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Cuttack (The Silver City)

Cuttack City
Cuttack is the former capital and the second largest city of Odisha is also the headquarters of the Cuttack district. The word Cuttack derives its name from the anglicized sanskrit word Kataka which literally means The Fort, referring to the ancient Barabati Fort, around which the city developed. This city takes pride in the fact that it had been the capital of Odisha, before its shifting to Bhubaneswar, the new capital. Cuttack is also known as the Silver City due to its famous silver filigree works.

Cuttack was founded by King Nrupa Keshari in 989 A.D. He was a marital and ambitious prince, who was always fighting with his neighbours. The reign of Markat kesari was distinguished for the construction of stone revetment or embank to protect the new capital from flood in 1002 CE. Historical and archaeological evidence suggests Cuttack becoming capital of a kingdom founded by Raja Anangabhimadeva III of Ganga dynasty in 1211 CE. 

The city is spread across an area of 192.5 sq kms, centred on a spit of land between the Kathajodi River and the Mahanadi River. The city is highly populated. As per the 2011 census of India, Cuttack had a population of 606,007 of which males was 303,530 while the number of females were 302,477. Cuttack has an average literacy rate of 91.17% with male literacy at 97.87% and female literacy at 84.49%. The Cuttack ranks high in literacy rate among Top Cities of India. Odia is the primary language used in the city besides Hindi being widely spoken and understood. English is widely used for commercial purposes. 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 experiences tropical wet and dry climate. The summer season from March to June gets very hot with the average maximum temperature going slightly above  35 °C to 40 °C. The monsoon months are from July to October when the city receives most of its rainfall from the South West Monsoon. The annual rainfall is around 144 cm. Temperatures are considerably lower during the rainy season, averaging around 30 °C. The winter season from November to February is characterized by mild temperatures and occasional showers. The winter months feature chilly northerly winds which bring down the temperature to around 15 °C, though the bright sunshine helps maintain the pleasant weather. Temperatures may exceed 45 °C at the height of summer and may fall below 10 °C in winter.

The City of Cuttack is administered by the Cuttack Municipal Corporation. CMC was established as a municipality in 4 June 1876 and was named as a corporation in 15 August 1994. Cuttack is widely known as the commercial capital of Odisha. It is believed to have the largest GDP among all cities in Odisha due to its large business houses and wide range of industries ranging from ferrous alloys, steel and logistics to agriculture and traditional industries like textiles and handicrafts. There are many trading houses in the city renowned nationally and internationally. The city is second largest hub for textiles in eastern India. The city's annual textile trade generates over a billion dollars of revenue. Being the former capital and now the partial capital of the state and a big business hub, many central and state government and corporate offices are in Cuttack. The service sector is quite large. The presence of Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI), the largest rice research institute in Asia, adds to the importance of Cuttack in the agricultural map of the country. The presence of Odisha High Court and the SCB Medical & College, the largest medical institution in the state, further nourishes the service sector. Education is a major industry due to large number of universities, colleges, schools and coaching centers and caters to the neighboring districts.

The city is part of the larger Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC). CMC was established as a municipality in 4 June 1876 and was named as a corporation in 15 August 1994. The CMC is in charge of the civic and infrastructure needs of the Metropolitan City. Cuttack has an Air Base named Charbatia Air Base for the exclusive use of the Indian Air Force. The nearest commercial airport is the Biju Patnaik International Airport at Bhubaneswar, about 28km away. Cuttack Junction is one of the important stations on the Howrah-Chennai mainline of the East Coast Railway and falls under the Khurda Road division. A branch line to Paradeep starts from Cuttack. It is connected to all parts of India through trains run by the Indian Railways. As per the new numbering National Highway 16 runs from North to South of the City. As a part of the Golden Quadrilateral project, this highway runs from Chennai to Kolkata. National Highway 55 connects Cuttack with Sambalpur. Feeder State Highways connect Cuttack to Jajpur, Paradeep, Talcher, Angul, Kendrapara and nearby towns in Cuttack district. Intra city transport is primarily through Auto rickshaws. Nowadays DTS city buses ply in the city to join different places in the city and Bhubaneswar. Cuttack is a major junction connecting all the major parts of the state. The bus terminus at Cuttack is located at Badambadi, and is one of the largest bus terminus in India, and thousands of private and government buses ply to hundreds of destinations everyday. 

Schools in Cuttack are either run by the CMC or by private trusts and individuals. The Odia medium schools in Cuttack are affiliated to the Board of Secondary Education (Odisha), while the English medium affiliated to either ICSE and the CBSE boards. Apart from English and Odia medium schools, certain Hindi, Urdu, Gujrati, Bengali and Telugu medium schools are also present in Cuttack. Ravenshaw Collegiate School, the oldest school of Odisha which was founded by Thomas Edward Ravenshaw in 1868 and was granted University status on 15 November 2006 is situated in Cuttack.  Most of the junior colleges in the city are affiliated to the Council of Higher Secondary Education. Cuttack is home to several technical institutions which includes public and private engeneering, management and medical colleges. Shri Ramachandra Bhanj Medical College (SCB), the largest medical college of the state is located in Cuttack. The S.C.B. Medical College also has a dental wing which offers bachelor degree in dental sciences. Asia's largest rice research institute, the Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI) is situated in Cuttack.

Cuttack was established more than 1000 years ago as a military establishment. Barabati fort is a 14th-century fort built by the Ganga dynasty ruler Maharaja Markata Keshari. The temple of Cuttack Chandi is probably the most famous religious establishment of city.  The ruins of the fort remain with its moat, gate and the earthen mound of the nine-storied palace, which evokes the memories of past days. Cuttack takes pride in being the birthplace of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, the place has now been converted into a museum named Netaji Birth Place Museum. The city constitutes the state's only Water Park named Ocean World. A deer park is situated beside the Mahanadi Ring Road at Madhusudan Nagar, overseeing the beautiful Mahanadi River. The park has about 200 deers. The city is filled with numerous social parks. Biju Pattnaik park, Gouri Shankar park, Kathajodi river view park, Khannagar park, Jobra park are some of the prominent existing parks. The temple of Cuttack Chandi is the most famous religious establishment of city. The temple is dedicated to the Goddess Chandi, the presiding deity of Cuttack. Dhabaleswar Temple is situated on an exotic island in the Mahanadi River and is embellished with stone carvings that date back to the early 10th and 11th century dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva. Qadam Rasul: It is a very famous holy site for the Muslims in the state. It is believed to be a type of veneration of Muhammad. Also Jama Masjid is the oldest, biggest masjid of Cuttack. It was built during the Mughal era.

Cuttack, being the aesthetic capital of Odisha for a long period, celebrates festivals from all religions with much fanfare and devotion. Cuttack is famous throughout the nation for its Durga puja celebrations. Cuttack hosts about 200 Durga Puja pandals every year. Each of them is quite unique and distinct in shape and size. The specialty Cuttack Durga Puja are the idols adorned with huge amounts of gold and silver, with localities trying to outsmart each other by constructing more attractive idols. Bali Jatra is the festival which Cuttackis look forward to most is the Bali Jatra. Bali Yatra is supposedly the second largest trade festival in Asia and the largest in India. And the other regular Indian festivals like Kali Puja, Ratha Yatra, Raja, Ganesh Chaturthi, Vasant Panchami, Holi, Diwali, Chhath, Eid, Good Friday, Christmas and the numerous festivals are celebrated here.

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