Holding the fame since more than a thousand years, Cuttack is called as ‘Millenium City’ as well as ‘Silver City’ for this famous silver filigree work. The story begins when it was historically known as ‘Katak’ which means military cantonment, also capital city. Inscriptions derived from the reign of Angabhimadeva III of Ganga dynasty say that Cuttack was originally known as ‘Abhinab-Baranasi–Katak’ as the city was situated amidst the rivers– Mahandi and Kathajodi like Varanasi (Baranasi).
The all-round significance of Cuttack grew post 8th Century AD. In 10th Century AD, Cuttack became the capital city of the state.
Being ruled by numerous rulers like Somavamsi dynasty, Eastern Ganga dynasty, the Gajapati Empire of Suryavamsa dynasty, the Afghans, the Mughals, Marathas, and Britishers Cuttack flourished as a centre for trade and commerce, politics and rich cultural and historical heritage. Infact, the famous Barabati Fort was built during the reign of Angabhimadeva III.
From Durga Puja to Baliyatra, from Barabati to filigree, Cuttack is termed as one such epicentres of glorious cultural significance. ‘Baliyatra’ or ‘Balijatra’ is the illustrious event that commemorates the ancient maritime trade links and commercial-cultural prominence of Odia traders called ‘Sadhabas’. On the river bank of Mahandi, womenfolk perform ‘Boita Bandana’ on the early morning hours of Kartika Purnima in observance of beginning of the voyage of Odia traders to the Southeast Asian countries.
The week-long fair-fest takes place near Barabati Palace where numerous traders, businessmen participate by putting up commercial stalls of various goods.