Akola is a city in the state
of Maharashtra located in the Vidarbha
region in central India.
located around 600 km east of Mumbai (former
"Bombay") and 250 km west of Nagpur.
the headquarter of Akola
District located in
Division.Akola District has an area of about 54.31 square kilometers and
population of 1,629,305 million people (2001 census).
is the most popularly
, though English and
Hindi are also used. Akola District is bounded on the north and to the east by Amravati
District, to the
south by Washim District, and to the
west by Buldhana
Akola, also called Cotton City, is renowned for its cotton
production and is the largest cotton producing
district in India. The city is also famous for its pulses
(dal), oil and textile
. Akola is also renowned for its medical facilities. It is
a major center for advanced medical treatments, such as The
Elizarov technique, IVF
Major hospitals in Akola include the Civil Hospital
, Chaudhary Hospital and Akola
Critical Care Unit
, one of the highest circulated and
leading Marathi newspaper in Vidharbha region, originated from
Akola. Other prominent newspapers published from Akola include
and Dainik Matrubhumi
Akola Fort - A part of History preserved.
along with the rest of the Berar
province was part of the legendary kingdom
mentioned in the Mahabharata
. Berar also
formed part of the Mauryan Empire
during the reign of Asoka
). Berar later came under the rule of the
Satavahana dynasty (2nd century BCE–2nd century CE), the Vakataka dynasty (3rd to 6th
centuries), the Chalukya
dynasty (6th to 8th centuries), the
Rashtrakuta dynasty (8th to 10th centuries), the Chalukyas again (10th to
12th centuries) and finally the
Yadava dynasty of Devagiri (late 12th
to early 14th centuries).
period of Muslim
rule began when Ala ud din Khilji
, Sultan of Delhi
, conquered the region in the
early 14th century. The region was part of the Bahmani Sultanate
, which broke away from
the Delhi Sultanate in the mid-14th century. The Bahmani Sultanate
broke up into smaller sultanates at the end of the 15th century,
and in 1572 Berar became part of the Nizam
Shahi sultanate, based at Ahmednagar.
The Nizam Shahis ceded Berar to the
in 1595. The Mughals
ruled the Berar
province during 17th century.
As Mughal rule started to unravel at the start of the 18th century,
Asaf Jah I
seized the southern provinces of the empire (including Berar) in
1724, forming an independent state.
But the rise of Maratha Empire
1674 to 1760) under the command of Chhatrapati Shivaji
succeeded by his son Sambhaji
and grandson Shahu
brought the whole Berar province including Akola district under the
Maratha Empire around 1734. In 1749 at the time of his death,
appointed the Peshwa as the head of the
Maratha Empire with certain conditions to follow. The loss in the
third battle of Panipat
1761 weakened the Maratha empire
corrupted the power of Peshwa forever. The Berar province remained
under the Marathas
of Argaon, (or Adgaon near Akot) in took
place on the 28th of November 1803 between the British under the
command of Governor Arthur Wellesley and the forces of Maratha under Bhonsle of
Nagpur during Second
In the third Anglo-Maratha War
, the last
Peshwa Baji Rao II
, was defeated by the
British. In 1853, Akola district together with the rest of Berar came under the
administration of the British East
India Company. Berar was divided into East and West Berar
included in West Berar.
In 1903, Berar was leased to the
Nizam of Hyderabad
by the British
East India Company in return of the debt.
After India gained its Independence in 1947, the states and
provinces were reorganized in 1956. Berar was divided among
different states. Akola became a part of bilingual Bombay state which
was further divided into two states in 1960. Akola became a part
of the new Maharashtra State.
, Akot fort,Akola fort
Balapur Fort are some of the famous monuments in Akola.
Geography and Climate
Sundarabai Khandelwal Tower - Landmark of Akola city.
