''Good governance is putting people at the centre of the development process”- Prime Minister Narendra Modi
The Smart Cities Mission is a program undertaken by the Government of India with the agenda to develop 100 shortlisted Indian cities and make them sustainable and citizen friendly. Out of these 100 shortlisted cities, the government recently announced the names of the first 20 cities which will be developed into smart cities in the year 2016. Being hardcore travellers, we at TripHobo are excited about visiting these cities. Are you as excited as us? Here’s a gist of what to see and expect in these 20 Smart Cities Selected in First Round
Fondly called the ‘city of temples’, Bhubaneswar is the capital of the state of Odisha. With a history dating back to over 3,000 years, the cityscape is peppered with ancient temples and intriguing ruins.
What to see: Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves, Lingaraj Mandir, Raja Rani Temple.
Once at the centre of the Peshwa Empire, the lively city of Pune in Maharashtra is known as the Oxford of the East due to the presence of many educational institutions. There was a time when Pune used to be known as a ‘Pensioner’s Paradise’ due to its laid back culture. But today, it is a vibrant metropolis welcoming one and all.
What to see: Shaniwar Wada, Lal Mahal, Kelkar Museum, Aga Khan Palace.
Also Read: Best Places to Visit Near Pune on Weekends
The capital of the state of Rajasthan, did you know that Jaipur is India's first planned city? Established in 1727 by Maharaja Jai Singh II, this city is an epitome of royalty, lavish palaces and impeccable hospitality.
What to see: City Palace, Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, Jal Mahal, Nahargarh Fort.
Also Read: 10 Ancient Places In India
A major business hub, the port city of Surat in Gujarat is known as the ‘diamond city of the world’ due to the presence of many flourishing diamond cutting and polishing industries. Located on the Tapti River, the city also has a well established textiles’ industry.
What to see: Jagdishchandra Bose Aquarium, Sardar Patel Museum, ISKCON Temple.
Also Read: 13 Cleanest Cities of India
Kochi (AKA Cochin) is the commercial and industrial capital of the state of Kerala. This charming seaside city is located between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea making it an ideal destination for tranquillity seekers.
What to see: Pardesi Synagogue, Mattancherry Palace, Kerala Folklore Museum, Santa Cruz Basilica.
Located on the banks of the bustling Sabarmati River, Ahmedabad is the largest city in the state of Gujarat. Founded in the year 1411 by Sultan Ahmed Shah, the city is home to many prominent industries as well as plenty of majestic monuments.
What to see: Sabarmati Ashram, Calico Museum of Textiles, Jama Masjid, Vastrapur Lake.
A major city in the state of Madhya Pradesh, Jabalpur proves to be the perfect getaway for wildlife enthusiasts and outdoorsy people. A gateway to the famous tiger reserves of Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha, the city attracts a lot of tourism due to the presence of magnificent natural marble formations at Bhedaghat.
What to see: Bhedaghat, Dhuaandhaar Waterfall, Madan Mahal Fort, Dumna Nature Reserve.
One of the best tourist destinations in the state of Andhra Pradesh, the coastal city of Visakhapatnam (AKA Vizag) is nestled between the Eastern Ghats and the Bay of Bengal. The best time to visit this city would be when it hosts the annual Visakha Utsav- a festival that is a gorgeous combination of culture, art, music, food and talent.
What to see: Kailasagiri, Simhachalam Temple, Sivaji Park, Visakha Museum, Rushikonda Beach, Bheemunipatnam beach.
Located in Maharashtra, Sholapur is a dynamic city situated in the south-eastern part of the state. A major industrial hub, Sholapur is a getaway to prominent temples and places of worship. Let’s see how the Smart City Mission transforms this tier-2 city into a striking metropolis.
What to see: Bhuikot Fort, Shri Siddeshwar Temple, Akkalkot Swami Samarth Maharaj Temple.
Located around 260 kilometres from Bangalore, Davangere is nestled at the foothills of the Western Ghats. Once a major cotton textile exporter, the city’s economy now thrives on agriculture. Did you know that Davangere is positioned at the geographical centre of Karnataka? Trivia- The yummy Davangere dosa (Benne dosa) that you gorge on has its origin in this quaint city.
What to see: Durgambika Temple, Kunduvada Kere, Lingeswara Temple, Santhebennur village.
