City (pop., 2001: 2,052,066), northeastern Maharashtra state, India. It is situated along the Nag River, almost at the geographic centre of India. Founded in the 18th century by a Gond prince, it became the capital of members of the Maratha confederacy. In the 19th century it was under British control. The city's products include textiles, iron goods, pharmaceuticals, transport equipment, cotton, and oranges. It is dominated by the centrally located former British fort. It is an educational and cultural centre.
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Human existence around present day Nagpur city can be traced back 3000 years to 8th century BC. Mehir burial sites at Drugdhamna(near Mhada colony) indicate megalithic culture existed around Nagpur and is still followed in present times. 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 time of Rastrakuta king Krsna III in the Saka year 862 (940 CE). Inscription found at Ramtek show that during the 12th century AD Nagpur and its surrounding regions formed the part of the thickly wooded country called Jhadimandala under Yadavas of Devagiri. However, tradition ascribes the founding of Nagpur to Bakht Buland, a prince of the Gond kingdom of Deogarh in the Chhindwara district. In 1743, the Maratha leader Raghoji Bhonsle of Vidarbha established himself at Nagpur, after conquering the territories of Deogarh, Chanda and Chhattisgarh by 1751. After Raghoji's death in 1755, his son and successor Janoji was forced to acknowledge the effective supremacy of the Maratha Peshwa of Pune in 1769. Regardless, the Nagpur state continued to grow. Janoji's successor Mudhoji I (d. 1788) came to power in 1785 and bought Mandla and the upper Narmada valley from the Peshwa between 1796 and 1798, after which Raghoji II (d. 1816) acquired Hoshangabad, the larger part of Saugor and Damoh. Under Raghoji II, Nagpur covered what is now the east of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, and parts of Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand.
In 1803 Raghoji II joined the Peshwas against the British in the Second Anglo-Maratha War. The British prevailed, and Raghoji was forced to cede Cuttack, Sambalpur, and part of Berar. After Raghoji II's death in 1816, his son Parsaji was deposed and murdered by Mudhoji II. 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 was forced to cede the rest of Berar to the Nizam of Hyderabad, and parts of Saugor and Damoh, Mandla, Betul, Seoni and the Narmada valley to the British after suffering a defeat at Sitabuldi in modern-day Nagpur city. The Sitabuldi fort was the site of a fierce battle between the British and the Bhonsle of Nagpur in 1817. The battle was a turning point as it laid the foundations of the downfall of the Bhonsles 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 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 a heir.
From 1853 to 1861, the Nagpur Province (which consisted of the present Nagpur region, Chhindwara, and Chhatisgarh) 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. Political activity in Nagpur during India's freedom struggle included hosting of two annual sessions of the Indian National Congress. Non-cooperation movement was launched in the Nagpur session of 1920. In 1925,K. B. Hedgewar founded RSS, a Hindu nationalist organization in Nagpur with an idea of creating a Hindu nation.
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. However when the Indian states were reorganized along linguistic lines in 1956, the Nagpur region and Berar were transferred to Bombay state, which in 1960 was split between the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat. At a formal public ceremony on October 14, 1956 in Nagpur B. R. Ambedkar along with his supporters converted to Buddhism starting Dalit Buddhist movement which is still active. In 1994, city witnessed its most violent day in modern times due to Gowari stampede deaths. Also see: Nagpur state
Nagpur city lies on the Deccan plateau of Indian Peninsula. The underlying rock strata is covered with alluvial deposits resulting from the flood plain of the Kanhan River. In some places these give rise to granular sandy soil. However, in low lying areas which are poorly drained, the soil is alluvial clay with poor permeability characteristics. In eastern part of city crystalline metamorphic rocks such as gneiss, schist and granites are found. In the Northern part of the city, yellowish sand stones and clays of the lower Gondwana formations are found.
Nagpur city is dotted with many natural and man made lakes with Ambazari lake being the largest of all. Other natural lakes include Futala lake, Gorewada Lake and Telangkhedi lake. Sonegaon lake along with Gandhisagar lake are man-made lakes creted by cities historical rulers. Nag river, Pilli nadi along with various nallas form the natural drainage pattern for city.
