|• Mayor||Jyotsna Gawai|
|• Municipal Commissioner||Dr. Mahendra P Kalyankar (I.A.S)|
|• City||60 km2 (20 sq mi)|
|• Urban||210 km2 (80 sq mi)|
|Elevation||286 m (938 ft)|
|Population (2011 census)|
|• Density||7,100/km2 (18,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Vehicle registration||MH 30(Akola), MH 37(Washim)|
Akola is a city in Akola district in Vidarbha region in the state of Maharashtra in central India. It is about 584 km east of state capital Mumbai (former "Bombay") and 250 km west of second capital Nagpur. Akola is the administrative headquarters of Akola District located in Amravati Division, Akola city is governed by Akola Municipal Corporation.
Today, Akola is a developing city and it is one of the major city of the vidarbha region. Akola has very good grain market, oil mills, dal (pulses) mills & is known for production of cotton. The IT sector is also growing at a fast pace. The city is known for various cultural activities like classical music, spirituality, theater, sports and literature. These activities and opportunities attract migrants and students from other parts of the region.
Akola district has an area of about 5,431 square kilometers and 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.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography and climate
- 3 Medical facilities
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Local government
- 6 Industry and economy
- 7 Media and communication
- 8 Banking and financial services
- 9 Education
- 10 Sports
- 11 Agriculture
- 12 Transportation
- 13 Culture and religion
- 14 Notable personalities
- 15 Places of Interest
- 16 See also
- 17 References
- 18 External links
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 Asoka (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 BBerar 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.
But 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.
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. 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 center. Annual temperatures range from a high of 48 °C (118 °F) to a low of 10 °C (50 °F). Akola lies on 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 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.
|Climate data for Akola|
|Record high °C (°F)||35.0
|Average high °C (°F)||29.9
|Average low °C (°F)||13.1
|Record low °C (°F)||5.8
|Precipitation mm (inches)||10.4
|Avg. rainy days||1.4||1.4||0.9||0.4||1.4||9.2||13.4||13.4||7.6||3.3||1.3||0.9||54.6|
|Source #1: India Meteorological Department (1901-2000)|
|Source #2: NOAA (extremes, mean, rain days, humidity, 1971-1990)|
Akola is well known for its medical facilities. It is a major center for advanced medical treatments, such as the Elizarov Technique, IVF. Akola city has largest number of Hospitals and Clinics in Paschim Varhad (Western Vidarbha). Major hospitals in Akola include: Civil Hospital, Khandelwal Imaging Centre (1.5 tesla MRI, Advanced CT Scan, Sonography, X-ray and DEXA Scan Centre), Chaudhary Hospital, Akola Critical Care Unit, Ozone Hospital, Icon Hospital, Orbit Hospital, Sahara Hospital,Om Hospital and Sant Tukaram Cancer Hospital,Netrakamalanjali Eye Hospital.
|Source:Census of India|
As of 2011[update] India census, Akola City had a population of 427,146 and the Akola urban area including the neighbouring areas of Khadki, Malkapur, Shivani had a population of about 721,849 (2011 est.). Of the total population, males constitute about 52% and females about 48%. Thirteen percent of the total population is under the age of 6. Akola has an effective literacy rate of 91.34% as of 2012.
Akola city is divided into 73 electoral wards and 4 zones. The Akola Municipal Corporation was established on 1st Oct. 2001 is headed by a Municipal Commissioner & Mayor who is assisted by the Deputy Mayor. They carry out the work through various committees such as Standing Committee, Law Committee, Education Committee, Women and Child Welfare Committee, City Development Committee and Four Zonal Committees for the Four Zones. Mrs. Jyotsna Gawai is the mayor of Akola city. Akola Municipal Transport (AMT) runs Akola's public transport service. Akola Municipal Corporation has launched its web-site from 29 December 2011
Industry and economy
Akola, called as Cotton City, is known 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 mills. The city had all along been an important commercial and trading center. The facility of goods transportation & communication system in the form of Railway and roads in addition with the extension of the electric grid system and establishment of the Paras Thermal Power Station ensuring adequate electric power supply have contributed to the industrial development of the city in recent years.
The Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeth with its headquarters at Akola came into existence on 20 October 1969 and it added to the importance and development of the city. The city is also very famous for its one Indian game "Carrom" that is produced in this city because of availability of good quality raw material
Akola MIDC Industrial Area
The Akola MIDC Industrial Area is the largest and most economical industrial area in the division, it has three prominent industrial zones on the outskirts of the city.Cotton and Jowar are the predominant crops grown in the district. Oil and Dal mills are also rampant. The economy is mostly agriculture based. Nowadays, soyabean crop is an important crop as major soyabean plants have come up in the area. 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 Zone (SEZ) in Akola district has been approved. Maharashtra State Seeds corporation (Mahabeej) has headoffice at Akola.
Well known industrial groups like the Birla Group and the Mafatlal Group have established their industries and important industries such as Berar Oil Industries, Simplex Mill, Polyophin Industry now known as NOCIL, Co-operative Spanning mill, Mohata Cotton Mill (NTC Ltd ) etc. are located in the city.
Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MAHAVITARAN) provides the electric supply to the city.
Paras Thermal Power Station: Paras thermal power station is the oldest of all Mahagenco Power plants which is located about 20 km to west from the city. The station has witnessed the third generation technology. The station had 30 MW installed capacity in 1961 with a stroke boiler. The same unit was abandoned in 1993 due to aging.
Media and communication
- Telecommunication: Akola has a telephone code (0724) which is followed by the telephone number e.g. 242****, the code is optional for the calling within the area.
- Newspapers: Dainik Deshonnati, one of the most circulated Marathi newspapers in the Vidharbha region, originated from Akola. Other prominent newspapers published from Akola include Lokmat, Dainik Matrubhumi, Samrat, The Hitavada, Maharashtra Times, Times of India, The Economic Times,Divya Marathi etc.
- Internet: Internet facilities are provided by several suppliers.BSNL is leading internet facilities provider.
Banking and financial services
In the 2000s (decade), Akola has seen a spurt in financial activities, with almost all public sector and private banks have opened up branches including the State Bank of India, State Bank of Hyderabad, Axis Bank, Canara Bank, Saraswat Bank, Citi Bank, ICICI Bank, Bank of India, HDFC Bank, IDBI Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, Bank of Baroda, Allahabad Bank, Akola Urban Co-Operative Bank, Shamrao Vithhal Sahkari Bank, TJSB Bankb and ADCC Bank
Akola has a famous Agricultural University Dr Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth 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 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.
Other prominently known colleges of Akola city are:
- Shankarlal Khandelwal College of Science, Commerce and Arts
- RLT College of Science,
- LRT Commerce College,
- Shivaji Arts, Commerce and Science College,
- Sitabai Arts 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. The battalion is situated on the outskirts of the city near Jawaharlal Nehru Public Park.
Most schools in Akola are affiliated to Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education. The Municipal Corporation controls all public schools in the city.
Some reputed schools, which have produced meritorious students, including state and division toppers include:
- RDG Public School
- Pragatik Shikshan Prasarak Mandal's New Era High School,Akola
- Holy Cross Convent School
- Mount Carmel High School
- School Of Scholars
- Noel English High School
- Jagruti vidhyayala
- Sanmitra Public School
- New English High School
- N.R. Deshpande English High School
- B.R. High School
- D.A.V English School
- G.S. English School
- S.R.A. English High School, Old City, Akola
- Jubilee English School
- Usman Azad Urdu High School
- Quba School
- Rahbar Convent
- Suffah English School
- Taj English High School
- Hindu Dnyanpeeth Convent
- Nishu Nursery and Kothari Convent
- Bal Shivaji High School
- Bharat Vidyalaya and Jagruti Vidyalaya
- Prabhat Kids School
- JRD TATA School & EDULAB, Khadki
- Happy Hours School
- Akola Arts, Commerce & Science Jr. College, Sahkar Nagar
- Moharidevi Khandelwal School
- Bhikamchand khandelwal School
- Blossom nursery & UJawane convent, Old City
- Shantiniketan English medium school, New Tapdiya Nagar
- Jyoti Vidhyalaya
- Podar International School
- NWW Swawlambi Vidyalaya, Radhakisan Plot
- tilak rashtriya saraswati mandir (T.R.S.M)
Akola has very good tradition of sports. A number of state level tournament as well as national tournaments of various indoor and outdoor games are hosted here. Mostly played sports in Akola city include Cricket, Carrom, Football, Hockey, Volleyball, Boxing, Kabaddi, Chess, Badminton etc.
Some of the famous stadiums and playground in Akola region include:
Akola Cricket Club Ground referred as ACC is the prominent cricket grounds in the region & is the homeground of the Akola cricket club. The ground has held two first-class matches, the first of which came in the 1983/84 Ranji Trophy when Vidarbha played the Railways, while the second saw Rajasthan as the visitors in the 1984/85 Ranji Trophy.
