Orange City, as Nagpur is famously called, is the third largest city in the state of Maharashtra. It is also the state’s winter capital. Located at the geographical center of the country, the picturesque city attracts history lovers and nature lovers alike. Human existence in this part of the world dates back to 8th century BC. Nagpur ranks amongst the top greenest cities in India. Its scenic landscape thanks to the parks and wildlife sanctuaries here render magic to the air. Here are the top 10 places to visit in Nagpur.
1. The Seminary Hill
Seminary Hill is the perfect place to begin your tour of Nagpur. Once you reach the peak of the hillock, which is just 6 km away from the city’s north-west, you will be awe-struck by the breathtaking view of Nagpur. The hill is named after St. Charles’s seminary. The Japanese garden at the foothills and the Satpura Botanical garden on the hill attract tourists in great numbers. You would love the trek along the lush greenery enjoying the panoramic view of the surroundings. Walking paths make it easy for you to climb up and hence you are going to enjoy every minute of your journey to the top of the hill.
2. Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary
Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in Satpura Mountain range. It is divided into old Nagzira and new Nagzira and both entertain you with rich wildlife. Safari rides take you to both old and new Nagzira and it is best to book your rides from Pithezari Gate. All gates do offer to book tickets but they are too far away. Some of the animals found here include tiger, leopard, hyena, langur, sambar and wild boars. The sanctuary attracts bird watchers too as there over 160 species of birds here including grey jungle fowl, crested serpent eagle, golden backed woodpecker and grey fish eagle.
History lovers are sure to be pained to see Markanda, a town, now in ruins. Located on Wainganga River banks, the town is believed to have got the name from Sage Markandeya. The site had 24 temples in the past out of which only 18 temples exist and only 4 in good condition. The fact that the temples find mention in the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata, highlight how ancient the temples are and about their historical importance. The paintings and sculptures found in Markanda are amazing.
4. Khindsi Lake
If you would love some action, drive straight to Khindsi Lake. The picturesque lake offers amazing water sport activities. The boating activities here are so wonderful that they find mention in the LIMCA Book of records as India’s biggest boating center. With more than 50 types of boats here, you can choose from pedal boats to houseboats. You can also go rock climbing and trekking in the hill.
5. Sitabuldi Fort
Sitabuldi Fort, which lies on two hillocks, is witness to fiercely fought battles and cruel killings. The fort built by a British officer at the time of war was attacked by Appa Sahib’s forces. The war ultimately ended when the British overpowered Appa Sahib’s army. Following the victory, British converted the structure into a formidable fort. It was here that Nawab Kadar Ali, the grandson of Tipu Sultan was hanged along with eight aides for fighting the British.
6. Ramtek Temple
Ramtek, a small town in Nagpur, attracts Hindu pilgrims in great numbers as it houses an ancient temple of Lord Rama. It is said that this was where Rama halted when he went on exile with his wife and brother. The 27 Brahmanical style temple at the top of the hill attracts everyone who visits the place. Ramtek has yet another historic importance. It was here that poet Kalidasa wrote the famous ‘Meghdoot’.
7. Dragon Palace Buddhist Temple
A visit to Dragon palace Buddhist Temple, which is also called as the ‘Lotus Temple of Nagpur’, would be a great source of inspiration for those who have a keen eye for architecture. Covering a sprawling 10 acre of land, the temple attracts you on your first sight. The temple was built by Mother Noriko Ogawa Society, Japan and inaugurated in 1999. The idol of Buddha in the temple is considered to be carved off a single sandalwood block. The lush gardens and the serene atmosphere elevate your spirits.
8. Maharajbagh Zoo
Maharajbagh Zoo is situated in the city’s center. Built on the gardens of the rulers of the 18th century, the zoo attracts nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. The picturesque garden is a treat to your eyes and the views from here are stunning. The zoo houses rare wild animals that are hardly found in other parts of the country. The botanical garden here is equally impressive. So is the herbal garden that gives you an insight into the curative powers of herbs. With play area for children in the zoo, the place is a perfect holiday destination for families.
9. Japanese Rose Garden
On the foothills of Seminary Hill lies the famous Japanese Rose Garden. The garden is home to rare species of roses. The place is an absolute delight for nature lovers as the garden is full of beautiful roses in various colors, tall trees and an ocean of green bushes everywhere. The iron structures highlight the influence of Japanese architecture. Birdwatchers can have a great time too as the garden attracts a wide range of birds. Japanese Rose Garden is a great place to have a feel of fresh air and enjoy the immense beauty of nature.
Mankind, since the ancient times, has tried to compete with nature to produce wonders. The result, as always is the same; the efforts of man is always spectacular but nature’s works are the best ever. Nagpur, with its picturesque landscape and formidable forts are undeniable proofs of who reigns supreme. I am keen to know about more places here so that I can cover them on my next visit. Guidance is welcome.
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