The 14th century old fort of Barabati is situated near the busy city of Cuttack in Odisha. The fort is dedicated to King Nrupa Kesari of the Ganga dynasty. Only the remains of this majestic fort remains today. These remains are the reminiscences of the glorious past of this fort. It is a famous tourist spot. There are several other tourist spots near this fort namely the Barabati Stadium and a temple dedicated to Katak Chandi. The fort is just 8km away from the city of Cuttack and is situated on a delta formed by the river Mahanadi and its distributary.
More about the Barabati Fort
The fort was a nine-storeyed structure. Now all that remains of the majestic fort are the arched gateways, moat and earthen mounds. These ruins lie on the right bank of the Mahanadi. The fort roughly covered an area of 102 acres and was surrounded by walls of laterite and sandstone from all the four sides. Laterite was also used to lay the foundation of a temple situated I the north-eastern part of the Fort. This temple was whitish sandstone. Several mutilated sculptures and mounds have been found here. One of them being the most celebrated deity of Odisha i.e. Lord Jagannath. Since this Fort was made by the rulers of the Ganga Dynasty, one can draw from here the importance of Vaishnavism during the rule of this dynasty. A mosque built by the governor of Aurangzeb, Nawab Murshid Quli Khan in the 1719 AD still exists there. It is believed that the Barabati Fort was rectangular in shape. There also exists a tank to the west of the mound of the nine-storeyed palace. The fort complex gives the visitors a taste of the magnificent past of the Fort.
Historical Background of Barabati Fort
The Barabati Fort has an interesting story to it. One day King Bhima Parichha or Anangabhima II was crossing the river Mahanadi. Then suddenly he noticed a heron had jumped upon a hawk. Seeing this he got very impressed and laid the foundation of the fort on an auspicious. The village which inhabited this fort was formerly known as the Barabati village but later after laying the foundation of the fort by the king the village came to be known as the village of Barabati Cuttack. After this the king left his old capital at Chauwar and shifted to Cuttack and eventually made it his capital. The king ruled for over a period of 27 years and the foundation of this Fort was laid in the 12th year of this reign. The fort has seen the rise and fall of the Ganga and the Suryavamsi rules. Muslims and Marathas too had this place as the capital of Odisha during their reign. In the year 1803 the Barabati Fort was possessed by the Britishers.
A Tourist’s Guide to Barabati Fort
Entry to Barabati Fort is ticketed at a very meagre amount. It is Re.1 for Indian nationals and Rs.10 for international tourists. One can visit this fort in between sunrise to sunset. Since, it is situated in the hustling and bustling city of Cuttack, reaching this place isn’t an issue. It is well connected to the nearby places. Various sports events of regional and national importance takes place in the Barabati Stadium which is situated next to the Barabati Fort. It will take around two hours or so to visit this fort fully. Food is available in the nearby places. A wide range of hotels are available in Cuttack. One can check for hotels online according to one’s needs. It is a famous tourist destination among people who have a knack for history and sight-seeing. It is a must for people who have an interest in visiting historical places. The Barabati Fort is also famous among nature enthusiasts. The carved gateway provides a glimpse of the glorious past of the fort. The remains gives the visitors a kaleidoscopic view of the wonderful architecture of the fort. One can take wonderful pictures in here too. The Barabati Fort provides a picturesque setting for photo fanatics. The whole compound of the Barabati Fort gives a vintage and gothic look to the pictures taken in here. If you are lucky enough to catch a match in the Barabati Stadium then this will surely be the icing on the cake. The Barabati Stadium is the only stadium in Odisha in which international matches are held. Apart from that IPL matches are also held in this stadium. The stadium is beautifully made for providing the spectators a wonderful experience. The entry time is decided according to the match held and the same implies for the price of tickets.
A trip to the Barabati Fort is full of adventures and wonderful experiences. The whole aura of the place is breathtaking.