Crossing the Tropic of Cancer on the way to Sanchi

When we are headed to a tourist destination, we usually do our research about it. We know of the location of famous monuments from the years of well, knowing about them. (India Gate is in Delhi- didn’t you know this from always?) We know why Mumbai, a coastal city, is so close to the western ghats if we paid a little attention in the Geography classes in school. But there are times when certain things and their location surprise us, when we cross our paths unexpectedly.

This was in May 2012, at the peak of the summer season. We were visiting our family friends in Bhopal for a weeklong holiday. Now, we all have heard about Bhopal thanks to the infamous gas tragedy of December 1984. But it wasn’t before this trip that I knew that the famous Sanchi Stupas were located close to this Central Indian city. As we headed to the UNESCO world heritage site of Sanchi, a surprise greeted us on the highway connecting Bhopal to Sanchi- Tropic of Cancer- the famous imaginary line the early geologists and Earth scientists drew for easier location scouting (Do I put it right?)

We got down from the car to take a closer look at the cemented board proclaiming that the Tropic of Cancer passes here. Two parallel strips of white paint across the road showed the exact latitude: 23 degrees 26 minutes North (approx).  The signboard, as is the case with all monuments in India, was defaced by random people.

Tropic of Cancer on the Bhopal-Sanchi Highway, Madhya Pradesh (May 2012)
A sudden gush of geography while we were on a conquest to discover history- now that’s a welcoming surprise. These little things- aren’t they what add the magical element to our trips?

Getting clicked with the imaginary line, Tropic of Cancer, Madhya Pradesh

The two parallel lines painted on the road showing the direction the Tropic of Cancer passes, Madhya Pradesh

Of course we proceeded to our historical destination- Sanchi. But that’s a story for another day.

Entering Sanchi Stupa Complex, Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh
Considering that the Tropic of Cancer passes through atleast 8 Indian states including Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Tripura and Mizoram, there should be a lot of these signs on roads crisscrossing the areas. Have you crossed one?

How about land-boundaries between two states or countries? Wagah Border’s no-man’s land?

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  1. lovely... must have been a great experience :-)

  2. So now I know what to expect when I head that way!

  3. Good you showed.
    I don't know when I will visit.

  4. That is interesting - Never actually thought of Tropic of cancer line after my geography classes.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. Hi Antarik,
    I could figure by going through your blogs that it’ll be a one heaven of a trip if I’ll get a chance. Whenever I had a chance to visit Madhya Pradesh, I always focused on jungle safari and flora and fauna. I’ll surely include the Tropics Of Cancer as it sounds like a great idea. Wonderful work with your photography, thanks for sharing it to us!

  7. That is superb and interesting blog. Great experience.


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