Some Enchanting Districts of Orissa (2)
Cuttack is the former capital and the largest city of the state of Orissa. It is the headquarters of Cuttack district and is located about 28 km to the north east of Bhubaneswar, the capital of Orissa. It is the judicial capital of Orissa as the Orissa High Court is located here.The name of the city is an anglicised form of Kataka that literally means The Fort, a reference to the ancient Barabati Fort around which the city developed. The city is spread across an area of 398 km2 (154 sq mi) and is situated at the beginning of the Mahanadi river delta. The city consists of 54 wards; in south it starts from Phulnakhara to Salipur, and in east it begins from Bidyadharpur to Choudwar.
Cuttack is not different from other ancient cities in India, and for over a thousand years has seen the influx of every major religion in India. There are different religious establishments often been built within close proximity of each other.
- Katak Chandi Temple-
The temple of goddess Katak Chandi, is probably the most famous religious establishment of city. With Katak Chandi being worshipped as the main goddess, the temple has smaller temples of other Gods and goddesses within its small compound. Not far from this temple, is the Gada Chandi temple which inside the Barabati Fort. There is also temple of Lord Shiva on the banks of Mahanadi River, and near the fort, known as Gada Gadia temple.
- Cuttack also hosts Paramahansa Nath temple (near Biribati, 14 km away from the city center), Bhattarika Temple, Dhabaleswar temple, Panchamukhi Hanuman temple and the most oldest temple is Paramahansanatha others. The Barabati fort houses the Gada Chandi temple which is one of the oldest temples in Cuttack. The Dhabaleswar temple is located on an island in the river Mahanadi and is connected to the mainland by a long hanging bridge. The pillar less hanging bridge is unique of its kind in India.
- A holy historical Sikh shrine The Gurdwara Daatan Sahib is located in this city. It is here that the first Sikh Guru, Shree Guru Nanak Dev 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, hence the name Daatan Sahib. Cuttack houses several churches that include holy Rosary church, Oriya Baptist church, etc. Cuttack town enjoyed for a pretty long time the honour of being the seat of political authority of the Muslims in Orissa. During this period numerous Muslim monuments were built in Cuttack. It has various mosques, like Qadam-E-Rasool, Juma Masjid, etc.
- Qadam-E-Rasool- The Qadam-E-Rasool is a monument of beauty built by Shujaddin Khan. At four corners of its high compound wall are four small yet strong towers constructed out of chiselled stone. It is adorned with four flat domes and pucca pavements from all direction of the grave yard to the main octagonal building with magnificent dome in the centre. It contains the foot print of the Prophet engraved in a circular stone. The dome outside is adorned with a golden pinnacle.
- Juma Masjid- Juma, means Big, and this is the oldest, biggest, and the most beautiful masjid of Cuttack. It was built during the Mughal era. It possesses several rooms for visitors and students. Earlier there used to be a Madrasa in this mosque. However, since last 10 years, the Madrasa is shifted out of the mosque. The neighbourhoods surrounding the Juma Masjid are inhabited both by Hindus and Muslims, who live peacefully with perfect communal harmony.
- Shahi Mosque-
The Shahi mosque is situated inside the Barabati fort. It is structurally similar to the Ujale Khan mosque at Mohammadia Bazaar. All these mosques are adorned with beautiful domes on hexagonal base. Stones and tiles are used in construction of the mosque. It seems that during the British rule of Orissa, it was used as a magazine (storehouse) as it is apparent from the two Mehrabs on the flanks which are closed with bricks.
Jajpur is a district of Orissa and an historic place of pilgrimage. As Jajpur was once the capital of the Kalinga kingdom, it is now an area of archeological wealth, including the famous Saktipitha of the Goddess Biraja, as well as the shrines of the Goddess Biraja (Durga), Sveta Baraha (incarnation of Lord Vishnu as the white boar), Sapta Matruka, and a host of other religious figures, all located along the bank of the River Baitarani. Ashokajhar, Chandikhol, Chhatia, Gokarnika, Kuransa, Mahavinayak, Patharajpur, Ratnagiri, Udayagiri, Satyapira, Singhapur, Vyas Sarobar, and Baruneswar Pitha are some of the destinations that attract tourists to the district, and the region's various natural resources support mines and industries.
