Nagpur, India

Capital of the “land of oranges”, Nagpur is the focus of government attempts to develop industry in the remote northeastern corner of Maharashtra – most foreign visitors come for business rather than pleasure. In the city itself, the most prominent landmark is the Sitabuldi Fort, standing on a saddle between two low hills above the railway station, though it’s closed to the public.

The best travel tips for visiting Nagpur

North and west of the fort, the pleasantly green Civil Lines district holds some grand Raj-era buildings, dating from the time when this was the capital of the vast Central Provinces region.

The trickle of visitors who pass through Nagpur tend to visit en route to Madhya Pradesh, or the Gandhian ashrams at Sevagram and Paunar, a two-hour journey southwest. The other worthwhile excursion is the ninety-minute bus ride northeast to the hilltop temple complex at Ramtek.

What’s more, Nagpur is regularly recognised as one of the cleanest and greenest cities in India, with initiatives like tree plantation drives and the promotion of eco-friendly practices.

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Kapoor Baoli temple is one of the most ancient of all temples in Ramtek near Nagpur, Maharashtra © Shutterstock

Kapoor Baoli temple is one of the most ancient of all temples in Ramtek near Nagpur, Maharashtra © Shutterstock

Best things to do in Nagpur

From the fine views at Ramtek to the sacred site of Ambala Lake, here are the best things to do in Nagpur.

#1 Visit the whitewashed hilltop temples at Ramtek

The picturesque cluster of whitewashed hilltop temples and shrines at Ramtek, 40 km northeast of Nagpur on the main Jabalpur road (NH-7), is one of those alluring apparitions you spy from afar on long journeys through central India.

According to the Ramayana, this craggy, scrub-strewn outcrop was the spot where Rama, Sita and Lakshmana paused on their way back from Lanka. Although few traces of these ancient times have survived, the site’s old paved pilgrim trails, sacred lake, tumbledown shrines and fine views across the endless plains more than live up to its distant promise.

#2 Head to Ram Mandir to see the memorial for the great Sanskrit poet, Kalidasa

On the fringes of the town a flight of stone steps climbs steeply up the side of Ramtek hill to the Ram Mandir. Built in 1740, the temple stands on the site of a fifth-century structure, of which only three small sandstone shrines remain.

Just beneath the temple complex stands the circular Kalidas Smarak, a modern memorial to the great Sanskrit poet, Kalidasa. The pavilion’s interior walls are decorated with painted panels depicting scenes from his life and works.

#3 Bathe in the sacred waters of Ambala Lake

Another of Ramtek’s sacred sites is Ambala Lake, a holy bathing tank that lies 1.5km along a pilgrims’ trail at the bottom of the gully, enfolded by a spur of parched brown hills. Its main attractions are the temples and ghats clinging to its muddy banks.

More energetic visitors can combine a look with a parikrama, or circular tour of the tank. This takes in the semi-derelict cenotaphs and weed-choked shrines scattered along the more tranquil north and western shore.

#4 Gawp at the huge Deekshabhoomi monument

It's the bulbous 120-sq-ft stupa that first catches the eye when you come across the remarkable Deekshabhoomi monument, the largest in the world.

Something of a major pilgrimage site, though often little known outside of India, this iconic 5,000-people capacity was the work of B. R. Ambedkar, a Hindu-turned-Buddist whose aim in life was to do away with the caste system. Built in 1956, the intricate carvings and meticulous attention to detail showcase the craftsmanship of the artisans involved. A visit here is often a deeply enriching experience and it offers travellers the chance to learn about Ambedkar's teachings and philosophy.


Deekshabhoomi Monument © Shutterstock

#5 Browse the artefacts at Nagpur Central Museum, one of India's oldest museums

A small treasure trove of art, culture, and history, Nagpur Central Museum was established in 1862 by Sir Richard Temple, the city commissioner. It's a bit of a mixed bag with dinosaur fossils, ancient sculptures, ethnographic displays, and artwork, but it's well worth popping in.

Best areas to stay in Nagpur

From the bustling commercial hub of Sitabuldi to the serene residential neighborhood of Dharampeth, Nagpur offers a range of accommodations.


Nagpur's commercial hub is close to the city’s major attractions like Deekshabhoomi and Nagpur Central Museum.


Of Nagpur’s numerous business-traveller-oriented hotels, the best are found in the quiet Sadar district. There is a mix of budget and mid-range accommodations here too.

Wardha Road

Wardha Rd, on the city outskirts, is rapidly developing with higher-end hotels and some budget-friendly guesthouses now popping up here trying to lure in travellers who need the airport.


This residential neighbourhood has a number of upscale hotels.

Browse the best hotels in Nagpur.

Best restaurants and bars

From the bustling markets and diverse food options in Sadar to the trendy restaurants along Wardha Rd, here is where to eat in Nagpur.

There are new restaurants opening up along and around Wardha Rd all the time. They are mainly Indian, though you’ll find bakeries and fast-food joints here as well. There are some great markets in Sadar whose wares are turned into scrummy meals in the area’s laidback restaurants.

There are a number of food stalls located next to Nagpur Civil Court, which all sell sambarwadi, the city’s local fried snack filled with lentils, coriander and various spices.

Aerial view of Ramtek village, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India © Shutterstock

Aerial view of Ramtek village, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India © Shutterstock

How to get around

From buses to the metro system, it is easy to get around Nagpur. Here’s how to do it.

Nagpur has an extensive network of local buses that cover most of the city. They can be crowded during peak hours. Idelally for short hops – and a good way to skip through rush hour traffic – auto-rickshaws are popular with travellers for shorter trips.

Private taxi services and app-based ride-hailing services like Ola and Uber are widely available in the city. Nagpur Metro is a rapid transit system that connects key areas of the city. It currently has two lines: north–south and east–west.

What is the best time to visit Nagpur?

The best time to visit Nagpur is the October–February period, when it is typically hot and dry). Temperatures ramp up from March to May, when it can get uncomfortable, and thunderstorms are not uncommon.

It is also well worth trying to coincide your visit with one of the city’s many festivals such as Marabats and Badgyas (Aug/Sept). Celebrated with particular fervour, effigies personifying evils such as corruption and bribery are taken on a procession and then burned.

The monsoon generally hits in June and lasts till September, with July the wettest month.

Find out more about the best time to visit India.

How many days do you need in Nagpur?

Depending on whether you’ll want to visit Ramtek as well, you’ll only need 2-3 days in Nagpur. That’s enough time to visit Deekshabhoomi, Sitabuldi Fort and Ramtek Fort Temple, with a stop at Futala Lake too. Maharajbagh Zoo is also diverting enough should you so wish, but would only take a few hours to complete.

RoughGuides tip: Planning a trip to India? Perhaps our local experts in India can help you!

How to get here

Geographically at the virtual centre of India, Nagpur is handily placed for connections all across the country though is really a long way from anywhere.

By plane

The airport is around 8 km southwest of the centre. Destinations include Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Pune.

By train

Nagpur’s busy central mainline railway station is a short auto-rickshaw ride from the main hotel district along Central Ave.

By bus

MSRTC buses pull in at the State Bus Stand, 2 km southeast of the railway station.

Find out the best ways to get to India.

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Andy Turner

written by
Andy Turner

updated 04.07.2023

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