India is the land of exemplary history and culture, which continues to mystify us as we discover new things about the country time and again. Many Indian cities have some unusual facts, which generate great interest among people across the world.
Here are some amazing historical facts about top 10 Indian cities:
The capital city of India has seen the rule of numerous empires, with the earliest proofs of architecture dating back to the Maurya period in 300 BC. The city also occupies a key place in Indian mythology, as it was names as the city of Indraprastha, the Pandava capital, in the period of Mahabharata. The Iron Pillar which lies near Qutab Minar is an exponent of the Gupta dynasty. The city was also the site of invasion by the Greeks and the Muslim rulers.
Like Delhi, the city of Mumbai too has glorious history, which dates back to the earliest settlement of a Marathi community of fishermen called Kolis, who inhabited these islands at the initial stage. Originally known as Bombay, the city was also a center of Maurya Empire in 3rd century BC, which made it a major center of Hinduism and Buddhism. Later, it became an important center of the country’s freedom movement and today, it is the financial and entertainment capital of India.
Kolkata, or Calcutta, which was the capital of British Empire till 1911, is regarded as the major cultural center of the country. The city is believed to have derived its name from that of the Hindu Goddess Kali and is considered as an important city related to the Hindu religion, tradition and culture. Some of the great people who hail from the city are Swami Vivekananda, Subhash Chandra Bose, Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Rabindranath Tagore.
Bangalore, now known as Bengaluru, is the technological hub of India, dates back to 1537, when it was established by Kempe Gowda of Vijayanagara Empire. Later, after the independence of the country, it was still a part of the princely state of Mysore and today it is one of the most advanced cities of the country, where all the IT industries are located.
Hyderabad is another city in India, which has great historic significance. It was initially ruled by the Mauryas under the leadership of Ashoka the Great. The reign of this empire came to an end after the death of Ashoka and the city was taken over by the Satavahanas or Andhra Empire. In 1463, the city was invaded by Sultan Quli, who established the Golconda Sultanate here. The city still bears influence of the diverse cultures and empires it has seen.
Another famed historic city of India is Chennai, which was called Madraspatnam in earlier times and was later known by the name of Madras. It was originally a part of Vijayanagara Empire and later, it became a British settlement which was known as Fort St George.
Lucknow is regarded as one of the most amazing cities of India from the historic point of view as it has seen the rule of various dynasties including the Delhi Sultanate, Mughal Empire, Nawabs of Awadh and finally the East India Company. It was one of the places where the Revolt of 1857 began and the city played a key role in the independence struggle.
Panaji is a city in Goa, which was a Portuguese territory, which was annexed by India along with Goa, after the invasion of 1961. Panaji was once ruled by the Kadamba king called Tribhuvanamalla and was later taken over by the Portuguese and became their administrative seat.
Banaras or Varanasi is considered as one of the oldest city of India and also a major center of Hinduism and Buddhism. It is located on the banks of River Ganges and has a very large number of temples, which make it an important Hindu pilgrimage. The city, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva, also finds mention in the Rig Veda, Atharva Veda and the epic of Mahabharata.
Port Blair was established as a penal colony in Andaman in 1789 by the British East India Company. Later on in 1896-1906, a Cellular Jail was built here for the purpose of solitary confinement of Indian prisoners and was named as Kala Pani. During the World War II, the city was made the headquarters of Azad Hind Army under the leadership of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
All these cities have always been and will continue to be sources of great fascination for people around the world.