It was formerly known as Kol. Legend has it that Kol was founded by the Dor tribe of Rajputs in the fourth century. The son of the Governor of Kol named it Muhammadgarh. Later, it was captured by SabitKhan who gave it the name ‘Sabitgarh’. In the 18the century, the Jats occupied it and named it ‘Ramgarh’. Finally, the British took over in 1803 and the present Aligarh district was formed.
The city is synonymous with education. It has many reputed educational institutes but the pride of the place goes to Aligarh Muslim University. In 1875, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan founded the Muhammadan Anglo Oriental College here on the lines of Oxford and Cambridge universities. In 1920, this became Aligarh Muslim University.
The city is a major hub of agriculture and industry. It has about 25,000 small-scale and large-scale industries. Lock manufacturing is a big industry and Aligarh is popularly referred to as the Lock City of India. It is also one of the largest manufacturers of brass with about 100 tonnes of brass being processed daily. It exports brass fittings all over the world. Iron, aluminum, bronze, and zinc products are also manufactured in the city.
The main languages spoken in Aligarh are Hindi, English and Urdu. Another popular dialect spoken here is Brij Bhasha. Aligarh is also famous for its sweets and savouries. Every year, a cultural exhibition called ‘Numaish’ is held here that attracts a lot of visitors. Don’t forget to pick up a Sherwani during your trip!
Aligarh has a humid subtropical climate. In summer, average temperatures range between 28–33 °C. The monsoons bring some respite in June-July. Winters are generally mild, but fog and cold snaps occur often. The best time to visit Aligarh is during the months of February-March. This is when temperatures are moderate and humidity is low.
Aligarh fort – Built in the 16th century by the son of the governor of Kol, this became a fort of great importance under Madhavrao I Scindia. It is built in the shape of a regualr polygon and is surrounded by a deep ditch. Chacha Nehru Gyan Pushp - Established in 1982, this is an educational museum. It has an assortment of specimens relating to geography, biology and history. You can see stamps, coins, rocks, minerals, shells, gems, stones, medals, photocopies of paintings, and science instruments on display.
Dor fortress – Built in 1524, this fortress is now in ruins. It is located in the area now called Upper Kot. It houses an impressive 18th-century mosque.
Baba Barchi tomb – This renowned tomb at Kath Pula attracts a lot of pilgrims aroun the year. As such, it is a must-visit for seekers of spirituality.