At the heart of the nation, in the state of Madhya Pradesh lies the vivacious city of Indore. Having a royal history, Indore was initially ruled by the Mughals followed by the Marathas. Located at the confluence of the Khan and Saraswati rivers, the city is referred to as the commercial capital of Madhya Pradesh.
What to see: Central Museum, Lal Baag Palace, Kanch Mandir, Krishnapura Chhatris, Indore Rajwada.
12. New Delhi:
The New Delhi Municipal Council Area (NDMC) in the city of New Delhi has also been shortlisted for the Smart City Mission. Being a part of the capital of India, the area already boasts of top notch amenities. Let’s see what else the ambitious mission brings to the table.
What to see: While in New Delhi, do make it a point to see Red Fort, Lotus Temple, Qutub Minar, Humayun’s Tomb, India Gate.
Also Read: Budget destinations around Delhi
The second largest city in the state of Tamil Nadu, Coimbatore is located at the foothills of the Nilgiris. Also known as Kovai, the city has a cosmopolitan culture and is more diverse than any other city in the state. Thinking of heading over to Coimbatore for a vacation? Plan your trip using our smart itinerary planner.
What to see: Dhyanalinga Temple, Marudamalai Temple, Monkey Falls, Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary.
A picturesque city in the state of Andhra Pradesh, Kakinada is known for its serene beaches, quaint temples and its mangrove forests. An educational hub, the laidback city is slowly turning into a lively hub.
What to see: Tholi Thirupathi Sri Srungara Vallaba Temple, Kukkuteshwara Swami Temple, Sri Bhimeswaraswamy Vari Temple, plenty of tiny islands on the Godavari delta.
A popular and well planned city in the state of Karnataka, it’s no surprise that Belagavi (or as we all know it- Belgaum), made it to the list of Smart Cities. Bordered by Maharashtra and Goa, Belagavi is the oldest city in Karnataka and thus is historically rich.
What to see: Gokak Falls, Military Mahadeva Temple, Belgaum Fort.
A popular tourist destination in India, Udaipur probably needs no introduction! With a skyline made up of regal palaces and lavish havelis, this Rajasthani city leaves its visitors in awe of its majestic beauty. Planning on going to Udaipur? Book your hotels at the lowest rates possible using our hotel booking feature.
What to see: City Palace, Lake Pichola, Lake Palace, Jag Mandir, Bagore ki Haveli, Jagadish Temple.
Located along the south bank of the mighty Brahmaputra, Guwahati is the largest city in the state of Assam. A gateway to the north eastern part of India, a trip to Guwahati comprises of visits to charming temples, tasting delicious local cuisine and exploring the nearby tea estates.
What to see: Kamakhya Temple, Kaziranga National Park, Assam State Zoo, Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra, Deepor Beel.
The capital city of the state of Tamil Nadu, Chennai is as diverse and as unique as can be. With history etched in every corner of the city, you will find the remains and ruins of many different kingdoms in and around the city. Chennai is a beautiful blend of modern lifestyle and traditional customs and culture.
What to see: Marina Beach, Vivekananda House and Museum, Fort St. George, St. Thomas Basilica.
Also Read: Weekend Getaways From Chennai
The largest city in the state of Punjab, Ludhiana was founded in the time of Lodhi dynasty. A rapidly growing metropolis, the city was an important centre during India’s struggle for independence. For its production of top class hosiery, Ludhiana is also known as the ‘Manchester of India’.
What to see: Nehru Rose Garden, Hardy’s World, Guru Nanak Bhawan, Gurdwara Charankanwal Sahib Machhiwara.
The capital city of Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal is slowly emerging out of its tragic past (the Bhopal Gas disaster). No city needs the Smart City plan to be implemented as quickly and as effectively as Bhopal. With a cityscape consisting of beautiful mosques, bustling malls and unruffled lakes, let’s wait and see how the city steps out of the tragic shadows and comes into its own.
What to see: Van Vihar National Park, Taj-ul-Masajid, Birla Mandir, Chhota Talaab (Lower Lake).
We at TripHobo would love to see how these 20 cities metamorphose into Smart Cities. Have you ever travelled to any of these cities? How was your experience? Would you like to suggest/ recommend changes to the Government of India which would make these smart cities even smarter? Do let us know your thoughts by commenting below.
Know More about Smart City Mission
Winning City Proposals in Round 1 of City Challenge (Jan, 2016) from Ministry of Urban Development Website