With a history of over 300 years, Nagpur has seen development and expansion only in the last couple of decades. The city is divided by the famous railway bridge ‘Lokhandi Pul’ into two halves. The new localities lie in the western part of the city whereas the eastern part is the old city which has witnessed a lot of historical moments over the years. Below are 7 places in Old Nagpur which are significant since good old times –
1. Gandhi Sagar Lake
This is an artificial lake made around 275 years back during the Bhonsle rule over the city as a water reserve for domestic use. However, the water from this lake is no longer used for domestic purposes. The lake is surrounded by a lot of significant places like Raman Science Centre, Empress City Mall (used to be Empress Cloth Mill earlier), Tata Parsi School, Rajwada Palace, Mohan Saoji Restaurant, etc. The lake has two parks namely Needham Park and Island Park surrounding it which are used by Citizen for morning walks and evening strolls. Enthusiasts are seen practicing Yoga and Laughter Therapy in these parks during early hours. The lake is also fondly called Shukrawari Talaw. The scene at the lake is picturesque during Ganesh Visarjan when numerous families come to the lake with teary eyes to bid adieu to Lord Ganesh.
2. RSS Headquarter
Sangh Mukhyalaya is currently considered as the power house of the country. If you pass by this place frequently during the day, you will surely see at least one Cabinet Minister visiting the place. The HQ was open for civilian visits till one morning when there was terrorist attack. Post that, a lot of restrictions have been put for entry in the building. The locality is almost a Military Chhaoni now with armed vehicles patrolling 24x7. The surroundings of the building have a famous Ganesh Temple and Nagpur Vyayamshala.
This is basically a ground where kids play cricket and many other sports. A part of the ground has been converted to a memorial by RSS. The memorial named as Smruti Bhavan is themed after Dr. Hedgewar who was the founder of RSS. The ground is broadcasted on National TV on the festival of Dusshehra when it has the Vijay Sabha organized by RSS. The ground is also used to put up a Mela during Ganesh Festival.
4. Santra Market
If you want to get the best oranges in the city of oranges, this is the place to be. The oranges from here are exported all over the world. Customers can be seen buying dozens and dozens of this fruit in this market. It is just besides the railway station, a very strategic location which lures travelers into buying oranges and increases the business. During other months, this market hosts variety of fruits like Hapus, Apples and Watermelon.
5. Badkas Chowk
This is considered to be the heart of the city. The chowk has seen more political rallies and more leaders than any other in town. Dahi Handi festival during Gokul Ashtami and Shobha Yatra during Ram Navmi are hosted by this very square. The chowk also opens up to Kelibagh Road which is the busiest street market in Nagpur. Other significant places at the square are the famous Ram Bhandar, Durga Mandir and Chitaaroli - where the Ganesh Murtis are prepared.
6. Chitnis Park
This park almost always sees the start of any election campaign in Nagpur. This is the busiest venue in Nagpur wherein the bookings for almost a year are full. The venue hosts all festivals across all religions. Navratri Garba festival always sees celebrities dancing to Sanedo tunes. Moharram Tajiya is hosted in this very park. All the sports gala events take place at Chitnis Park. This is surrounded by New English High School and Ghate Dughdha Mandir.
7. Itwari Streets
The most densely populated area in the city is known as the business hub of Nagpur. The area has whole sale stores for all businesses. It is the busiest area in the town and always faces traffic jams due to the narrow lanes. It is very often compared with Chandni Chowk in Delhi. And it does not sleep at all. Even at 2am, you will get delicious Pav Bhaji, Pulav and Falooda on the streets. The irony here is, Itwari is closed on Sunday (Itwar).
The best part about old Nagpur is that all these places are in a 3-5 KM radius. So make your plans for this Saturday evening to hang out with friends in the old town.
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