When we arrived in Nagpur it was the usual hustle and bustle. We used the OLA app to flag a taxi and then we headed off to our hotel. We knew the hotel wasn’t far away as we had booked it central purposely knowing we were only in Nagpur for a short time and wanted to maximise our stay.
When we arrived at the hotel to check in we were told No Foreigners, we tried to explain we had booked and already paid for a room in the hotel and asked if we weren’t welcome to stay then why had they accepted our booking. The manager kept saying he hadn’t accepted the booking, he wasn’t able to let us call the booking agent but was happy to send us to one of their other hotels across town near the airport. I think the discussion reached it’s cresendo when Chris started filming the guy and asking him to repeat that “foreigners” weren’t welcome and he wouldn’t help us. I’m not sure if it was by chance or someone had called him but the area manager arrived at the hotel. I think the issue had been lost in translation, basically the licence the hotel needed in order to welcome overseas visitors had either had an issue or hadn’t been applied for. The area manager offered to cover the cost of all our taxis backwards and forwards throughout our stay and assured us the other hotel was of the same quality.
Once and only once I had finished drinking my masala chai I had been made during the commotion (with added ginger which is a speciality in the south of India), Chris, I, and our luggage was loaded into a waiting taxi and we were taken to the other hotel located near the airport.
The hotel we were taken to although near the airport wasn’t like you would imagine there were still lots of things round and about, it wasn’t totally shut off. It was the best hotel we had visited so far in India. Clean and practical, great sized room and they brought us complimentary fruit as a way of an apology, I never worked out what one piece of fruit was but I ate it anyway. They looked like kiwis but were brown inside, I’d not tasted anything like it before. They also brought a shaving kit so I thought they were maybe suggesting I needed to diet and Chris needed a shave, I do hope it wasn’t the other way round Lol
After a good nights sleep and a hearty breakfast at the hotel I had planned us a full day of exploring in Nagpur. Our first stop was the Japanese garden where Chris heeded the advice of the hotel and did some morning exercise, for those of you that have seen the video you will know what I’m referring to.
I hope the video sits ok in the blog so you can all witness what I had to witness lol.
Following our workout we headed up the hill to a Hindu temple, we used OLA but found in Nagpur that tuk tuks were also available as we weren’t going too far we booked one of them to take us up the hill.
After being welcomed into the temple and given incense to share with the God’s, we were fortunate enough to be given blessed coconut to eat. I’m not quite sure what the reasoning behind it all was but felt humbled to be welcomed and included. One man came up to us and shook Chris’ hand thanking us for visiting his temple.
We walked further up the road to see Futala lake. The sun was beating down and we had finished all the water we brought with us so decided it was time to find lunch.
I had found a place earlier on Trip Advisor in an up and coming part of Nagpur called Pablo’s Art House so we called our tuk tuk driver on OLA and headed back into the city. We had an amazing lunch and a couple of cold ones whilst appreciating the air con in the heat of the day.
Following lunch we booked an OlA and headed for the largest Stupa in India. We headed out of the city and the taxi driver dropped us of in what appeared to be a residential area. I think we had got the wrong place after wandering round for about 15 minutes a guy approached us asking if we were ok. We showed him what we were looking for and he confirmed we had indeed arrived at the wrong end of town. He offered us water which we politely declined but he stayed and chatted with us whilst we waited for our OLA to return. He helped explain to the taxi driver where we wanted to be. After thanking and waving to the locals we were once again on our way. People here were lovely and so helpful, despite arriving in the wrong place I’m so pleased we did it all adds to the experience.
We arrived at the Stupa Deekshabhoomi which was infact the largest stupa in Asia.
After having a look inside and learning some of the history we headed back into the city to buy oranges. Nagpur is know as the city of Oranges and is known for the Nagpur Orange. We had been told there was a market dedicated to the oranges in Nagpur and decided it would be a good way to end our day and get some supplies ready for our 17hr journey to our final stop in Chennai.
After first finding a market that appeared to be dedicated to air conditioning units we found the vegetable market followed by the fruit market. The people here were great all wanting to talk to us and help us. I bought 12 oranges for around 30p and 6 bananas for 20p which I’m sure would keep us going on our journey.
Gasping for a drink we stopped at a shop for coke, and were immediately brought chairs to rest on. As we sat down, Chris pledged to help someone this evening just for the hell of it.
We hadn’t been sat for long when a ramshackled large trolley full of handbags was pushed to a lockup adjacent to where we were sat. The two men struggled to push the huge trolley so Chris jumped up and tried to lift it into the lockup. The bemused men stopped what they were doing and stared. They were simply off-loading a few dozen handbags and a foreigner had jumped up and tried to lift the entire trolley into the lockup. Its no wonder some hotels don’t welcome these wierd ‘foreigners’…
We ambled aimlessly through residential streets where people were relaxing for the evening again people wanted to wave and smile. One lady stopped us and asked in English if we were ok and did we need directions to the train station, she laughed when I told her we were fine and had been shopping for Oranges.
We finished our evening off in a nearby bar with a few cold beers and then headed back to the hotel ready for our long journey tomorrow.