Traditional House Cuttack, India

Traditional Dwelling in Cuttack

Danda – (Chakk)

  • According to “Vastu Shastra” every village must contain this sacred place.
  • This place in my village contains “a Trinath Mandir” (the Bramha ,the Vishnu ,the Maheshwar).
  • This place is very significant place where three roads meet together showing three stages of life, the birth, the workplace and the death.

Tulsi Chaura

  • Every house contains a Tulsi chaura, a place meant for performing rituals, festivals and celebrations.

Dand (Aangan)

  • The place is in front of the house where parking, cattle shed (open and closed) are present.
  • This place is very important for children to play.

Cattle Shed

  • The cattle shed contains a pair of bullocks and two cows.
  • This place is also used as store room for food grain, crop like pumpkins, coconuts etc.

Gahira (Agricultural Land)

  • For the people in Orissa cultivation is the most important occupation, large agricultural land is present surrounding the village.
  • Almost all the GAHIRAS have a large play ground which are used by small children to play and cattle to graze.

Pokhori (Pond)

  • A small pond plays an important role in these areas.
  • Every house must contain at least one pond.
  • The ponds are mostly used for fish culture, bathing, washing, clothes, utensils and vegetables etc.

Bari (Backyard)

  • Almost all the important household business are performed like-Harvesting rice, moong etc
    • Drying of rice grain.
    • Drying of fire wood.
    • Place for well, poultry, hay storage and fire wood store.
    • Place for grinding room and sanitation.

Fire Wood Store

  • It is a temporary store for emergency fire wood which are used in rainy season.

Duara (Central Courtyard)

  • It is a very sensible place responding to various climatic conditions.
  • In summers “Courtyard effect” takes place keeping the adjacent rooms cool.
  • In winters people sit in the courtyard in sun.
  • The place has also a good religious appeal –
    • Bada usha
    • Bhumi puja
    • Ghata puja
    • Radha mohan puja
    • Makar sankranti
    • Raja sankranti
      • This place used for cooking, having food , drying of fire wood ,crop etc.

Attu (Inside Roof)

  • These are the horizontal roofs framed with palm tree’s trunk, supported with bamboo and plastered with clay.
  • These roof are helpful for heat resistance and storage.
  • In these areas sloping roof of hay, framed with bamboo are constructed as the place if frequently visited by heavy rain, commonly cyclone.


  • These houses contains traditional doors which are quite strong and beautiful.
  • Long iron nails are hammered into beautifully arranged battens.


  • The house the features like:
    • Danda – The front courtyard (parking)
    • Bari – The back courtyard (crop harvesting)
    • Duara – The central courtyard (courtyard effect, cooking, dining etc)
    • Penda – The verandah surrounding the central courtyard (movement).
    • Tulsi chaura – Place of worship.
    • Khanja– Rooms surrounding the central courtyard in the four corners.
    • Handi sala– Kitchen present in the verandah in the south east direction.
    • Sloping roof
      • For the state like Orissa where there is  heavy rainfall and frequent visit of cyclone the sloping roof of hay framed with bamboo is preferred.
      • Thick walls are preferable as the temperature varies from 21’C –32’C.
  • People in Orissa are very self sufficient so they want their daily consumable requirements to be locally grown or reared in their fields and in their houses like-vegetables, fish, fowl meat, cotton, paddy, pulses and cereals.
  • The village consists of certain groups of people living in a certain lane, like goldsmith’s lane milkman’s lane etc.
  • The building material used is bamboo, trunks of palm tree, hay and earth which are locally available in plenty and cheap.

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