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Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh

Metropolitan City
Nickname(s): City of Locks ; The Mecca of Education
Aligarh is located in Uttar Pradesh
Country India
State Uttar Pradesh
Division Aligarh
District Aligarh
Founded by koil-Dor Rajputs; Aligarh-Nafaz Khan
 • Body Aligarh Nagar Nigam
Elevation 178 m (584 ft)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 1,209,559(City)-36,20,456 (District)
 • Rank 55
 • Official Hindi, Brijbhasha
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 202001,202002
Telephone code 0571
Vehicle registration UP-81
Website .in.nicaligarh

Aligarh (formerly Allygurh) is a city in the Northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh and the administrative headquarters of the Aligarh Division and Aligarh Police Range. It lies 126 miles (203 km)) north-west of Kanpur and is notable as the seat of Aligarh Muslim University Aligarh is located approximately 90 miles (140 km) south-east of the capital, New Delhi and is one of the largest cities in Uttar Pradesh as well as the 55th largest cities in India.[2] ALIGARH is one of Smart City in 13 (Ghaziabad, Meerut, Aligarh, Saharanpur, Moradabad, Bareilly, Agra,Varanasi,Jhansi, Allahabad,Kanpur and Rampur) out of 100 in India from UP.


  • History 1
    • Battle of Aligarh (1803) 1.1
  • Administration 2
  • Geography 3
    • Location 3.1
  • Climate 4
  • Demographics 5
  • Economy 6
  • Development 7
  • Education 8
  • Locations 9
    • Cultural landmarks 9.1
  • Historical places 10
    • Places of worship 10.1
    • Aligarh Muslim University 10.2
  • Media 11
  • Organisations 12
  • Film festival 13
  • Culture & folk music 14
  • Transport 15
    • By rail 15.1
    • By road 15.2
    • By air 15.3
  • Political parties 16
  • Notable personalities 17
    • Educationalists 17.1
    • Spiritualists 17.2
    • Writers, poets and publishers 17.3
    • Historians 17.4
    • Freedom Fighters 17.5
    • Film actors 17.6
    • Sports persons 17.7
    • Politicians 17.8
    • Medical professionals 17.9
    • Social activists 17.10
  • References 18
  • Further reading 19


Moat at the Aligarh Fort

Historian Thakur Deshraj notes that the people of Kampilya were later known as Koil, a people who came from Kampilya and founded the city known as Kampilgarh south east of the Ganges. Kampilgarh later became popular as Koil which is now Aligarh. Before the 18th century, Aligarh was known as Kol or Koil.[3]caste, the name of a place or mountain and the name of a sage or demon. Study of the place-name indicates that the district was once fairly well covered by forests and groves. The history of the district up until the 12th century is obscure.[3]

According to an 1875 gazetteer written by Edwin T. Atkinson, the name Kol was given to the city by Balarama, who slew the great Asura (demon) Kol there and, with the assistance of the Ahirs, subdued this part of the doab.[4] In another account, Atkinson points out a "legend" that Kol was founded by the Dor tribe of Rajputs in 372. This is further confirmed by an old fort, the ruined Dor fortress, which lies at the city centre.

Some time before the Muslim invasion, Kol was held by the Dor Rajputs. At the time of Mahmud of Ghazni, the chief of the Dors was Hardatta of Baran.[4] 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.[4]

In 1194, Qutb-ud-din Aibak marched from Delhi to Kol, "one of the most celebrated fortresses of Hind".[4] Qutb-ud-din Aibak appointed Hisam-ud-din Ulbak as the first Muslim governor of Koil.[4]

Koil is also 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.[5] 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 of Sabzabad or "the green country".[4]

In the reign of Akbar, Kol was made a Sirkar and included the dasturs of Marahra, Kol ba Haveli, Thana Farida and Akbarabad.[4] Both Akbar and Jahangir visited Kol on hunting expeditions. Jahangir clearly mentions the forest of Kol, where he killed wolves.[3]

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, of Farrukh Siyar and Muhammad Shah, rebuilt the old Lodhi fort and named the town after himself: Sabitgarh.

