TRAVEL ADVISORY: India Changing Names Of Its Major Cities

It is the case of old wine in new bottles.

And a lot of new bottles are needed by some provincial governments in India when it comes to filling up with new names to the ancient cities and towns in the country.

While they can’t change the historical and cultural character of the cities, but the new labeling seems to be the current political hype running across India, especially in the saffron-ruled state of Uttar Pradesh.

If you’re visiting India and going to Allahabad, don’t get confused when the landing sign reads “welcome to Prayagraj.” Yes, that is the latest name change for the city known for its biggest religious fair in the world, called “Kumbh Mela.”

Allahabad, I mean Prayagraj, was the hometown of India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, and it is for the country’s most popular film star Amitabh Bachchan.

Another name-change casualty occurs to the major rail junction town of Mughalsarai, near Varanasi (formerly Banaras) as it is now officially called Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya.

And if you are traveling down to the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the cosmopolitan city of Ahmedabad has been recently renamed called Karnavati.

For those who are visiting India after a long time, the name-change travel advisory includes that Bombay is now called Mumbai, Bangalore is Bengaluru, Chennai replaces Madras, and Trivandrum to Thiruvananthapuram.

(I had to copy and paste the last one to avoid mis-spelling).

So, if you are visiting India, don’t feel lost in your favorite cities adopting new names. Some of them need little practice to pronounce correctly. However, these are the same towns and cities with the same character and the same hospitality.

It is just the same old wine in a new bottle.

by Promod Puri



  1. Interesting post. “ Old Wine in New Bottle”. About the Wine, the fact is: “The older the wine, the better it is.” Here, to me, it should be “ New Wine in Old Bottle”. Because, the city remains the same in every respect. The new name will be the New Wine. In the same old bottle, New Wine is being poured to cheat people because the New Wine is cheaper and less effective than the old . Of course they will be consuming less effective stuff thinking that it is coming from the old bottle. This will turn public pseudo-toxics. The real essence of the old Wine is being compromised with less effective New Wine in Old Bottle.

    Some of the cities have their names after the person who founded them.

    Instead of Real Change , it is Artificial Change. Slogans and rhetorics have bad effect in the long run.

    Liked by 1 person

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