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Aligarh

Trip Planner Asia  /  India  /  Uttar Pradesh  /  Aligarh
(3.3/5 based on 80+ reviews for 7 attractions)
Things to do: historic sites, sightseeing, shopping
Aligarh is a city in the Northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh and the administrative headquarters of the Aligarh district. It lies ) northwest of Kanpur and is approximately southeast of the capital, New Delhi. Notable as the seat of Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh is one of the largest cities in Uttar Pradesh as well as the 55th largest city in India.HistoryBefore the 18th century, Aligarh was known as Kol or Koil: 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.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. 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. 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.
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