Barabati Fort

The Barabati Fort is the thirteenth century fort. It built by the rulers of the East Ganga dynasty in Cuttack, Odisha, India. The ruins of the fort are built with its ditch, gate and mud mound of the nine – story palace, refreshing the memories of the past. Today, it is located next to the modern Barabati Stadium which is a place for various sports events and cultural events. The presiding deity of the city farther than the fort is also a temple dedicated to cuttack candi. Now, the old Gadakhai  plans to develop boating facility and a world class tourist destination with world class parks.  The work of restoring of gadkhai is in progress.


It is located on the head of the delta formed by the Mahanadi River in the north and its distribution at the central point of the ridge about 8 km from the Centre of the ridge. In the south the story duo is located at an elevation of 14.62 m from the sea level.


Scholars have given different opinions regarding the date of construction of the Barabati fort. The Madalpanji, the Jagannath temple chronicle narrates an interesting story that follows.

King Anangbhim Dev III of East Ganga dynasty lived in his capital square Choudwar (1211-1238), one day he crossed the Mahanadi and came to the south. Here he saw in the Barabati village in the Ko-danda circle that a heron had jumped a hawk near the god Visweswara. This surprised the king and the foundation for the construction of the fort was laid on an auspicious day and the village was named Barbati Cuttack. And then they left the Choudwar and lived in Cuttack and made it their capital.

 In 1568 AD, the city fell into the hands of the Karrains of Bengal, then in 1576 the Mughal Empire and again in the hands of the Maratha Empire in 1741. Cuttack, along with the rest of Odisha, came under the British rule in 1803.In 1919 the Bengal – Nagpur Railways joined from madras (Chennai ) and Calcutta (Kolkata).It became the capital of the newly formed state of Odisha in 1936 and remained the same till 1948 when capital was shifted to Bhubaneswar. In 1989 this city completed one thousand years of its existence.

During the rule of Muslims and Marathas, this remained the capital of Odisha On October 1803, the British army took over the Barabati fort and became a prison for the capture of many of the glorious rulers of the country. In 1818 the king of Kujunga, the king of Suragaja was kept in a severe prison with the members of his family. Apart from this, vandalism was intensified to destroy the fort in the early stages of British rule.


 It is spread over an area of 102 acres and is surrounded by a 10m stone hard trench on all sides, Width 20m on the northern and western sides, Width in the eastern and southern sides.The entire fort wall is missing except the entrance. In view of its national significance since 1915, this site has been declared as a guarded site by the archaeological Survey of India. There was a high mound with a tank on the western side at the center of the fort. It is spread over 15/16 acre area. Now there is widespread encroachment on the site.On the east of the mound is the imperial mosque, while on the west of the pond is the center of Hajrat Ali Aukhari.

In 1989, the Archaeological Survey of India carried out digging to find out the cultural horizon of the historical fort and work is still in progress.The archaeological survey of India taken out on December 1, 1989 showed evidence of a castle, a rectangular structure made of the Khondalite stone.It was prepared in an area that had been carefully filled with sand and lime mixture at a depth of 5 meters. The trenches excavated in the eastern part of the structure show that 32 pillars are made of literate blocks, which are different in size but broad but square.

The remains of a temple have been found in the north – east corner of the mound. Digging the eastern and southern portions of the mound revealed the existence of a citadel made up of laterite blocks

The ruins of the old Barabati fort are located on the right bank of Mahanadi on the western side of the city. All the remains of the fort are an arched entrance and a mud mound of the nine – story palace. Archaeology surveys show that the fort was more rectangular in structure than 102 acres (0.41 km 2) and was surrounded by a wall of sandstone and laterite.There is a tank in the west of the mound. The remains of a temple in the north -eastern corner of the mound. The temple was built of sandstone on the foundation of laterite blocks. By now, around four hundred pieces of mouldings and some mutilated pieces of sculpture have been recovered.

This temple of the Ganga with a stone – idol of Lord Jagannath is in ruins. As late as 1719 A mosques built by Nawab Murshid Quli Khan, the governor of Emperor Aurangzeb, still remains present.

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