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A day in Nagpur

I landed in Nagpur, famously known as the city of oranges, to attend a wedding.  As the function was in the evening, I decided to utilize my time by getting to know the city better. I checked in at Hotel Center Point in Ramdaspeth and booked a cab for my day tour of the city.  My first destination was Kalidas Memorial.

Kalidas Memorial 

Kalidas was a great Indian poet circa 4th Century B.C.  When we hear the name Kalidas, we are inevitably reminded of the famous dramas such as Sakuntala and Malavikaagnimitra. His masterpieces also include the classic poem Meghdoot(cloud messenger)  where he describes the separation of lover from his beloved and asks a floating cloud to pass his message. It is said that Kalidas completed his epic Meghdoot here. Inside the memorial, there are few paintings of his works. The  verses from his epic are inscribed on the walls of this memorial.

Ramtek Fort and Temple

Ramtek is a fine confluence of devotion, mythology and literature.  Apart from the Kalidas Memorial, Ramtek also has a fort and a temple. It is believed that Lord Rama, his wife Sita and his brother Lakshmana who were exiled from the kingdom had halted in Ramtek for a while to take rest.

Zero Mile Marker

Zero Mile Marker came as a pleasant surprise to me and it was indeed the highlight of the trip. Nagpur is precisely at the geographical center point of India. The Zero Mile Stone was erected by the British who used this point to measure the distances.  It is believed to have been constructed in 1907.  The hexagonal column is constructed from sand stone. Each face of the hexagon has distances to various places as mentioned:

Deekshabhoomi

Deekshabhoomi is a sacred monument of Buddhism. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar (who wrote constitution of India) converted to Buddhism at this location on 14th October 1956. Deeksha means act of ordaining and bhoomi means ground.  The term Deekshabhoomi means the place where people got ordained as Buddhist. Photographs are not allowed inside. The stupa is hollow inside and has an image of Buddha placed in the center of the hall. The hall is surrounded by images and clippings of events in the lives of Dr. Ambedkar.

Ganesh Mandir Tekdi

On the advise of our driver, we visited the Ganesh Temple.  The idol of the Ganesh is Swayambhu (self manifested). It is said that Sitaburdi hill was broken down for the construction of the railway station. This idol emerged during the dismantling of the hill. This temple is famous in the area and – as per our guide – the famous cricketer Sachin Tendulkar frequently visited this temple during crucial matches.

Haldiram’s

After a hectic day tour, it was time for me to devour into the famous orange barfis the city is famous for.  I quickly stepped into the famous store Haldiram’s and got few packets of orange barfis.

With a quick detour of the city and my groggy eyes, I went back to my hotel to get ready for the event.

 

Copyright ©2017, Lakshmi Nair . This article may not be reproduced in its entirety without permission. A link to this URL, instead, would be appreciated.

 

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