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Nagpur is the second capital and the third largest city of the Indian state of Maharashtra after Mumbai and Pune. It is the 9th largest urban agglomeration in India and the largest city in Vidarbha Region.

Nagpur is the seat of the annual winter session of the Maharashtra state assembly, "Vidhan Sabha". It is a major commercial and political centre of the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. In addition, the city derives political importance from being the headquarters for the Hindu nationalist organisation RSS and an important location for the Dalit Buddhist movement.

According to a survey by ABP News-Ipsos, Nagpur has been identified as the best city in India by topping the liveability, greenery, public transport, and health care indices. Nagpur has the best literacy rate, 93.13%, among cities with more than 20 lakhs population in India. It is famous for the Nagpur Orange and is known as the "Orange City" for being a major trade centre of oranges cultivated in the region.

The city was founded by the Gonds and later became a part of the Maratha Empire under the royal Bhonsale dynasty. The British East India Company took over Nagpur in the 19th century and made it the capital of the Central Provinces and Berar. After the first reorganization of states, the city lost its status as the capital. Following the informal "Nagpur Pact" between political leaders, it was made the second capital of Maharashtra.

Nagpur is also called the "Tiger Capital of India" as it connects many tiger reserves in India to the world. It is among the important cities for the information technology sector in Maharashtra. Nagpur is located in the centre of the country with the Zero Mile marker indicating the geographical centre of India.

Etymology

One of the earlier names of Nagpur was "Fanindrapur". It derives its origin from the 'fana' or hood of a cobra. In fact, Nagpur's first newspaper was named 'Fanindramani', which means a jewel that is believed to be suspended over a cobra's hood. It is this jewel that lights up the darkness, hence the name of the newspaper.

The river Nag flows through the city. B. R. Ambedkar claimed that both the city and the river are named after "Nag people".

The word "pur" means "city" in many Indian languages. During British rule, the name of the city was spelt and pronounced as "Nagpore".

History

In the 18th era, this city was created by leader of Gond tribes named Bhakt Buland (Raja Buland Shah) in the first half of the century.

Human existence around present-day Nagpur can be traced back 3000 years to the 8th century BCE. Mehir burial sites at Drugdhamna (near the Mhada colony) indicate that the megalithic culture existed around Nagpur and is still followed. The first reference to the name "Nagpur" is found in a 10th-century copper-plate inscription discovered at Devali in the neighbouring Wardha district. The inscription is a record of grant of a village situated in the visaya (district) of Nagpura-Nandivardhana during the time of the Rastrakuta king Krsna III in the Saka year 862 (940 CE). Towards the end of the 3rd century, King Vindhyasakti is known to have ruled the Nagpur region. In the 4th century, the Vakataka Dynasty ruled over the Nagpur region and surrounding areas and had good relations with the Gupta Empire. The Vakataka king Prithvisena I moved his capital to Nagardhan (ancient name Nandivardhana), 28 kilometres (17 mi) from Nagpur. After the Vakatakas, the region came under the rule of the Hindu kingdoms of the Badami Chalukyas, the Rashtrakutas, and finally the Yadavas. In 1296, Allauddin Khilji invaded the Yadava Kingdom after capturing Deogiri, after which the Tughlaq Dynasty came to power in 1317. In the 17th century, the Mughal Empire conquered the region. However, regional administration was carried out by the Gond kingdom of Deogarh-Nagpur in the Chhindwara district of the modern-day state of Madhya Pradesh.

Recent history ascribes the founding of Nagpur to Bakht Buland, a prince of the kingdom of Deogarh-Nagpur. The next Raja (king) of Deogarh was Chand Sultan, who resided principally in the country below the hills, fixing his capital at Nagpur, which he turned into a walled town. On Chand Sultan's death in 1739, Wali Shah, an illegitimate son of Bakht Buland, usurped the throne and Chand Sultan's widow invoked the aid of the Maratha leader Raghoji Bhonsale of Berar in the interest of her sons Akbar Shah and Burhan Shah. The usurper was put to death and the rightful heirs placed on the throne. After 1743, a series of Maratha rulers came to power, starting with Raghoji Bhonsale, who conquered the territories of Deogarh, Chanda and Chhattisgarh by 1751.

In 1803 Raghoji II Bhonsale joined the Peshwa against the British in the Second Anglo-Maratha War, but the British prevailed. After Raghoji II's death in 1816, his son Parsaji was deposed and murdered by Mudhoji II Bhonsale. Despite the fact that he had entered into a treaty with the British in the same year, Mudhoji joined the Peshwa in the Third Anglo-Maratha War in 1817 against the British but suffered a defeat at Sitabuldi in present-day Nagpur city. The fierce battle was a turning point as it laid the foundations of the downfall of the Bhonsales and paved the way for the British acquisition of Nagpur city. Mudhoji was deposed after a temporary restoration to the throne, after which the British placed Raghoji III Bhonsale, the grandchild of Raghoji II, on the throne. During the rule of Raghoji III(which lasted till 1840), the region was administered by a British resident. In 1853, the British took control of Nagpur after Raghoji III died without leaving an heir.

