Bhubaneswar: Former Capital and the second largest city of Odisha, Cuttack is a city which is also known as the ‘Millenium City’ and ‘Silver City’. The history of Cuttack dates back to over 1000 years and the city is characterized by a maze of streets, lanes and by-lanes which has given it the nickname of a city with ‘Baban Bazaar, Tepan Galee’ meaning ‘52 markets and 53 streets’. The city exudes an old world charm and has buildings dating back to the ancient era as well as the British Raj. Besides being the commercial capital of Odisha, Cuttack is also the seat of Orissa High Court.
Located on a narrow strip of land between the Mahanadi and Kathjodi rivers, Cuttack is called the City of Brotherhood or ‘Bhai-Chara’ where people of all religious communities have been residing for centuries in harmony and co-operation. Some of the famous landmark of the city include Ravenshaw University, Barabati Fort, Barabati Stadium, Cuttack Chandi Temple and Odisha State Maritime Museum.
However, there are many lesser-known sights of the millennium city which are not so frequented by tourists. Here is a list of some of these historically significant places-
- Gurudwara Guru Nanak Datan Sahib
A holy historical Sikh shrine, the Daatan Sahib Gurudwara is where the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak Dev ji 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. Thus the place has been named ‘Datan’ Sahib (Datan meaning twig).
- Anand Bhawan Museum & Learning Centre
Built by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s grand father Laxmi Narayan Patnaik, Anand Bhavan is the ancestral house of Biju Patnaik at Tulsipur, where he was born on March 5, 1916. It was converted into a memorial museum on Biju Patnaik’s Birth Centenary in 2016.
- Baba Bokhari Tomb
The Medieval era dargah of Sufi saint Sayeed Ali Saheed Bukhari, popularly known as Bukhari Baba’s mazaar, is situated in the Barabati Fort complex in Cuttack. Built in 1468, the structure is one of the few Mughal-era buildings, with a white dome and arched gateway featuring exquisite marble pietra dura. The dargah is popular among both Hindus and Muslims who visit the shrine to offer their respects to the Sufi saint. The tomb is crowded by devotees on Thursdays.
- Chudanga Gada Fort
A protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India, Chudanga Gada Fort, also called Sarangagarh Fort, is located near the Barang railway station, 8 km south-west of Cuttack city. Alike Barabati Fort, this fort also played a significant role in the medieval history of Orissa. Chodagandadeva of Ganga dynasty selected this site and built the fort for effective safeguard of his vast empire. Remains of fort walls, stepped wells, dilapidated temples, tanks with stone revetments, granary house, watch towers and dressed stones are still found within the fortified area.
- Swaraj Ashram
Swaraj Ashram is a double-storeyed building situated in the Telenga Bazaar area of Cuttack. This building was the site of the Non Cooperation Movement in Odisha in the 1920s. Gandhi had stayed in Swaraj Ashram during his visits to Odisha. The ashram, spread over 1100 sq ft, has been converted into a protected monument by the Government of Odisha. There are around 200 photographs in the ashram that captured Gandhi’s visits to Odisha between 1921 and 1946.
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