How Bhubaneswar’s Master Canteen Square got its name

Bhubaneswar: The Master Canteen Square in Odisha capital is one of the most prominent and busiest junctions of the city, thanks to its proximity to the Bhubaneswar Railway Station.

Denizens of the city often wonder as to how the place got the unique name.

Recalling the series of incidents behind the naming of the junction, historian Anil Dhir said, “It was the year 1949 when Bhubaneswar had just replaced Cuttack as the new capital of Odisha. Contruction of various administrative buildings, including the State Assembly, was undergoing in full swing. Punjab-based Master Construction Company had undertaken the construction work. In view of the emerging employment potential in the new capital city, Baburam Lamba, the owner of the company, had told Hans brothers (five in numbers) to come to Bhubaneswar from Delhi. Later, the siblings created a new locality namely ‘Punjabi Colony’ and settled there.”

“As hundreds of engineers and workers were engaged for construction of the government buildings and residential houses in Unit-I and Unit-II areas, the five brothers had opened a canteen, a thatched one, for them. They named the eatery as ‘Master Canteen’, after the name of the construction company,” said Dhir.

“The Samosas and Rasagolas prepared at the canteen were popular among the customers. As the canteen became popular, people started referring to the place near the railway station as Master Canteen Chhak,” he added.

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