Central Provinces and Berar, 1903. Princely states are shown in yellow.

From 1853 to 1861, the Nagpur Province (which consisted of the present Nagpur region, Chhindwara, and Chhattisgarh) became part of the Central Provinces and Berar and came under the administration of a commissioner under the British central government, with Nagpur as its capital. Berar was added in 1903. Tata group started the country's first textile mill at Nagpur, formally known as Central India Spinning and Weaving Company Ltd. The company was popularly known as "Empress Mills" as it was inaugurated on 1 January 1877, the day queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India.

The non-cooperation movement was launched in the Nagpur session of 1920. The city witnessed a Hindu–Muslim riot in 1923 which had profound impact on K. B. Hedgewar, who in 1925 founded the RSS, a Hindu nationalist organisation in Nagpur with an idea of creating a Hindu nation. After the 1927 Nagpur riots RSS gained further popularity in Nagpur and the organisation grew nationwide.

After Indian Independence in 1947, Central Provinces and Berar became a province of India and in 1950 became the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, again with Nagpur as its capital. When the Indian states were reorganised along the linguistic lines in 1956, Nagpur and Berar regions were transferred to Bombay state, which in 1960 was split between the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat. At a formal public ceremony on 14 October 1956 in Nagpur B. R. Ambedkar with his supporters converted to Buddhism starting Dalit Buddhist movement which is still active. In 1994, the city witnessed its most violent day in modern times in form of the Gowari stampede deaths.

Nagpur is a city with great capabilities to grow and prosper in the coming days. It is very important for state and central governments to contribute to the growth, development, and prosperity of Nagpur.

Nagpur completed 300 years of establishment in the year 2002. A big celebration was organised to mark the event.

 Geography

Sonegaon Lake is a man-made dam-lake built by rulers of Nagpur in the mid-18th century

Nagpur is located at the exact centre of the Indian peninsula. The city has a Zero Mile stone locating the geographical centre of India, which was used by the British to measure all distances within the Indian subcontinent.

The city lies on the Deccan plateau of the Indian Peninsula and has a mean altitude of 310.5 meters above sea level. The underlying rock strata are covered with alluvial deposits resulting from the flood plain of the Kanhan River. In some places these give rise to granular sandy soil. In low-lying areas, which are poorly drained, the soil is alluvial clay with poor permeability characteristics. In the eastern part of the city, crystalline metamorphic rocks such as gneiss, schist and granites are found, while in the northern part yellowish sand stones and clays of the lower Gondwana formations are found.

Nagpur city is dotted with natural and artificial lakes. The largest lake is Ambazari Lake. Other natural lakes include Gorewada Lake and Telangkhedi lake. Sonegaon and Gandhisagar Lakes are artificial, created by the city's historical rulers.[citation needed] Nag river, Pilli Nadi, and nallas form the natural drainage pattern for the city.

A view of Gandhisagar Lake at sunset.

Nagpur is known for its greenery and was adjudged the cleanest and second greenest in India after Chandigarh in 2010.

Civic administration

Nagpur is administered by the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), which is a democratically elected civic governing body. Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) works with NMC and carries out the development of the civic infrastructure and new urban areas on its behalf. The city is divided into 10 zones, which are in turn divided into 145 wards. Each ward is represented by a corporator, a majority of whom are elected in local elections.

Localities

Nagpur is the largest city in central India and the third largest in Maharashtra in terms of population as per the 2011 census.

Military

Sitabuldi fort is home to Indian Army's 118th infantry battalion.

Nagpur is an important city for the Indian armed forces. Maintenance Command of Indian Air Force has its current headquarter at Vayusena Nagar in Nagpur. It houses Mi-8 helicopters and the IAF carriers IL-76 and handles the maintenance, repair, and operations of all aircraft, helicopters and other equipment.

The ordnance factory and staff college of ordnance factory Ambajhari and National Academy of Defence Production for Group A officer of ordnance factories are in the western part of the city. The 'raison d'être' for Kamptee, the military cantonment, is still operational. Kamptee Cantonment houses the Officers Training Academy for National Cadets Corps, which is the only one of its kind. It is also the home of one of the oldest and most respected regiments in the Indian Army, the Brigade of the Guards. Guards, located at Kamthi, are the only group in the Indian Army which have won two PVC (Param Veer Chakra), the highest gallantry awarded to soldiers for wartime operations. There are also other important units such as the Institute of Military Law and a well equipped military hospital to care for the health of the soldiers. The Army Postal Service centre is also operational in the cantonment since 1948, to provide training to personnel of Department of Post who volunteer themselves for the Army. Nagpur's National Civil Defense College provides civil defence and disaster management training to pupils from all over India and abroad. Indian Air Force's giant IL-76 transport planes nicknamed "Gajraj" are also based in Nagpur.

Nagpur population

As of the 2011 census, Nagpur municipality had a population of 2,905,421[9] and the urban agglomeration had a population of 3,123,911.[10] The municipality had a sex ratio of 961 females per 1,000 males and 9.9% of the population were under six years old. Effective literacy was 93.13%; male literacy was 96.16% and female literacy was 89.99%.

