Of blazing summers and chilly winters, you may think you know all there is to it when it comes to Nagpur. However, this city has been a witness to many exceptional events. Here are 5 lesser-known things about Nagpur that every Nagpur-lover should know-
- Nagpur has a 3000 year old history
While it is absolutely fascinating to read about the Kingdom of Nagpur that existed in the 18th and 19th Century, the first signs of human settlement in Nagpur can be dated back 3,000 years. This has been proven by an ancient human burial site found at Drugdhamna in 2008. The first historical reference to Nagpur was found on a copper plate inscription that is as old as the 10th Century and was unearthed at Devali in Wardha district.
- Nagpur Airport’s ‘Night Air Mail Service’
Nagpur has always had a geographical advantage that has been strategic to many national enterprises. We know how important the Nagpur Railway junction is. But Nagpur has been quite a historical airport as well. Not many are aware that Nagpur airport was commissioned as early as during the First World War in 1917-18. But what truly set the Sonegaon airtstrip apart was the unique ‘Night Air Mail Service’ that ran from January 1949 until October 1973. It was a sight to see four planes land from Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi and Madras at night to exchange their mail at night and return to their home base every morning.
- Nagpur’s previous name was Fanindranagar (also called as Phganindrapur )
Who would have guessed that? Nagpur was known as Fanindranagar or Phganindrapur, the name deriving its origin from the ‘fana’ or hood of a cobra. Interestingly, Nagpur’s first newspaper was named ‘Fanindramani’, standing for the jewel that is supposed to be present over a cobra’s hood.
- RBI’s Nagpur branch holds the biggest chunk of India’s gold deposits
Included in the heritage buildings list, one of the two RBI branches of Nagpur hold a majority of India’s gold deposits. Important as financial reserves, Nagpur was chosen as a location for these crucial deposits (some of them gold from the pre-Independence era) most probably because of its location; Nagpur was the geographical centre of British-controlled India.
- Nagpur’s amazing literacy rate
At 93.13%, Nagpur has the proud distinction of having the best literacy rate among all cities in India with a population greater than 2 million (20 lakh). For a city that prides itself on being an education centre, this fact will certainly make many a Nagpurkar proud.