Aligarh ( (listen); formerly known as Ramgarh, Allygurh and Kol) is a city in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. It is the administrative headquarters of Aligarh district, and lies 307 kilometres (191 mi) northwest of Kanpur and approximately 130 kilometres (81 mi) southeast of the capital, New Delhi. The districts which adjoin Aligarh are Gautam Buddha Nagar, Bulandshahr, Sambhal, Badaun, Kasganj, Hathras and Mathura. As of 2011, Aligarh is the 53rd most populous city in India.
|• Type||Municipal corporation|
|• Body||Aligarh Nagar Nigam|
|• Mayor||Mohammad Furqan, (BSP)|
|Elevation||178 m (584 ft)|
|• Additional official||Urdu|
|• Regional||Braj Bhasha|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
The recorded history of Aligarh begins with the establishment of the Aligarh Fort in the 16th century. It is a university town, notable as the seat of Aligarh Muslim University, which was founded here as Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College in 1875, initiating the Aligarh movement.
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Before the 18th century, Aligarh was known as Kol. The history of the district up until the 12th century is obscure.
Sometime before the Muslim conquest, Kol was held by the Dor Rajputs. At the time of Mahmud of Ghazni, the chief of the Dors was Hardatta of Baran. Statues of Buddha and other Buddhist remains have been found in excavations where the citadel of Koil stood, indicating a Buddhist influence. Hindu remains indicate that the citadel probably had a Hindu temple after the Buddhist temple. In 1194, Qutb-ud-din Aibak marched from Delhi to Kol, "one of the most celebrated fortresses of Hind". Qutb-ud-din Aibak appointed Hisam-ud-din Ulbak as the first Muslim governor of Kol.
Kol is mentioned in Ibn Battuta's Rihla, when Ibn Battuta along with 15 ambassadors representing Ukhaantu Khan, emperor of the Mongol Chinese Yuan dynasty, travelled to Kol city en route to the coast at Cambay (in Gujarat) in 1341. According to Battuta, it would appear that the district was then in a very disturbed state since the escort of the Emperor's embassy had to assist in relieving Jalali from an attacking body of Hindus and lost an officer in the fight. Ibn Batuta calls Kol "a fine town surrounded by mango groves". From these same groves the environs of Kol would appear to have acquired the name Sabzabad or "the green country".
In the reign of Akbar, Kol was made a Sirkar and included the dasturs of Marahra, Kol ba Haveli, Thana Farida and Akbarabad. Akbar and Jahangir visited Kol on hunting expeditions. Jahangir clearly mentions the forest of Kol, where he killed wolves.
During the time of Ibrahim Lodhi, Muhammad, son of Umar, was the governor of Kol. He built a fort at Kol and named the city Muhammadgarh, after himself, in 1524–25. Sabit Khan, who was then the governor of this region, rebuilt the old Lodhi fort and named the town Sabitgarh, after himself.
The ruler of Koil was Bargujar King Rao Bahadur Singh who, in 1753, rose against the destruction of Hindu temples. The Jat ruler, Surajmal, with help from Jai Singh of Jaipur and the Muslim army, occupied the fort of Koil. Bahadur Singh continued the battle from another fort and died fighting in what is known as the "Battle of Ghasera". It was renamed Ramgarh and finally, when a Shia commander, Najaf Khan, captured Kol, he gave it its present name of Aligarh. Aligarh Fort (also called Aligarh Qila), as it stands today, was built by French engineers under the control of French officers Benoît de Boigne and Perron.
Battle of Aligarh (1803)Edit
The Battle of Aligarh was fought on 1 September 1803 during the Second Anglo-Maratha War (1803–1805) at Aligarh Fort. The British 76th Regiment, now known as the Duke of Wellington's Regiment besieged the fort, which was under the control of the French officer Perron, and established British rule. In 1804, the Aligarh district was formed by the union of the second, third and fourth British divisions with the addition of Anupshahr from Muradabad and Sikandra Rao from Etawa. On 1 August 1804, Claude Russell was appointed the first Collector of the new district.