Nagpur is administered by Nagpur Municipal Corporation(NMC) which is democratically elected civic governing body. Nagpur Improvement Trust(NIT) works along with NMC and carries out works like development of civic infrastructure and new urban areas on behalf of NMC. The city is divided in 10 zones which are in turn divided into 136 wards. Each ward is represented by a corporator, majority of whom are elected in local elections.
Winter Session of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly assembles in Vidhan Bhavan during the month of December. In addition, a bench of the Bombay High Court is located in the city.. Nagpur is an important city for the scientific community as it is headquarters of number of national level scientific and governmental establishments like NEERI, Central Institute of Cotton Research (CICR), National Research Centre for Citrus, National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning, the Jawaharlal Nehru National Aluminium Research and Development Centre, Indian Bureau of Mines, India's Intellectual Property Training Institute, the National Academy of Direct Taxes, the Chief Controller of Explosives of the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation, and regional office of the Indian Meteorological Department.
The Nagpur Police is headed by Police Commissioner, who is an IPS officer. The Nagpur Police comes under the state Home Ministry. The city is divided into three police zones each headed by a Deputy Commissioner of Police(DCP). Also there are separate DCPs each for traffic and cyber crime. The Nagpur Fire Brigade department is headed by the Chief Fire Officer, who is assisted by Deputy Chief Fire Officers. Nagpur also has National fire service college.
Nagpur is also an important city for the Indian armed forces. It is headquarter of Maintenance command of Indian Air Force. Indian Army's Ordnance factory and staff college are located on west side of city. Nagpur's suburb Kamptee has cantonment of Regimental center of Indian Army's Brigade made up of National Cadet Corps' Officers' Training School, Institute of Military Law and other establishments. Nagpur's National Civil defense College provides civil defense and disaster management training to pupils from all over India and abroad. Indian Air Force's giant IL-76 transport planes nicknamed "Gajraj" are based in Nagpur.
The food culture in Vidarbha is quite distinct from rest of Maharashtra. Nagpur is famous for its Saoji restaurants. Saoji food is very spicy but not harmful to the body, as the process of cooking has been modified to overcome any health problems.
Prominent 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). The Nagpur central museum (estb 1863) maintains collections are mainly for Vidarbha region. The South Central Cultural Centre also actively sponsors various other cultural events in Nagpur city, such as the Orange City Craft Mela and Folk Dance Festival, which is noted for its numerous folk-dances. City was judged as the cleanest and second greenest in India after Bangalore. The Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground (VCA) in Nagpur is one of the nine test venues in the country. A new stadium of VCA is coming up on Wardha road which boasts a seating capacity of 100,000 people.. INOX Nagpur (area:45,000 square feet) is the first multiplex in city. The present day Maharajbagh zoo was originally a garden developed by the Bhonsle rulers.. Government of Maharashtra has approved a new safari park of international standards besides Gorewada Lake.
Nagpur is known for staying calm during communal conflicts in India. Deekshabhoomi, the largest hollow stupa, is located in Nagpur. It is an important place of dalit buddhist movement. Sri Poddareshwar Ram Mandir and Shri Mahalaxmi Devi temple of Koradi are important Hindu temples. Several important religious events are observed in the city throughout the year. Ram Navami is celebrated in Nagpur with shobha yatra which a massive procession of floats depicting various events from the Ramayana. Like the rest of India, Nagpurkars celebrate major Hindu festivals like Diwali, Holi and Dussera with fervour and enthusiasm. Celebrations lasting for several days are held on Ganesh Chaturthi and Durga Puja festivals in virtually every small locality in the city. There is sizable muslim population in the city, mostly coming from the service-class, working in local factories and government offices. There is a big concentration of Muslim-Bohras in the city who are mostly into hardware business. The famous places of worship for muslim is Jama Masjid-Mominpura, Bohri Jamatkhana-Itwari, Ahbaab Chowk Masjid, Baba Taj Dargah-Tajabad Umred Rd., Masjid-Sadar and Chhaoni. Processions are also held on important festivals of other religions such as Eid e Milad, Guru Nanak Jayanti, Mahavir Jayanti, Durga puja, Ganesh Puja and Moharram. Taj Baba Dargah is a good example of communal harmony and peaceful co-existence in Nagpur city, as people shed their religious, caste, cultural and language barriers to pay their respect to the great Soofi Saint. Every year, Government of Maharashtra organizes a week long Kalidas Festival, a series of music and dance performances, by national level artist. A number of newspapers are published from Nagpur in English, Hindi and Marathi. The Hitavada leads as English newspaper followed by local edition of The Times of India and Lokmat Times. Lokmat, Sakal, Tarun Bharat, Loksatta are some of the Marathi newspapers. Dainik Bhaskar and Nav Bharat are the Hindi dailies. Apart from the All India Radio, which has its own VividBharati service in FM band(107.8 MHz), the city now has private FM channels Radio Mirchi(98.3 MHz), My FM(94.3 MHz), Radio City(91.1 MHz)and S FM(93.5 MHz). Doordarshan TV service is available even terrestially while private satellite TV channels are available through cable operators or via Direct to Home (DTH) service.