The location of Akola is latitude 20.7° North and longitude 77.07°
East. Akola is located at an altitude of 925 ft (282m)
above sea level
. The climate is
tropical and people prodominately wear cotton clothes. Akola has a
National Weather Station
serves as the local weather center for Akola. Annual temperatures
range from a high of 48°C (118°F) to a low of 10°C (50°F).
lies on the Tropic of
Cancer and becomes very hot during summer especially in
Although it can be very hot int he day it is cool at
night. The annual rainfall averages 850 mm. Most of the
rainfall occurs in the monsoon season
between June and September but some rain does fall during January
On the north, Akola is bounded by the Melghat Hills and forest
region. Morna River flows through Akola. Purna River
forms a part of the north bounder of
the district and the top north portion of the district lies within
its watershed along with Aas River and Shahnur River. Vaan River
forms a part of the northwest boundary
of the district after entering from the Amravati district. Maan
River drains the southwestern portion of the district. Morna River
drains the mid-south
portion of the district, while the southeast is drained by the
Katepurna and Uma rivers.
Some of the rivers in Akola and their tributaries are Purna, Uma,
Katepurna, Shahanur, Morna, Mann, Aas and Vaan. There are many dams
in Akola district. Mahan located om Katepurna river is one of them.
There have been floods in years 1978,1992 and 2003.
India census, Akola city had a population of 399,978. Of the total population, males constitute around 52% and females around 48%. Thirteen per cent of the total population is under the age of 6 years.
Akola has an average literacy rate
around 75%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with 55% of
the males and 45% of females are literate.
The local administration body is the Municipal Corporation
. Akola Municipal
Corporation is headed by the Municipal Commissioner and an elected
Mayor. There are 71 electoral wards in Akola. A corporator is
elected in each of the wards and they elect the Mayor by majority
vote. Akola Municipal Transport (AMT) runs Akola's public transport
The Akola MIDC Industrial Area has two prominent industrial zones
on the outskirts of the city. The total land under Akola MIDC
Industrial area is 6.25 km2
. There are about 25
factories (3 large factories and 22 small factories) currently in
production and another 10 small factories are in the process of
being constructed. Maharashtra Government has sanctioned growth
centres close to Akola MIDC area. An application of the Maharashtra
Industrial Development Corporation
(MIDC) for setting up an
Agro- processing Special Economic
(SEZ) in Akola district has been approved. Notable
industries in and around Akola city are1. Akola Pulses Distribution
Network Limited2. MAHABEEJ - Agriculture3.Changoiwala Industries
(produces cottonseed cake and cottonseed oil)4. Saboo Industries5.
Mittal Agro Industries - Pulses Manufacturing6. Gujrath Ambuja
Exports Ltd. - Soya Oil
Plant7. Leben Laboritories - Pharmaceuticals8. National Organic Chemical
Industries Limited (NOCIL)
- Rubber Chemicals9. Ambarish Dal Mill10. Akola Chemicals and
Industries Pvt. Ltd. - Chemicals11. Polyolefins Industries Limited
- Chemicals12. Padsons Industries Pvt. Ltd. - Manufacturing13.
Rallis India Ltd.14. Maharashtra Insecticides Ltd.15. Reliance
Relpol Plastics Ltd. (Hasti Pipes)16.Maharashtra State Seeds
Corporation Limited (known as "MAHABEEJ") meets about 80% of the
demand of seeds in the State.The Construction Industry in Akola has
become stagnate in the last few years. There are few renowned
players in construction Industry which are: Prabhakar Builders,
Galaxy Constructions, Bangad Builders, Kasat Builders, Nisarga
Builders. There are early symptoms that the construction industry
in Akola will can power. The Government Of India formally approved
Food Processing Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Akola.
Hindi, Marathi and English movies are screened in eight cinema
halls in Akola city. BIG Cinemas multiplex is started on 29 Oct
2009 with four Cinemas namely London Dreams, Alladin, Wake up Sid
and All The Best. It has replaced the Radha Krishna theater.
Marathi dramas starring Bharat Jadhav, Prashant Damle
and other prominent actors are
frequently enacted in Pramilatai Oak Hall and Open Theatre located
on Mahtma Gandhi Road (Main Market Road).
Akola has its own FM radio channel run by All India Radio
(AIR). Recently a private FM
radio channel Radio City
91.1 FM has also
started broadcasting. The city has a Television Relay Centre and
re-broadcasts on its Channel-1 the National Programmes from Delhi
& Sahyadri Mumbai's Marathi programmes. Also it re-broadcast
(DD-II's) DD News programmes from Delhi on its Channel-2. Both the
channels are in FTA (Free to Air
The Television Centre is managed by the Doordarshan Maintenance
Centre, Akola, a circle centre headed by a senior officer
designated as the Station Engineer. It also broadcasts
narrow-casting programmes for the farmers of the region. The
software for which is supplied by DDK-Nagpur through recording
programmes at PKV-Akola and various Departments of the State
Government of Maharashtra.
Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth (PDKV) Akola -
Akola has a famous Agricultural University Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh
founded by Late Dr. Gopalrao Khedkar
(PDKV or PKV
). The university attracts students from far
distances for its Agricultural Engineering and Technology courses.
All other professional colleges in Akola are affiliated with
Sant Gadge Baba
. Othe courses are offered such as Engineering
at (Shivaji Engineering College,
) and Medical
Science colleges (as Government Medical College,
Goenka Dental College
Other prominently known colleges of Akola city are RLT College of Science
Commerce College, Shivaji Arts, Commerce and Science College,
Sitabai Arts College, Radha Devi Goenka Mahila Mahavidyalaya,
Sudhakarrao Naik Arts and Commerce College, RT Ayurvedic
Mahavidyalaya, Government. College of Education, Tirupati Tantra
Niketan and KM Asghar Hussain Junior Art, Commerce and Science
College, Akola Law College. Shri Sant
Gajanan Maharaj College of Engineering (SSGMCE) at
Shegaon (in Buldhana
District) is a renowned engineering college of the region and
located is 45 km away from Akola city.
Some schools are affiliated with
Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary
. The Municipal Corporation controls all public school
A full grown Cotton Plant.
Agriculture or Farming is the main occupation of the people in
rural parts of the region. Cotton
) are the
essential crops grown in the district. Other important crops of the
region are Wheat
), Harbara (Chick Peas
), Toor (Pigeon
), Ulad and Mung (Green Gram
) etc. Most crops are
dependent on the monsoon. Only 15% of Maharashtra's gross cropped
area is irrigated, as against the national average of 32.9% in
1989-90. Vidarbha's Amravati division's (includes Akola District)
share of gross cropped area under irrigation 9%.
Considered one of Maharashtra's least developed regions, Vidarbha
has seen not only farmer's suicides but also deaths caused by
malnutrition. In some tribal aremajor reason of recent suicide
deaths of farmers in the Akola region and other surrounding parts
of Vidarbha, which has rang alarming bells in the Maharashtra State
Government and Governemnet of India. Bharat Krishak Samaj
one of the leading organization of farmers in India is very active
in Akola region. It has played a crucial role in promoting the
voice of the common farmers of the Vidarbha region to the attention
of the Indian Government
Vidarbha region has long demanded a separate state, to support the
Economy and Agriculture of this region; which has been neglected by
the Maharashtra State Government in all sectors. The Government of
India's intervention has failed to provide government aid packages,
but it has also failed to bring any change in the condition of the
farmers of this region. Oil and Dal mills are becoming rampant in
this region because of the crops taken. Textile mills are also
increasing to support the cotton
Mount Carmel School Chowk - Railway Station Road, Akola.
Akola Airport (also known as Shivani Airport) is the
domestic airport of Akola city at
an elevation of 999 ft (304 m) and has one runway
The Airport is just 7 km away
from the city on National Highway number 6
nearest domestic airport is at Nagpur.
work of renovation and operations of Akola airport has been taken
by Airport Authority of India. Air Deccan
is starting intermittent flights from Mumbai and Nagpur to
"NH6" runs through Akola from Hajira (Surat) to Kolkata.
