Bara Bati Fort

Cuttack, Odisha

#Historical and Heritage


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Barabati Fort is a 14th-century fort built by the Ganga dynasty near Cuttack, Odisha. The ruins of the fort remain with its moat, gate, and the earthen mound of the nine-storied palace, which evokes the memories of past days.

Today it sits next to the modern Barabati Stadium, the venue of various sport events and cultural programs. There is also a temple dedicated to Katak Chandi, the presiding deity of the city, not far away from the fort. Now there are plans to develop the old Gadakhai into a world class tourist destination with boating facilities and a world class park. The renovation work of the Gadakhai is going on in full swing.

 

History

Scholars give different opinions regarding the date of construction of Barabati fort. Madalapanji, the Jagannatha temple chronicle narrate an interesting story which is as follows.

King Bhima Parichha or Anangabhima II lived in his capital, Chaudwar. One day the king crossed the Mahanadi and came towards the southern side. Here he noticed in the Barabati village belonging to the Ko-danda sub-division that near the god Visweswar Deva, a heron had jumped upon a hawk. Seeing this the king was very much surprised and on an auspicious day laid the foundation of construction of the fort and this village was named Barabati Cuttack. And after that he left Choudwar and lived at Cuttack making it his capital.

The ruins of the old Barabati Fort lie on the right bank of the Mahanadi, in the western part of the city. All that remains of the Fort is an arched gateway and the earthen mound of the nine-storeyed palace. Archaeological surveys reveal that the Fort was roughly rectangular in structure having an area of over 102 acres (0.41 km2), and it was surrounded on all sides by a wall of laterite and sandstones. To the west of the mound there is a tank. In the north-eastern corner of the mound are remains of what once was a temple. The temple was made of whitish sandstone over foundations of laterite blocks. About four hundred fragments of mouldings and some mutilated pieces of sculptures have been recovered so far. This temple of the Ganga period containing a stone idol of Lord Jagannath is in ruins. A mosque built by Nawab Murshid Quli Khan, governor of Emperor Aurangzeb in 1719 AD still exists.

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