The various aliases of their cities have always intrigued the Indian population. Almost every city in India has its own identity, its own personality, which gives the city a nickname that its residents, as well as bystanders associate the city with. So continuing now, in part two, are more Indian cities along with their beloved designations.
Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta, is the third largest city in the country along with being the capital of West Bengal. This city is known to produce the most artistic, brilliant and the finest minds in the country. In the 18th and the 19th century, when Kolkata (or rather, Calcutta) was the capital of the country, there was an immense frenzy among the British for architectural growth. Innumerable palaces, monuments, mansions, offices and churches were constructed all around the city. Till date, the buildings of Kolkata remain the finest examples of British Imperial architecture anywhere in the world. Kolkata is a city of culture and theater, art and music, cinema and literature. Simply walking down any street of this city will make you realise that Kolkata is truly the “City of Palaces”.
Jaiselmer, located in the very heart of the Thar desert, has been a major tourist destination for many years. Jaisalmer is named after its first monarch, Maharawal Jaisal Singh, and Jaisalmer literally means “the hill fort of Jaisal”.This city procures the name the “Golden City” because of the fact that the entire city is made of yellow sandstone which gives it a yellow tinge. This, along with the desert sand all around Jaisalmer, gives the city a ‘golden’ hue. This effect is particularly beautiful during dawn and dusk, when the entire city is drenched in golden light.
Hyderabad, the largest city and the capital of the state of Andhra Pradesh, actually means “lion city”. Hyderabad was under the control of the immensely rich Nizams for almost 200 years. Under these Nizams, the pearl and the precious stones industry flourished and prospered till Hyderabad became the centre of this industry in the country. Interestingly, Hyderabad is the city that gave the world the wonderful Kohinoor Diamond. Many of the pearl businessmen in the city can trace their line through hundreds of years to the very first pearl merchants. Even now, despite being out of the limelight for many years, this “City of Pearls” is known to produce very fine quality jewels – especially pearls.
The town of Manchester in England’s claim to fame was NOT the famous football team of the same name (though it certainly is a contributing factor), but rather the enormous, bustling textile trade which started here after the Industrial Revolution. Similarly, Ahemdabad too is the hub of the textile industry in India. The numerous cotton mills, perfect climate for weaving, adequate water, a flat, fertile terrain have all contributed in making this city a booming textile centre. During the freedom struggle, after Gandhiji made Ahemdabad the focal point of Khadi production for the Independence movement, the industry grew further and eventually earned the city the epithet of “Manchester of India”.
Welcome to Mumbai, the city where dreams come true and the abode of the rich, the famous – of everyone who is anyone. Mumbai is India’s largest growing urban territories and also its financial and commercial hub. Also, Mumbai is the home of the Stars, of Bollywood – of the biggest film industry in the world. Almost every small town kid fantasizes of coming to this city and making it big. Mumbai receives every single one of them with a big heart and open arms. And many of these people have achieved their dream – Shahrukh Khan, Ambani, Mittal, Tata, and numerous others. Whether big dreams or small, Mumbai has a place for all – ultimately, it is the “City of Dreams”.
This is but a glimpse in the many, diverse and colourful names of these cities. There are plenty others. So start exploring today, the umpteen names of Indian cities…