The city is administered by Nagar Nigam Aligarh (Municipal Corporation), which is responsible for performing civic administrative functions administered by Mayor and Municipal Commissioner (PCS Officer). Infrastructure development of the city is looked after by the Aligarh Development Authority (ADA) administered by Divisional Commissioner (Chairman) and Vice-Chairman (PCS Officer).
Aligarh is the headquarters of Aligarh Police Range and Aligarh Division. A DIG looks after Aligarh for legal condition and law; a Commissioner looks for four districts of Aligarh Division (Aligarh, Etah, Hathras, Kasganj).
According to the 2011 Census, Aligarh has a total population of 874,408, of which 461,772 are males and 412,636 are females. Population in the age range 0–6 years is 119,543. The literacy rate is 59.15%, of which the male literacy rate is 63.42% and female literacy rate is 54.37%. The effective literacy rate of 7+ population of Aligarh was 68.5%, of which male literacy rate was 62.9% and the female literacy rate was 70.8%The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes have a population of 138,184 and 332 respectively. There were 147363 households in Aligarh as of 2011.
Aligarh is located at the coordinates  It has an elevation of approximately 178 metres (587 feet). The city is in the middle portion of the doab, the land between the Ganges and the Yamuna rivers. The Grand Trunk Road passes through it via NH-91 is 134 km from capital of India..
Aligarh has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate, typical of north-central India. Summers start in April and are hot with temperatures peaking in May. The average temperature range is 28–38 °C (82–100 °F). The monsoon season starts in late June, continuing till early October, bringing high humidity. Aligarh gets most of its annual rainfall of 800 millimetres (31 in) during these months. Temperatures then decrease, and winter sets in December, and continues till February. Temperatures range between 5–11 °C (41–52 °F). Winters in Aligarh are generally mild, but 2011–12 experienced the lowest temperature of 1 °C. The fog and cold snaps are extreme.
|Climate data for Aligarh (1981–2010, extremes 1932–2011)|
|Record high °C (°F)||30.7
|Average high °C (°F)||19.8
|Average low °C (°F)||7.1
|Record low °C (°F)||0.0
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||13.4
|Average rainy days||1.3||1.4||1.0||0.9||2.6||3.9||9.0||10.4||5.9||0.9||0.5||0.7||38.3|
|Average relative humidity (%) (at 17:30 IST)||64||56||46||32||34||46||67||75||67||53||57||61||55|
|Source: India Meteorological Department|
Aligarh is an important business center of Uttar Pradesh and is most famous for its lock industry. Aligarh locks are exported across the world. In 1870, Johnson & Co. was the first English lock firm in Aligarh. In 1890, the company initiated production of locks on a small scale here.
Aligarh is famous for its brass hardware and sculpture. Today, the city holds thousands of manufacturers, exporters, and suppliers involved in the brass, bronze, iron and aluminum industries.
Wave Distillery, making Kingfisher beer, is located at Atrauli in Aligarh.
Aligarh is a major educational hub, housing over 100 independent colleges and educational institutions. Notable institutions include:
Aligarh has several popular landmarks. Most notable few of them are Aligarh fort, Khereshwar Temple which is the birthplace of Swami Shri Haridas Ji, Teerthdham Mangalayatan Mandir and Dor fortress (1524), which is now in ruins, lies at the city's centre; its site is in the area now called Upper Fort (Balai Qila) and is occupied by an 18th-century mosque. The area Shah Jamal is very famous for a Sufi saint Syed Shah Jamal is also known as Shamsul Arifeen, of whom the tomb is located at Shahjamal area and surrounded by a graveyard. The Sufi Saint is mentioned by Ibn Battuta in his book The Travels of Ibn Battuta. The saint is said to be of Sufi Chishtiya order.
The Annual Cultural Exhibition, popularly known as Numaish, is held at the exhibition ground in January and February. The land Numaish Ground was donated By Nawab Rehmat Ullah Khan Sherwani. The cultural shows take place at three grand stages (Kohinoor, Krishnanjali and Muktakash). In all, more than 150 stage events featuring artists from across India take place during a period of 28–30 days.
- Shekha Jheel, Bird Sanctuary
- Maulana Azad Library, AMU (Estd 1875)
- Sir Syed Masjid in Aligarh Muslim University's campus.
Aligarh Muslim UniversityEdit
Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) is one of the oldest central universities. It was established by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan as Madrasatul Uloom Musalmanan-e-Hind in 1875–78 which later became Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College (MAO College). It was designed to train Muslims for government services in India and prepare them for advanced training in British universities. The Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College became Aligarh Muslim University in 1920. It is famous for its Law, Medical, and Engineering College.
Ibn Sina Academy of Medieval Medicine and Sciences maintains 'Museum on History of Medicine and Sciences' and 'Museum on Arts, Culture and Orientalism'. It was established by a family Hakim Syed Zillur Rahman and Syed Ziaur Rahman at the heart of the city and near a busy market of Dodhpur.
Aligarh Junction railway station is the primary station for Aligarh city and is a major stop on the Delhi-Kolkata route. It is an A-Class railway station. It is one of the oldest railway station of this route. It connects Aligarh to the states of West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand, north-east and most of Uttar Pradesh, and important stations of cities such as New Delhi railway station, Mumbai Central, Kolkata, Bhopal Junction railway station, Indore, Jammu, Gwalior, Lucknow, Jhansi, Puri, Kanpur Central railway station, Etawah Junction railway station, Tundla Junction railway station, Agra Cantonment railway station and Varanasi. Aligarh railway station handles over 136 trains daily (in both directions) and serves around 204,000 passengers every day. Aligarh has one Branch Railway Line to Bareily.
Aligarh City has following railway stations:
- Aligarh Junction: an A-Class Railway Station
- Somna (Gabhana) railway station
- Mahrawal railway station
- Kalua railway station
- Daudkhan railway station
- Mandrak railway station
- Harduaganj railway station (Satha, near Kasimpur Power House)
- Manjoorgarhi railway station (Chherat)
Aligarh is 140 km from New Delhi. It is one of the Division of UPSRTC. Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) buses serve cities all over the state and cities in Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana.
Aligarh City has two UPSRTC bus stations:
- Aligarh Depot bus station
- Masoodabad (Budh Vihar) Depot bus station
- ISBT Rasualabad Sarsaul under construction
There are buses plying from Aligarh to Delhi at frequent intervals via
1) Khair, Tappal, Palval, Faridabad, Delhi - The route is under construction between Khair and Palval and should be strictly avoided by cars. No toll charges.
2) Khair, Tappal, Yamuna expressway, Noida, Greater Noida, Delhi, Gurgaon - Best and recommended route for Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon. Toll Charges are ₹120 between Aligarh and Delhi.
3) Old GT Road, Bulandshahr, Ghaziabad, Delhi - NH 91 - It is a 4-lane highway. Toll charges are ₹190.
Following Highways are connected to Aligarh:
- National Highway 91 - It connects Kolkata to national capital New Delhi. Ghaziabad-Bulandshahr-Aligarh section is a 4-Lane Highway.
- National Highway 93 - It connects Moradabad to Taj Nagri Agra via Aligarh. Aligarh-Agra section is constructed as Brijbhoomi Expressway.
- Yamuna Expressway - It is a 6-Lane Expressway connecting Greater Noida with Agra.
Aligarh City has Mahanagar Bus Service (City Bus Service) which provides local transport to Aligarh.
- Route-1 J N Medical-Uperkot
- Route-2 Gandhi Park-Sarsaul
- Route-3 Ghantarbagh-Quarsi
- Route-4 Gandhi Park-Boner
- Route-5 Etah Chungi-Collectrate
Aligarh Airport, in Dhanipur, is under construction on NH 91. Dhanipur Air Strip is used as Flying Club. The Government of Uttar Pradesh signed a memorandum of understanding with the Airports Authority of India in February 2014 for the development of the airport. The land acquisition for airport will be initiated soon and after its development flight operations will be started under regional connectivity scheme.