The Jat ruler, Surajmal, with help from Jai Singh of Jaipur and the Muslim army, occupied the fort of Koil. Koil was renamed Ramgarh and finally, when a Shia commander, Najaf Khan, captured it, 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 command of French officers Benoît de Boigne and Perron.[3]

Battle of Aligarh (1803)

General Lord Gerard Lake who oversaw the Battle of Ally Ghur

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.[6]


Aligarh district is divided into five tehsils, namely Kol Tehsil, Khair Tehsil, Atrauli, Gabhana and Iglas. These tehsils are further divided into 13 blocks.

The city is administered by 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, Commissioner also looks for 4 district of Aligarh Division(Aligarh, Etah, Hathras, Kanshiram Nagar).



Aligarh is located at the coordinates .[7] 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 G.T. Road passes through. It is 134KM from capital of India via NH-91.


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 at extreme level.

Climate data for Aligarh
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 30.7
Average high °C (°F) 20.6
Average low °C (°F) 7.4
Record low °C (°F) 0.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 15.2
Average rainy days 1.5 1.4 1.0 0.9 2.2 4.1 10.2 11.6 5.2 1.4 0.5 0.8 40.7
Source: India Meteorological Department (record high and low up to 2010)[8][9]


Religions in Aligarh
Religion Percent
Distribution of religions

Includes Sikhs (0.2%), Buddhists (<0.2%).


The provisional data of 2011 census showed the Aligarh urban area with a population of 8,74,408. Males outnumber females 4,61,772 to 4,12,636 (2011). The literacy rate was 70.54 per cent.[10]


The city is an agricultural trade centre.[11] Agricultural product processing and manufacturing are important.[12]

Aligarh is an important business centre 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.[13]

Aligarh is also famous for brass hardware and sculpture. Today, the city holds thousands of manufacturers, exporters and suppliers involved in the brass, bronze, iron and aluminium industries.

Aligarh is also a big centre of zinc die casting. There are thousands of pneumatic hot chamber die casting machines here . But many exporters have adopted latest technology and have installed fully automatic, computerised hot chamber machines. Indian Diecasting Industries at Sasni Gate Area is the most renowned manufacturer in this line and they are capable of meeting international quality norms.

Harduaganj Thermal Power Station (also referred as Kasimpur Power House) is 15 km from the city. Narora Atomic Power Station is located 50 km from Aligarh. Despite its proximity to two large power stations, frequent power cuts are normal in Aligarh.

Aligarh hosts Heinz-sauce manufacturing unit in Manzurgarhi, Satha sugar factory on the Aligarh-Kasimpur Power House route and a cement factory of UltraTech Cement company. Indian Oil Boteling Plant exits at Andla in Khair. Wave Distallery (Kingfisher bear) located at Atrauli in Aligarh.

SAC Entertainment[14] an event and artist management company that is famous for managing college and school festivals has its registered office in Aligarh[15]


Aligarh is the 55th fastest-growing city in India. Following major development projects are under construction in City.

  • Govt. Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Chherat
  • Super Speciality Trauma Center at AMU
  • Sports University at Khair Road
  • ISKON Temple at Tala Nagari
  • World class Shooting Range at Chherat
  • Astro Turf Hockey Stadium in AMU
  • Country Inn 5 Star Hotel at Gandhi Park, GT Road
  • NH-93 Kathpula-Jamalpur Crossing 4 Lane work
  • NH-93 Aligarh-Agra section 2 Lane work
  • Aligarh-Mathura 4 Lane highway work
  • Aligarh-Khair-Palwal 4 Lane highway work
  • Aligarh-Moradabad 4 Lane highway work
  • NH-91 Aligarh-Ghaziabad 4 Lane highway work
  • Gabhana-Dhanipur 4 Lane Bypass as a part of Ring Road
  • World Class Golf Corse at AMU Aligarh
  • 5 Star Country Inn Hotel near to Aligarh Junction(Will be ready in 2017)
  • Big black shiv murti temple at bairamganj near jattari



Cultural landmarks

Aligarh has several popular landmarks. Most notable few of them are Aligarh fort, Another one is 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 Kot and is occupied by an 18th-century mosque.

The Annual Cultural Exhibition, popularly known as Numaish, is held at the exhibition ground in January and February. The cultural shows takes place at 3 grand stages(Kohinoor , Krishnanjali, Muktakash). In all more than 150 stage events featuring artist from across the India takes place during a period of 28 days. In 2015 , for the first time the major cultural programs of Numaish was managed by an Aligarh based firm SAC Entertainment at Kohinoor stage.[16]

  • ISKCON Aligarh Temple

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada visited Aligarh in October 1976

  • Varshney Mandir, Aligarh

founded by Varshney community of Aligarh.

