Orange Odyssey

Experienced in Feb 2020 and published in July 2023 😎

This blog post was delayed because it was one of the last of the exciting things that I did before covid hit and the pause in between, broke my momentum of travelling and writing.

I had just returned to the city of Nagpur from my maiden tiger safari in Pench National Park and I had a day free here before boarding my flight back to Bangalore.

Nagpur is a very important city located in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra state in India. Known especially for its famed oranges and for being the gateway to some of Central India’s national parks, this strategically located city also holds many places of historical and cultural interest.

The seeker within me was curious to learn more about this place but I was not sure how exactly to go about finding someone who could guide me. A bit of random walking initially led me to a very helpful autorickshaw driver who took me around to whatever tourist spots he knew.

However, I was thirsting for more and in desperation I turned to the ‘Master of all information’ and hunted for ‘Nagpur heritage tour guides’. Sir Google instantly obliged and brought forth the existence of Amol and Mandira in the form of a mere phone number.

That was a smart call I made (pun intended) because they happened to be just the people I was looking for and in the limited time that I had, they willingly agreed to show me around and led me to a couple of places which perfectly matched my interests, namely the Cenotaphs (Chhatris) and the Fire pani puri snack, which was the rage in Nagpur at that time. We also had a quick glimpse of several heritage buildings.

Their passion and vast knowledge of the city, made those few hours totally worth my time.

I truly wish I can go back someday to experience the enhanced activities which they have now included in their bouquet of offerings. They have blossomed well and come a long way in these few years and I wish them greater success in future.

But for now, let us relive the interesting evening that I spent with them, with you my reader for virtual company this time.

About Orange Odyssey – 

Officially launched in July 2019 (just a few months before my visit to Nagpur), Orange Odyssey is a venture by 2 architects Amol Wanjari and Mandira Neware, who decided to team up to showcase the various facets of Nagpur and its surroundings to its visitors, thus filling a void in an otherwise directionless and unstructured tourism activity of the city.

Calling themselves Heritage and Cultural experience curators, they live up to their commitment of presenting the various touristic elements of the city via their customized and well designed tours and walks, which they have also been conducting since 2017, even before formally creating the brand.

Their detailed narrations, accurate information, knowledge of lesser known historical tidbits and other engrossing anecdotes, weave together a tapestry that spans across the culture, cuisine, craft, heritage, traditional skills, textiles etc, of course sprinkled with entertaining activities to take the edge off the seriousness of the history lesson at hand.

About Amol and Mandira – 

Amol is a practising architect who graduated in Architecture from the Visveswaraya National Institute of Technology. He has also completed his Masters in Urban Planning from the same institute.

His interest in exploring places of heritage and history, has led him to discovering various sites of interest across the country and especially in Nagpur and its surroundings. 

Mandira likewise is also an architect and practices at her own firm called Mandira Architects. She shares the same passion for heritage as Amol and is equally keen on sharing her knowledge with tourists who seek such information.

She is also enthusiastic about art and photography.

Together they make a great team and are the right people to connect with to obtain an in-depth insight about the rich culture and heritage of this region.

Their tours and walks –

While their website advertises a set of defined tours and walks, they are also open to customizing tailor made trips to suit the individual interests of their guests.

The trips are well structured and their guests receive clear cut itineraries, instructions and details while booking. The vehicles are air conditioned and attention is paid in general, to the comfort of the group.

Their tours include –

The Markanda Tour – This is a day long trip to Markanda, a 1200 year old temple complex which is 180 km from Nagpur. This place has a set of 18 temples and is a worthwhile experience for enthusiasts of history, arts and architecture. There is also a river near by and one can spend some time on its banks.

The Ramtek Mansar tour – 

This 2 day tour covers the Ramtek fort which is said to be the location where the poet Kalidasa wrote his epic, Meghdoot. The expedition also includes the Mansar archaeological excavation site which contains evidence of a settlement that existed nearly 1600 years ago.

The Walks – 

Their walks are usually around 2 – 3 hours duration and their website currently offers 3 options which include –

Nagpur during the Gond and Bhonsale period – 

This walk takes you through the heritage structures which belonged to the Gond and Bhonsale era. The Gonds were the founders of Nagpur, which later was ruled by the Bhonsales.

