Nabadwip: West Bengal. Nabadwip is one of the most important pilgrimage centers for the Hindus. It is the birthplace of Lord Chaitanya, the founder of Vaisnava sect. Nabadwip, which has around 186 temples, is called the ‘Varanasi of Bengal’.
Nagappattinam: Tamil Nadu. Historically Nagappattinam was one of the constituents of Cholamandalam and was known as ‘Cholkula Vallippattinam’. Nagappattinam is mentioned as ‘Padarithitha’ in ancient Buddhist literature. An ancient Burmese historical text of 3rd century BC provides evidence of the existence of a Buddha Vihara built by Ashoka. The Darga of Hazrat Mian at Nagore, Arokkiya Madha Church at Velanganni, Shiva Temple at Sikkal, Vedaranyewarar temple at Vedaranyam (Thirumaraikkadu) and the Vaishnava temple at Mannarkudi are some of the important places in Nagappattinam.
Nagercoil: Tamil Nadu. The place is famous for the Nagercoil Temple dedicated to Nagaraja, the King of Snakes. The Olakkay Aruvi waterfalls, Colachel Port, Lord Muruga Temple, ancient port of Thengapattinam, Udayagiri Fort, St. Xavier Church, Kottar and the church of Manapadu are important places around Nagercoil.
Nagarjunakonda: Andhra Pradesh. Originally known as Sriparvata, it is situated in a valley drowned under the reservoir of the Nagarjunasagar dam across the Krishna River in the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh. The site was once studded with ruins of countless Buddhist relics that were salvaged and the building materials of the monasteries and chaityas were reconstructed atop a hill which forms an island now. Inscriptions from the Buddhist monasteries suggest that Nagarjunakonda must have been the biggest and one of the most important Buddhist settlements in South India and also a great pilgrimage center.
Nagarjuna Sagar: Andhra Pradesh. Nagarjuna Sagar is named after the Buddhist monk, Acharya Nagarjuna. Its dam is considered to be Asia’s biggest. Constructed on the river Krishna, the dam was completed in 1966-67 and reaches a height of 124 meters with 26 crest gates. Nagarjuna Sagar is also the largest man-made lake. It is also a place of immense archeological significance. Excavations have revealed that Nagarjunasagar was a center for the propagation of Buddhist teachings in South India. Saint Nagarjuna had founded the Madhyamika School here. Another major attraction at Nagarjunasagar is the picturesque Ethipothala waterfalls, flowing down from Chandravanka Mountains, located eleven kilometers from the dam.
Naggar: Himachal Pradesh. It was the capital of Kullu for about 1400 Years. There are several interesting temples around Naggar like the Gauri Shanker Temple, the Vishnu Temple and the pagoda shaped shrine of Tripura Sundari. The Roerich Art Gallery is another attraction for the tourists.
Nagore: Tamil Nadu. The place is famous for the Darga of Hazrat Meera Sultan Syed Shahabdul Hameed (better known as Hazrat Mian).
Naina Devi: Himachal Pradesh. Naina Devi is famous for the Naina Devi temple, which is one of the 51 shakti peeths according to the Hindu mythology.
Nainital: Uttaranchal. It is 100-year old hill station that was discovered by an Englishman Baron in 1841. It is known as India’s ‘Lake District’ as it has a large number of lakes like Naini Lake, Chirp Tal, Sat Tal, Bhim Tal and Nauchukiya Tal.
Nalanda: Established in the 5th century B.C., Nalanda, situated near Rajagriha, is recorded as the world’s earliest university. It was described as “The Oxford University of Mahayana Buddhism”. Built by Kumara Gupta I, it offered wide range of subjects like literature, logic, grammar, medicine, philosophy and astronomy. Buddha is believed to have visited Nalanda a number of times. His favourite disciple Sariputra was born here and he died preaching at this place. In the 3rd century B.C., the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka honoured the famous monk with a grand stupa. By 5th century B.C. it acquired the position of a well-established monastery under the Guptas. A long succession of kings from 5th to 12th century extended their royal patronage to ensure the progress and prosperity of the university. During its hey-days Nalanda was a flourishing residential university with over 10,000 students and 1500 teachers. Huen Tsang, the Chinese pilgrim spent three years at Nalanda in the 7th century. Another Chinese pilgrim I-Tsing spent 10 years at this university. The most imposing structure in Nalanda is the Sariputra Stupa which has seen the construction of different periods. Archaeological discoveries have established that metal objects were cast in Nalanda. The Pala School of art is seen at its best at Nalanda and several sculptures belonging to this period have been unearthed in excavations. Lauria Areraj is the 11.5 m high Ashokan column, erected in 249 BC. The polished sandstone pillar has six edicts on it. Lauria Nandangarh is the site of the famous 8.5 m polished sandstone lion pillar erected by Ashoka. The adjoining Nandangarh stupa is believed to house the ashes of the Buddha.
