Akola is a city in Vidarbha region in the state of Maharashtra in central India. It is about 290 miles (580 km) east of the state capital Mumbai and 140 miles (250 km) west of the second capital Nagpur. Akola is the administrative headquarters of Akola District located in Amravati Division. Akola city is governed by Akola Municipal Corporation.
Akola District has an area of about 5,431 square kilometres and a population of 1,818,617 (2011 census). Akola is the third largest city in Vidarbha region after Nagpur and Amravati. Marathi is the most popular spoken language, though Hindi, English and Urdu are also used. Akola District is bordered on the north and east by Amravati District, on the south by Washim District, and on the west by Buldhana District.
History Of Akola:
Akola District along with the rest of the Berar province was part of the legendary kingdom of Vidarbha mentioned in the Mahabharata. Barar also formed part of the Mauryan Empire during the reign of Ashoka (272 to 231 BCE). 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). A 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 Ahmadnagar. The Nizam Shahis ceded Berar to the Mughal Empire 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, Nizam of Hyderabad seized the southern provinces of the empire (including Berar) in 1724, forming an independent state.The rise of Maratha Empire (from 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, Shahu appointed the Peshwa as the head of the Maratha Empire with certain conditions to follow. The Berar province remained under the Marathas.
The Battle of Argaon, (or Adgaon near Akot) in took place on 28 November 1803 between the British under the command of Governor Arthur Wellesley and the forces of Maratha under Bhonsle of Nagpur during Second Anglo-Maratha War. 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 with Akola district being 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.The Congress’s proposed linguistic provinces plan before the Independence of India had positioned Akola as the headquarters of the Berar region.After India gained its independence in 1947, the states and provinces were reorganised 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. The Narnala fort, Akot fort, Akola fort and Balapur Fort are some of the famous monuments in Akola.
Geography and climate:
Akola is located at latitude 20.7° North and longitude 77.07° East. It is at an altitude of 925 ft (282m) above sea level. Akola has a tropical savanna climate (Köppen climate classification Aw), and people predominately wear cotton clothes. Akola has a National Weather Station which serves as the local weather centre. Annual temperatures range from a high of 47.6 °C (117.68 °F) to a low of 2.2 °C (35.96 °F). Akola lies near the Tropic of Cancer and becomes very hot during the summer, especially in May. Although it can be very hot in the day, it is cooler at night. The annual rainfall averages 800 mm. Most of the rainfall occurs in the monsoon season between June and September, but some rain does fall during January and February.
On the north, Akola is bordered by the Melghat Hills and forest region. The highest point in Akola District at about 950–970 m is present there in the northern Satpuda region. The Morna River flows through Akola. Purna River forms a part of the north border 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, Shahnur, Morna, Man, Aas and Vaan. There are many dams in Akola district; Mahan, on Katepurna river is one of them. There were floods in 1978, 1992, and 2003.
Akola is home to Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth (PDKV), established by the government of Maharashtra on 20 October 1969. Earlier, it was part of Maharashtra Krishi Vidyapeeth since 1968. The university attracts students from far distances for its agricultural science and agricultural engineering and technology courses. All other professional colleges in Akola are affiliated with Sant Gadge Baba Amravati University.
- Shivaji Engineering College, Akola COETA
- Bhonsla College of Engineering & Research
- Manav School of Engineering & Management, Vyala
Medical science colleges
- Government Medical College, Akola
- Jamnalal Goenka Dental College
- R.T. Ayurved Mahavidyalay
- Homeopathic Medical College
- Shri Janta Homeopathic Medical College
Other prominent colleges of Akola city
- Shankarlal Khandelwal College of Science, Commerce and Arts
- RLT College of Science
- LRT Commerce College
- Shivaji Arts, Commerce and Science College
- Sitabai Arts and commerce College
- Radha Devi Goenka Mahila Mahavidyalaya (RDG)
- Sudhakarrao Naik Arts and Commerce College
- RT Ayurvedic Mahavidyalaya
- Government College of Education
- Tirupati Tantra Niketan
- KM Asghar Husain Junior Art, Commerce and Science College
- Akola Law College
- Gajanan Maharaj College of Engineering (SSGMCE) at Shegaon (in Buldhana District) is a renowned engineering college of the region, 45 km away from Akola city.
- NCC‘s 11 MAH Battalion is based in Akola, on the outskirts of the city near Jawaharlal Nehru Public Park.
Akola Municipal Transport (AMT) runs Akola’s public transport service. Autorickshaws are also widely used in Akola city for city transport. The municipal corporation is working with the IRDP (Integrated Rural Development Planning) to develop the roads of the city. The stopped service of AMT bus transport was restarted in December 2015 with a total of 35 buses.
Maharashtra state transport buses are most commonly used by people to travel to rural parts of the region. State-owned and private air-conditioned bus services run on daily basis to most major cities to and from Akola. Bus service is available for cities like Pune, Nagpur, Bhopal, Indore, Hyderabad, Nanded, Amravati, Mumbai, Nashik, Surat and Jabalpur, as well as other important cities and towns in Maharashtra and the neighbouring states.
Broadgauging of the Akola Junction–Purna railway line has recently been completed and passenger trains have started running on this route. The work ofgauge conversion (meter gauge-broad gauge) of Akola Junction – Indore Junction MG and Indore Junction MG – Ratlam railway line of SCR zone has started and is projected to be completed in a few years.
Akola has good railway connectivity with direct trains to Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Okha, Surat, Nanded, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Kolhapur, Pune, Kamakhya, Indore, Mhow, Ujjain, Khandwa, Ratlam, Bhopal, Chittorgarh, Nagpur, Bilaspur, Howrah, Hatia, Puri, Chennai, Hingoli, Purna, Parli, Tirupati, Ganganagar, Secundarabad, and many more important railway stations in the country.
Important railway stations in Akola region with their codes are Paras, Gaigaon, Akola Junction (AK), Murtizapur Junction (MZR) and are under the Bhusawal–Badnera section of Bhusawal Division of Central Railway.
Some of the trains originated from Akola Junction are:
- Akola – Kacheguda Intercity Express
- Akola – Purna Passenger
- Akola – Parli – Adilabad Passenger
- Akola – MHOW Passenger
- Akola – Ujjain Fast Passenger
- Akola – Narkher Special Express
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), Aman Vadi (AMW), and Jaulka (JUK) under Purna – Khandwa section of South Central Railway.
In 2009, a new railway station was built at Shivani-Shivar to reduce the load of goods transport of Akola Junction railway station. It is the modification of a meter gauge station into a broad gauge station. It now connects Purna to Hyderabad through Akola. Akola Junction railway station is one of the Top 100 Booking Stations in India. Now Akola urban area has two stations – Akola Junction and Shivani-Shivapur Railway Station.