Barabati Fort, located in Cuttack, is one of the most adored and preferred attractions of Orissa. Located on the bank of the holy Mahanadi River, Barabati fortress lies on the western side of the Cuttack city. It is situated at a distance of about 8 km from the central city of Cuttack. Cuttack has very long history dating back to the year 689 A.D. – the year in which King Nrupa Keshari founded it. Barabati fort once accommodated an memorable nine-storey palace. The local establishment has now taken over the charge of maintaining this imperial structure. Barabati fort is stretched over an area of 102 acres.
There is moat at Barabati Fort, more commonly called as Gadhaki, which is a 20 yards extensive trench. King Anangabhima Dev III initially constructed the fortress around in the year 1229 A.D. Babari fort was later reestablished during the fourteenth century.
The Chalukya King, Mukundadev Harichandan, constructed a nine-storey building in the precincts of Barabati Fort, in 1560 A.D. Various archaeological excavations were carried at Barabati fort. It suggests that the fortifications that enclosed this glorious memorial once were prepared from granite and laterites. The entryway of the fortress is very incredible and stands inflated with stunning elaborate carvings. Then two rings of forts on either side of the Kathajodi and the Mahanadi were designed to defend the Barabati Fort from enemy attacks. Barabati Fort was, more or less, rectangular in formation having an area of over 102 acres. Then there was a tank to the west side of the heap. There are some ruins of age-old temple at the corner of mound. Whitish granite and laterite for groundwork blocks were used to construct the shrine. N numbers of sculpture pieces have been recovered from the site. It is said that, the ruler Feroz Shah Tughluq destroyed this temple in which lord Jagannath resided, in 1361 A.D.
Barabati Fort has gone through a lot of makeover since its construction. Its interiors have been transformed into an arena, which has the capacity to house in more than 30,000 people at a time. Since its fabrication, it has been serving as the venue of sports tournaments and cultural events. The Ganga dynasty had a glorious past over this superb fort. The fort has witness many dynasties like Gangas, the Bhois, the Gajapatis, the Mughals and the Kesharis.
Barabati Fort is one of its kind in the Orissa state and is now a heritage structure. The fort is easily accessible from all the major cities like Bhubaneshwar, Puri, and Konark among others. The trains are available from all major cities in India. By road, Cuttack is 29 km from Bhubaneshwar. National highway number 5 passes through the Cuttack city; and the fort is 8 km from the central Cuttack city. In addition, nearest airport is at Bhubaneshwar. Best time to visit the fort is from October to June.