Every 1M City in India - Explained! (Part 1)

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Introduction

India has 55 Urban Areas with at least 1 Million people. Some of these everyone knows, like Delhi and Mumbai, but there are also some obscure ones like Siliguri and Saharanpur. Even Indians don't know much about some of these! In this 5-part series, I'll tell you a bit about each of these cities, going by population, so next time you type an Indian city into a quiz, you'll know what you're talking about :D

Delhi

• Population: 31.3 Million

• Local Language: Hindi

• Subdivision: National Capital Territory of Delhi (Union Territory)

You probably know something about Delhi. It's a huge city with many neighborhoods, including New Delhi, where the capital is located. The National Capital Region is even bigger, sprawling into neighboring states like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Rajasthan.

The city is located on the Yamuna river, and there are many monuments you can see like the Red Fort, Jantar Mantar, the Lotus Temple, Purana Qila, and the India Gate, just to name a few.

I could talk a lot about Delhi, but this is to tell you about lesser known cities so let's move on.

India Gate

Mumbai

• Population: 25.6 Million

• Local Language: Marathi

• Subdivision: Maharashtra (State)

This is another famous city. Located on the Arabian Sea, this is India's economic capital, and the capital of Maharashtra, known for many different things, from Bollywood to Beaches. The city is located on Salsette island, narrowly separated from the mainland by Vasai creek.

This island was originally an archipelago, but they were combined into a single island. The most famous monument is probably the Gateway of India. The city has a long history of Maratha, British, and Portuguese control. The name was changed from Bombay to Mumbai in 1995, named after the local goddess Mumbadevi.

Gateway to India on the right

Kolkata

• Population: 17 Million

• Local Language: Bengali

• Subdivision: West Bengal (State)

Kolkata, or Calcutta, is also a historic city. It was the capital of British India at a time, and is known as the Cultural Capital of India.

On the Hooghly river, it is the capital of West Bengal, and home to the Victoria Memorial and Kalighat Temple. There's also the Howrah bridge across the Hooghly river, opened in 1943. For a long time, it was the largest city in India. The Port of Kolkata is also the oldest port in India.

Howrah Bridge

Bengaluru

• Population: 12.7 Million

• Local Language: Kannada

• Subdivision: Karnataka (State)

The Silicon Valley of India, the Garden City, and the largest city in South India. Bangalore isn't really known for a particular monument, but it is a cool city. Fun fact, it's also the highest major city in India, on the Deccan Plateau. Bengaluru is mainly known as the capital of Karnataka, and India's technology hub.

The Someshwara Temple 

Chennai

• Population: 11.6 Million

• Local Language: Tamil

• Subdivision: Tamil Nadu (State)

Also known as Madras, this is another South Indian city, on the Bay of Bengal, particularly the Coromandel Coast. It's known as the "Gateway of South India" and while Bengaluru might be known as a modern Silicon Valley-like city, Chennai is also known for it's natural and cultural sites. Marina Beach is its most famous beach, and the nearby town of Mahabalipuram is known for its UNESCO World Heritage site monuments. Chennai is also quite a safe city, ranked as the safest in South Asia in 2019.

Satellite Image of Chennai

Hyderabad

• Population: 10.4 Million

• Local Language: Telugu

• Subdivision: Telangana (State)

Also on the Deccan Plateau, Hyderabad is a city with a mix of Hindu and Islamic influences. Though Telugu is the main language, Deccani Urdu is also a common minority language. Hyderabad (along with the rest of Telangana) was ruled by a Nizam for a long time, and didn't want to join India after the British left, and India had to launch an operation to annex it. Anyways, Hyderabad is known for monuments such as the Charminar and Golconda fort. You can also see the Hussain Sagar lake and the huge Buddha statue in it.

Finally, Hyderabad used to be the capital of Andhra Pradesh, but when Telangana seceded from Andhra in 2014, they took Hyderabad with them, leaving Andhra Pradesh without a capital. Hyderabad stayed as the capital of both for a few years, and they've started to sort it out, but you can look into it on your own if you want, it's kind of interesting.

The Charminar

Ahmedabad

• Population: 8.75 Million

• Local Language: Gujarati

• Subdivision: Gujarat (State)

Ahmedabad, also known as Karnavati, is a city by the Sabarmati river in Western India. It isn't the capital of Gujarat, but Gandhinagar a bit upstream is.

Ahmedabad is home to the Sabarmati Ashram, where Mahatma Gandhi lived, the Hutheesing Jain Temple and the Narendra Modi Stadium, the largest stadium in the world. It's also known for its textile industry.

