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Agra U.P.: The home of Taj Mahal, India’s most famous monument, on the banks of the Yamuna. The Taj Mahal, ‘A tear drop on the face of humanity’. Work began 1632, took 22 years to complete the complex. Agra Fort is famous. An industrial town.

Ajanta (Maharashtra): Famous for the Buddhist caves, which date from 200 BC to AD 650. A World Heritage Site.

Ajmer (Rajasthan): Muslim pilgrim centre. The 12th century Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti’s tomb is here.

Akshardham (Gujarat): Temple in Gandhinagar where a terrorist attack killed 33 people in 2002.

Aligarh (U.P.) An ancient city, formerly known as Koilm with traces of Buddhist temples. Jamia Millia Islamia was found here in 1920. Anglo Oriental College of Aligarh was converted into Aligarh Muslim University.

Allahabad (U.P.): Formerly Prayag. City at the confluence of the Ganges and the Yamuna Anand Bhavan, the shrine to the Nehru Family. Some 20 m, pilgrims gathered here for ‘half Kumbh Mela festival in 1995 – the largest religious crowd.

Amarnath (J & K): Known for the cave temple, visited by devotees of Lord Shiva who begin their yatra from Pahalgam. Elevation 2400 m. It is 150 km from Sri Nagar.

Bangalore (Karnataka): Capital. Founded in 16th c. by Kempa Gowda. Fifth largest Indian city. Asia’s Silicon Valley. The fastest growing Indian city is also known as the Garden City.

Barrakpore (W. Bengal): Mangal Pande fired the first shot here beginning India’s War of Independence. He was hanged here.

Bharatpur (Rajasthan): Founded 1733. Capital of former Indian Princely State. Kaeladeo National Park.

Bharuch (Gujarat): Important port of western India since AD 80.

Bhopal (M.P.): Capital. The second largest Muslim principality of the British empire. Founded in 11th century. Begums of Bhopal were Muslim women rulers of 18th c. The toxic gas leak tragedy, the worst industrial accident, occurred in 1984.

Bhubaneswar (Orissa): Capital. The ‘City of Temples’. Temples date from 7th to 13th centuries which saw a revival of Hinduism. Over 400 temples (out of some 7000 in the past) remain, including the 11th century Lingaraj Temple.

Bijapur (Karnataka): Capital of the Adil Shahi sultans, principal rulers of the Deccan in 16th & 17th c. Its most celebrated building is the tomb of the Muhammad Adil Shah, ‘the Gol Gumbaz’.

Bodh Gaya (Bihar): Village where the Buddha attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree.

Bokaro (Bihar): Steel City. Steel plant, with Soviet aid, completed in the 80s.

Chandranagar (W. Bengal) Settled by the French in 1673. England captured it but again was under the French. Merged with India in 1949.

Chandigarh: Capital of both Punjab and Haryana. India’s first planned city, designed by Le Corbusier.

Chandragiri (A.P.): When the king of Aravidu dynasty of Vijayanagar was overthrown in 1565, their capital was moved to Chandragiri, site of a fort from 1000.

Charminar (A.P.): An important landmark of Hyderabad. 400-year old city of minarets and palaces.

Chauri Chaura (U.P.): A mob attacked a police station and killed 22 policemen here, following which Gandhiji suspended the Civil Disobedience Movement.

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) Capital. India’s fourth largest city. Formerly known as Madras. Big Industrial centre. Sri Parthasarathy Temple (built in 8th century) and Santhome Cathedral (1504) are here. The first English church built in India (1678) is in Chennai.

Cherrapunji (Assam): One of the wettest places on earth, Rain 2621 cm. In 1861. Average 1143 cm in monsoon months.

Chilika Lake (Orissa): The largest brackish water lake in Asia.

Chittagong (Bangladesh): Seaport Country’s chief port.

Darjeeling (India: A former British hill station at the foot of the Himalayas. Mount Everest and Kanchenjunga can be seen Benin 1975.

Dharamsala (Himachal Pradesh): The home of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government-in-exile. Hill station established in mid – 19th century.

Ellora (Maharashtra): Known for the cave temples and architecture that attract tourists in large numbers.

Fort St. George (Tamil Nadu): A factory trading post, completed on St. George’s Day, (April 23, 1640) was the nucleus from which the British empire grew. It was East Indies Company’s principal settlement until 1774. Outside the walls of Fort St. George was George Town.

Gir (Gujarat): Sasan Gir National Park in Saurashtra, the only place where the Asiatic lion can now be found.

Gwalior (M.P.): The capital of many dynasties since A.D. 8th century. Gwalior Fort, Jai Vilas Palace, Tomb of Tansen (the famous singer at Akbar’s court) are important sites.

Horsely Hills (A.P.) The summer resort in Chittoor district. Named after Collector W.D. Horsely.

Jallianwala Bagh (Punjab): Where Gen. R.E. H. Dyer opened fire on an unarmed assembly of people of Amritsar, who were protesting against Rowlatt Act. Number of deaths 379, wounded 1208.

Jhansi (U.P.): Known in association with its queen Rani Lakshmi Bai, who was active in the ‘1857 Mutiny’. Jhansi has a magnificent fort.

Junagadh (Gujarat): One of the three princely states that didn’t accede to Indian Union in 1947. it was annexed to India on Nov 9, 194. It was the capital of Gujarat under the Kshattrapa rulers. Girnar Hill is the Chief attraction.

Kalinga (India): Emperor Asoka who crushed the Kalingan Kingdom at Dhauligiri near Bhubaneshwar (261 B.C.) was shocked by the horrors of war and converted to Buddhism.

