City of Nagpur was founded in 1703 by the Gond King Bakht Buland Shah of Deogarh. British East India Company took over Nagpur in the 19th century and made it the capital of the Central Provinces and Berar.

After Independence in 1947, Central Provinces and Berar became a Province of India. In 1950, Central Provinces and Berar were merged in the State of Madhya Pradesh with Nagpur as its capital. After the first Reorganisation of States, city lost its status as the capital. When the Indian states were reorganised along the linguistic lines in 1956, Central Provinces and Berar regions were transferred to the State of Bombay. This State was further split into States of Maharashtra and Gujarat. Nagpur continues to be in the State of Maharashtra.

Nagpur became the winter capital of Maharashtra. It is the third largest city in Maharashtra, ranking after Mumbai and Pune. It is 13th largest city in terms of population in India and is a sprawling metropolis. Needless to say, it is the largest city in Central India and has one of the highest literacy rates, at 91.92%, among all the urban areas of the country. It is almost in the centre of India. It has also been selected as a city where projects have been initiated for making it one of the Smart Cities of Maharashtra.

According to a survey, Nagpur has been identified as the best city in India by having best indices for ease of living, greenery, public transport and health care. The city has been ranked 20th in terms of cleanliness in the country and as a top mover in the western zone.

Nagpur is a major commercial and political centre in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, owing to its strategic geographical location. It is also known as "Orange City" as it is not only famous for its oranges but is also a major trade centre for oranges produced in the region. Nagpur is also a famous Buddhist Centre, known as Deekshabhoomi, for, largest hollow Buddhist stupa is located here.

Nagpur completed 300 years of its existence in 2002.