Cuttack,also known as 'the silver city',is one of the oldest cities of Orissa. It is also one of the biggest commercial center of Orissa. It served as the state capital of Orissa before shifting of capital to Bhubaneswar. At 23 kms. away from Bhubaneswar, the city is situated on a delta formed by river Mahanadi in the north and its distributary river Kathjori in the south and is protected from the rivers by stone revetment, which dates back to 11th century A.D. The city covers an area of about 60 sq. kms. High Court and State Police Headquarters are among the important government offices existing in this city. It is well connected to other cities by road and rail. The nearest airport is Bhubaneswar.
The District of Cuttack is named after the Principal town as well as the head quarter of the district of the same name. The word Cuttack is an anglicized from of the Sanskrit word KATAKA that assumes two different meanings namely "military camp" and secondly, the fort of capital on the seat of the Government protected by the army.
Cuttack which is one of the oldest cities of India and the capital city of Orissa for almost nine centuries was built as a military cantonment in 989 A.D. by the king of Nrupa Keshari as stated by the distinguished historian Stirling. He based his opinion upon "The Madalapanji", a chronicle of the Lord Jaganath Temple of Puri. The city however, attended glory early in the 12th century as the Capital of imperial Gangas whose empire stretches from the river Ganges in the north to the river Godavari in the south. This Capital town continued to prosper during the rule of the successive dynasties, except for a brief period of unrest when in mid-fourteenth entry Firoz Shah Tughluq invaded Orissa and let loose on orgy of vandalism, looting and destruction. After the death of Mukunda Deva, the last Hindu king of Orissa , the suzerainty of Cuttack passed on the Hands of muslims and mughals.
By 1750,Cuttack had under Maratha rule and grew fast as a business center unto, being a convenient print of contact between Marathas of Nagpur and the English merchants of Bengal. It was occupied by the British in 1803 and became the capital of the then Orissa Division in 1816. From then onward till 1948 when, the capital was shifted to Bhubaneswar, the city remained the administration head quarters of Orissa.
Location: Cuttack is the administrative headquarters of the district and is situated in a tongue ;of land formed by the Mahanadi and Kathojodi rivers at their points of bifurcation in 20 degree 29 inch North latitude and 85 degree 52 inch East longitude.
The railway line of the B.N.R. was constructed through the coastal region of Orissa as post famine measure and it was opened in the year 1819. It connects Cuttack Directly with Madras and Calcutta and provides enormous opportunities for trade and Inland Communication.
Like Rome, Cuttack also was not build in a day, History has recorded the past of This ancient city, the stories of rise and fall of several empires and dynasties. The Cuttack Municipal was constituted in 1876 with 30 member 24 elected, 4 ex-officio and 2 nominated by the Govt. The Municipal Board took charge of lighting the town, providing drinking water facilities ,medical relief and public instruction at primary stage. The Municipality also took charge of few mileage of road and it worked, although under great restriction to develop Cuttack in to a modern town. There was great change in education in Cuttack after The British occupation. Under the Mughals and the Marathas education in Orissa was completely neglected. The missionaries at first laboured hard to open up schools to impart education, but their attempts were not so successful until 1838 when the Govt seriously thought of opening Modern schools in Orissa. In 1841, the first Govt.English schools was opened up in Cuttack and it slowly progressed as the High English Schools of Cuttack until the great famine of 1865 -66. After the famine the then commissioners T.E. Ravenshaw gave sympathetic attention to the institution and it was by his determined effort that this school was converted into a college with intermediate teaching in 1868. Ten years after that, it rose to a first grade college with degree classes and it was named after Mr.Ravenshaw I.C.S., The commissioner Cuttack The Orissa Medical School was established in 1875 following the establishment of the Cuttack General Hospital in 1874. In 1923 two new educational institutions were opened up in Cuttack,;one is the Cuttack training college for training the secondary school teachers and the other the school of Engineering, developed out of the Old Survey School, separated from Ravenshaw College in 1915. Cuttack has all along been enjoying the unique privilege of being the administrative and the commercial nerve center of Orissa Division till 1936, and with the formation of the province of Orissa during that year, it was exalted to be the Head Quarters of the new province. The historic lalbag palace which was being occupied by The Commissioners, became The Government House. It has been described by late R.C.Dutta,I.C.S.one time Commissioner of Orissa as the best commissioner residence so far as the natural setting it concerned. The city is reputed all over the country for its exauisite and delicate filigree works, its artistic horn works and the fome and colourful textiles manufactured here. The Barabati stadium erected in the famous killa maidan near the Barabati fort is considered to be next in size and magnificence only to those in Bombay and Delhi over the whole of India . The High Court Building on the Kathojodi is another impressive structure in the city.