- Biraja Khetra:
This is the ancient name of its district headquarter Jajpur town. Jajpur town also known as Biraja Kshetra, the place sacred to Goddess Biraja, the symbol of Sakti (Power). It is a small city surrounded by the river Baitarani in semicircle and a high level canal at the other end. Jajpur town is believed to be the capital of Jajati Keshari the then king of Kalinga Empire during 11th-12th. century AD. Chhatia Batta: Situated at a distance of 25 km from Cuttack, Chhatia is famous for Lord Jagannath Temple. The sage Hadidas who wrote Maalika has his samadhi here. Legend says that Kalki will come here to receive the sword Nandaka from Vaikuntha in a secret place inside the sanctum. Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Devi Subhadra are present in the manner described, not like the Devi Subhadra in the middle. The last 'AVATAR' of Lord SRI VISHNU is to be known as KALKI, he will once again establish DHARMA and will be instrumental in bringing SATYA YUGA. His mission will start from Chhatia Bata. This is the legend for which the place has got a speciality to the believer of Hinduism.
- Chandikhol: Chandikhol, which is at a distance of 40 km from Cuttack, is an attractive picnic spot with natural springs and scenerY.
At a distance of 2 km from Chandikhol to the west, is situated the Mahabinayak. Tourists can enjoy its natural surroundings and the temples of Lord Binayak.
- Lalitgiri, Ratnagiri and Udayagiri: These three Buddhist monasteries (viharas) are between 60 km and 65 km northeast of Cuttack. They are said to be the ancient seat of Puspagiri, the Buddhist University of 7th century A.D. Recently a statue of emperor Ashok was excavated at Langudi hill. A new Buddha Vihar at Hatikhal village was discovered in 2012.
Balasore District, also known as Baleswar or Baleshwar District, is an administrative district of Orissa.The coastal district is known for its beautiful mountains and famous temples. Balasore is a place of scenic beauty and a major tourist attraction, also because of its historical monuments and temples. There are a few hill ranges in the region too.
It is now a launch station for sounding rockets on the east coast of India in Orissa state at 21°18' N and 86°36' E. Balasore has been in use since 1989, but unlike Sriharikota, it is not used for launching satellites. The rocket launching site at Balasore is situated in a place called Chandipur located on the Bay of Bengal. The Interim Test Range in Chandipur, Balasore is responsible for carrying out tests for various missiles such as Agni, Prithvi, and Trishul etc.
A Coastal district on the North Eastern Sea board Balasore has destination of having been called the "scenarios of Orissa with heritages of green paddy fields, a network of rivers, blue hills, extensive meadows and beaches in Chandipur, Talasari, Chaumukha and Dagara, Kashapal and Kharasahapur.
There is an ancient fort complex called Raibania fort in Laxmannath which was built by the Ganga Dynasty ruler Langula Narasinha Deba to protect intrusion of Mughal into Orissa through the border. There are several ancient temples like Khirachora Gopinatha Temple in Remuna, Chandaneswar,
|Khirachora Gopinatha Temple|
|Jagannath temple at Nilagiri|
Panchalingeshwar, Bhudhara Chandi temple, Sajanagarh, Marichi temple, Ayodha, Brahmani Temple in Abhana, Jagannath temple at Nilagiri, Maninageswar Temple at Bardhanpur and Talsari is some of the most peaceful beaches which provide quite a distinct experience from the spoils of civilization. The Similapal Forest reserve and Nilagiri reserves provide nature lovers a natural abode for vacations. Deshuan pokhari is a place of historical importance.