Other prominent stadiums of Akola include:
- City Sports Club
- Officer's Club
- PDKV's Sports Stadium
Agriculture is the main occupation of the people in rural parts of the region. Cotton, soybean and Jawar (sorghum) are the essential crops grown in the district. Other important crops of the region are wheat, sunflower, canola, peanut, Bajra (pearl millet), Harbara (chick peas), Toor (pigeon peas), Urad and Moong (Green Gram), etc. Most crops are dependent on the monsoon. Only 15% of Maharashtra's gross cropped area is irrigated, compared with the national average of 32.9% in 1989–90. Vidarbha's Amravati division's (including Akola District) share of gross cropped area under irrigation of 9%.
Considered one of Maharashtra's least developed regions, Vidarbha has seen not only farmers' suicides but also deaths caused by malnutrition. In some tribal are major reasons of recent suicide deaths of farmers in the Akola region and other surrounding parts of Vidarbha, which has rung alarm bells in the Maharashtra state government and government of India. Bharat Krishak Samaj, one of the leading organizations 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 under the chairmanship of Prakash Shriram Mankar. Vidarbha region has long demanded a separate state to support the economy and agriculture of the 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 and has also failed to bring any change in the working conditions of the farmers of the 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 growing industry.
Akola has the vehicle registration code of 30.
Akola Airport, (also known as Shivani Airport) (IATA: AKD, ICAO: VAAK) is the domestic airport of Akola city at an elevation of 999 ft and has one runway (4,600×145 ft), it is one of the oldest airports in India. The airport is just 7 km from the city on National Highway No. 6. The nearest international airport is at Nagpur (250) and at Aurangabad, Maharashtra (265) . Renovation and operation of Akola airport is taken by Airport Authority of India.
City Transport: 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 congestion due to increasing number of vehicles. Road accidents are often fatal and are very common. The municipal corporation is working with the IRDP (Integrated Rural Development Planning) to develope the roads of the city. This may create a new face of the city.
Inter-city transport: Maharashtra state transport buses are most commonly used by people to travel to rural parts of the region. They are the cheapest means of transport. State-owned and private air-conditioned bus services run daily to most major cities to and from Akola. The bus frequency is good. Bus service is available for cities like Pune, Nagpur, Bhopal, Indore, Hyderabad, Nanded, Amravati, Mumbai, Nashik and Jabalpur.
Akola has good railway connectivity with direct trains to Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Okha, Surat, Nanded Jodhpur, Bikaner, Jaipur, Kolhapur, Pune, Kamakhya, Indore, Mhow, Ujjain, Khandwa, Ratlam, Bhopal, Chittorgarh, Nagpur, Gondia, Bilaspur, Howrah, Hatia, Puri, Madras, Hingoli, Purna, Parli Vaidnath, Tirupati, Ganganagar, Secundarabad and Nampally, Hyderabad.
Akola, situated on both the broad gauge Howrah-Nagpur-Mumbai line and the Kacheguda-Jaipur meter gauge line, is an important junction for passengers from North and South India and also for freight trains.
Broadgauging of Akola-Purna, Akola - Indore Junction MG and Akola - Indore Junction BG - Ratlam 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), Murtizapur Junction (MZR) and are under Bhusawal-Badnera Section of Bhusawal Division of Central Railway.
Some of the trains originated from Akola Junction are:
- Akola - Kacheguda Intercity Express
- Akola - Purna - Parli
- Akola - Parli - Adilabad
- Akola - Khandwa - Mhow
- Akola - Ujjain Fast Passenger
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), Jaulka (JUK) are 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 railway station. It is the modification of narrow gauge station into broad gauge station. It now connects Purna to Hyderabad through Akola.
Culture and religion
Akola is known as a colorful city because of its many festivals. Eid, Ganesh Chaturthi, Maha Shivratri, Vijayadashmi, Bauddha Purnima, Makar Sankranti, Dasehra, Diwali, Holi and Bakar Eid are celebrated with special enthusiasm.
Akola is city with mix of religions and cultures. There are Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains, Christians etc. in Akola. It is a peaceful city where each citizen respects the beliefs of others.
- Shri Rani Sati Dham it is a Devi (Mata) temple located near Collector office
- Shri Rani Sati Dham 2 it is Devi (Mata) temple located near Hotel Tushar National Highway No 6
- Shri Khatu Shyam Mandir Tulshiyan Layout Geeta Nagar National Highway No.6
- Shri Salasar Dham Ganga Nagar National Highway No.6
- Shri Laxminarayan Mandir Toshniwal layout
- Shri Tirupati Balaji Mandir Gaurakshan Sansthan Gaurakshan Road.