52.5% of Nagpur's population is in the 15–59 years age category. Around 9.89% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Religion

Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Jainism are four major religions in Nagpur with a following of 66.0%, 20.0%, 11.0% and 1.5% of the population respectively. Other creeds amount to 1.5%.

The Catholic minority is pastorally served by its Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Nagpur with St. Francis de Sales Cathedral in Nagpur.

Religious festivals

Deekshabhoomi, the largest hollow stupa or the largest dome shaped monument and an important place of the Buddhist movement, is located in Nagpur. Every year on the day of Vijayadashami, i.e. Dasehara, followers of Ambedkar visit Deekshabhoomi. 14 April, which is the birthdate of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, is celebrated. The most famous temple in Nagpur is Tekdi Ganesh Mandir, and is said to be one of the Swayambhu ("self-manifested") temples in the city. Sri Poddareshwar Ram Mandir and Shri Mahalaxmi Devi temple of Koradi are important Hindu temples.

Religious events are observed in the city throughout the year. Ram Navami is celebrated in Nagpur with shobha yatra with a procession of floats depicting events from the Ramayana. Processions are also held on important festivals of other religions such as Dhamma Chakra Pravartan Din, Vijayadashami, Eid E Milad, Guru Nanak Jayanti, Mahavir Jayanti, Durga puja, Ganesh Chaturthi and Moharram. Like the rest of India, Nagpurkars celebrate major Hindu festivals like Diwali, Holi and Dussera with enthusiasm.

Diksha Bhoomi.

Celebrations lasting for several days are held on Ganesh Chaturthi and Durga Puja festivals in virtually every small locality in the city.

The city also contains a sizeable Muslim population, and famous places of worship for Muslims include the Jama Masjid-Mominpura and Bohri Jamatkhana-Itwari.

Dargah Baba Tajuddin.

The most famous shrine (dargah) of Hazrat Baba Tajuddin is at TajAbad. Annual Urs is celebrated in great enthusiasm and unity on 26th of Muharram.

The St. Francis De Sales Cathedral is located in Sadar as well as the All Saints Cathedral church. There are many south Indian temples in Nagpur like Sarveshwara Devalayam, where all south Indian festivals are celebrated like Sitarama Kalyanam, Radha Kalyanam Dhanurmasa celebration with Andal Kalyanam, Balaji temple in seminary hills where every year Bramhotsavam to lord Balaji and lord Kartikeya is celebrated here. There are 2 Ayyapa temples, one at Ayyapa Nagar and the other at Harihara Nagar, Raghvendraswami Mutt, Murugananda Swami Temple at Mohan Nagar, Nimishamba Devi temple Subramanyiam devastanam at Sitabuldi and many more such south Indian temples are here in Nagpur as there is quite a good populations of south Indians in Nagpur.

There is a Parsi Zoroastrian Agiary (Dar-e-Meher) in Nagpur, where the Parsi New Year is celebrated by the Parsi community in Nagpur.

Economy

Nagpur is an emerging metropolis. In 2004, it was ranked the fastest-growing city in India in terms of the number of households with an annual income of Rs 1 crore (10 million) or more.[53] Nagpur has been the main centre of commerce in the region of Vidarbha since its early days and is an important trading location. Although, Nagpur's economic importance gradually declined relative to Mumbai and Pune after the merging of Vidarbha into the Maharashtra because of a period of neglect by the state government, the city's economy later recovered.[54] During the slowdown, state and central government offices were a major source of employment.

Sitabuldi Market, one of the busiest commercial areas of Nagpur

Nagpur branch of the Reserve Bank of India

Nagpur's economy has recovered from past slowdowns[55] and the city has attracted Rupees 5,000 crore in investment in 2004.[56] It was ranked the 11th most competitive city in the country by the Institute for Competitiveness in its 2012 report.[57] The city is important for the banking sector as it hosts the regional office of Reserve Bank of India, which was opened on 10 September 1956. The Reserve Bank of India has two branches in Nagpur, one of which houses India's entire gold assets.[58] Sitabuldi market in central Nagpur, known as the heart of the city, is the major commercial market area.

MIHAN

The Multi-modal International Cargo Hub and Airport at Nagpur (MIHAN) is a project for the Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport, Nagpur. It is the biggest economical development project currently underway in India in terms of investments. The project aims to exploit the central location of Nagpur and convert the airport into a major cargo hub with integrated road and rail connectivity. This project consists of two parts:

An international airport to act as a cargo hub and

A Special Economic Zone (SEZ) with residential zone covering an area of 40.25 km² on the southern end of Nagpur.

The government of Maharashtra formed a special purpose entity, Maharashtra Airport Development Company, for the development of MIHAN. The project is financed by Indian banks with a loan of INR 3,000 million along with investment from the state government and Airports Authority of India. With a projected target of serving 14 million passengers and handling 0.87 million tons of cargo, this is one of the largest aviation projects in India. The estimated capital cost of the project is INR 2581 crores (by the year 2035) and it is supposed to generate revenues INR 5280 crores.

