An official spokesman said the decision to change the name was taken on the basis of the representations received in several fora that it would be appropriate to rename Gurgaon as 'Gurugram', an official spokesman said.

Legend has it that Gurgaon derived its name from the name of Guru Dronacharya, the master of archery in Mahabharata who tutored the Pandavas.

The village was given as gurudakshina to him by his students -- the Pandavas -- and hence it came to be known as Guru-gram, which in course of time is said to have got distorted to Gurgaon.

"Haryana is a historic land of the Bhagwat Gita and Gurgaon had been a centre of learning," the spokesman said.

"It had been known as Gurgaon since the times of Guru Dronacharya. Gurgaon was a great center of education where the princes used to be provided education. Therefore, since long the people of the area had been demanding that Gurgaon be renamed as Gurugram," he reasoned.

Congress reaction to the decision was mixed. While former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda welcomed it, his party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala, who also hails from Haryana, criticised the decision.

Hooda said the change of name is appropriate and the proposal had come during his time also. Surjewala said Gurgaon has an international branding and this is an exercise in pure superficiality.

The Haryana government also decided to rename Mewat district as Nuh. Mewat, in fact, is a geographical and cultural unit and not a town. It is spread beyond Haryana in the adjoining states of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, the spokesman said.

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