Nagpur City

About Nagpur City (
  • Nagpur
)

Near the present day Vidhan Sabha in Nagpur, there is a statue consisting of four horses and a pillar, marking the former centre of India – the Zero Mile Stone. The “heart” or centre of India though has a history dates back to well before the British era. The city gets its name from the river Nag, which flows through the city, originating at a small village called Lavha. 

The city of Nagpur was probably established in the Vakataka period as is suggested by the finds of the pottery shards and a terracotta figurine of Bhairava found in the city. Present day Nagpur was most probably known as Yashapura during this period. This is mentioned in a Patna museum copper plate inscription of a Vakataka king. ‘Gond killa’ is a habitation mound showing evidence right from the Neolithic phase. Rashtrakuta copper plates found at Deoli (Wardha district) belonging to Krishna III dated 10th century CE mention Nagapura-Nandivardhana Vishaya as its place of issue. Since Nandivardhana (present Nagardhan) was the capital of the Vakatakas, the subsequent dynasties like the Kalachuri, the Nalas etc. too issued grants from this place. It appears from this that Nagpur was associated with Nandivardhana in the Rashtrakuta period.

Nagpur was a major town and stronghold under the Gond royal house of Devagadh (Dist. Chhindwada, M.P.) in the mediaeval era. In the 17th century CE, the Mughals defeated the Gond rulers and took over the region. In the 18th century the Bhonsale rule was established by Raghuji Bhonsale. He belonged to a sub–family of the house of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. The Bhonsales contributed a lot to the enrichment of Nagpur. Their palace (referred to as Mahal after which the locality is named) was a majestic structure. Several Shaiva and Vaishnava temples, stepped wells, and ghats were built during their rule. In 1853, the territory under the rule of the British and after 1857 it was made the head quarters of the Central Provinces and Berar until Independence in 1947.  In 1960 it was made the second capital of the newly formed state of Maharashtra.

Arts and Crafts
The tradition of painting in Nagpur was patronized by the royal house of the Bhonsales as well as common people. Illustrated manuscripts of the Bhagavat, Jnaaneshwari, Shakuntala, Geetaetc and the folk patachitras related to some festivals are available besides murals. The community of artists was called chitaris (painters), and this community has today turned to sculpting.

Textile was once an important industry in Nagpur. Good quality cotton was produced in abundant quantities thanks to a suitable soil and climate. With the introduction of the railways, cotton sales and goods transport flourished. Besides cotton textiles, silk and wool weaving was also practiced in the district. Silk sarees and Pagota, Patka, Dhoti, borders etc were woven with the silk thread.

Cuisine
The traditional cuisine of Nagpur is referred to as Saoji Khana. The community of weavers (Koshtis) are also known as Saoji. They are famous for both their vegetarian and meat dishes. Saoji cuisine is characterized by the use of strong spices, particularly khuskhus (poppy seeds) and dried coconut. Saoji mutton curries are a delicacy typical to Nagpur.

Nagpur is also famous for its oranges, which have some typical qualities have recently begun to attract international attention. Numerous beverages are made out of the oranges and the Orange Burfi is a very famous preparation.

Distance from Mumbai: 841 km

How To Reach

Air
The Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport is one of the busiest airports in India, being well-connected to most Indian cities. It has recently begun international services to the Gulf countries.

Rail
Nagpur Junction is equally well-connected with most major long-distance trains passing through it.

Road
The NH 6 running north-south from Varanasi to Kanyakumari and NH 7 going east-west from Surat to Kolkata both pass through Nagpur. It’s central location means most cities within overnight distance are connected by bus services.

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Top Attractions
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  • nagpur-central-museum_thumb
    Museums, some say, are for those who have a fascination for history. That is true to a certain extent but there also are museums which are delightful for the curiosity they generate and the way in which they offer a window to how people before our times lived. One such place is the Central Museum at Nagpur which is 150 years’ old. And what makes it a perfect tourist draw is the huge and priceless collection of memorabilia it holds.
  • nagzira_thumbnail-1
    Nagzira is on the Eastern part of Maharashtra, which borders Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh. This area of the country comprises some of the last remaining pristine forests of India – other than of course the Western Ghats, North East and widely distributed and unconnected patches. 
     
