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Five Indian places with European names


There might be cities and towns with strange names in India, but some of the names do remind us of the near-200 years of colonial rule.

McLeod GanjAnnexed by the British after the second Angle-Sikh war, it is a typical British designed hill station located in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It’s a suburb of the city -66214_8762of Dharamsala, the abode of the Dalai Lama.

As a result, of the large Tibetan population, it is also referred to as ‘Little Lhasa’ or ‘Dhasa’ (an allusion to Dharmasala).

It’s also has a political significance attached to it as the Tibetan government-in-exile is headquartered there.

Like other hill stations, its major industry is tourism. Snowcapped peaks, blue skies, fresh air are available in generous amounts, all that are absent in modern day Indian cities which are engulfed in smog and other pollutants.

Other tourist attractions include, inter alia, Tibetan handicrafts, carpets and apparels.

It also has a fusion of ancient Hindu and Buddhist traditions that make attaches a spiritual significance to it. Tsuglagkhang, the Dalai Lama’s temple, is its most important Buddhist holy site.

It also hosted the inaugural Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF) in Nov 2012, where filmmakers and actors from India and abroad participated.


Fraserganj: It’s located in the south of WestBengal, near the borders with Bangladesh. It derives its name from Sir Andrews Fraser, Lieutenant Governor of Bengal (1903-1908).

According to legend, the Lieutenant accidentally landed on the shores of this small town after a shipwreck. He was saved by a local woman, Narayani, with whom he subsequently fell in love.

Today, it is a tourist destination with its share of mangrove forests and its pristine beach.

The primary occupation of the residents of Frasergunj, by virtue of its geographic location, is fishermen as the salinity of the groundwater inhibits agricultural activities.

5-day-andaman-and-nicobar-islands-tour-from-port-blair-in-port-blair-212817Port Blair: Located in the union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Island it is, this tiny city is also the capital of the Union territory.

It derives its name from Lieutenant Archibald Blair of the British East India Company, previously known as Chatham Island. In 1789, the Lieutenant it was established as the penal colony under the government of Bengal.

It is accessible from major cities – Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai and Vishakhapatnam. It is also a major tourism destination with colonial era ‘Cellular Jail’, white-sand beaches, towering coconut trees and glittering sky-blue waters.

It also has strategic importance for India as it is home to a major naval base – INS Jarawa – along with the Indian coast Guard and Indian Air force.

734852_521254107908051_1200680815_nHavelock Island: Located in Andaman and Nicobar Island it is famous for its many beaches and its abundance of flora and fauna.

It is named after British General Henry Havelock, who served in British India.

Today, it is home mostly Bengali communities, many of whom settled there during the 1971 Indo-Pak war which resulted in the creation of Bangladesh.

The Indian government gave settlement to many fleeing Bangladeshi’s in this island.

The occupants’ major sources of livelihood are fishing and tourism. Its Elephant beach is a major attraction for tourists because of the elephants that reside there.

2909065163_e3af837250_bVasco Da Gama: It is a city in the west coast of Goa, named after the Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama.

It was founded in 1543 by the Portuguese and remained in their hands until 1961 when the Indian army retook the state.

Like other parts of Goa it has many beaches but unlike other beaches in Goa it sees very little tourist attraction.

But its 400-year-old Igreja de Santo André (St. Andrew’s Church), located at the entrance of the city experiences many footfalls.

The city has strategic importance as the Indian Navy has a base in the city. The Naval Aviation Museum near the airport, a tourist attraction, chronicles the history of the Indian Naval aviation. (image courtesy:

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Story Behind the Landscape on the Reverse side of the Indian 20 rupee Note

In the official document, no geographical location has been specified

A twenty rupee note. Pixabay

November 22, 2016: The Indian 20 rupee was first introduced in 1972 to hold the banknotes’ production costs. The 20 rupee note, in the Mahatma Gandhi series, was introduced by the Reserve Bank in August 2001.

The Mahatma Gandhi series’ ₹20 banknote is a red-orange colored with a portrait of Mahatma Gandhi in the obverse side. The note has a signature of the governor of Reserve Bank of India. To assist the visually challenged in recognizing the currency, Braille feature was put up.

But, what is on the reverse side of the note?

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If you look carefully, you will observe that there is a picture of an island in the center of the note. Ever wondered which place that is?

According to National Geographic Traveler, it is a fascinating photo of one of the 300 Andaman Islands. Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a small group of islands situated at the juncture of Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal.

The island that you can see is the North Bay Island. There is a small opening that gives the exact view. North Bay Island is a famous tourist place of Andaman Island.


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The official document enlisting all the design elements of every Indian currency notes does not mention anything about the place. The detail on the ₹20 note reads, “The central theme depicts the Indian coastal line with coconut groves.” No geographic location has been specified.

Curator of the Reserve Bank of India’s Monetary Museum in Mumbai, Mr. Radhakrishnan, said that the illustration could be an effort of the Indian government to emphasize India’s natural landscapes and reserves on the Indian currency.

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The island can viewed from the mountain top and the view is same as pictured on the back side of the ₹20 Currency note.

The Island is famous for all the water adventures it offers including jet ski, speed water boat ride, snorkeling, etc.

Prepared by Diksha Arya of NewsGram. Twitter: @diksha_arya53