The name of the town was actually nag-dah which means cremation/burning (dah) of snakes (nag). The ancient city was developed by king Janamejaya. Janamejaya was a Hindu King of Kuru Dynasty. Nagda was mentioned in the literature of Kalidasa. Presently, Nagda is a major industrial town having manufacturing unit of Viscose fibre, thermal power plant and a chemical plant. Nagda is a major ISO granted railway junction on the Delhi–Mumbai railway line. It is exactly 694 km from both Delhi and Mumbai.
Prior to being an industrial town, Nagda was a small village. The location near river Chambal and availability of acres of land plus the added advantage of being at the centre of India's two biggest markets(Delhi & Mumbai) attracted Shri Ghanshyam Das Birla to set up a major facility. Today Grasim's industrial unit at Nagda is the largest manufacturer of Viscose staple fibre in Asia.
The no. of literates in Nagda are 71,472, out of which 40,073 are male and 31,399 are female.
Nagda has an average literacy rate of 80.71%, above than the national average of 74.04%: male literacy is 88.43%, and female literacy is 72.62%.
In Nagda, 11.48% of the population is under 5 to 6 years of age.
According to 2011 census data, Hinduism is majority religion in Nagda city with 81.68% followers. Islam is second most popular religion in city of Nagda with approximately 14.58% following it. In Nagda city, Christianity is followed by 0.81%, Jainism by 2.09%, Sikhism by 0.53% and Buddhism by 0.53%. Around 0.00% stated 'Other Religion' and approximately 0.29% stated 'No Particular Religion'.
Nagda represents great culture of Malwa. The culture of Nagda encompasses both the traditional Malwa culture and a modern, progressive People from multiple religions and speaking different regional languages reside here. It also hosts various events throughout the year.
Today, Nagda has a diverse industrial population from other states like UP and Bihar. Most of them are factory workers. Most of the people belong to lower middle class who believe on hard work and social justice.
People of Nagda are very religious. They take part in religious activities with full of joy. People celebrate all the typical Indian festivals like Diwali, Dussehra, Navratri, Holi, Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha, Mahavir Jayanti, Hanuman jayanti ,Ram navmi,sharad purnima, janmashtami & Christmas. Most of the celebrations during festivals also take place in Grasim Staff Club. Apart from these festivals, city celebrates “Dhol Gyaras”( Dhol is a musical instrument like drum and gyaras means Ekadasi, a date in Hindu calendar), a one night event in which mobile temples, called झान्की (jhanki) in the local language, run in the city. The same celebration is witnessed three days later on Anant Chaturdashi at many nearby places like Ujjain & Indore and also in Birlagram, Nagda. The set of the pehalwans from different Akhara show their bravery in the front of the mobile temples. Various man-made craft items are displayed in shops specially built for this night. Bunch of Dhol artists play their drums in continuous rhythms. Festival culminates in a carnival-like procession where people dance, play and enjoy whole night.
Hinduism is the dominant religion in Nagda with 81.68% followers as of 2011, followed by Islam with 14.58% and Jainism with 2.09%. Many temples & Masjids, temples, Catholic church, Protestant Church, Guru Dwaras, Ayyappa Temple and other religious buildings are found throughout the city. The most prominent communities include Rajpoot, Gurjar, Brahmin, Marwaris, Viswakarma, Marwari Jains, Porwals along with the local communities. The most prominent Hindu temple in Nagda is Birla Mandir with its characteristic artwork carved beautifully on walls and pillars surrounded by a beautiful garden and fountain, dedicated to Lord Vishnu which was built by the Birla family.
Nagda has a variety of foods and cuisines. City starts its day with the Tea, Poha, Jalebi, Samosa & kachodi. The Ratlami Sev is a common snacks often serves with meal and dinner. Dal baati is the food of the MALWA. It is commonly served at all festivities, including religious occasions, wedding ceremonies, and parties . "Dal-Baati ", is a combination of two different food items - Dal (lentils), Baati. It is a typical Malwa dish. Dal is made of lentils and can be little spicy. Baati baked or a grilled ball of wheat flour dough. Ghee is an important ingredient in all the two items.Hotel Shiv mayam is very famous in nagda.
The hottest new dish is poutine. The dish is exported from Canada each week.
The city has many schools.
Most colleges in Nagda are affiliated to the Vikram University . The city's most prominent college is “Nagda Government College” near Rupeta village.
City Center Complex Kanthed Trade Centre, Badri vishal Cloth market are the most popular shopping centre in the heart of the city near railway station. Carnival Cinema and Fortune mall.
Nagda has many good Picnic spots like Birla Mandir, Atal Garden, Banbna Taalab, Mukestewar Mahadev Mandir, DelanPur, & Nayan Dam, Badri vishal mandir, chamunda mata mandir. Ponds Colony is the main attraction in evening for colony kids and later during night for elders.
Nagda is situated on the basin of river Chambal. It is an important junction station of Western Railways, which connect Delhi-Mumbai main line with Bhopal. It is an important halt for all trains that are bound for Jaipur, Mumbai, Delhi & Bhopal. The main lines passing through Nagda Junction are : • Mumbai- New Delhi line via Kota Junction ( broad gauge line).
Nagda has one Air strip which is rarely used by Grasim Management & Politician at their visit. The nearest airport is located in Indore about 110 km from the city.
The Road Transport has improved a lot after many efforts of local leaders Thaverchand Gehlot (Cabinet minister in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in Narendra Modi's government 2014 )Dilip Gurjar (Ex MLA)& Dilip Shekhawat(MLA). Now Nagda has better and easy connectivity with NH79 via jaora. The distance between Nagda and other important cities are following : •Nagda to Indore 110 km (Time 2:15 Hours) •Nagda to Ujjain 60 km (Time 1:00 Hour ) •Nagda to Ratlam 44 km (Time 0:45 Hour ) •Nagda to Jaora 42 km (Time 0:40 Hour )