One of the buildings of Nagpur IT-Park

TCS, India's largest IT company, is building its campus on a 50-acre area in the MIHAN SEZ. Infosys has commenced its construction work for its Nagpur campus at MIHAN SEZ.[59] Other IT companies such as Wipro Technologies, Tech Mahindra, HCL Technologies, Hexaware Technologies and Zeon Solutions are coming up in the SEZ.[60][61][62][63][64]

TAL Manufacturing Solutions is developing its facility in the SEZ for manufacturing structural components for Boeing's 787 Dreamliner airplane.[65] Global heavyweights like Boeing and Lupin have started work on their units.

Reliance Group has announced an Aerospace Park named Dhirubhai Ambani Aerospace Park (DAAP) which will be undertaken by Reliance Aerostructure Ltd. For the Project The Maharashtra Government has allotted 289 acres in MIHAN SEZ. It would be a smart city which will be developed at a cost of $1 billion to manufacture helicopters for both commercial and military applications.[66][67]The project would be the first integrated facility in aerospace structure, engine design and manufacture, fabrication and platform integration in the country.

MIDC industrial areas

Nagpur and the Vidarbha region have a very prominent power sector as compared to the rest of Maharashtra. The Butibori industrial area is the largest in Asia in terms of area.[68] The estate's largest unit is Indo Rama Synthetics, which manufactures synthetic polyester yarn. Other units in Butibori include the power transmission company Gammon India Limited (T & D), Gammon India Ltd. (Infra), Central Workshop, KEC, Hyundai Unitech, and ACC Nihon Castings Ltd.[69]

Koradi Thermal Power Station and Khaparkheda Thermal Power Station are two major thermal power stations located near Nagpur and operated by MSPGCL. NTPC has a super thermal power plant in Mauda around 40 km from Nagpur whose first plant is commissioned.

The Hingna industrial estate on the western fringes of the city is made up of around 900 small and medium industrial units. The major ones among them are the tractor manufacturing plant of Mahindra and Mahindra, casting units of NECO Ltd. (the country's largest casting group),[70] units of International Combustion, Bajaj Auto group, Candico (the second largest confectionery manufacturing plant in India[71]), Bharat Containers making aluminium aerosol cans, Ajanta toothbrushes and Sanvijay Group (the largest steel rolling group of companies for long products in Central India).[72] Nagpur is home to ice-cream manufacturer Dinshaws, Indian dry food manufacturer Haldiram's, Indian ready-to-cook food manufacturer Actchawa and Ayurvedic products company Vicco and Baidyanath.[73]

CEAT Tyres has announced its plans to invest Rs. 400 crore in a state-of-the-art tyre plant in Butibori, Nagpur. Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, laid the cornerstone for the plant that will be set up in three phases. In the first phase (2014- 2016), Rs. 400 crore will be invested.[74]

Mining

Owing to rich natural resources in the region, mining is a major activity. Several government organizations related to the mining industry are based in Nagpur, including Western Coalfields Limited, one of the eight fully owned subsidiaries of Coal India Limited.

Public attractions

Picture taken at Sitabuldi Area, Nagpur.

BAPS Swaminarayan temple is situated in the east zone of the city. This mandir was built in five years and inaugurated by the blessings of Pramukh Swami Maharaj on 7 October 2013. It has become the most loving place in the eyes of Nagpurians.

Seminary Hill lies at a distance of 6 km west of the old city. The hillock gets its name from the Seminary of St. Charles which is built at its top. The main attraction is its spectacular view of the whole city of Nagpur. The climb up the hillock is an easy task and can even be attempted by people who do not take part in trekking on a regular basis.

Sitabuldi Fort: The specialty of the Sitabuldi Fort is the historical lineage of the place. This fort of Maharashtra was put up as early as 1757, in the pre-independence era. The person who established the fort was British by birth. The year of establishment of this well-reputed fort of Nagpur is the same as the year in which the very crucial battle of Plassey was fought. From the pre-independent era, the Sitabuldi Fort has been one of the major tourist spots of Nagpur. For the protection of the fort, a trough has been created around it. A memorial is located inside the fort, which commemorates the dedication of the soldiers who lost their lives during the war between the British and the Marathas.

Deekshabhoomi: This sculpture is known for its beautiful design and architect. Deekshabhoomi, the biggest "stupa" in Asia, is a sacred monument of Buddhism at the place where B. R. Ambedkar converted to Buddhism along with about 380,000 followers on October 14, 1956. Ambedkar’s conversion to Buddhism is still a guidance for the masses in India. Deekshabhoomi makes Nagpur a location regarded as a pilgrimage centre of Buddhism in India. Thousands of pilgrims visit Deekshabhoomi every year, especially on Ashok Vijaya Dashmi and the 14th of October.

Mahalaxmi Devasthan [5] is a temple constructed more than a hundred years ago, at Badkas Chowk, Mahal Nagpur. Its principal deity is the goddess Mahalaxmi. The temple was granted by Raja Bahadur Janojirao Bhonsle.

