The Orange City
|Type of Tourism||: City Tourism|
|Area||: 218 sq km|
|Population||: 2,405,421 (As per Indian census- 2001)|
|Altitude||: 310 meters|
|Best Tourist Season||: October to March|
|Telephone Code||: India (0712), International (+91)|
|Pin Code||: 440001|
|Best Tourist Season||: October to March|
|Clothing recommended||: Light cotton in summer, woolen in winter|
|What to buy||: Oranges, Orange products like Marmalade, Jelly, Squash, Orange Burfi, Jaggery, Cotton Clothes, Nagpuri Dhoti, Saris, Handicrafts, Jewellery, Quilts, Blankets, Kolhapuri Chappals, Bidri Ware, Lacquer, etc.|
|Food Specialties||: Spicy Varhadi Cuisine and other Maharashtrian Food Items|
|Local transportation||: Bus, Auto Rickshaw, Taxi|
Nagpur, the ‘Orange City’ of India, the geographical midpoint of the country and the major commercial and political center of the Vidarbha region is a burgeoning metropolis in the state of Maharashtra that also serves as the winter capital of the state. Lately deemed as the cleanest and the second greenest city of the country, Nagpur also happens to be the third largest conurbation of Maharashtra State. Cradled on the Deccan Plateau and dotted with a number of natural and man-made lakes, Nagpur; approximately equidistant from Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and New Delhi serves as India’s principal transport center where all the major highways of the country intersect. Furthermore, also exalted as the seat of the annual winter session of the Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha and the nerve center of the Hindu Nationalist Organization ‘RSS’ and the Dalit Buddhist Movement, Nagpur, the second capital of Maharashtra is renowned for its rich cultural heritage and its illustrious history as well as its eminence as the industrial, educational, commercial and political spindle of the Maratha Region. The term ‘Nagpur’ literally means ‘the city (Pur) or abode of the serpent God ‘Nag’. The official seal of the Nagpur Municipal Corporation depicts a cobra seated in the water of a river. It is said that the city Nagpur receives its name after the River ‘Nag’ that flows through the city in a serpentine trail. Nagpur, studded with several archaic monuments, wide verdant gardens and numerous religious sites is also a culturally alive civic that frequently hosts various handloom & handicrafts exhibitions, tribal dances & folk-art performances and celebrates the fiestas such as Kalidas Mahotsav, Dhamma Chakra Pravartan Din, Ganesh Utsav, etc with unlimited pomp and zest. Moreover, Nagpur; a threshold to several Tiger Reserves of India including Tadoba, Pench, Nagzira and Nawegaon is also acknowledged as the ‘Tiger Capital of India’.
History of Nagpur
The Menhir burial sites and other evidences discovered in Nagpur indicate that the human existence in this part of Vidarbha and the then prevailing megalithic culture are dated back to 8th century BC. The earliest citation of the name ‘Nagpur’ is found in a ‘Tamra Patra’ i.e. a copper plate inscription of a Rastrakuta King ‘Krsna III’ dating 10th century AD which was discovered at Deoli Tehsil of Wardha district. Between 3rd century AD and 13th century AD, Nagpur has changed hands amongst various royal dynasties namely Vakataka, Badami Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas and Yadavas. Yadavas were overpowered by Allauddin Khilji in 1296 AD who was succeeded by the Tughlaq Dynasty in the year 1317. The Mughal Emperors came into power in 17th century AD who appointed the Gond kings of Deogarh-Nagpur as their feudatories to administer the regional jurisdiction.
The recent history of Nagpur asserts that a Gond prince of Deogarh-Nagpur kingdom named ‘Bhakt Buland’ founded Nagpur in early 18th century AD. His successor ‘Chand Sultan’ fortified the entire city and developed it as his capital. After his death, the throne was usurped by an illegitimate son of Bhakt Buland named Wali Shah but with the help of a Maratha leader Raghuji Bhonsle, Chand Sultan’s widow managed to regain the throne. After 1743 AD, Nagpur, including the neighboring territories came under the dominance of Maratha rulers who in the Third Anglo-Maratha War of 1817 faced a defeat against the British Armies. However, till mid 19th century AD Nagpur was governed by Maratha representatives under the British Suzerainty. Finally in 1853 AD subsequent to the demise of a Maratha leader Raghoji III, who had died without leaving an heir, British took the direct control of Nagpur in their hands.
Between 1853 and 1861 AD Nagpur Province was incorporated with the ‘Central Provinces and Berar’ and was made its capital which was directly administered by the British Commissioner under the British central government. Nagpur also contributed significantly in the freedom struggle of India. The Non-Cooperation Movement was launched in the Nagpur session of 1920 and in 1923 the city witnessed a Hindu Muslim communal riot. In 1925 AD K. B. Hedgewar founded the RSS which gradually blossomed and grew prominent all over the country. After the independence of India, in 1950 AD the ‘Central Provinces and Berar’ was converted to the Madhya Pradesh state with Nagpur as its capital, but in 1956 Nagpur was made a part of the Bombay State. Eventually in the year 1960 when the Gujarat and Maharashtra states were formed, Nagpur was allocated to Maharashtra State and declared its second capital. In the year 2002, Nagpur completed 300 years of its naissance when a grand celebration was organized to commemorate the event.