TCuttack, one of the oldest cities of India and the Metropolis of Odisha, is situated at the bifurcation of the river Mahanadi and its main branch the Kathajori. It is located inlat N.20029' and Long. E85050' and has area of sixteen square miles.The word'Cuttack' is derived from the Sanskrit word'Katak'which signify a'Military camp'or afort or seat of Govt. protected by army. Madalapanji gives reference to 'PanchaKataka'or 'Five Katakas'i.e., Jajpur, Choudwar, Amaravati, Chhatia and BidanasiKataka.
The name BidanasiKataka is identified with the present town of Cuttack which has been referred to by Ferishteh'sHistroy of Bengal and the Ain-I-Akbari. The early history of Cuttack town is connected with the history of Kesari dynasty. Based on MadalapajiStirling mention that NripaKesari founded the Baranasi Cuttack in 989 A.D. He was a marital and ambitious prince, who was always fighting with his neighbours. The reign of Markatkesari was distinguished for the construction of stone revetment or embank to protect the new capital from flood in 1002 A.D.
After the endof the Ganga rule, Odisha passed to the hands of the Gajapati Kings (1435-1541 A.D)belonging to the solar dynasty under whom BaranasiKataka continued to be the capitalof Odisha. After the death of Mukunda Deva the last Hindu king of Odisha, the suzeraintyof Cuttack passed on to the hands at first the Muslim rules and later to the Mughals.
By 1750 Cuttack came under Maratha rule and it grew first as a business center being a convenient point of contact between the Marathas of Nagpur and the English Merchants of Bengal. It was occupied by British in 1803 and became the capital of Odisha division in 1816. From 1948 onwards, when the capital was shifted Bhubaneswar the city remained the administrative head quarters of Odisha