  • navegaon_thumbnail-2
    Going back in times to around 1300 CE, this area was under the rule of the Gond tribal kings. King Dalpatshah and his visionary queen Durgavati saw the importance of agriculture for supporting the livelihood of the local communities. However, they realised that they couldn’t depend on the erratic rain fall alone for irrigation. They thus started the process of building innumerable water bodies and lakes all around.  What we see today is a Gondia district that can easily be called the lake district of India. All these lakes today are excellent habitats for migratory and resident water birds. Many also support diverse animal life too. In fact the lakes of Gondia district are also the home to a strong population of the elegant saras crane, the largest member of the crane family.
  • tadoba-2
    Tadoba is probably one of India’s finest Tiger Reserves. The success of protection and conservation mechanism has meant the number of Tigers in this reserve have increased close to the optimal holding capacity. This has meant that the herbivore population has been maintained in balance and thus the flora too is able to grow and regenerate continuously. In other words, the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve boasts of a healthy forest. Interestingly, new monitoring technologies available have also shown a steady movement and an exchange of population of animals like the tiger with other neighbouring forests – some even in the neighbouring states. This has meant a genetically healthy population of animals too. 
     
    7:00 AM- 6:00 AM
  • pench-2

    There is no greater thrill than spotting a tiger in its natural surroundings. And this can become a real life experience when you go to the Pench Tiger Reserve which shares its borders with both Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. And the tiger apart, you can also have a wonderful time exploring the other flora and fauna while going on long treks through the woods.

  • Mansar_thumbnail-2

    A town in the Ramtek tehsil of Nagpur district, Mansar is one of the prime archaeological sites in the country, known for many interesting excavations that have resulted in the discovery of various shrines, a palace complex identified as Pravarapura which was the capital of the Vakataka king Pravarasena II and an extensive temple complex. It’s a place that beckons historians, the curious and the tourists in equally large numbers.

  • thumb--ramtek

    Ramtek is a fine confluence of devotion, literature and history. Shri Ram, Seeta maai and Laxman who were living in self-imposed exile in the forest, had halted at Ramtek for a while for rest. Ramtek has an air of devotion. In 'Meghadoota', the great Sanskrit poet Kalidasa's play, the protagonist of the play – the Angel or the Yaksha was living a lonely life away from his dear wife here. The Yaksha invited a cloud as his messenger – a 'meghadoot' – to convey his sad state of mind to his estranged wife. That great epic play is said to have taken place in this Marathi region of Varhad. Kalidasa's 'Meghadoota' occupied a prominent place in Sanskrit literature. The region then witnessed the glorious dynasty of the Vakatakas, the remarkable tenure of Rajamata Prabhavati Gupta, and later, the historic dynasty of Nagpurkar Bhosale. The region of Ramtek, which is around 57 kilometers from Nagpur, the central city of India, is replete with ancient tradition and exploits of bravery. The Ramgiri hill is of just moderate height (113 m) perhaps in its attempt to compete a little with the ranges of the Satpudas. The temple of Shri Ram, Laxman and Seeta which is located on the hill-top is a pride of perch of the entire Vidarbha. 

Things to Do
  • The Maharajbag
  • This is situated on the banks of a canal originating at Futala and joining the main river Nag at Sangam, in Sitabardi. 

  • The Zoo
  • A small but representative zoo, maintained by the Punjabrao KrushiVidyapeeth, Akola’s College of Agriculture, is housed here in the historical building of the Victoria Technical Institute built in 1906. One of the gigantic marble statues of Empress Victoria, displayed in the open air garden collection of the Central Museum Nagpur, originally stood here. 

  • Religious Monuments
  • Nagpur houses numerous religious monuments of all the religions including Islam and Christianity. Buddhism has a great following in this city.

  • The Nagpur University
  • The Nagpur University is located in an old building built in 1926. It is today known as Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University. It was here that Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar converted to Buddhism in 1956. Deekshabhoomi, a monument to Buddhism built at the spot where Dr. Ambedkar converted, is a world renowned monument, and is also the largest stupa in Asia. 

  • Raj Bhavan
  • Nagpur is also one of the four places where the Raj Bhavans (Governor’s residences) are located in Maharashtra. It is the seat of the winter session of the Maharashtra State Assembly (Vidhan Sabha). And of course, the Zero Mile Stone continues to remind one of the British era which mapped its conquests in distances radiating outwards from Nagpur.

Places to Stay
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