Last time on our quest to find out more about the rich cultural past and present of India, we visited its 4 corners – Kashmir, Kerala, Kolkata, and Mumbai.
This time we are going to continue our journey even further by visiting these top metropolitan cities and finding out the exciting and lesser-known facts about them!
Are you ready?
Learn about the country’s Heart!
The capital of the largest democracy in the world, Delhi or Dilli (as it is locally pronounced) is often known as Dilwaalon ka Sheher (which roughly translates to The City of Hearts). Located right at the heart of the country, this city has seen more history in our culture than any other!
Here are some of the facts that you didn’t know about it:
- The city is home to the Khari Baori market which was established in the 17th century and still holds the record of being the largest spice market in Asia.
- Delhi houses the unique Sulabh International museum which hosts different toilets and sanitation methods from around the world.
- It was earlier bound by 14 different gates, out of which five stands today: The Kashmere Gate, The Ajmeri Gate, The Lahori Gate, The Dilli Gate, and The Turkman Gate.
- The famous Lotus Temple is the only establishment of the Baha’i faith in all of Asia.
- Azadpur market in Delhi is the largest fruit and vegetable market in Asia.
- The Delhi made by Sir Herbert Baker and Edwin Lutyens (which gives it the Lutyens’ Delhi name) stands over 7 older cities: Qila Rai Pithora, Mehrauli, Siri, Tughlaqabad, Firozabad, Shergarh and Shahjahanabad.
- Connaught Place’s Hanuman temple is one of the 5 mentioned in Mahabharata.
- The famous Red Fort in Delhi was originally white. It was later painted red by the British to preserve the limestone.
Rediscover the present IT capital of India – Bengaluru
Revered as India’s Silicon Valley, Bengaluru (erstwhile Bangalore) is the cosmopolitan capital of the Southern state of Karnataka. Here are some amazing facts about this megacity:
- Bengaluru gets its name from Raja Veera Ballala who got lost in a forest and was helped by an old woman who served him boiled beans, thus forming the name Benda Kal Ooru (or the Land of the cooked beans). Over time, this name has become its modern rendition.
- The city is also known as the City of Gardens because of its highly maintained public parks and gardens like Lal Bagh and Cubbon Park.
- Owing to its cosmopolitan nature and young crowd, the city has become the pub capital of the country with over 800 joints.
- PETA has rated Bengaluru as the most Vegan-friendly city in the country!
- It is also home to India’s oldest Radio club – the Bangalore Amateur Radio Club.
- The amazing South Indian dish Rava Idli that is enjoyed throughout the country started in the city.
- The Peninsular Gneiss, a rock formation that is over 3000 million years old is located in Bangalore.
- Bengaluru was the first city in India to receive electricity in 1906.
Find out the lesser-known facts about the Maratha capital
Pune or Poona (until 1978) was the capital of one of the most illustrious empires of India – the Marathas. Now a major cosmopolitan city, this Maharashtran gem has a few of exciting facts hidden within. Here’s a look:
- Pune was named from the word Punya which means the meeting point of two rivers. However, it is also argued that it got its name from the Punyeshwar temple located nearby.
- The NDA located in Khadakwasla near Pune is first defence academy in the world to train all three forces (Army, Navy, and Airforce) together.
- It is home to the first girl’s school in India started by Savitri Bai Phule and Fatima Begum in Bhide-Wada.
- Due to the growing number of quality educational institutions, the city is also called the Oxford of the East.
- The city is also considered home to the birth of the beloved Badminton game which was started by British officers stationed in the city.
- Pune’s Yerwada prison is one of the oldest in the country and has had Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhas Chandra Bose, and Bal Gangadhar Tilak as inhabitants.
- The Film and Television Institute of India located in Pune has copies of all Indian films in its archives. It also boasts of famous alumni among which Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Shabana Azmi, and Rajkumar Rao are also present.
- Tambat Ali in Pune is home to a rich community of coppersmiths who still follow the more detailed and extensive hand-beaten methods compared to the prevalent industrial manufacturing of modern times.
Revisit the Magic of Ahmedabad
Erstwhile capital of Gujarat and the largest city of the Western state, Ahmedabad is one of the most prominent cities of the country. Here’s our look at some the exciting, yet lesser-known-facts about the city!
- Forbes listed Ahmedabad third as one of the fastest-growing cities of the decade in 2010.
- Old Ahmedabad, which is now known as the Historic City of Ahmedabad was made India’s first UNESCO World Heritage City in 2017.
- The city’s area has been inhabited since the 11th century at which point it was known as Ashaval.
- Ahmedabad was named after Ahmed, one of the four saints in the area around the early 15th century. The city was also built by Sultan Ahmed Shah on the banks of the Sabarmati river, next to Karnavati city.
- The Jhulta Minaara of the Sidhi Bashir Mosque in Ahmedabad is famous for its shaking, where one minar vibrates when the other is shaken despite not having any external connection.
- Manek Chowk is a jewellery market by morning and an eating hub by night.
- It is also referred to as the Manchester of India because of its thriving cotton mills.
- The city is also one of the first to experience Indo Saracenic architecture when under Ahmed Shah Hindus fused their craftsmanship with Persian influences.
Now that you know a lot more about these metropolitan cities, you might be able to see them in a different light than before and indulge in their rich history and culture!