Nagpur is the third largest city in India, after Mumbai and Pune. However, with a whopping literacy rate of 92.38%, Nagpur is placed at a higher place than Mumbai and Pune. The winter capital of Maharashtra, this to-be-smart city became a part of the Maratha empire under the Bhonsle dynasty. There are several titles given to Nagpur by various surveys that include ‘Best city of India’, ‘Cleanest city of the Western zone’ and ‘Tiger capital of the country’. Nagpur is called the tiger capital because it is associated with several tiger preservation programs and has made several connections between Indian tiger reserves to the world. To add to that, Nagpur has a total of 48 tiger reserves which perfectly justifies its title.
Nagpur – The City of Oranges
Apart from all these, Nagpur is more popularly known as the ‘City of Oranges’. This is because Nagpur is bestowed with a tropical dry-wet climate that is ideal for cultivating oranges. It is the major trade center of orange cultivation in India and about 75% of oranges are supplied from here to all over the country. The main varieties are Mandarin orange, sweet orange and acid lime. The Nagpur mandarin is one of the best in the world and is produced in the Satpura hills. Although the city has been known as the Orange city since a long time, it was finally given the official title last year. Apart from its oranges, Nagpur also has great places to visit. The major points of interest are:
Perhaps the most popular tourist attraction in Nagpur, Ambazari lake is the largest of the 11 lakes of the city. Located at the south-western border of the city, Ambazari lake is a visual treat for tourists. The lake got its name owing to the mango trees surrounding it. The Nag river originates from the Ambazari lake which adds to the stunning natural beauty of the place. There is even a pleasing garden alongside the lake known as the Ambazari garden where tourists can rest or walk and spend some quality time. There are several rides, amusement games, boating opportunity and a musical fountain for additional entertainment.
Deekshabhoomi is known to be a pious monument of Buddhism and is regarded as the pilgrimage centre for Buddhism in India. However, the place is more popular for its historical significance as the Father of Indian Constitution, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, converted to Buddhism here. Along with him, about 60,000 of his followers embarked on the path in order to demolish the caste system that was present in Hinduism. It is, thus, a place to ordain as a Buddhist and Deekshabhoomi gets its name from this act of “Deeksha“. The place generally booms from tourists of Japan and Thailand, it being also famous for its brilliant architecture.
Sitabuldi fort is situated in central Nagpur and is a place of great historical significance for being the site of the Battle of Sitabuldi. It was built by Appa Sahib Bhonsle just before the Third Anglo-Maratha War. The fort had been beautifully constructed over two hillocks, namely Chhoti and Badi Tekri. Sitabuldi fort is open to public visits only on 26th January, 1st May and 15th August as the place now lodges the 118th infantry battalion of Indian army. Considered as one of the major tourist attractions of the Orange city, Sitabuldi fort is the perfect place for history geeks. Its timeline ranges from the time of the war to the imprisonment of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi.
Raman science centre:
Established in 1992 and named after Nobel Laureate, Sir C.V. Raman, the Raman science centre is Nagpur’s science and technology hub. It is affiliated to the Nehru science centre of Mumbai and is a part of NCSM. i.e., the National Council of Science Museum. The science centre also has a planetarium which was opened on 5th Jan 1997 for both general visitors and students. To add to that, there are several other activities that can be done inside the Raman Science centre. These include a communication technology based gallery, 3D science shows and other science oriented recreations.
Popularly known as the central zoo of Nagpur, the Maharajbagh zoo has been built on and around the gardens of the previous rulers of the land. During the mid-2000’s, the zoo was filed with charges of lack of animal security and hygiene, and its animals were destined to be moved to a new park. Although many of those animals were moved, the zoo was upgraded with facilities that were lacking which secured the entry of new animals to the place. The Maharajbagh zoo now mainly houses leopards, deer, lion and tigers.
Dragon Palace temple:
Another major Buddhist attraction in Nagpur is the Dragon palace temple situated in the Kamptee district. It is a Buddhist temple famous for its architecture and mesmerizing scenery. The temple mainly signifies and features peace and harmony which is aided by the lush gardens surrounding it. It is also known as the ‘Lotus temple of Nagpur’ and is a must visit of travelers who prefer stunning architectures amidst alluring greenery. The place is great for meditation and is, thus, ideal for anyone in search of peace and serenity.
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