Map of Ahmedabad from the 1910s

Pune

• Population: 7.1 Million

• Local Language: Marathi

• Subdivision: Maharashtra (State)

Pune is a city in inland Maharashtra on the Mula and Mutha rivers. It's a few hours away from Mumbai, but it's quite different. The city has a history of Maratha rule, being the seat of the Peshwas, or the Maratha ministers. A few hours south of the city, you can see the hill station of Mahabaleshwar, home to the Pratapgarh fort. The city is divided into 3 parts by the Mula and Mutha rivers which merge in the middle of the cities. Pune is also considered one of the best cities in India to live in, due to it's minimal pollution compared to other cities at least

Some other monuments include the Aga Khan palace which is now a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, and the Shaniwar Wada Maratha fort.

A Mandapa in Pune's Pataleshwar Cave Temple

Surat

• Population: 6.9 Million

• Local Language: Gujarati

• Subdivision: Gujarat (State)

Surat has been growing fast recently. In 1950, it had a population of 200K, and reached 1M in 1980. By 2000 the population was almost 3 million, which grew to about 7 million by 2020.

Its population might be growing fast but its GDP is the fastest growing in the whole world.

Statistics aside, Surat is in southern Gujarat on the Tapi river and the Arabian Sea. They're known for their diamond industry as well as textiles. The Surat fort was built by the Sultanate to protect against the Portuguese. They were also ranked the second cleanest city in India in 2020.

A picture of Surat from 1690

Conclusion

So this was my first blog and I hope you like it. I recently remembered that the blog feature exists and I have lots of ideas for blogs so please tell me if you like this series. You can also let me know if you some more information about these cities, and some other facts about the cities that I could add in the next part.

Thanks for reading!

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Level 39
Jun 22, 2021
I agree with Pharaohs! Congrats on your first blog!
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Level 54
Jun 22, 2021
I was shocked by seeing ur comment that i thought there were pharaohs in India but later realized that........
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Level 38
Jun 22, 2021
Bruh lol
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Level 39
Jun 22, 2021
Lol omg
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Level 39
Jun 22, 2021
My favorite JetPunk comment
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Level 65
Jun 22, 2021
Lol

Thank you to everyone!

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Level 38
Jun 22, 2021
Wow. Brilliant! This is incredible for a first blog!
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Level 55
Jun 22, 2021
Sounds like something i am going to be doing in the future for a blog...
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Level 65
Jun 22, 2021
Good idea! For which country?
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Level 55
Jun 22, 2021
no, im working on a blog currently with a similar concept to this one... if you want me to though I can make a Chinese version of this
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Level 65
Jun 22, 2021
Oh, okay, I misunderstood the original comment. But that would be interesting, the reason I wanted to do this was actually because of China. I don't know much about most Chinese cities and just remember their names without thinking much about them, and I thought that's how people would treat Indian cities as well, so I wanted to talk about each city individually.
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Level 63
Jun 22, 2021
Coincidentally, I memorized all 1M cities in India (the last country I needed to memorize) yesterday.
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Level 55
Jun 22, 2021
and i am currently learning them as well lol... memorized China tho. just need to finish India and japan and I finish all 603
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Level 65
Jun 22, 2021
Congrats! 👏🏽

I don't think I could do all the Chinese cities though 😅My best on the all 1M cities quiz is 400.

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Level 65
Jun 22, 2021
Wow thank you for the comments everyone! I'm excited to start working on some more blogs now!
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Level 64
Jun 22, 2021
This first blog is amazing! Just out of curiosity, how many parts do you roughly think will be in the series? After all, there are 55 cities with a population of over 1 million.
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Level 65
Jun 22, 2021
Thank you! I was going to have 5 with 11 in each, but by the time I got 9 I felt like posting it, so I'm going to have 5 parts with 9 each, and a 6th part with 10.

Sorry if that's complicated, basically 5x9+10

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Level 54
Jun 22, 2021
Great first blog! Love it!
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Level 65
Jun 23, 2021
Great blog. I'd like to know more about the tourist attractions or which cities are best for visiting. I originally planned to visit Gangtok and Gaya before covid hit.

As for Chinese cities, beside the few major ones, many Chinese won't know much about the others that they don't live in, except stereotypes such as beer for Qingdao or fried rice for Yangzhou.

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Level 65
Jun 23, 2021
I might make another blog about tourist attractions, since a lot of them are also in smaller cities. Most of these cities, at least the bigger ones, have some tourist sites you can see. Delhi probably has the most, but depending on what you want to see you can look into some of these cities and find some good sites.
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Level 68
Jun 26, 2021
This is really cool! I love learning about all the major Indian cities, and I hope to see more :D
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Level 65
Jul 3, 2021
Great blog! Been to six of them. You should add the demonyms for the cities, if possible.
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Level 56
Feb 1, 2022
Could you help me with a blog I’m creating? The blog is going to be a list of those repetitive comment chains like the one on the Countries that Start with L quiz. I know you’ve commented on most of these so I was wondering if you remember where their located.
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Level 65
Feb 1, 2022
Oh hey, that's a great idea! I love those threads lol

Do you want to make a group for this?