The government has proposed to operate city buses in Aligarh with following routes:
- Aligarh Fort–Law Faculty–Firdaus Nagar–Shamshad–Collectorate–University Circle–Lal Diggi Lake–Amir Nishan–Marris Road Crossing–Kela Nagar Crossing–Chungi/Ramghat Road–Quarsi Crossing–Indrapuri/Great Mall–Mahaveer Nagar–DPS Civil Lines–St. Fidelis–Heritage–UPSIDC Harduaganj
- Bannadevi Crossing–Methodist Church–Exhibition Ground–RMPS Park–Ghantaghar–Centre Point–Melrose-Marris Road Crossing–Kela Nagar Crossing
- Railway Station–Ghantaghar Circle–Tibiyya College–Lal Diggi Lake–Amir Nishan–Marris Road Crossing–Kela Nagar Crossing–Chungi/Ramghat–Quarsi Crossing–Jeevangarh–Dhorra–Jamalpur–Ayesha Tarin School
Businessmen and entrepreneursEdit
- Sir Ziauddin Ahmad, Mathematician, M.L.A. (Central), Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University Movement. He established several institution including J.N. Medical College.
- Sir Syed Ahmad Khan founder of Aligarh Muslim University
Writers, poets and publishersEdit
- A.R. Akela, Dalit author and publisher, owner of "Anand Sahitya Sadan
- Syed Amin Ashraf, Urdu poet and professor of English at AMU
- Qurratulain Hyder, Padma Bhushan, Urdu novelist, writer, and journalist
- Akhlaq Mohammed Khan, pen name Shaharyar, Urdu poet, Bollywood lyricist and served as Professor at Aligarh Muslim University
- Munshi Nawal Kishore, book publisher
- Jainendra Kumar, Hindi writer
- Gopaldas Neeraj, poet, recipient of Padma Bhushan
- Saghar Nizami, Urdu Poet
- Prem Kishore Patakha, Hindi Humorous Poet
- Maitreyi Pushpa, Hindi fiction writer
- Rameshraj Tewarikar, Hindi Tewari poet, Editor:′ Tewari-Paksha (tri-monthly)
- Irfan Habib, eminent Indian historian and Professor Emeritus at Aligarh Muslim University
- Mohammad Habib (1895–1971), noted Indian historian and served as Professor Emeritus at Aligarh Muslim University
- Shamim Ara, Pakistani film actress
- Bharat Bhushan, Bollywood actor, scriptwriter and producer
- Aadesh Chaudhary, Indian television actor
- Nitin Chauhaan, Indian television actor
- Ravindra Jain, Bollywood music director
- Vierendrra Lalit, Bollywood film director-cinematographer.
- Chandrachur Singh, Bollywood actor
- Hasan Zaidi, Indian television actor
- Zarina, Indian artist
- Piyush Chawla, Indian cricketer
- Zafar Iqbal, Former hockey captain of India
- Annu Raj Singh, international shooter
- Rinku Singh, Cricketer
- Satish Kumar Gautam, current MP from, Aligarh (Lok Sabha constituency)
- Sheela Gautam, Ex MP & owner of Sleepwell
- Jamal Khwaja, Ex MP
- Sanjeev Raja, Current MLA
- Bijendra Singh, Ex MP
- Chaudhary Sunil Singh, Ex MLC
- Dalbir Singh Chaudhary, MLA from Baruli vidhansabha constituency
- Rajendra Singh, Ex Agriculture and Irrigation Minister, Govt of Uttar Pradesh
- Sandeep Singh, MLA Atrauli, grandson of Sh. Kalyan Singh
- Thakur Jaivir Singh, Ex MLA (Now MLC)
- Khwaja Abdul Hamied, Pharmacist, founder of Cipla (pharmaceutical company)
- Hakim Syed Zillur Rahman, Unani physician and author
- Ashok Seth, an Indian interventional cardiologist
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