Tuesday 5 January 2016

Orange City, Nagpur, India

Nagpur is a city in the state of Maharashtra, India. The city derived its name from the river Nag flowing through the area. It is also commonly known as "Orange City". Nagpur is famous for its orange with its major orange (Sandra) market just adjoining the railway station there. Presently there is no orange cultivation in the city area. It mainly comes from the suburbs and adjoining Amaravathi District etc. It assumes more importance also because of the headquarters of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) situated there. Another specialty of the city is that it lies exactly at the centre point of India. To indicate this, a pillar is erected at the point known as the Zero Mile Point near the Kasturchand Park (Refer Youtube Photo slide link below). I stayed in the city several times. When I Recently visited the city, I found that the beautiful Japanese Rose Garden at the bottom of the Seminary Hills is in a dilapidated condition and closed to visitors. Only an opening is kept for pedestrians to reach the road towards the SFS College, St. Charles Seminary (from which the hill got its name) and the Forest Department zoo garden at the top of the hill.

Another importance of Nagpur is that, Maharashtra, as in the case of Jammu & Kashmir, have two Capitals and the first Capital is Mumbai and the Second Capital Nagpur. It is also called winter capital. The main reason for two capital is that, earlier Nagpur was the Capital of Madhya Bharat. When states were reorganised on the basis of languages, Nagpur became a part of Mahatrastra. As a result of this change, it was agreed upon that the status of the Capital would be retained even after reorganisation. Therefore, in the month of December, there would be an Assembly Session at Nagpur, though it may be for a short period like a yearly event.

Notable tourist points in the city are:

Dhamma Chakra (Deekshabhoomi – The place where Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar converted to Buddhism), Ambazari Lake and adjoining garden, Futala Lake, Telankhedi Garden, Maharajbagh Zoo, Sitabuldi Fort, Seminary Hill for Forest Park, Sri Balaji Mandir, Lourd Mata Mandir (Grotto), Central Museum, Kasturchand Park, Raman Science Centre, Anthropological Museum, Gandhi Sagar Lake, etc.

Nearby/adjoining Wildlife sanctuaries/tourist points are: Tadoba tiger reserve, Nagzira, Pench tiger reserve, Chikaldhara tiger reserve, Nawegaon Dam, Ramtek, Sewagram, Chandrapur, etc.

How to reach:  
By air: Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport, Nagpur. (about 8 km from city)
By rail &road: Being a centre point of India Nagpur is well connected by rail and road to all places in india.


Friday 1 January 2016

Jakhu Hill and Temple - Simla, India

Jakhu Hill and Temple: It is 2 km from Simla town, at a height of about 8500 ft. The climbing starts from the side of Church at the Mall. There is a health indicator placed at the starting point to calculate the age wise health criteria, depending on the time taken to reach the top. It is the highest peak in Simla and offers a beautiful panorama of the town below and the snow-covered Himalayan ranges and is a delight for the tourists. At the top of the Hill, there is also an old temple (Renovated) of Lord Hanuman, which is also home for the countless monkeys roaming there. Many Pilgrims feed these monkeys as an offering. There is also a 108 ft. statue of Lord Hanuman, a Hindu deity, outside the temple. It is overlooking the trees and visible from all over Simla. It is considered to be the highest statue to stand at this high altitude.

The legend tells us that the place got prominence since the battle of Ramayana. During the battle, Lakshmana, was injured by an arrow. He could not be cured in spite of many physicians. Then somebody told that Lakshmana could only be saved by Mritha Sanjeevani herb grown in some part of Himalayas. Hanuman took the responsibility of bringing this life saving medicine from Himalayas. On the way, Hanuman met a Sage on the Jakhu Mountain and enquired about more details of the place where the herb Mritha Sanjeevani was available. Thenceforth, the place got importance as a holy place for Hindu pilgrims and gradually, a temple was constructed there.

At the bottom, two video scenes I captured from the Jakhu temple complex are given. Both are funny videos. One of a monkey which lifted a shoe of a devotee and ran atop a nearby shed while the security staff was trying to get it back. This reminded me the old children's story of the monkey and the cap seller. In the other video, some monkeys were playing with the articles kept in the children’s park there.

Jakhu Temple
Simla town from Jakhu hill