Monday, February 4, 2008

Aligarh: A True Place
















Aligarh
(Hindi: अलीगढ़, Urdu: علی گڑھ) is a city in Aligarh District in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The city is located about 90 miles south-east of New Delhi. It is the administrative headquarters of Aligarh District, and has a population of half a million. It is mostly known as a university town where the famous Aligarh Muslim University is located.

History

It is known till the 18th century by the earlier name of Kol. After the British occupation of Aligarh in September 1803, the present Aligarh district was formed in 1804 .

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 obscure.

Kol or Koil, was the earliest name of the city and Aligarh was the name of the fort nearby officers . Kol 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 governor 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 (also called Aligarh Qila), as it stands today, was built by French engineers under the control of FrenchBenoît de Boigne and Perron.

Establishment of Aligarh Muslim University (1875)













In 1875, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan founded the Muhammadan Anglo Oriental College in Aligarh and patterned the college after Oxford and Cambridge universities that he had visited on a trip to England. This later became Aligarh Muslim University in 1920.

No comments: