Bhubaneswar and Cuttack

Bhubaneswar is the capital of the Indian state of Odisha. It is the largest city in Odisha and is a centre of economic and cultural importance in Eastern India. Bhubaneswar replaced Cuttack as the capital on 19 August 1949, 2 years after India gained its independence from Britain. The modern city was designed by the German architect Otto Königsberger in 1946. Along with Jamshedpur and Chandigarh, it was one of modern India’s first planned cities. Bhubaneswar and Cuttack are often referred to as the ‘twin cities of Odisha’. Cuttack was the former capital and the second largest city in the eastern Indian state of Odisha. It is also the headquarters of the Cuttack district. The name of the city is an anglicised form of Kataka which literally means The Fort, a reference to the ancient Barabati Fort around which the city initially developed. Cuttack is also known as the Millennium City as well as the Silver City due to its history of 1000 years and famous silver filigree works. Cuttack an unplanned 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 and i.e. 52 markets and 53 streets. The close interpersonal relationship, community living and the old world values make Cuttack a big village rather than a city. Cuttack is best known as a City of Brotherhood or Bhai-Chara where people of all religious communities have been residing for centuries in harmony and co-operation.

History: The foundation of the modern Bhubaneswar city was laid in 1948, although the areas in and around the city have a history going back to 1st century BCE or earlier. Dhauli, near Bhubaneswar, was the site of the Kalinga War (c. 262-261 BCE), in which the Mauryan emperor Ashoka invaded and annexed Kalinga. After the decline of the Mauryan empire, the area came under the rule of Mahameghavahana dynasty then subsequently ruled by several dynasties, including Satavahanas, Guptas, Matharas, and Shailodbhavas. In the 16th century, the area came under pachamani Mughal control. The Marathas, who succeeded the Mughals in the mid-18th century, encouraged pilgrimage in the region. In 1803, the area came under British colonial rule and finally under independent India.

The earliest written history of Cuttack may go back to the Keshari dynasty. After the consecutive Ganga dynasty, Mughal rule and finally being under British rule it became the part of independent India.

(*All the above information are from Wikipedia.)


Airport: Biju Patnaik International Airport, also known as Bhubaneswar Airport, 3 kilometres south of the city centre, is the major and sole international airport in Odisha.

Rail: The East Coast Railway has its headquarters in Bhubaneswar. Bhubaneswar railway station is one of the main stations of the Indian railway network. It is connected to major cities by daily express and passenger trains and daily service to all metro cities is available from here. Cuttack Junction is one of the important stations on the Howrah, Kolkata-Chennai mainline of the East Coast Railway and falls under the Khurda Road division. A branch line to Paradeep starts from Cuttack.

Road: Bhubaneswar has roads in grid form in the central city. Barramundi Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT) is the major bus terminus in the city from where buses ply to all the districts in Odisha as well as to neighbouring state’s cities like Hyderabad, Kolkata, Visakhapatnam, Raipur and Ranchi. City bus service (Mo Bus) runs across Bhubaneswar by Capital Region Urban Transport Authority run by Bhubaneswar Development Authority. National Highway 55 connects Cuttack with Sambalpur. Also, Asian Highway 45 passes through the city. Feeder State Highways connect Cuttack to Jajpur, Paradeep, Talcher, Angul, Kendrapara and nearby towns in Cuttack district.

Local: Auto Rickshaws, taxis and vehicles on rent are available for moving within and outside the city.

Tourist Interest:

Lingaraja Temple: Lingaraja Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva and is one of the oldest temples in Bhubaneswar.

Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves: Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves, formerly called Kataka Caves or Cuttack caves, are partly natural and partly artificial caves of archaeological, historical and religious importance near the city of Bhubaneswar.

Dhauli Hills: Dhauli hills are located on the banks of the river Daya, 8 km south of Bhubaneswar. It is a hill with vast open space adjoining it and has major Edicts of Ashoka engraved on a mass of rock, by the side of the road leading to the summit of the hill.

Odisha State Museum: A museum that was established in 1932 has eleven sections  Archaeology, Epigraphy, Numismatics, Armoury, Mining & Geology, Natural History, Art & Craft, Contemporary Art, Patta Painting, Anthropology and Palm leaf Manuscripts.

Nandankanan Zoological Park: Nandankanan Zoological Park is a 437-hectare (1,080-acre) zoo and botanical garden in Bhubaneswar. Established in 1960, it was opened to the public in 1979 and became the first zoo in India to join the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) in 2009.

Konark Sun Temple: Konark Sun Temple is a 13th-century CE sun temple at Konark about 35 kilometres northeast from Puri on the coastline of Odisha. The temple is attributed to king Narasingha Deva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty about 1250 CE.

The other places of interest in Bhubaneswar are Mukteshwar Temple, Parasurameswara Temple and many others.

The places of interest in Cuttack are:

Cuttack Chandi Temple: The Katak Chandi Temple is an ancient temple dedicated to the Goddess Chandi, the presiding deity of Cuttack. The temple is located nearby the banks of the Mahanadi River. It is famous for the annual Durga Puja and Kali Puja festivals.

Netaji Birth Place Museum: This is the ancestral home of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and is also his birthplace. The house has been transformed into a museum with displays of various usable items of Netaji, his INA uniforms, his letters from jail.

Barabati Fort: The ruin of the ancient fort is an interesting place and an important tourist destination in Cuttack.

The other places of interest in Cuttack are Baliyatra gate, Dhabaleswar, Odisha Museum Maritime museum and many others.

Read about my experience in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.