Cuttack was earlier known as the Abhinaba Baranasi Kataka was always the capital of the rulers of Orissa. Owing to its fertile land and strategic positions for the trade and commerce, Cuttack till recently held a significant position in the state of Odisha. It was only after 1956 that the capital of the state was shifted to Bhubaneshwar and since then Cuttack became a bustling commercial capital of the state.
Cuttack in Odishawas founded by Nripati Kesari in the early 10th century. It was sited due to its strategic position about the network of canals in the region. The town is almost an island and situated at the head of the Mahanadi delta and surrounded by the great river and its tributary the Kathjuri. The place was a major river crossing for the busy north-south land route as well as a nexus for the canals that connect the Orissa interior with the sea. The island proved an ideal platform from which to dominate the region's economy. The rulers of the Kesari dynasty built many beautiful structures in Cuttack which still stand a witness to the glorious period of Cuttack.
Later Cuttack went into the hands of the Mughals and later the Nawabs of Bengal took over. The Marathas took over Cuttack in the 18th century, and during this time, it expanded further. Lucrative trade and other promising things made the British make Cuttack as their capital when they merged the small princely states of the region. It was only after India gained and independence and the state of Orissa was founded with the linguistic background in 1956, that the capital was shifted to Bhubaneshwar.
Cuttack now is a bustling commercial capital of the state and is the base camp for many a tourist destination. Its historical importance and the recent commercialization has made the city a favorite tourist destination. It is a shoppers' paradise with most of the Orissan handicraft items on sale on the streets of Cuttack.