Birth Place Museum
The erstwhile ancestral home of the great freedom fighter, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, is now a museum after its completed renovation in 2007. The galleries which were once the living quarters of the Bose family now contain several photographs, antiquities and furniture used by the Bose Family and Netaji.
While Cuttack is not a big town and most of its attractions can be covered in a single day, one must visit the above-mentioned attractions to experience the best the town has to offer. One must also not forget to check out the various Oriya cuisines on your visit to Cuttack.
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