Kolhapur (Maharashtra): Commercial centre and pilgrimate site. Yadava dynasty ruled it 10th – 13th c., later occupied by Mughals. Shivaji seized it in 1675. With the Bhonsles until Independence.

Konark (Orissa): Famous for the temple to the Sun God, a great architectural marvel, built by King Narasimhadeva in 13th century.

Kurukshetra (Haryana): Scene of the battle between Kauravas and Pandavas; site of the Revelation of the Bhagagvad Gita; one of the 16 Mahajanapadas or republics of ‘Jambudvipa’.

Kutch, Rann of (Gujarat): Region of salt marsh, scene of an Indo-Pak fighting. 1965.

Ladakh (J & K): Region that accounts for two-thirds of the state. Sparsely populated, it is a high altitude desert. Leh is its main town, and its ancient Buddhist monasteries attract tourists.

Madurai (Tamil Nadu): One of south India’s oldest cities. Sri Meenakshi Temple is here.

Mamallapuram (T. Nadu): A 7th century port city which has rock-cut temples. The site is named after Mamalla (= ‘Great Wrestler’), the title of Pallava king Narasimha Varman I.

Manipur (India): This former Princely State was brought into India in 1826 by the Treaty of Yandabo at the end of the Indo-Burmese War. Statehood in 1972. Manipuri dance is famous.

Mathura (U.P.): Birthplace of Lord Krishna. Situated on the banks of the river Yamuna. Hindu pilgrims consider it a holy spot. Dates back to 600 B.C. Vrindavan is here.

Mizoram (Northeast India): Between Myanmar and Bangladesh, it was known until 1972 as ‘Lushai Hills’, a district of Assam. The Mizo tribal people are thought to have come from NW China in 7th century.

Mumbai (India): India’s largest city and commercial capital. Capital of Maharashtra State, main seaport and Industrial city.

Mysore (Karnataka): State capital. Capital of the Wodeyar rulers, 1399-1947. Modern Mysore is the creation of Tipu Sultan. Amba Vilas Palace is a treasure house of works of art from all parts of the world.

Nagpur (Maharashtra): City of Nag river. Formerly capital of Central Provinces. Dr. Ambedkar and 2 lakh followers embraced Buddhism here.

Nalanda (Bihar) Buddhist University of Nalanda founded 5th c. flourishing (it had 5000 international students) until 1199 when Turks destroyed it. Chinese scholars visited Nalanda in 7th c.

Oudh (U.P.): Former province of British India. Its annexation by Britain (1856) was a cause of the Indian War of Independence in 1857.

Panipat (Punjab): Three battles of Panipat (1526, 1556 & 1761) were important milestones in the history of the Mughal Empire.

Panaji (Goa): Capital at the mouth of the Mandovi river. Portuguese viceroy moved here following epidemics of Old Goa. In 1843 it became the official capital of Portuguese territories in India.

Pondicherry (South India): The former capital of French territories in India. Established by Francois Martin in 1674. Aurobindo Ghose, poet and philosopher, lived here. “The Mother” (Mivra Alfassa) was inspired by him. The Aurobindo Ashram here is an important landmark. Auroville (the City of Dawn) is 8 km. from here.

Pune (Maharashtra): Industrial city. The monsoon capital for the British in the 19th c. National Defence Academy. Osho International Commune and Rajgad Fort are around. It was the capital of Maratha empire in 1750 – 1817. The Aga Khan palace where Gandhiji was imprisoned for two years is to the north of Pune.

Puri (Orissa): A leading pilgrimage centre. Jagannath Temple (12th c.) is a magnificent structure. Its beach is exceptionally beautiful.

Rameswaram (Tamil Nadu): Island, holy place. Lord Rama is believed to have worshipped Siva. Pilgrims to Varanasi are expected to visit Rameswaram next. Dhanushkodi, at the tip of the peninsula is considered particularly holy.

Ramoji Film City (A.P.) One of the best equipped film studios in the world.

Srirangapattana (Karnataka): An island fortress in the Kaveri river. Site of battles between the British and Tipu Sultan. In 1799 Tipu was killed by the British.

Tiruchirappali (Tamil Nadu): Situated at the head of Kaveri delta. Srirangam Temple Complex (area: 63.1 ha., perimeter: 116 km) world’s biggest Hindu temple is here.

Tirupathi (A.P.): Site of Shri Venkateshwara temple. The most popular Hindu pilgrim destination. There are 6000 employees to run the pilgrimage centre, whose income is about Rs.150 cr.

Travancore (Kerala): Former princely state, now part of Kerala. After Independence it merged with Cochin and later Malabar was added to make Kerala.

Udaipur (Rajasthan): Capital of the Princely State of Udaipur (1568). A walled city Lake Pichola is to the west. A palace here was a refuge for Mughal emperor Shah Jahan when he revolted against father Jahangir.

Vaishali (Bihar): It was capital of Licchavi Republic of ancient times. Mahavira’s birthplace.

Varanasi (U.P.): A major pilgrimage centre in India. Formerly Benares. Sarnath, where the Buddha preached first is nearby. Varanasi has 1500 temples.

Vellore (T. Nadu): Important city in 17th – 18th c. Maratha, Muslim and British wars. Fort is notable. One of India’s best hospitals (Christian Medical College) is here. Vellore Mutiny of 1806 was an outbreak against the British by South Indian troops.

Visakhapatnam (A.P.) Largest shipyard in India, second busiest port after Mumbai. Once part of Ashoka’s empire.


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