Dawn of British Raj in Nagpur – 

Nagpur being geographically located at the centre, was made the capital of the Central Provinces when the British conquered Marathas in central India. Hence this city has a rich colonial legacy in the form of elegant and architecturally attractive colonial style buildings, which form the subject of this walk.

Weavers of Mominpura – 

The locality of Mominpura in Nagpur is home to weavers who specialise in the art of crafting the traditional Maharashtrian nine yard saree which is also called the Kashta saree. This saree has great historical significance too.

On this walk, one can witness the weaving of this saree and also be enlightened about Mominpura’s history and heritage. 

Apart from this, there is something equally exciting to look forward to, which is the food of this locality. Mominpura is famed for its well established eateries, including a restaurant which is over a 100 years old.

Souvenir Shop –

To remember your time with Orange Odyssey, their online store offers items for sale like postcards, key holders, tote bags, bookmarks, badges, candles and other quaint Nagpur oriented mementos (read Orange shaped 😎)

My experiences –

From the very first moment that I met Mandira, I was blown away by the passion and ease with which she delved back into time and rattled off the history of Nagpur. Even before hopping onto her bike, we had hopped back a few centuries and as I listened to her with awe, I knew that my evening was going to turn out to be one loaded history lesson of which I hoped I would remember at least a fraction 😀 Well truth be told, I do need a refresher course and that is a class I am looking forward to and I hope it does happen someday.

Having been promised an entire cluster of Cenotaphs/Chhatris, I was raring to and we rode off to meet Amol and begin the adventure. En route I was treated to bonus sightings of some of Nagpur’s colonial structures, which I made quick stops to capture.

We finally caught up with Amol who had reached ahead on his bike and was waiting for us at the gates of this ancient compound wherein lay the fascinating Cenotaphs/chhatris. These are structures  built in the memory of those who have died (and usually buried elsewhere or cremated). The arch at the entrance bore the words Srimanth Maharani Sati Kashibai Saheb Bhonsale, Rajghat.

This is the crematorium ground of the Bhonsale royals of Nagpur. The memorials are beautiful but the place has unfortunately not been cared for with the attention that it deserves. The compound seems deserted and grass and weeds abound, creating an eerie ambience which one might be a bit wary of stepping in.

But the lure of photographing the many monuments and the comforting fact that I was in the company of experts, made me forge through bravely and fortunately I got some good pictures with no mishaps.

There are inscriptions and text on some of the structures but for a detailed narrative of the history and architecture, the best people for you to hang out with would be the Orange Odyssey team 😉 Until then, enjoy the visuals.

From here I was taken to visit a cluster of 18th century temples built by the Bhonsales. The Rukmini temple complex as it is known, contains the Shiva and Laxmi-Narayan shrines whose intricate wooden carvings lie yet again, sadly in a state of neglect.

Our final stop was the Fire Pani puri shop which I had heard about in Bangalore. Being a foodie, I could not have left Nagpur without a glimpse of this fiery sensation and my guides were kind enough to take me on the hunt, through various gullies and streets until we reached the famous spot, the Jain Chaska Chaat shop at Reshimbag, Gajanan Chowk. Amol was also brave enough to have an ‘encounter’ with fire and also game enough to be the ‘blazing model’ as he undauntedly downed a fire pani puri and survived both the puri and the video 😀


If you are headed for Nagpur and need reliable people to showcase places of your interest, then you know now what you have to do. Yes just read further and behold their contact details 🙂

Booking and contact – 

Address –

Neware Art Gallery,

Wardha Road, Sitabuldi

Nagpur 440012 IN

Phone – +91 744 7777 887

Email id – 

Website of Orange Odyssey

FB Page of Orange Odyssey

Instagram of Orange Odyssey

Twitter of Orange Odyssey

Please Note –

This tour was in collaboration with Orange Odyssey and I thank them for the guidance. My narration is based on the inputs I received from various sources as well as my personal experiences.

For more pictures see My Facebook –  Orange Odyssey (coming soon)

Also catch me on My FacebookMy Facebook pageMy Twitter and My Instagram

This itinerary was specially curated hence some of the features might have been personalized accordingly. Before booking, please check the facilities offered in your package.

Feb 2020

About Currylines

A food and travel enthusiast who plays with words
This entry was posted in Domestic travel, Heritage, Holidays, Hotels and Resorts, Reviews, Travel and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply