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Coordinates: 27°53′N 78°05′E / 27.88, 78.08
Aligarh pronunciation (Hindi: अलीगढ़, Urdu: علی گڑھ) is a city in Aligarh District in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The city is located about 90 miles south-east of New Delhi. It is the administrative headquarters of Aligarh District, and has a population of half a million. It is mostly known as a university town where the famous Aligarh Muslim University is located.
It is known till the 18th century by the earlier name of Kol. After the British occupation of Aligarh in September 1803, the present Aligarh district was formed in 1804
Both Akbar and Jahangir visited Kol on hunting expeditions. Jahangir clearly mentions the forest of Kol, where he killed wolves. From the study of the place-names of the district, it appears that the district was once fairly well covered by forest, thickets and grooves. The early history of the district, indeed down the 12th century AD is obscure.
Kol or Koil, was the earliest name of the city and Aligarh was the name of the fort nearby. Kol covered not only the city but the entire district, though its geographical limits kept changing from time to time. The origin of the name of Kol is obscure. In some ancient texts, Kol has been referred to in the sense of a tribe or Caste, name of a place or mountain and name of a sage or demon. During the time of Ibrahim Lodhi, when Muhammad, son of Umar was the governor of Kol, he built a fort at Kol and named the city after his own name as Muhammadgarh in 1524-25; and Sabit khan who was the governor of this region during the time of Farrukh Siyar and Muhammad Shah, rebuilt the fort and named the town after his own name Sabitgarh. After the occupation of Kol by the Jats in 1775, it was re-named Ramgarh and finally, when a Shia commander, Najaf khan, captures 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 Ally Ghur (1803)
The Battle of Ally Ghur was fought on September 1, 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 laid siege of the fort which was under first-rate French officer Perron and established British rule after overtaking the fort.
Establishment of Aligarh Muslim University (1875)
In 1875, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan founded the Muhammadan Anglo Oriental College in Aligarh and patterned the college after Oxford and Cambridge universities that he had visited on a trip to England. This later became Aligarh Muslim University in 1920.
Aligarh is located at 27.88° N 78.08° E. It has an average elevation of 178 metres (587 feet). The city is situated in the middle portion of Doab, or the land between the Ganges and Yamuna Rivers. The Grand Trunk Road passes through the city.
Aligarh has a hot and dry climate. The mean temperature for December and January, the coldest months is 59°F (15°C) and 54°F (12.2°C), and for May and June, the extreme hot months, 90°F (32.2°C) and 93°F (33.8°C) in the shade .
As of the census of 2001 , Aligarh had a population of 667,732. Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%. Aligarh has an average literacy rate of 55%, lower than the national average of 59.5%; with 59% of the males and 41% of females literate. 16% of the population is under 6 years of age.
The city is an agricultural trade centre. The processing of agricultural products and manufacturing are also important. It is particularly famous for locks and brass castings (sculptures). In 1870, Johnson & Co. was the first English locks firm to be set up in Aligarh. In 1890, the Johnson & Co. initiated the manual production of locks on a small scale here. There is a thermal power station 15 km away from the city. It is called Harduaganj Thermal Power Station (but referred as Kasimpur Power House)
Aligarh is synonymous with the University that is spread across much of the city civil lines area. Aligarh Muslim University is a residential academic institution of international repute offering more than 250 courses in traditional and modern branches of education. It is a premier central university with several faculties and maintained institutions and draws students from all corners of the world, specially Africa, West Asia and South East Asia.
Other famous schools of this city are:
- Our Lady of Fatima Secondary School
- Delhi Public School
- St. Fidelis
- Aligarh Public School
- Heritage International School (Tala Nagari & Premier Nagar)
- Three Dots
- D.S. Degree college
- S.V. Degree college
- T.R. Girls college
- Indian Institute of Medical Representative
- Institute Of Information Management Technology (IIMT)
- Blue Bird Senior Secondary School
- Shivadan Singh Institute of technology and management (SSITM)
- Aligarh College of Engineering and Management (ACEM)
- S.T.High School (Minto Circle)
- Albarkat Institute of Management (Anoop Shehar Road)
- zakir Hussain sr Sec School
There are 2 popular landmarks in Aligarh. One is Aligarh fort and another is Sir Syed Masjid in Aligarh Muslim University's campus.
The city also has a few known markets - Railway Road market, Centre Point Market, Amir Nisha and Shamshad market. Amir Nisha market is a major shopping hub, a favorite for women as it has a variety of clothes, jewelery and cosmetics. Another popular market for students is Shamshad market with many educational book shops. Center point market is known for its popular eating joints like Kwality, Mezbaan, Baskin Robbins and Wheelers and an ancient Lord Hanumaan temple named Tikaram Mandir. A huge rush can be seen in the temple on Tuesday.
Aligarh is also famous for its sweets and namkeens. Kunjilal, Khyaliram, Vikas sweets are among the top sweets shops, while Babboo and Dabboo lead the namekeen segment.
The Annual Cultural Exhibition at Exhibition ground is a very famous event and a huge affair in the month of January and February.
Important Residential Places
This city is divided into two areas known as Old Aligarh (City) & New Aligarh (Civil Lines). New Aligarh consists of Avantika colony, Ramghat road, Jamalpur, Sir Syed Nagar, Badar bagh, Zohrabagh, Surendra Nagar, Janakpuri, Professor colony, gyan sarover, maan sarover, Shyam Nagar, Medical Colony and Zakaria Market while Delhi Gate, Sasni Gate, Mahavir Ganj, Railway Road, Jaiganj, Uparkote, Gambhir pura, Mahendra Nagar, Saray Sultani, Janak Puri and Vikram Colony are some of the residential areas in old Aligarh.
A church in Naqvi Park, a lesser known part of Aligarh.
- ^ a b c d History of Aligarh
- ^ a b Britannica
- ^ Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Aligarh
- ^ Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns. (Provisional). Census Commission of India. Retrieved on 2007-09-03.
- ^ Census of India 2001
- ^ Times of India
- Aligarh First Advanced Web portal :: Free Aligarh Yellow Pages :: Bringing Aligarh City online
- Aligarh Muslim University