Historical places

Places of worship

"Sai Mandir" at Sarsol on G.T. Road. Many old Hindu temples in the city are located near Achal Taal (Opposite to Dharma Samaj College). There are four key temples at four corners of the Achal Taal , all the four temples are hindu Siddh Peeth. The Tika Ram mandir located at center point is also a renowned temple of the city. Another landmark is Sir Syed Masjid in Aligarh Muslim University's campus.

SS Masjid beside Strachey Hall, AMU Aligarh

The city contains tombs of Muslim saints Hazrat Shah Jamal (R.A) at Shah Jamal Area Barchi Bahadur was the one of the Descendants of Shah Jamal .[12] Aligarh has a very renowned tomb, Baba Barchi Bahadur, at Kath Pula. Another old Jain temple with fresco painted ceilings is located behind Khirni Gate Police Chowky at Agra Road in the main City.

A famous Jainism Teerth Dhaam "Mangalayatan Teerth Dhaam" was built at Agra Road.

Aligarh Muslim University

Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) is one of the oldest central university. 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 service 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.


Aligarh currently has 7 FM Radio stations:

3 new FM stations coming soon after Phase-III FM e-auction of Central Govt.

HT Media Ltd has recently come out with printing facilities in Aligarh.

  • VSJ Films,An Advertising/PR Production House.


Social organisations in Aligarh city, include

Film festival

International short film festival Filmsaaz is being held since 2008 by Aligarh Muslim University.

Culture & folk music

A various styles in music and art in folk songs of North India's Braj region includes are-


By rail

Aligarh Junction railway station is the primary railway station for Aligarh city and is a major stop on the Delhi-Kolkata route. It connects Aligarh to the states of West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand, north-east and most of Uttar Pradesh, and important cities such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bhopal, Indore, Jammu, Gwalior, Lucknow, Jhansi, Puri, Kanpur, Agra, Varanasi and Jaipur. Aligarh railway station handles over 136 trains daily (in both directions) and serves around 204,000 passengers everyday. Aligarh also having one Branch Railway Line to Bareily. Aligarh City has following railway stations:

  • Aligarh Junction- a A-Class Rly. 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)

By road

Aligarh is located at a distance of 140 km (4 hours far by Car) 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 Uttranchal, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana.

Aligarh City has 2 UPSRTC bus stations:

  • Aligarh Depot bus station
  • Masoodabad (Budh Vihar) Depot bus station
  • ISBT proposed at Sarsaul.

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 for cars. No toll charges.

2) Khair, Tappal, Yamuna expressway, G Noida, Noida, Delhi, Gurgaon. - Best and recommended Route for Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon. Toll Charges are 100 rs between aligarh and delhi.

3) Old GT Road, Ghaziabad, Delhi. The route is again under construction.

Haryana roadways buses are in better condition than UP roadways buses and run on time.

Following Highways are connected to Aligarh.

Aligarh City also have Mahanagar Bus Service (City Bus Service) which provides a 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

By air

Nearest International Airport from Aligarh is Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi. It is just 140 km from Aligarh.Aligarh Airport is in under construction, it is situated at Dhanipur on NH 91 and currently Dhanipur Air Strip is used as Flying Club. The Government of Uttar Pradesh signed a MoU with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) in February 2014 for the development of the airport.[1]

Political parties

Notable personalities



Writers, poets and publishers


Freedom Fighters

  • Captain Abbas Ali, freedom fighter, Captain of Indian National Armywhich lead by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose
  • Atal Moksha (Congress) - Gandhian, Started his contribution to freedom struggle with Bhagat Singh later inspired by Mahatama Gandhi's ideology joined congress. His Original name was Mahender Singh but later he has given name as Atal (immovable) Moksha (Peace) by Gandhiji. He has spent many years in Jail duering freedom movement

Film actors

Sports persons


Medical professionals

Social activists


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d
  4. ^ a b c d e f g
  5. ^ The Adventures of Ibn Battuta, by Ross E. Dunn, p. 215
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ a b
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^

Further reading

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