Nagpur is the second capital and the third largest city of the Indian state of Maharashtra after Mumbai and Pune. It is the 13th largest urban agglomeration in India and the largest city in Vidarbha. 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 reorganisation 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.
One of the earlier names of Nagpur was "Fanindrapur". It derives its origin from the 'fana' or hood of a cobra. The river Nag flows through the city.Dr. 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". 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. The city was rated as the best "Indian city to live in".
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.
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.
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 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'.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.