Shukrawari Lake is located near Raman Science Centre. The lake, which is said to have existed for more than 275 years, was established as a source of water supply by Chand Sultan, then ruler of Nagpur. He created the water body in the form of streams being diverted to the Nag River, which was connected to the water reservoir and named it as 'Jumma Talab'.

zero mile

Zero Mile at Nagpur is the geographical centre of India

Zero Mile-Stone of India: At the centre of Nagpur city "Zero Mile Stone of India" is located from where the distance of all the cities of India is calculated.

Maharajbagh Zoo: The charm of the Maharaj Baug and Zoo of Nagpur lies in the fact that it has a historical lineage, unlike many other places of its kind in India. It was established by the rulers who used to belong to the Bhonsle dynasty. There is a fascinating garden, which is called the Maharaj Baug. The name of this garden suggests the historical background of the place. It is converted into a botanical garden housing a zoo, containing some rare species of birds and animals. The zoo comes under the Central Zoo Authority of India.

Raman Science Centre was developed to promote a scientific attitude, portray the growth of science and technology and their applications in industry and human welfare, and hold science exhibits. The centre is named after famous Nobel Prize winner Indian physicist Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman.

Futala Lake was built by the Bhosle kings of Nagpur, and is known for its coloured fountains. In the evenings the place is illuminated with halogen lights. The lake is surrounded on three sides by forest and a landscaped Chowpatty on one side.

Ambazari Lake is situated near the western border of Nagpur. One of the 11 lakes in Nagpur, it is the largest. Nag River of Nagpur originates from this lake. Its beauty is complemented by a well-kept Ambazari Garden nearby. Created in 1958, it covers an area of approximately 20 acres (8.1 ha). There is a musical fountain and a replica of a dinosaur, which are of much interest to the children who visit. People can take part in a variety of activities like boating and riding in the toy train. One of the most preferred games of the place is the Swinging Columbus Boat.

Aadasa temple

Khekranala is a renowned tourist spot and home to a beautiful dam, which is positioned at the fringe of the verdant woodlands known as Khapra Range Forest, 54 km from Nagpur.

Balaji Temple: One of the reasons for the popularity of the Balaji Mandir at Nagpur is the picturesque surrounding of this religious place. It is located at the Seminary Hills, one of the most important places of interest in the city of Nagpur. The soothing natural beauty of the place adds to the tranquility of the temple area.

Adasa: This small village is the site of the ancient Ganesh temple, which houses a statue of the deity, believed to have been self-evolved. It is one of the eight Ashta-Vinayaks in Vidarbha.

Paradsinga: This is the place where Vaidehi Sati Anusuya Mata displayed her charisma and spiritual powers. The temple and dharmashala, amidst beautiful landscaping, is worth a visit.

Dragon Palace Temple [6]: This temple, inaugurated in 1999, has received international and national awards for its structural design. Many delegates from Japan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma, United States and the United Kingdom visit the temple, which is considered a landmark of Indo-Japanese friendship. Representatives of 14 countries, and a record number of 5 lacs people, participated in its grand inaugural function. Dragon Palace Temple is visited by 17 million people annually.

Wildlife tourism

Nagpur boasts vast forests and tiger sanctuaries within a radius of a few hundred kilometers. In fact, Nagpur has been declared the "Tiger Capital" of the country.[75] Tiger tourism is witnessing a good growth in the city. Some famous national parks surrounding Nagpur include:

  • Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (Maharashtra)
  • Pench National Park
  • Nagzira-Navegaon Tiger Reserve (Maharashtra)
  • Melghat Tiger Reserve (Maharashtra)
  • Bor Tiger Reserve (Maharashtra)
  • Umred Karhandla Wildlife Sanctuary (Maharashtra)

Cuisine

The Vidharbha region has its own distinctive cuisine known as the Varhadi cuisine or Saoji cuisine. Saoji or Savji cuisine was the main cuisine of the Savji community. This traditional food is famous for its spicy taste. The special spices used in the gravy include black pepper, dry coriander, bay leaves, grey cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and ample use of poppy seeds (khus-khus). Non-vegetarian food especially chicken and mutton are commonly eaten in Saoji joints at Nagpur. There are numerous Savji bhojanalays[76][77] in Nagpur which are so popular in Maharashtra that the renowned Indian chef Sanjeev Kapoor once featured Savji mutton on one of his TV shows and the recipe is listed on his website.[78]

Education

Nagpur is a major education hub in Central India. Nagpur has the best literacy rate, 93.13%, among cities in India with a population of more than 2,500,000. Nagpur has 3 state universities. Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University, founded in 1923 as Nagpur University, is one of the oldest in the country[79] and has more than 600 affiliated colleges.[80] The other two state universities are Maharashtra Animal and Fishery Sciences University and Kavi Kulguru Kalidas Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya.

Sports

Nagpur is the big centre for cricket in Vidarbha because of the Vidarbha Cricket Association.

The Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground (VCA) in Nagpur is one of the nine test venues in the country. A new stadium of VCA called Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium has been built on Wardha road with a seating capacity of 45,000 people at cost of ?75 crore (US$11 million) and was one of the venues for the 2011 Cricket World Cup. Ind vs SA match was played here. Nagpur has one more cricket stadium named as VCA, Civil Lines which also hosted international matches. Thus Nagpur is one of the few cities, having more than one international cricket stadium in India.[83][84][85]

A view at NPL starting ceremony.

Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) is the governing body of the Cricket activities in the Vidarbha region in Maharashtra state of India and the Vidarbha cricket team. It is affiliated to the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

Vidarbha Cricket Association affiliated to the Board of control for cricket in India is the parent body or governing the game of Cricket in Vidarbha, and involved in the conduct of the game from the grass root level to the International level.

The Vidarbha Cricket Association promotes and develops Cricket by conducting various League Tournaments, Tournaments for the age group Under-13, Under-15, Under-17, and Under-19, Under-22 and Under-25 categories besides organising and conducting National Tournaments.

N. K. P. Salve remained President of Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) (1972 - 1980), he later remained president of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) 1982 to 1985.[86]

Nagpur Premier League: LOKMAT NPL (Nagpur Premier League), a football tournament, is held at Nagpur annually and was started in 2010 by Lokmat Group of newspapers. The people in Nagpur city and the region given a great response to Nagpur Premier League with great enthusiasm.

Cultural events

The city contains people from other Indian states as well as people belonging to the world's major faiths, and yet is known for staying calm during communal conflicts in India.[87] Nagpur plays host to cultural events throughout the year. Cultural and literary societies in Nagpur include Vidarbha Sahitya Sangh (for development of Marathi), Vidarbha Rashtrabhasha Prachar Samiti (promotion and spreading Hindi) and Vidarbha Hindi Sahitya Sammelan (for promoting Hindi). Marathi Sahitya Sammelan, the conference on Marathi Literature were held twice in Nagpur city.

The South Central Cultural Centre also sponsors cultural events in Nagpur city, such as the Orange City Craft Mela and Folk Dance Festival, Vidarbha which is noted for its numerous folk-dances. Nagpur is a head office of Aadim Sanvidhan Sanrakshan Samiti(working for the rights of scheduled tribes).[88] Newspapers are published from Nagpur in Marathi, English and Hindi. In addition, the Government of Maharashtra organises a week-long Kalidas Festival, a series of music and dance performances, by national level artists.[89]

The Nagpur Central Museum (est. 1863) maintains collections are mainly for Vidarbha region. Three brothers Ghulam Ali (Kotwal), Mohammad Saaduddin (Subedar) and Mohammad Saladuddin (Minister and Kotwal) from Jhajjar are remembered as great scholars of Urdu and Persian during the reign of Maharaja Senasaheb Subha Chhatrapati Raghuji Bapusaheb Bhonsle III. They founded 'Jhajjar Bagh' at Hansapuri (Now Mominpura). In this location, they built their residence 'Aina-e Mahal', a well and a Masjid (now Masjid Ahle Hadith). 'Jhajjar Bagh' also known as 'Subedar ka Bada' was located where nowadays Mohammad Ali Road at Mominpura, Jamia Masjid, Mohammad Ali Sarai and Furqania Madrasa are located.[90]

The state government has approved a new safari park of international standards besides Gorewada Lake. In 2013 NMC erected the gigantic Namantar Shahid Smarak in memory of Namantar Andolan martyrs.[91]

Health care services

In 2013, ABP News-Ipsos declared Nagpur the country's best city for health care services.[92] The city is home to numerous hospitals, some run by the government and some private. Nagpur is a health hub for Central India & caters to a large geographical area arbitrarily bounded by Delhi in the North, Calcutta in the East, Mumbai-Pune in the West and Hyderabad in the South. People from Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana regularly come to Nagpur for their health needs.[93] Nagpur boasts of super-specialty physicians & surgeons[94] serving its population in both public sector government run hospitals and well equipped private hospitals catering to all strata of society.[95] AIIMS Nagpur is the latest feather in the cap of Nagpur health care services.[96]

Transport

Rail

Main article: Nagpur Railway Station

See also: Howrah-Nagpur-Mumbai line, Bengal Nagpur Railway, Bilaspur–Nagpur section and Nagpur–Bhusawal section

Nagpur Junction Railway Station building

A total of 260 trains stop at Nagpur. These include passenger, express, mail, Duronto, rajdhani, garib rath trains. Of these 65 are daily trains and 26 terminate/originate from Nagpur. Almost 1.5 lakh passengers board/leave Nagpur Railway Station daily.

The city is the Divisional Headquarters for the Central Railway and South East Central Railway Zone of Indian Railways. Nagpur is a city with two divisional headquarters, a rare distinction it shares with Lucknow, which has headquarters for two different divisions in Northern Railway zone and North Eastern Railway zone.

In 2010 Jan aahar opened its outlet in Nagpur Railway station. Jan aahar has only a few of its outlets in India offering light and healthy food at very affordable prices.

