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Cuttack Travel Guide:

Introduction
Cuttack is the former capital, the commercial capital & the second largest city of the state of Orissa, India. It is the headquarters of Cuttack district and is located about 20 km to the north east of Bhubaneswar, the capital of Orissa. The name of the city is an anglicised form of Kataka that literally means The Fort, a reference to the ancient Barabati Fort around which the city developed. The city is spread across an area of 398 km2 (154 sq mi) and is situated at the beginning of the Mahanadi river delta.

Established in 989 CE, Cuttack was the seat of government in Odisha for close to a thousand years before its burgeoning size forced the creation of a new capital at Bhubaneswar in 1948. The two cities are collectively referred to as the twin cities today. Cuttack is famous for its unique silver filigree works and textiles of woven silk and cotton

History
Early history of Cuttack is associated with the Keshari dynasty. As stated by the distinguished historian A. Stirling, present-day Cuttack was established as a military cantonment by king Nrupa Keshari of Keshari dynasty in 989 A.D. Stirling based his opinion on Madala Panji, a chronicle of Jagannath temple of Puri. The reign of Markata Keshari was distinguished for the stone embank built to protect the new capital from flood in 1002 A.D.
Historical evidence suggests Cuttack becoming capital of a Kingdom founded by Anangabhimadeva of Ganga dynasty in 1211 A.D. After the end of Ganga rule, Odisha passed to the hands of the Gajapati Kings (1435-1541 A.D.) of Solar dynasty under whom Cuttack continued to be the capital of Odisha. After the death of Mukunda deva, the last Hindu king of Odisha, Cuttack first came under Muslim rules and later underMughals.
By 1750, Cuttack came under Maratha rules and it grew fast as a business centre being the convenient point of contact between the Marathas of Nagpur and the English Merchants of Bengal. It was occupied by the British in 1803 and later became the capital of Odisha division in 1816. From 1948 onwards, when the capital was shifted to Bhubaneswar, the city remained the administrative headquarters of Odisha.
Remnants of an old fort called Barabati Killa still exist in the heart of Cuttack with the moat around the fort. Nearby is a modern stadium called the Barabati Stadium, host to many national and international cricket matches. Recently the stadium was updated with floodlights and D/N matches are taking place.
The introduction of the Sharadiya Utsav tradition in the city dates back to the visit of Saint Chaitanya in 16th century when the consecration of the idol of Durga by using the mask pattern was conducted in his presence at Binod Behari Devi Mandap.
Recent growth of the city has resulted in expansion across the river Kathjori and a newer township towards the head of the delta formed between the tributary Kathjori river and the Mahanadi. Cuttack is referred to as a city with Babaan Bazaar, Teppan Galee i.e. a city having 52 markets and 53 streets.
Its a place where culture and tradition have a great impact on the ideologies of the inhabbitants of cuttack. People of cuttack respect all religions ,and they don't encourage racism based on religion.

Cultural and Religious aspects
Cuttack hosts Paramahansa Nath temple (near Biribati, 14 km away from the city center), the famous Katak Chandi Temple, Bhattarika Temple, Dhabaleswar temple, Panchamukhi Hanuman temple and others. The Barabati fort houses the Gada Chandi temple which is one of the oldest temples in Cuttack. The Dhabaleswar temple is located on an island in the river Mahanadi and is connected to the mainland by a long hanging bridge. The pillar less hanging bridge is unique of its kind in India.

Here is situated a holy historical Sikh shrine 'The Gurdwara Daatan Sahib'. It is here that the first Sikh Guru, Shree Guru Nanak Dev halted on his way to Puri. It is believed that a tree branch planted by him after using it as a tooth cleaner still flourishes here, hence the name Daatan Sahib. Cuttack houses several churches that include holy rosary church, Oriya Baptist church etc.

Colleges
General Colleges

Cuttack has a number of high level colleges giving education in science, social science, and humanities. The colleges teach both +2 (intermediate) and +3 (bachelor) classes. Some of the prominent colleges are: Ravenshaw, Sailabala Women's College, JKBK, Stewart Science college, Christ college,Sri Aurobindo institute of higher studies & research. etc.

Medical Colleges

SCB medical College, one of the premier medical colleges in India and the largest medical institution in Odisha, proudly associates its origin to the Silver city - Cuttack. This college produces one of the finest brand of doctors every year. The quality of education imparted in SCB medical college is quite high. SCB medical college has produced some of the very first licensed medical practitioners of India medical fraternity. SCB medical college also has a dental college which gives bachelors degree in dental surgery.

Law Colleges

Cuttack houses one of the premier National Law Universities of the country. It also has the Madhu Sudan Law college, named after Madhusudan Das. It is considered to be one of the best law schools in India.

Technical Colleges

Cuttack is home to several technical institutions which includes Bhubananda Odisha School of Engineering (BOSE)the 1st technical school of odisha, Image Institute of technology & management(IITM),IPSAR, IMIT, Ajay Binay Institute of Technology (ABIT), DRIEMS, and JIET. The twin cities house around 40 engineering colleges. There exists a textile engineering college in Chowdwar. There is also a Biju Pattnaik film and television institute offering professional courses.

Cuisine
Among the culinary delights unique to the Millenium City, none compare the famed Dahi vada and Aludum, a spicy concoction of three basic dishes i.e., dahibara - vadas soaked in skim yoghurt, ghuguni - curried chickpeas and aludum - whole size potatoes immersed in fiery curry. All and sundry sample this traditional dish nearly every day and is a must on most tourists' itinerary. Other popular fast foods include Chat, Gup-chup (pani puri).

There are several nice restaurants in Cuttack that serve very good food at reasonable price. Some of the nice restaurants of Cuttack are situated near College square (close to Railway station).