Hawkers selling oranges in any Indian city try to attract passersby by shouting, “Nagpur ke Santre le lo” (Buy Nagpur Oranges). Yes! That’s what Nagpur is famous for and that’s why we call it as the ‘Orange City’. Nagpur farmers produce, sell and export sweet and juicy oranges. I am born and brought up in Nagpur and have never seen it from a tourist’s perspective. Come to think of it, I can say that some of the popular places in Nagpur are MIHAN (SEZ Project), Crazy Castle (amusement park), Fun N Food (Amusement Park), VCA Cricket stadium and shopping areas like Sitaburdi and Sadar Bazar.
Nagpur is definitely not a tourist place where people come to spend their holidays. If you happen to visit Nagpur for personal or professional reasons then here is the ‘to do’ list of things for Nagpur city.
1. Enjoy the sunset at Futala Lake – If you have been to Nagpur and didn’t visit Futala Lake then you have not really seen Nagpur. Futala Lake is a beautiful place to spend the evening with your spouse or friends. The street food stalls on one side and the lake on the other makes this place a must visit every time you go to Nagpur. Feel the cool breeze, relax and watch the beautiful sunset and try delicious street food. Spend a prefect evening at Futala!
2. Visit Shri Swaminarayan Mandir – Shri Swaminarayan Temple at Nagpur is an attempt to replicate the famous Akshardham. The temple architecture, the carvings on pillars and the inlay work on the floor is remarkable. The temple is well maintained, clean and a quiet place. You can buy spiritual products and books in the temple shop. Toddlers can play in the Garden and you can enjoy the food at the stalls. The best time to visit is from 7 pm – 8 pm.
3. Visit Tekadi cha Ganpati (Ganesh Temple) – This Ganesh temple is at a hillock near Nagpur Railway station. It is believed to be 250+ years old and is one of the top attractions of Nagpur city. It attracts 5000+ devotees daily. It is named Tekadi cha Ganpati as it is located up the hill (Hill = Tekadi in Marathi language).
4. Eat Saoji Chicken – Saoji waradi chicken is a traditional food of Nagpur. It is the spiciest chicken curry I have ever tasted. The masala and spices added to the gravy may cause stomach upset the next day but still this dish is worth a try. Jagdish Saoji Bhojnalay (Gandhibagh), Sujal Saoji Restaurant (Bajaj Nagar), Pintu Saoji (Lakadganj), Baba Saoji (Hingna Road) and Tiger Saoji (Jaitala Square) are some of the popular restaurants to try Saoji non-vegetarian dishes.
5. Buy Nagpur Oranges – Nagpur is famous worldwide for its delicious oranges. Buy oranges from the ‘cotton market’ area in Nagpur. You can also visit Orange orchards to learn orange farming.
6. Savour Haldirams sweets – You will find Haldiram sweets and snacks not just in every nook and corner of India but also in countries like UK, USA and Australia. This popular snack manufacturer is based out of Nagpur. Enjoy the fresh sweets and softee ice-cream at Haldiram’s restaurants in Nagpur. Try ‘Orange Burfi’, it is very popular.
7. Visit Deeksha Bhoomi – Deeksha Bhoomi is a sacred Buddhist monument. It is a place where Dr. Ambedkar (writer of Indian constitution) converted to Buddhism. The stupa architecture and the gate resemble the world famous stupa of Sanchi. Deksha Bhoomi is the largest hollow stupa among all the Buddist stupas in the world.
8. Be at the center of India (Zero Miles) – Zero miles is considered to the center of India. The British used this point as a reference to measure all the distances. There is not much to see here except for the four horses and a pillar. But you do get the feeling of standing at the center point of India.
9. Weekend Getaways – Tiger Reserves – Apart from being known as the Orange city of India, Nagpur is also called as a Tiger capital of India. There are 13 Tiger reserves in the Vidharbha region (comprising of Nagpur). Some of the popular tiger reserves are Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve, Nagzira-Navegaon Tiger Reserve, Pench National Park, Bor Tiger Reserve, Umred Karhandla Wildlife Sanctuary and Melghat Tiger Reserve. These parks offer plently of opportunities for close encounters with the wildlife.
Have you already been to Nagpur? Leave your comments here!