Nagpur Metro Rail

See also: Nagpur Metro

The Nagpur Metro Rail project is announced by the state government of Maharashtra for the city with the expenses of 4,400 Cr and 3,800 Cr Rupees for its two phases of 25 km (from Sitabuldi to MIHAN and Butibori via Airport) and 20 km (Sitabuldi to Automotive Square in Kamptee) respectively.[97] Consultants Delhi Metro Railway Corporation (DMRC) will study the alignment and submit a detailed project report.[98]

The site inspection has already begun in March 2012 with the initiatives from NIT. The Rs 10,000-crore project will be executed by a new company called Nagpur Metro Rail Co Ltd (NMRCL) formed under the NIT. NMC, Maharashtra Airport Development Corporation (MADC) — that is currently developing the MIHAN project – MIDC and CIDCO are the other participating organisations. MIHAN vice-chairman UPS Madan will be the chairman of the new company, Nagpur Metro Rail Corporation Limited and NIT chairman Parvin Darade will be its executive director.[99]

Recently, The Nagpur Metro has been approved by Government of Maharashtra and has been given "In Principle" nod by MoUD of Government of India.[100] The Bhoomipujan for Metro rail work has been performed on 21 August 2014. Tenders for major works have been invited and General Consultant will be on-board from December, 2015. Major construction works and barricading will also begin from January, 2016 at the latest.[101]

Road

Nagpur is a major junction for roadways as India's two major national highways, Kanyakumari-Varanasi (National Highway 7 (India)(old numbering)) and Hajira-Kolkata (NH-6), passing through the city.[102] One more highway number 69 connect Nagpur to Obaidullaganj near Bhopal. Nagpur is at the junction of two Asian Highways namely AH43 Agra to Matara, Sri Lanka and AH46 connecting Kharagpur, India to Dhule, India.

The new state highway, Nagpur–Aurangabad–Mumbai express highway, built on the national highway basis is also sanctioned by the state and central government. This highway connects the state capital Mumbai to Nagpur via Aurangabad and significantly reduces the distance travelled by NH 6 and NH 3 between two cities.

Further information: Nagpur–Aurangabad–Mumbai express highway

The new proposed expressway between Nagpur and Mumbai will be 800km and projected to be cost ?30000 crore (US$4.5 billion).[103]

Further information: Mumbai Nagpur Expressway

In 2009, NHAI has announced the extension of existing NH 204 to Nagpur via Kolhapur-Sangli- Solapur-Tuljapur-Latur-Nanded-Yavatmal-Wardha and connect it to the National Highway 7 (India)(old numbering) at Butibori near Nagpur. The entire NH 204 highway has been included in the national highway mega projects for upgradation to 4-lane.

One more national highway NH-26 B Savner-Chhindwara-Narsinghpur has connected with NH 69 at Savner near Nagpur providing another optional connectivity with Northern part of India.

Maharashtra State road transport Corporation (MSRTC) runs cheaper transport service for intercity, interstate, interstate travel. It has two bus stations in Nagpur: Nagpur Bus Sthanak (CBS-1) at Ganeshpeth and MorBhawan (CBS-2) at Jhansi Rani Square, Sitabuldi. It operates 1600 daily services from CBS-1 to long and short distances within state and to places in other surrounding states. It also operates 750 daily services from CBS-2 to short distances within Vidarbha. Its services include semiluxury 2+2 NEEM AARAAM, Parivartan 2+2, Asiad 2+2, and ordinary ST 2+3. Bus services are available for big cities in and around the states like Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur, Raipur, Satna, Rewa, Raipur, Panna, Amravati, Raipur, Jagdalpur, Bilaspur, Mandla, Katni, Pune, Aurangabad, Nashik, Mumbai, Nanded, Akola, Jalgaon, Bhusawal, Rajnandgaon, Latur, Buldhana, Washim, Amravati, Wardha, Yavatmal, Chandrapur, Gadchiroli, Bhandara, Gondia, Parbhani, Hyderabad, Nijamabad, and Adilabad.

Public transport

Nagpur Mahanagar Parivahan Limited (NMPL) is the company formed with elected municipal corporators on board that caters to the city public transport. It has contracted Vansh Nimay Infraprojects (VNIL) to run city buses. It has a fleet of 470 Low-floor StarBuses that serve around 2.5Lakh citizens daily in the urban, suburban, metro areas. Of the total fleet 88 are low floor MiniBuses, and 382 are low floor 50 seater StarBuses as shown in the picture below. 240 buses are acquired under JNNURM and 230 are acquired under purchase-run-transfer basis by VNIL.[104]

Air transport

Main article: Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport

Further information: Multi-modal International Cargo Hub and Airport at Nagpur

Nagpur International Airport has the busiest air traffic control room in India.

Nagpur's Air Traffic Control (ATC) is the busiest in India,[102] with more than 300 flights flying over the city every day in 2004.[105] In October 2005, Nagpur's Sonegaon Airport was declared an international airport and was renamed Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport.[106]

Nagpur is currently witnessing an economic boom as the Multi-modal International Cargo Hub and Airport at Nagpur (MIHAN) is under development. MIHAN will be used for handling heavy cargo coming from south east Asia and the Middle East. The project will include ?10000 crore (US$1.5 billion) Special Economic Zone (SEZ)[107] for Information Technology (IT) companies.