NH6 is a part of Asian
buses are most commonly used by people to
travel to rural parts of the region. They are the cheapest means of transport
and private air-conditioned
bus services run daily
buses to most important cities to and from Akola. The bus frequency
Akola Municipal Transport (AMT) runs Akola's public transport
service. Autorickshaw is also widely used in Akola city for city
transport. Traffic is generally a problem, in the form of
congestions due to increasing number of vehicles, bad roads, stray
animals and a general disregard of traffic
. Road accidents are often fatal and are very common. The
municipal corporation is trying to improve the roads in Akola city
through IRDP (Integrated Rural Development Planning). This may
create a new face of the city.
also has good railway connectivity with direct trains to Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Okha, Kolhapur, Pune, Bhusawal, Wardha, Nagpur, Howrah, Puri, Chennai, Jaipur and Hyderabad.
railway junction situated on both
the Mumbai-Bhusawal-Wardha-Nagpur-Howrah rail line
and the Kacheguda-Jaipur meter gauge
line is an important junction for passengers from North and South
India and also for goods trains.Broadgauging of
Akola-Purna railway line
under Unigauge has recently completed and
passenger train have started running on this
route.Important railway stations in Akola region
with their codes are Paras, Gaigaon, Akola Junction(AK), Murtajapur Junction
(MZR) and are under Bhusawal-Badnera Section of Bhusawal Division of Central
The other stations under meter gauge are Hiwarkhed (HWK), Adgaon
Buzurg (ABZ), Akot (AKOT), Patsul (PTZ), Ugwe (UGWE), Akola
Junction, Shivani Shivpur (SVW), Barshitakli (BSQ), Lohogad (LHD),
Amna Vadi (AMW), Jaulka (JUK) are under Purna - Khandwa Section of
South Central Railway
stations under narrow gauge are Lakhpuri, Murtajapur Junction,
Karanja under two Narrow Gauge Branch lines viz Murtajapur-Achalpur and Murtajapur-Yavatmal of Bhusawal Division of Central Railway.
This year only (2009), a new railway station is built at
Shivani-Shivar. It is the modification of narrow gauge
station in to broad gauge
station. It now connects
Purna to Hyderabad through Akola.
It is a great effort taken by
railway to make traveling and communicating accessible for Akola
Religion and Culture
Raj-Rajeshwar Temple, Akola.
"Raj Rajeshwar Temple" in Akola is a famous pilgrimage done by
worshippers of Lord Shiva
and has a great
historical heritage. During the Marathi calendar month of
'Shravan', there is a large amount of devotees to worship Lord
Shiva especially on every Monday of the month. The month of Shravan
is very sacred according to Hindu Religion
worshippers travel from long distances to Raj Rajeshwar Temple to
worship Lord Shiva.
Maharaj Mandir at Akot and Baladevi temple at Balapur both in
District are also
famous religious temples near Akola.
Also in Balapur,
'Chatri' momento by Raja Jaisingh in the memory of his Horse is
famous as well. The Atishay kshatra Shri Antariksh
Parshvanath Jain Temple is situated in Shirpur (Akola District) about 75 km away from Akola.
Black colored idol of Bhagawan Parshvanath is ancient and is famous
amongst Jain Temples in Maharashtra.
Shri Sant Gajanan Maharaj, Shegaon (Buldhana District).
Other Temples in Akola city are:
Temple)Shreenath Dutta Mandir, Ramdas Peth,Jain Temple, Swami
Samarth muth (Temple) at Ramdas peth.
Shegaon (in Buldhana
District), a very famous pilgrimage
place of "Shri Sant Gajanan
Maharaj", is just 45 km away from Akola.
Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan is the biggest temple trust in the
Vidarbha region and is so called as "Pandharpur of Vidarbha". The
origin of Sant Gajanan Maharaj is untraceable in history. People
from all over Maharashtra visit Shegaon and offer their prayers to
Shri Sant Gajanan Maharaj. Akola is known as a colorful city
because of its many festivals. Ganesh
, Makar Sankranti
are celebrated with special
- Brijlal Biyani (Freedom fighter
& demanded a separate "Vidharbha State". In his honor, the
Indian government has dedicated a postal
stamp of him.)
- Prakash Ambedkar
(Bharat Ratna Dr. Babasaheb
Ambedkar's grandson and former Loksabha Member)
- Patrick Barr an Australian Actor
born in Akola
- A.Q. Siddiqui famous urdu-english shorty story
writer, winner of Maharashtra state Urdu Academy award for his book
"Sukhe Ped Ka Dard", currently a U.S. Citizen attached to all major
Indian Newspapers in Chicago