Cuttack, the headquarters of Cuttack District
, is one of the oldest towns of Orissa
and the former capital of the Orissa Province in British India. Situated on the banks of the Mahanadi River
, it is the center of the Orissa canal system, used for transport and irrigation. It is known for its
filigree and silverware
, horn and brass work, and silk and cotton textiles.
Cuttack is a tourist site well-liked for its historical importance. The legendary engineering skills of the ancient Orissans can be best viewed in the 11th century AD stone embankments on the Kathjori River. The Barabati Fort, built during the Ganga dynasty, still stands tall evoking the memories of the bygone days. The 18th century shrine of Qadam-I-Rasool shelters the footprints of the prophet Mohammad on a circular stone in its central mosque. Other areas of tourist interest are the Shaivite center Dhabaleswar (35 km from Cuttack),
Bhitarkanika Sanctuary and National Park, Nandan Kanan Biological Park.
The nearest airport is Bhubaneswar, 29 km away. Cuttack is also well-linked by rail and roads.