Cuttack district is a district of Odisha state with its administrative headquarters located at Cuttack city. The term “Cuttack” is derived from a Sanskrit word ‘Kataka’ which has two meanings-one is military camp and the other is the seat of government, protected by the army. During that period when the Barabati fort was in existence, the city was popularly known as Bidanasi Kataka meaning Bidanasi Military Base. Bidanasi is now one of the localities of the Cuttack city. The history of the Cuttack district can be traced back from the Keshari dynasty. According to the famous historian named Andrew Stirling, in the beginning Cuttack was established as a military cantonment by the king called Nrupa Keshari of Keshari dynasty in 989 CE. Moreover, some historical and archaeological evidence were also found here during an excavation which has proved that the place of Cuttack becoming the capital of a kingdom founded by Raja Anangabhimadeva III of Ganga dynasty in 1211 CE. When the end of Ganga rule, Odisha went into the hands of the Suryavamsi Gajapati dynasty (1434-1541 CE) under them as well Cuttack continued to be the capital of Odisha. The place was under the rule of British in 1803 and later in 1816 they made Cuttack as the capital of Odisha division. From 1948 onwards, after India got its independence Bhubaneswar became the capital of Odisha and the Cuttack city remained the administrative headquarters of Odisha state. The district came into existence on 1st April, 1993.
Subhasah Chandra Bose, a prominent Indian nationalist and the founder of Indian National Army was born on 23rd January, 1897 at Cuttack city. He was the member of Indian National Congress. The honorific title Netaji meaning "Respected Leader" was for the first time applied to Bose in Germany, by the Indian soldiers of the Indian Legion and by the German and Indian officials in the Special Bureau for India in Berlin.
Geographically, the district lies at 20°46'N latitude, 85°88'E longitude and 36 m altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 21.07% forest area of total geographical area. The district occupies a geographical area of 3,932 sq kms. and it is bounded by Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara district on the East, Dhenkanal and Jajpur on the North and Khurda district on the west and south. The principal river of the district is Mahanadi River. The climate of the district is characterised as the tropical wet and dry type of climate. most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 1851.5 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administrative wise, the district is divided into 15 tehsils namely are Cuttack, Niali, Salepur, Choudwar, Mahanga, Kishannagar, Athagad, Baramba, Narasinghpur, Tigiria, Banki, Baranga, Kantapada, Nischintakoili, and Damapada. Moreover, it comprises 25 sub-districts, 11 towns and 1,952 villages. The administrative language in the district is Oriya.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 26,24,470 out of which 13,52,760 are males and 12,71,710 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 940 (females for every 1000 males). During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate of the district was 12.10% including 12.00% were males and 12.21% were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 93.65% of the total population. The population density in the district is 667 persons per sq. kms. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Oriya with 91.36%. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 45,027 out of which 23,623 were males and 21,404 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 34,721 out of which 20,751 were males and 13,970 were females.
Agriculture is the backbone of the economy of Cuttack district. The prime agricultural crops of the district are rice, pulses, oil seeds, jute, sugarcane, coconut and turmeric. The district has the Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI), the largest rice research institute in Asia, proves the importance of the district in the field of agriculture. Cuttack is popularly known as the commercial hub of Odisha. Most significant industries of the district are the industries of ferrous alloys, steel and logistics to agriculture and traditional industries like textiles and handicrafts. In the year 2011-12 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 14,91,549 lakhs at current price and Rs. 9,47,293 lakhs at constant prices in the year 2004-2005. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2011-12 was Rs. 13,04,533 lakh at current price and Rs. 8,13,663 lakh at constant prices in the year 2004-2005. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost during the period 2011-12 was Rs. 49,536 at current price and Rs. 30,897 at constant prices in the year 2004-2005.
Ravenshaw Collegiate School, the oldest school of the district which has produced many notable personalities including Netaji Subash Chandra Bose, Biju Patnaik, Harekrishna Mahatab, etc. Shri Ramachandra Bhanj Medical College (SCB), the largest medical college of the state is located in Cuttack. As per 2011 census the literacy rate of the district is 85.5 % including 91.11% are males and 79.55% are females. The number of literates in the district is 20,11,469 including 11,03,033 are males and 9,08,436 are females.
Biju Patnaik, a veteran Indian politician and the Chief Minister of Odisha for two terms was born on 5th March, 1916 in Cuttack. He was the member different political parties during different periods of time- India National congress (1946-1969), Utkal Congress (1969-1977), Janata Party (1977-1989) and Janata Dal (1989-1997). Naveen Patnaik, the 14th and current Chief Minister of Odisha was born on 16th October, 1946 in Cuttack. He is the son of former chief minister of Odisha, Biju Patnaik and a member of Biju Janata Dal, founded by himself after the name of his father.
The centres of attraction in the district allure numerous travellers from far distance places. The Barabati Fort of the district is a 14th - century castle built by the Ganga dynasty ruler Maharaja Markata Keshari. The ruins of the fort are still stands with its moat, gate and the earthen mound of the nine-storied palace, which evokes the memories of past days. Oriya Bazaar also known as Janakinath Bhawan is the birth place of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, has now been converted into a museum named Netaji Birth Place Museum. The museum conserves the original letters written by Netaji along with his other vital materials. Freedom Fighter's Memorial, a renowned place of interest in the district is situated at the Old Jail complex. Some of the beautiful and amusement parks in the district are Water park, Deer park, Biju Patnaik park, Khannagar park, Jobra park, etc. In the year of 2019, there were total 46,15,128 domestic tourists and 909 foreign tourists. The magnificent temples of the district are Dhabaleswar Shiva Temple, Bhattarika Temple, Charchika Temple, etc.