Near the present day Vidhan Sabha in Nagpur, there is a statue consisting of four horses and a pillar, marking the former centre of India – the Zero Mile Stone. The “heart” or centre of India though has a history dates back to well before the British era. The city gets its name from the river Nag, which flows through the city, originating at a small village called Lavha.
The city of Nagpur was probably established in the Vakataka period as is suggested by the finds of the pottery shards and a terracotta figurine of Bhairava found in the city. Present day Nagpur was most probably known as Yashapura during this period. This is mentioned in a Patna museum copper plate inscription of a Vakataka king. ‘Gond killa’ is a habitation mound showing evidence right from the Neolithic phase. Rashtrakuta copper plates found at Deoli (Wardha district) belonging to Krishna III dated 10th century CE mention Nagapura-Nandivardhana Vishaya as its place of issue. Since Nandivardhana (present Nagardhan) was the capital of the Vakatakas, the subsequent dynasties like the Kalachuri, the Nalas etc. too issued grants from this place. It appears from this that Nagpur was associated with Nandivardhana in the Rashtrakuta period.