The oldest city in Orissa and the former capital of the state, Cuttack was founded in the 10th century by Nripati Keshari. The History of Cuttack is a checkered and eventful one. The city has been under various rulers since its foundation and thus boasts of a rich history.
Early History of Cuttack begins with its association with the Keshari dynasty. Eminent historian A. Sterling stated that present-day Cuttack was founded as a military cantonment by King Nripati Keshari of Keshari dynasty in 989 A.D. This statement was based on Madalapanji, a chronicle of Puri's Lord Jagannath Temple. During the illustrious reign of Markata Keshari, he built a stone embankment to protect the new capital from flood in 1002 A.D.
The History of Cuttack also suggests that in 1211 AD, Cuttack became capital of a kingdom founded by Anangabhimadeva of Ganga dynasty. At the end of Ganga rule, Orissa came under the rule of the Gajapati Kings (1435-1541 A.D.) of Solar dynasty. Cuttack continued to be the capital of Orissa even under the Gajapati rulers. It was after the death of Mukunda deva - the last Hindu king of Orissa that Cuttack came under Muslim rule and later under the Mughals.
According to the History of Cuttack India, the town came under the Maratha rule by 1750, and flourished greatly as a business center. It served as a convenient point of contact between the Marathas of Nagpur and the English Merchants of Bengal. It was in 1803 that the British occupied Cuttack and made it the capital of Orissa division in 1816. In 1948 the capital was shifted to Bhubaneswar, But Cuttack continued as the administrative headquarters of Orissa.
Cuttack history also states that the Holy Historical Sikh Shrine 'The Gurdwara Daatan Sahib' in Cuttack marks the place where the first Sikh Guru, Shree Guru Nanak halted on his way to Puri. People believe that a tree planted by Guru Nanak after using it as a Tooth Cleaner (Daatan) still exists, hence the name Daatan Sahib.