Recently Haryana Government decided to rename Gurgaon to Gurugram. According to the official website of the Gurgaon district, the city in ancient times was in fact known by the name ‘Gurugram’. The website also states that the city, which was in existence since Mahabharata got its name from Guru Dronacharya.
But, Gurgaon is not the only city that has been rechristened. Over the last couple of decades, more than 100 cities in India have got a brand new name. While we are aware of most of these names, hardly do we bother to use them in our regular conversations.
You may still come across individuals who don’t like giving up on the name ‘Bombay’. And if you are someone from the south, Chennai is still Madras for you.
In this article, we have come up with a list of 10 such cities whose new names deserve to be at some corner of your mind:
1. Cawnpur To Kanpur
Any guesses on what this city was initially known as? In case you didn’t know, Kanpur is the new name for ‘Cawnpur’. Some say that the name ‘Kanpur’ is derived from ‘Karnapur’ – the town of Karna while others believe that the name is a mere adaptation of the nearby town called ‘Makanpur’.
2. Belgaum To Belagavi
If you said ‘Belgaum’, you hit the bull’s eye. Quite obviously, isn’t it? However, for those who didn’t know, the city of Belgaum is now known as Belagavi – a name that originated from the Sanskrit word ‘Velugrama’ which means a ‘Bamboo Village’.
3. Panjim To Panaji
The capital of Goa which was once known as Panjim is now ‘Panaji’. However, the locals who speak Konkani call it ‘Ponnje’. All of these 3 words are an adaptation of 2 different Sanskrit words ‘Panjani’ and ‘Khali’ (‘a boat’ and a ‘creek’ in English).
4. Simla To Shimla
The name initially didn’t include the alphabet ‘h’, and was therefore known as ‘Simla’. Later after independence it was renamed to what we know of it today. The word Shimla originated from the name Shyamala Devi, the incarnation of Ma Kali.
5. Waltair/Vizag To Visakhapatnam
If you are not quite good at keeping an account of the Indian city names, this one may seem tough. The city most widely called as Vizag was once ‘Waltair’. Quite a fancy name, isn’t it? After Independence, Waltair became ‘Vizagapatnam’, and later in 1987, the city was named ‘Visakhapatnam’. According to some sources, the city is named after the Lord Visakeshwara temple.
6. Jubbulpore To Jabalpur
Prior to 1947, Jabalpur was known as ‘Jubbulpore’. Not too much of a difference when it comes to pronunciation. This popular city in Madhya Pradesh somehow gets its name from the saint ‘Jaabaali’ found in the Ramayana.
7. Mysore To Mysuru
Don’t know what Mysore is presently known as? That’s ok; you don’t have to blame yourself. The city adopted the new name ‘Mysuru’ on 1st November 2014. According to ancient beliefs, it was here that the demon king Mahishuru ruled and was later killed by Goddess Chamundeshwari.
8. Mangalore To Mangaluru
While Bangalore became Bengaluru, Mangalore decided to go with Mangaluru. In case you didn’t know, the city gets its name from the famous Mangaladevi Temple.
9. Kochi To Kozhikode
Heard of this name before? We are talking about the port city, Calicut. Admit it, this one was really tough. ‘Kozhikode’ is a Malayalam name and a combination of 2 different names – ‘Kovil’ (meaning Palace) and Kota (meaning fort). Not many are aware of the fact that the city is also known by several not so popular names such as ‘Qualiqut, Kalifo and Kallikottai.
10. Bombay To Mumbai
Finally, let’s talk about one of our beloved cities – Mumbai, which, like we also know, was known by the name Bombay before 1996. The new name is a combination of 2 Marathi words ‘Mumba Devi’ (a goddess) and ‘Aaye’ which means mother in Marathi.
While some may not be too happy with the name changes, a few believe that ‘changes are crucial’. But, hey! Changing the names isn’t affecting our spirit as Indians. And of course, our cities will always remain as pleasant as they always were.