One of the five major latitude circles that divide up our earth, the Tropic of Cancer line also makes for a thrilling bucket list itinerary around India.
What It Is
Tropic of Cancer is an imaginary line, at an angle of 23.50 degrees North from the Equator, that passes through the middle of India. If you run this imaginary line around Earth (Yes, Flat-Earthlings, the Earth is spherical), it passes through 17 countries, India being one of them. The Tropic of Cancer passes through eight states in India: Gujarat (Jasdan), Rajasthan (Kalinjarh), Madhya Pradesh (Shajapur), Chhattisgarh (Sonhat), Jharkhand (Lohardaga), West Bengal (Krishnanagar), Tripura (Udaipur) and Mizoram (Champhai). In that order.
A River Runs Through It
Mahi River is the only river in India that cuts the Tropic of Cancer twice, first in Madhya Pradesh from where it flows towards Rajasthan and enters Gujarat where it cuts for the second time. If you are the adventurous type and was looking for something different, following the Tropic of Cancer line across India would definitely qualify as something different. Follow the river all through Dhar and Jhabua in Madhya Pradesh, follow it some more as it enter Banswara in Rajasthan (you are on the Tropic of Cancer here!) and then follow the river back as it passes through Panchmahal in Gujarat and finally joins Arabian Sea at the mouth of Gulf of Khambhat. While you are still in Gujarat, head to Jasdan. The city is known for its beautiful handicrafts and diamond polishing. Looks like sun brought bling with it. Don't forget, Tropic of Cancer passes through this city.
During Summer Solstice, that is, June 21, sun falls perpendicularly on the Tropic of Cancer. The "right angle" means it's the wrong time to wander outside. Because it is hot, earth is at it's hottest. And on December 21, the same thing happens on the southern hemisphere, on the Tropic of Capricorn. That's Winter Solstice for you.
The Nearest City
Udaipur in Tripura is the city nearest to the Tropic of Cancer. Tripura, even though it falls under northeastern part of India, is a hot place. The city is famous for its Tripura Sundari Temple and was an erstwhile capital of the Maharajas of Tripura. Speaking of hot places in the northeast, Mizoram gives a good competition to the rest of country's hot places. And no wonder why. Champhai falls on the Indo-Myanmar border, and also the Tropic of Cancer. The town is important for the aforementioned reason and upon reaching there, you will be glad you visited. The town is a pretty one (pretty hot too).