Nanded: Maharashtra. Nanded is a sacred place for the Sikhs. Of the many gurudwaras, the shrine of Guru Govind Singh, known as Sachkhand Gurudwara, is particularly famous.
Narnaul: Haryana. This is a very ancient town, which according to some, dates back to the Mahabharata times. The places of interest in Narnaul include Jal Mahal (built by Shah Quli Khan); Pir Turkman Mosque and Tomb; Ibrahim Khan Sur’s Tomb (who was the grandfather of Sher Shah Suri); Quli Khan’s Tomb; Chor Gumbad; Tripolia Gate (constructed by Shah Quili Khan in 1589); Chatta Rai Bal Mukund Das (a large palace built by Rai Bal Mukund Das, the diwan of Narnaul during Emperor Shah Jahan’s reign); Narnaul Shiva Temple; Madhav Wala Temple; Mirza Ali Jan’s Baoli; Shoba Sarovar and Chotta Barwa Tank.
Nicobar Islands: The Nicobar Islands can be divided in three groups – northern-most group, central group and southern group. Since time immemorial these beautiful Islands have been part of India. Many of the voyagers referred Nicobar Islands as the ‘Land of the Naked’. In Indian term it was called ‘Nakkavar’. An archeological inscription dated 1059 A.D. indicated that Nicobar was part of the kingdom of Tamil Chola King of Tanjore. In 1869, British took possession of the Nicobar Islands from the Danes and they became part of modern India.
Nizamuddin Dargah: New Delhi. Sheikh Nizamuddin Auliya (1238-1335 A.D.) came to Delhi in 1258 A.D. and became a disciple of the celebrated Sufi mystic Sheikh Farid Shakargunj or Baba Farid. The Hazrat died in 1325 A.D. His original tomb, built by Feroz Shah Tughlaq, does not exist anymore and the present structure was built around 1562 A.D. by Faridun Khan. The tombs of the famous Sufi poet Amir Khusro and that of the Mughal princess Jahanara are located adjacent to the dargah. The dargah is popularly called as the “Yaran Chabuttrra” or the ‘platform of friends’.
Omkareshwar: Madhya Pradesh. Omkareshwar is the sacred island, shaped like the holiest of all Hindu symbols ‘OM’. The temple of Shri Omkar Mandhata houses a Jyotirlinga.
Ooty: Tamil Nadu. Ooty (also known as Ootacamund or Udhagamandalam) is described as ‘the Queen of the hill stations of South India’. Situated in the Nilgiris at an altitude of 2240 metres, Ooty is known for its extraordinary scenic beauty. The important places in and around Ooty are Botanical Gardens (whose landscape resembles that of the Kew Gardens of London), Pykara, Ketty Valley View, Glen Morgan, Doddapetta (highest peak in the Nilgiris -2623 m), Kalhatty Water Falls, Wenlock Downs, Elk Hills, Tiger Hill, Wilson Fish Farm, St. Stephen Church, Marlimund Lake, Avalanche and the Snowden Peak. Wellingtion, Kotagiri, Glenmorgan, Coonoor and Lovedale are other beautiful places located outside Ooty.
Orchha: Madhya Pradesh. Orchha is a medieval city which was founded in 16th century by the Bundela Rajput chieftain Rudra Pratap. Some interesting places in Orchha include the Jehangir Mahal built by Raja Bir Singh to commemorate the visit of Emperor Jehangir; Laxminarayan Temple; Sheesh Mahal; Orchha Fort; Raj Mahal, built by Madhukar Shah; Rai Praveen Mahal; Anand Mahal; Chaturbhuj Temple; Ram Raja Mandir; Dinman Hardaul’s Palace and Shahid Smarak (which commemorates the great freedom fighter Chandrashekhar Azad).
Osmania University: Hyderabad, Telangana. Established in 1918 by the late Nizam of Hyderabad, it was the first university in India to impart education in a vernacular language (Urdu).
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