You're Going to Love Nagpur
Situated roughly at the center of India, Nagpur is a city of exotic temples and enticing aromas - a place where you can enjoy safari excursions, fine food and shop at markets that fizz with energy.
Top 5 Reasons to Visit Nagpur
1. Safari Excursions are Easy to Arrange
On Nagpur's doorstep, you'll find the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve, where you can see tigers, cheetahs, leopards, pangolins and even flying squirrels. Then there's Pench National Park: a beautiful hilly reserve which inspired Kipling's "Jungle Book."
2. Beautiful Temples
Nagpur has some gorgeous religious sights, including the hillside shrine of Tekdi Ganesh and the spectacular Swaminarayan temple, which is illuminated at night.
3. Serene Gardens and Family Fun at the Zoo
The center of Nagpur is a great place to unwind, with the peacefulness of Ambazari Lake, the animal attractions of Maharajbagh zoo and the more energetic appeal of Krazy Castle Aqua Park all there to enjoy.
4. Learn About India's Railway History
Few museums in India are as enjoyable for train fans as the Narrow Gauge Rail Museum, where kids can ride toy trains and adults can see engines and cars dating back to the 1850s.
5. Delicious Cuisine
Nagpur is very much a foodie destination. Enjoy traditional biryanis, breakfasts like Tarri Poha, vegetarian daal cooked over a charcoal fire or world-class samosas from street food stalls.
What to do in Nagpur
1. Nagpur's Green Oasis
Named after the Seminary of St Charles, which remains nearby, Seminary Hill is a hilly park in the northwest of Nagpur, which is both one of the city's beauty spots, and a place to capture memorable views of the city center. On-site, you'll find well-kept Japanese and Botanical Gardens, as well as Futala Lake, which is illuminated at night by a colorful lantern show. When you want to escape the traffic and noise of the center, Seminary Hill is easily the best place to head.
2. The Nerve Center Of Indian Independence
Located around 50 miles south of Nagpur, Sevagram is a must-visit attraction for all history fans. The reason can be summed up in one word: Gandhi. This ashram was selected by the Mahatma as his HQ as he masterminded India's independence movement. Since that goal was achieved in 1947, the site has become a museum to the man himself, with his living quarters and study kept in meticulous condition. There's also a small museum on hand to provide context, giving a vivid picture of one of the 20th century's greatest figures.
3. The Purr-Fect Attraction
Another one of Nagpur's attractions to be found outside the city limits. Nazgira is around 80 miles east of the city, but it's a journey that no visitors will regret. This reserve is a sanctuary for almost all of India's large animals, including exotic species like sloth bears, mouse deer, and wild boars. But, tigers are definitely the star attraction at Nazgira. If you've ever wanted to see these majestic predators in the wild, the guides here will be happy to show you, and their services can be booked from central Nagpur with ease.
4. An Impressive Domed Delight
Opened in 1978, Deekshabhoomi is a sacred site to millions of Indian followers of Dr B.R. Ambedkar - and to Indian Buddhists in general. Its huge appeal lies in the fact that Ambedkar was the foremost dalit (or "untouchable") in the Independence movement, and his embrace of Buddhism was a huge moment for millions of his fellow caste members. The centerpiece of the complex is a pair of bulbous stupa, which can hold 5,000 monks at one time, while the interiors are lavishly decorated with sculptures and shouldn't be missed.
5. A Holy Hindu Highlight
A few miles northeast of Nagpur proper lies Ramtek - one of Maharashtra's major Hindu sacred sites. This temple is dedicated to Lord Rama, and the story goes that Ramtek was where Rama rested during his period of exile. However, the current temple dates back 400 years, and with its soaring spire it makes quite an impression as you approach across the Maharashtra plain. Along with the main temple, there are also around 10 much older structures, including a Jain temple, and all can be explored as you ramble around the village.
When to Visit Nagpur
Generally, the weather in Nagpur is most pleasant between October and February, when temperatures hover around 70°F.
How to Get to Nagpur
Nagpur airport has links to major Indian cities like Mumbai and Delhi. The best route into town from the airport is to take the MSRTC bus. Alternatively, a taxi will cost around RS150.
Trains run from all major Indian cities. Expect to pay around RS700 from Mumbai (12 hours) or about RS500 from Delhi (10 hours).
From Mumbai, take Highway 61 to Nirmal, then Highway 44 straight into Nagpur. AH46 also runs directly from Kolkata.
Nagpur has excellent bus connections with the rest of India (being at the center of the country). Expect buses from Mumbai to cost around RS800-1000.
Where to Stay in Nagpur
Some of the most luxurious accommodation options in Nagpur include the Radisson Blu, Tuli International, Le Méridien Nagpur and the Pride Hotel.
Popular Neighborhoods in Nagpur
Sitabuldi - Overlooked by an early 19th century fort, Sitabuldi is Nagpur's main market. The place to go for vibrant saris and other fabrics.
Dharampeth - Another big shopping area, Dharampeth is known for its cluster of artisan jewelers, who keep up Nagpur's thousand-year-old goldworking traditions.
Ramdaspeth - Just south of the city center, Ramdaspeth is crammed with restaurant options like Khichadiwala and Sankalp, as well as some great hotels.
Where to stay in popular areas of Nagpur
Most booked hotels in Nagpur
How to Get Around Nagpur
Buses in the city are operated by MSRTC and single tickets start at RS6.30 (rising with the distance you need to travel). Autorickshaws are probably more popular among locals, though, and tend to offer lower prices.
Taxis in Nagpur will charge around RS80 for the meter drop, then around RS30 per mile after that.
You can rent a car in Nagpur from companies like U Drive, Krishna and Kumar Travels, and rates can be as low as RS400 per day.
The Cost of Living in Nagpur
Street markets are the place to shop in Nagpur, and popular spots include Sitabuldi, Itwari, Dharampeth and Sadar. Look out for cotton fabrics - a local specialty.
Groceries and Other
Supermarkets in town include Apna Bhandar and Reliance Fresh, where you can expect to pay around RS60 for 12 eggs.
Where to Eat in Nagpur
Nagpur cuisine is up there with any Indian city. Some of the highlights of the local dining scene include Creative Kitchen at the Radisson Hotel, Barbeque, which has a northern Indian slant, Thaat Baat, which caters for vegetarians and Veeraswami, where dosas are a delight. Meals should come to around RS300-400.