TRIVIA: Did You Know There’s a Monument to Mark the Geographical Centre of India?

If you wish to locate the geographical centre of India, all you need to do is visit Nagpur and ask for the Zero Mile Stone. A sandstone pillar and statues of four horses mark the spot. It is said this monument marks the geographical centre of colonial India. It was constructed during the time of the Raj and the British used it as a starting point to measure the distance of many states and towns from Nagpur.

Located to the southeast of the Vidhan Bhavan building, the monument has distances to some major cities engraved on it.


Source: Wikimedia

The British considered Nagpur to be the centre of India from the time when the country was divided into different provinces and Nagpur was the capital of Central Provinces and Berar. They also planned to make Nagpur the second capital city. When the states were created later, Nagpur became a part of Maharashtra; it was given the status of the second capital of Maharashtra.

According to a visitor, the inscription on the vertical face of the monument’s pillar reads G.T.S STANDARD BENCH MARK. 1907, and the inscription on the horizontal stone reads “The height of the top of this pillar is 1020.171 feet above the mean level of the sea.”

Here, G.T.S refers to the Great Trigonometrical Survey, which was a project carried out by the Survey of India throughout most of the 19th century. The Survey of India is an agency in charge of mapping and surveying. A GTS benchmark refers to the fixed reference points with known elevation above the mean sea level.

However, there is some controversy now about whether this monument is the true geographical centre of India any more. According to some reports, after the partition of undivided India into India and Pakistan, the centre of the country shifted from Nagpur to a small village in Madhya Pradesh. It is now supposed to be in Karaundi, located about 40 km from Sihora in Jabalpur district.

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