If any city of India that experienced (political) marginalisation the most, it’s Jabalpur (earlier Jubblepore). It was to become the capital of Madhya Pradesh but was pipped at the post by Bhopal! But the city still has the High Court of MP and the headquarters of Western Central Railway. It also has Army’s ordinance and ammunition factory and Shaktiman trucks are made here.
Though it’s said to be named after Jabali rishi, there’s no historical or mythological proof to support this claim. Some are of the opinion that Jabal (rock in Arabic) and Pur (city) made Jabalpur.
It’s called ‘The marble city’ because of the abundance of it. Metaphorically as well, the city is called ‘A Marble City’ because marble has a smooth surface and the city has a cultural smoothness in its aura.
Its Railway Station is often in news for its cleanliness. It’s considered to be the cleanest Railway Stn. in India.
Contrary to the general belief that India’s Central Point is in Nagpur, it’s Jabalpur that has the Central Point of India.
There’s a place named Sleemanabad near Jabalpur. It’s named after English Captain Sleeman who eradicated the notorious thugs (Pindaris) of Central India. Maihar is close by.
Climatically, it’s a nice city. Narmada river (Bheda ghat) makes it all the more famous and sacred. Mahatma Gandhi’s remains were brought to the city. Gandhiji also visited Jabalpur during India’s struggle for independence.
City has excellent missionary schools. Aloysis being the most famous. Premnath (the actor) used to call it Doublepur. Actor Rahman, who appeared in many Hindi movies like Sahab Biwi aur Ghulam, Aandhi, Mere Humdum mere dost, Waqt, Dil ne phir yaad kiya, to name but a few, studied at Victoria College, Jabalpur. Rajkapoor’s wife Krishna Devi studied here, though she hailed from the royal family of Paana/Tikamgarh.
It’s a cultural city of Madhya Pradesh: Sanskaar Dhani (the cultural capital). Some years ago, one famous numerologist suggested that its Pin Code 482001 has the total 15 which comes to the single digit 6 (1+5) and 6 is the number of art and culture. Look at the art, culture and philosophical heritage of Jabalpur. Osho Rajnish taught Philosophy at Durgavati University, Mahesh Yogi too hailed from here. The humorist Harishankar Parsai was born and brought up here. He’s known as India’s P G Wodehouse or Jerome K Jerome (two great humorists of English language), Makhanlal Chaturvedi, whose ‘Pushp ki abhilasha’ immortalised him, was born and worked here. Subhadrakumari Chauhan- who wrote ‘Jhansi ki Rani’ (Bundele Harbolon ki humne suni kahani thi, khoob ladi mardani woh toh Jhansi wali Rani thi)-belonged to Jabalpur. Jaya Bhaduri, Arjun Rampal, Seth Govind Das, late Aadesh Srivastav and Raghuvir Yadav all hailed from this city.
Rani Durgavati University, Jabalpur, had the most famous Hindi department in the 60s and 70s. It still has a formidable Humanities section at the varsity.
The city is calm, cool and chilled out. One loves the leisurely languid air and ambience of Jabalpur. Don’t miss to see Bada Fuhara and Kamania Gate in the heart of old Jabalpur city when you visit the 3rd biggest city in MP after Bhopal and Indore.