Nagpur is the geographic centre of India and the winter capital of the state of Maharashtra. It is the largest city in central India and is variously known as ‘Orange City’ and the ‘Tiger Capital of India’.
Nagpur is named after the river that runs through it – the River Nag, so called because of its winding nature. The current city was established in the 18th century.
For a city its size, Nagpur is a political powerhouse. As the winter capital of Maharashtra, it hosts the winter session of the state assembly and carries out various administrative functions. It is also the headquarters for the national Hindu movement, RSS, and is an important centre for the Dalit Buddhist movement.
Nagpur gets its moniker Orange City from its trade in oranges, which are considered among the juiciest in India. It is an important agricultural region, with other crops including cotton, sugarcane and spices.
Nagpur is also known for its elite education institutions and several notable academics from the city. Today, Nagpur is growing as a hub for IT companies in central India.
Recently named the cleanest city in India and the second greenest, Nagpur is a pleasant place for the business and leisure traveller alike. Its beautiful parks, surrounding lakes and lush green forests provide a relaxing and enticing stay.
It is known as the Tiger Capital of India for its access to many of the most important tiger reserves in the country.
When to go:
Nagpur is particularly pleasant from October to March. If you’re visiting in November to January, be sure to bring some light woollens for the cool evenings.
- Climb the small hill to visit Sitabuldi Fort, the site of a battle in 1817 during the Third Anglo-Maratha War. Today it’s home to the Indian Army’s 118th infantry batallion.
- On the south of the same hill, visit the Tekdi Ganapati, a temple to Ganesh originally built by the Bhonsle kings of the Nagpur dynasty 250 years ago. The modern-day structure was completed in 1984.
- Take a trip to Ramtek, 40km northeast of Nagpur, to see the 600-year-old temple on the Hill of Rama. According to legend, this is where Rama spent some time with Sita and Lakshmi in the Ramayana .
- Have a picnic on the Ambarazi Lake, before taking a boat ride. The theme garden, musical fountain, mini-train and dinosaur statue make it a great place to take the kids.
- Watch a cricket match at the world-class cricket stadium, Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground.
- See the Dhamma Chakra Stupa or Diksha Bhumi as it is sometimes known. Made from sandstone, marble and granite, the stupa is a structure of immense beauty as well as an important Buddhist monument. Here, Dr B R Ambedkar initiated thousands of Dalit people to Buddhism in 1956. Thousands of Buddhists visit here every year on the anniversary of that day to offer floral tributes.
- Eat an orange in the Orange City, and judge for yourself whether they’re the best.
- Take the trip 150km south to the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve for a chance to see India’s elusive tigers.