Barabati Fort, near Cuttack, Odisha - at this 13th century fort, the renovation is not over yet!!

This 13th   Barabati Fort built by the Ganga dynasty in Cuttack, Odisha  is in ruins.  This medieval fort is about 8 km away from the center of  Cuttack city in a delta area  formed by  the river Mahanadi  and its tributaries.  
Barabati fort, Odisha. new indianexpresscom.
It seems it was a well fortified structure that could withstand a  long siege. The  deep moat around  it, the strong walls and the entry  gate  would have given extra security to the people inside the fort.  There is a Hindu temple within the fort dedicated to  Katak Chandi,  supposedly the presiding deity of the city, They are all in a dilapidated state including the 9 story tall palace. Presently, it is close to a modern sports stadium. The state administration has a plan to develop this site  with park, boating facilities, etc - the old Gadakhai - moat into an interesting tourist destination. They already started the renovation work several years ago. But the work has been slow due to lethargy in the release of funds from the allocated amount.  
 Location map Barabati, near Cuttck, Odisha state, world geographic locations in 
The date of construction of Barabati fort,  Madalapanji, is a subject of debate. King Anangabhimadeva III was the builder of this fort. When the king crossed the big river Mahanadi and was at  Barabati, he noticed certain strange incidents which prompted him to have a fort built there.  The village was named Barabati Cuttack and later the ruler shifted the capital from Chaudwar  to this place. . 

Square in plan the fort covers  an   area of 102 acres  surrounded on all sides with a stone paved moat of 10 Mtr. width in northern and western sides and 20 Mtr. width in the eastern and southern sides. Because of passage of time and lack of proper maintenance, except the  entry  gate, the entire fort wall is missing. Since  1915 the fort has been under the control of the Archaeological Survey of India and is already  declared as a protected site by the government. At the center of the fort there was a high mound with a tank in the western side, covering  15/16 acres of area. Now the site is under extensive encroachment.  The 1989 excavation found out the fort was built with Khondolite stone  over an area which was carefully  strengthened  by  filling up  5 meter with sand and lime mixture. Further, the trenching  dug on the eastern side of the structure  brought to light  32 pillars made of literate blocks roughly square but varying in size.  A mosque built by Nawab Murshid Quli Khan, governor of Emperor Aurangzeb in 1719 AD still exists.
The capital city remained unchanged during the Muslim rule  )Mogul, etc) as well as the Maratha rule. In the colonial period  in 1803,  the fort was converted into a  prison for confinement. It was here in 1800  the Raja of Kujanga and later  in 1818 the Raja of Surgaja with his family members were  imprisoned here.   The advent of the Railways - introduction of the Bengal-Nagpur Railways linking  Cuttack with Madras (Chennai) and Calcutta (Kolkata) in 1919 was a boon and Cuttack became the capital of Odisha. 
Barabati Fort, near Cuttack, Odisha gobibo com

1887 image  Barabati Fort, near Cuttack, Odisha,
 The Central Government-funded Integrated Barabati Fort Development Project continues to remain in limbo.  The Central Government under the Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Towns (UIDSSMT) had sanctioned Rs 17.34 crore for the project aimed at developing the fort area into a major tourist center  and in  August 2010 CM Navin Patnaik laid the foundation. The 2018 media reports say no satisfactory  work progress had been made by the state division of ASI that was assigned  to renovate and restore the wall of 2.5-km moat surrounding the 104 acre of fort area with a deadline to complete the work within two years. The work started in 2015 and as of  July 2018, the work had been tardy, major part of the fort was filled with weeds. Construction of a park and a boating facility in the adjacent vacant area by the Cuttack Municipal Corporation  had not yet been taken up by the end of 2018. Several years have gone by since 2010  the work on Gadakhai’ (moat) was  yet to be completed by the ASI.