- Gram-daivat Shree Rajrajeshwar Mandir, Old City
- Birla Mandir (Ram Temple)
- Shreenath Dutta Mandir, Ramdas Peth
- Annapurna Devi Mandir, NH6, Balapur Naka
- Jain Temple at City Market Place
- Swami Samarth mutthh (Temple) at Ramdas peth
- Shree Kala Maruti temple at Old City
- Shree Bara Jyotirlinga Mandir, Jatharpeth Road
- Shree Sidhivinayak Temple Jathar peth Nr Prasad Colony Its a Most Popular temple of Lord Ganesha
- Jalaram Mandir Birla Colony
- Gurudwara Rly station Road
- Shri Ram Temple at Tilak Road
Mosques: There are a number of mosques in the town. Important amongst them are the Badi Masjid (Markaz), Masjid Mominpura & Kachchhi Masjid. Other Mosques in Akola city:
- Jama Masjid Inamdar Pura
- Raza Masjid Akot File
- Nagina Masjid Akot Stand
- Masjid Al-Falah 1600 Plots
- Akbar-plot Masjid Akot File
- Chaand Hafiz Masjid
- Ammajaan Masjid Old City
- Masjid Turaab Ali Nawab Pura
- Mount Carmel Church
- All Saints Church
Er. Himanshu S. Khandelwal (born October 16, 1987, in Akola)is India's fastest reverse song singer, born and brought up at Akola. He is the only Indian to sing reverse version of varied songs like Garba, Bhajan, Gazal, Filmy songs, etc. in reverse order. He can sing song of any language in its reverse. He has been glorified by many TV channels like AAJ-TAK, SAHARA, ETV, UCN, etc. and various print medias, radios and still counting. Visit www.himanshukhandelwal.in to read more about Himanshu.
Dr. Vijay P. Bhatkar is best known as the architect of India's national initiative in supercomputing where he led the development of Param supercomputers was born in Murtijapur near Akola. When India was denied the supercomputer by USA, Dr. Bhatkar took the challenge of developing an indigenous supercomputer in a record time of 3 years and delivered Param 8000 in 1991 and went on to develop terascale Param 10000 in 1998, propelling India into the exclusive club of select nations, who possess this strategic technology.
Places of Interest
Shegaon (in Buldana District), a very famous pilgrimage place of "Gajanan Maharaj is just 35 km from Akola. Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan is the biggest temple trust in the Vidarbha region and is called "Pandharpur of Vidarbha". The origin of Gajanan Maharaj is untraceable in history. People from all over Maharashtra visit Shegaon and offer their prayers to Gajanan Maharaj.
(Marathi नरनाळा) also known as "Shahanur Fort" is an Indian hill fortress in Maharashtra, India. The name Narnala was given after the Rajput Ruler Narnal Singh or Narnal Swami. The fort was built in 10 A.D. by Gond Kings. Narnala Wildlife Sanctuary which is situated 40 km from Akola city is a principal tourist destination. Home to leopard, birds and sambar, this wildlife sanctuary encompass many trees like teal, kusum and salai.
- Nehru Park
'Nehru Park - Amusement and Water Park' as the name goes by, is the most fun place to visit in Akola city. It became the pride of city by installing India's first 3D Planetarium. Laser show and musical fountain have now become added attractions in Nehru Park. The first of its kind in Vidarbha and second in Maharashtra.A 350-seat stadium has been set up in the park. Various pictures through laser rays are shown on a 25x50 ft water curtain. Here there is a snake park that hosts various kinds of snakes and some endangered species of snakes are also taken care of. Like any other amusement and adventure park here are a lots of rides, swings, slides, rope climbing, boating, roller coaster, rope-way and snacks bar.
- Ashok Vatika
Ashok vatika is an important religious place for buddhist & dalit peoples in Akola city, there are the statues of Dr. B R Ambedkar, Siddharth Gautam Buddha and Mahatma Jyotirao Phule inside, People gather in a large number to pray, it is located at the centre of Akola city.
- Raj Rajeshwar Temple
Akola’s oldest Shiva temple is Rajeshwar Mandir, the city derives its nickname as Rajeshwar Nagari by it.
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||Telhara, (Shegaon, Buldana district)||Akot||Daryapur, Amravati district|