Nagpur has been the center of commerce in the Vidarbha region since early days and is an important trading location. However, Nagpur's economic importance had gradually declined relative to Mumbai and Pune after the merging of Vidarbha into the Maharashtra because of a prolonged period of neglect by the state government. Nagpur's economy is now recovering from past slowdown and city has attracted Rupees 5,000 crore in investment in 2004.. During the slowdown, state and central government offices were a major source of employment in the city. Nagpur regional office of Reserve Bank of India was opened on September 10, 1956. The Butibori industrial area is the largest in all of Asia in terms of area. The estate's largest unit is of Indo Rama Synthetics, which manufactures synthetic polyester yarn. Other units in Butibori include the power transmission company KEC, Hyundai Unitech, ACC Nihon Castings Ltd.. Koradi & Khaparkheda are 2 thermal power stations located near Nagpur and operated by MSPGCL.
The Hingna industrial estate located on the western fringes of the city is made up of around 900 small and medium industrial units. The major ones among them are tractor manufacturing plant of Mahindra and Mahindra, casting units of NECO Ltd. (the country's largest casting group), units of International Combustions, Bajaj Auto group, Candico (the SECOND largest confectionery manufacturing plant in India ), Ajanta toothbrushes and Sanvijay Group (largest steel rolling group of companies for long products in Central India). Nagpur is home to ice-cream manufacturer Dinshaws, Indian dry food manufacturer Haldiram's and Ayurvedic product company Vicco.
Currently, Nagpur is witnessing an economic boom as "Multi-modal International Cargo Hub and Airport at Nagpur(MIHAN)" is being developed. MIHAN will be used for handling heavy cargo coming from south east Asia and Middle east Asia. Project will also include Rupees 10,000 crore Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for Information Technology (IT) companies. It is expected that the area around the MIHAN industrial project will become Mihanpur, a self-sufficient city when the project takes off. Mihanpur will metamorphise itself from being a satellite city to become a twin city to Nagpur just like the well known Hyderabad-Secunderabad twins.
Bhosle Dumb and Deaf School, Bharat Muk Vidyalaya and Residential Blind Boys Institution provide education to physically challenged. Matru Sewa Sangh's Nandanwan school is for physically handicapped and mentally retarded children.
Due to its central location in India, the Nagpur Railway Station is an important railway junction and a transit for trains that connect the country lengthwise and breadthwise, especially trains connecting India's four major metropolises (Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, and Kolkota) located in the four corners of the country.
Nagpur is also a major junction for roadways as India's two major national highways (Kanyakumari-Varanasi (NH 7) and Hajira-Kolkata (NH-6)) pass through the city. 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. Auto rickshaws operate in most parts of Nagpur and are the main form of hired transport within the city.
Nagpur's Air Traffic Control (ATC) is the busiest in India, with more than 300 international flights flying over the city every day in 2004. In October 2005, Nagpur's erstwhile Sonegaon Airport was declared an international airport and was renamed Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport. Country's first ever rnational cargo hub, the Multi-modal International Cargo Hub and Airport at Nagpur (MIHAN) is planned on the outskirts of the city.