Nagpur is well connected by daily direct flights to Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, Indore, Ahmedabad, Goa, Jaipur, Kochi, Nanded, Aurangabad, Raipur operated by Air India, Jet Airways, JetLite, IndiGo, GoAir, SpiceJet. Air Arabia operates a 4 times a week to and fro flight between Nagpur and Sharjah.

The Nagpur Airport has received Special Achievement Award 2012-2013 from Airports Authority of India. Nagpur became the first airport in India to commission the INDRA system and also hasADS-B system. No other airport in the country had commissioned INDRA yet.[108]

Nagpur airport became the first airport in the country to receive an ISO 27000 certificate. In fact, Nagpur is not only the first in India but also the first in world to be certified for Air navigation service provider (ANSP). There are seven airports in the world which have ISO 27000, but none of them have it for ANSP.[109]

It has been identified as the safest airport for landing aircraft in case of emergencies or during bad weather conditions at other airports.[110] More than 500 aircraft on domestic and international routes such as Europe-South East Asia pass over this region and all have been already informed that in case of emergencies, the pilots should prefer Nagpur airport for further process. Central government has identified Nagpur airport as one of the safe airports for diverted flights and emergency landing. In fact, many flights have used the airport during emergencies. It was because all international and domestic airlines had already been informed by the government to go to Nagpur during emergencies. Availability of excellent fire fighting equipment, air traffic control equipment and latest radar, in addition to being in city with good hospitals and hotels made the airport a good choice during emergencies.[111]

Organisations

State government’s Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) is formed in joint partnerships with equal shares from City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT), Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) and Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC). Singapore Changi Airport have been selected as the consultants for the project.[112] Indian Air Force(IAF) is going to come up with its own Gajraj project alongside MIHAN.

Indian Railways would have new station coming up near MIHAN to connect cargo hub with countries rail network. MADC would later play a larger role in Maharashtra for airports not owned by AAI and IAF. CIDCO has been selected as it had successfully formed the CIDCO city near Mumbai.[113]

As the project progresses, Nagpur will see an influx of migrants adding to city’s population. The existing city bus service would not be able to cope up with this. So a new bus mass transit system would be started with combine efforts from NMC, NIT, MSRTC and MIDC each organisation playing part in it.[114] NMC and NIT are together responsible for civic administration in Greater Nagpur Metropolitan Area and MSRTC along with Indian Railways would be responsible for developing logistic infrastructure.

Places to Visit in Nagpur

There are quite a few Nagpur tourist attractions in the city of Maharashtra. These places are quite popular among the tourists who come to visit this city of India. Some of the major places of interest in the city are the Balaji Mandir, the Ambazari Lake, the Seminary Hill and the Maharaj Baug and Zoo.

Places to See in Nagpur

The Balaji Mandir

Category : Religious

The Balaji Mandir is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Nagpur. The deity worshiped in this temple is Lord Balaji. It is situated on the Seminary Hills.

Ambazari Lake and Garden

Category : Nature

The Ambazari Lake is one of the main tourist attractions in Nagpur. The children in particular find this place very amusing, as it offers a variety of popular games. The lake is the biggest and most beautiful of all the lakes that are located in the city.

The Seminary Hill

Category : Nature

The Seminary Hill stands at a distance of about 6 kms to the west of the Nagpur old city. The tourists throng this hillock to get a spectacular view of the Nagpur city.

Maharajbagh Zoo

Category : Nature

The Maharaj Bagh and Zoo is another important tourist attraction at Nagpur. It was established by the rulers belonging to the Bhonsle dynasty. The Maharaj Baug, which was a garden, has been converted into a botanical garden. The zoo located here pulls the tourists to this place.

Balaji Mandir at Seminary

Category : Religious

This is the temple of one of the most popular of Indian deities Shri Balaji.

Gandhi Baug

Category : Garden

The sprawling garden is named after Mahatma Gandhi.

Hegdewar Smriti Temple

Category : Religious

The magnificent monument is built in memory of Dr. Headgevar, an eminent personality of Nagpur.

Sri Poddareshwar Ram Temple

Category : Religious

Sri Poddareshwar Ram Temple dedicated to the Hindu God Rama, the temple houses exquisite images of Rama, Sita and Laxmana the three principal characters of the Indian epic, the Ramayana.

The Dragon Palace temple

Category : Religious

The Buddhists shrine has a statue of Buddha in meditation.

Tourist Destinations Near Nagpur

Pench National Park

Nearly 65kms away from Nagpur, it is an interesting wild life destination. For the wild life enthusiasts, this is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Nagpur.

Sevagram

In his later years, Mahatma Gandhi made his home here. The Bapu Kutir, Adi Nivas and many other houses in the ashram bear the hallowed memory of Mahatma Gandhi and Kasturba Gandhi.

Ramtek

According to legend, Lord Rama passed this way during his period of exile. There are temples dedicated to Lord Rama and Lakshmana. At the foot of the hill is a charming inland lake Ramsagar. The famous Sanskrit poet Kalidas wrote his epic 'Meghdoota' here.