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History of Aligarh


Home is where heart belongs…also…home is where heart belongs!

Born in the city of Aligarh, there is no place that I love more than this place…its my oasis in this desert of fast moving life. Always a pleasure to go back…almost like a charger to charge my energy once again.

Searching for Aligarh on net… i came across the following…don’t want to loose it again and hence am just pasting it as it is…

Aligarh was known as KOL

Excerpts from somewhere on net…

The present district of Aligarh, in the state of Uttar Pradesh is situated in the middle portion of Doab, or the land between the Ganga and Yamuna rivers.

The principle town in the Aligarh district for the last many centuries has been its headquarters, Aligarh, 126 KM south east of Delhi. It is known till the 18th century by the earlier name of Kol.

The present Aligarh district was formed in 1804 after the British occupation of Aligarh in September 1803.

Like other parts of Doab, Aligarh has a hot and dry climate. The mean temperature for December and January, the coldest months is 59F and 54 F, and for May and June, the extreme hot months, 90F and 93F in the shade. 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 shrouded in obscurity.

Kol, the earliest name of Aligarh, 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 governer 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 (Qila as normally People of Aligarh call it), as it stands today, is normally the work of the French engineers under the control of de Boigne and Perron. It was a completely new construction, though its site was the same as that of the fort of Sabitgarh (also called Ramgarh and Aligarh). The new fort had been made by French their principal depot for the Doab. Prior to the British occupation of the Fort, it was a polygon of ten sides with a bastion at each angle. All around ran a broad and deep ditch, crossed at the entrance by a narrow causeway. The ditch is from one to two hundred feet in breadth and thirty two feet of depth, of which there were always ten feet of water.

The Fort gained added strength from its natural surroundings. The elevated plain in the midst of which it stands, being interspersed with large swamps and deep morasses, becomes so completely inundated during the rainy months as to render the fort perfectly inaccessible, nor can any military operations be the carried on against it. Its conquest was the prime importance for the British in this region. As it was admitted by General Lake himself, in his letter dated September 4, 1804 to Marquiss Wellesley. Lake writes “I have only to add that, without the fort of Allygurh we could not have had the entire possession of Doab, indeed, until it was ours, we were liable to be driven out of it at any time. Old buildings within the fort have gradually fallen down owing to disrepair. In addition to the modern buildings of the botanical gardens of the Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, there are small mounds all around.

For more the wikipedia can be checked at

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aligarh

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  1. Shahab Khan
    June 21, 2009 at 15:44

    Wow…. many things were news for me, specially write up about the fort. I have been there a couple of times and always wanted to know the history behind it.

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