Akola Knowledge Guide
Akola District along with the rest of the Berar province was part of the legendary kingdom of Vidarbha mentioned in the Mahabharata. Barar also formed part of the Mauryan Empire during the reign of Ashoka (272 to 231 BCE). Berar later came under the rule of the Satavahana dynasty (2nd century BCE–2nd century CE), the Vakataka dynasty (3rd to 6th centuries), the Chalukya dynasty (6th to 8th centuries), the Rashtrakuta dynasty (8th to 10th centuries), the Chalukyas again (10th to 12th centuries) and finally the Yadava dynasty of Devagiri (late 12th to early 14th centuries). A period of Muslim rule began when Ala ud din Khalji, Sultan of Delhi, conquered the region in the early 14th century. The region was part of the Bahmani Sultanate, which broke away from the Delhi Sultanate in the mid-14th century. The Bahmani Sultanate broke up into smaller sultanates at the end of the 15th century, and in 1572 Berar became part of the Nizam Shahi sultanate, based at Ahmednagar. The Nizam Shahis ceded Berar to the Mughal Empire in 1595. The Mughals ruled the Berar Province during the 17th century. As Mughal rule started to unravel at the start of the 18th century, Asaf Jah I, Nizam of Hyderabad seized the southern provinces of the empire (including Berar) in 1724, forming an independent state. Akola has been a part of India's mythological past. The place is mentioned as a part of the Berar province and the legendary kingdom of Vidarbha in the Mahabharata. Berar also formed a part of the Mauryan Empire during the reign of Ashoka (272 to 231 BCE). The province later came under the rule of the Satavahana dynasty (2nd-century BCE-2nd century CE), the Vakatakas (3rd to 6th centuries), the Chalukyan dynasty (6th to 8th centuries), the Rashtrakuta dynasty (8th to 10th centuries). The Chalukyas regained control of the region in the 10th to 12th centuries respectively and finally the Yadava dynasty of Devagiri (late 12th to early 14th centuries). Allauddin Khilji of the Delhi Sultanate conquered the region in the early 14th century that eventually became a part of the Bahmani Sultanate, which broke away from the Delhi Sultanate in the mid-14th century. The Bahmani Sultanate broke up into smaller sultanates at the end of the 15th century, and in 1572 Berar became part of the Nizam Shahi sultanate, based at Ahmednagar. The Nizam Shahs conceded Berar to the Mughal Empire in 1595. The Mughals ruled the province during the 17th century. As Mughal rule started to unravel at the start of the 18th century, Asaf Jah I, Nizam of Hyderabad seized the southern provinces of the empire (including Berar) in 1724, forming an independent state. The rise of the Maratha Empire from 1674 to 1760 saw the region coming under the command of Chhatrapati Shivaji succeeded by his sons. In 1749, at the time of death of Shahu, he appointed Peshwa as the head of the Maratha Empire with certain conditions to follow. The Third battle of Panipat in 1761 crippled the Maratha Empire and corroded the power of Peshwa forever. But still, the Berar province remained under the Marathas. The Battle of Aragon in1803 was fought here between the British and the Marathas during the Second Anglo-Maratha War. The Third Anglo-Maratha War saw the defeat of the last Peshwa, Baji Rao II by the British. In 1853, the Akola district together with the rest of Berar came under the administration of the British East India Company. Berar was divided into East and West Berar with Akola district being included in West Berar. In 1903, Berar was leased to the Nizam of Hyderabad by the British East India Company in return for the debt. After India's Independence in 1947 from British Government entire India including Berar province was divided into different states and a new Maharashtra state under the Government of Maharashtra was formed, with Akola district under it. Mauryan Empire, Satavahana, Chalukyas, the Rashtrakutas, Vakatakas, Sultan of Delhi, Bahmani Sultanate, Nizam Shahi sultanate, Mughals, Nizams, Marathas, Peshwas and British. Chhatrapati Shivaji, Sambhaji, Shahuji, Gopalrao Bajirao Khedkar, Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh, King Akol Singh, Sant Gajanan Maharaj, Brijlal Biyani, Sundarabai Khandelwal, Raosaheb Devraobaba Digambarji, Bhartiya, Samarth Ramdas Swami, etc. . The Congress's proposed linguistic provinces plan before the Independence of India had positioned Akola as the headquarters of the Berar region.After India gained its independence in 1947, the states and provinces were reorganized in 1956. Berar was divided among different states. Akola became a part of bilingual Bombay state which was further divided into two states in 1960. Akola became a part of the new Maharashtra State. The Narnala fort, Akot fort, Akola fort and Balapur Fort are some of the famous monuments in Akola.
Akola Airport (also known as Shioni Airport) (IATA: AKD, ICAO: VAAK) is the domestic airport of Akola city and is at an elevation of 999 ft. It was built by the British authorities in the 1940s and regularly sent flights to Mumbai. Now it is non-functional and has one runway (4,600×145 ft). The expansion and functioning of the airport have been delayed as it is unable to get land from Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth. It is one of the oldest airports in India. The airport is just 7 km from the city on National Highway No. 6. The nearest international airport is at Nagpur (140 miles). Renovation and operation of Akola airport are taken by Airport Authority of India. The Nagpur bench of Mumbai High Court has recently given the decision to take over the required land for extension of Akola Airport from the Dr. PDKV. The work is expected to be started soon. After the extension of the runway and renovation of other infrastructure, the regular flight service is supposed to be commenced. Akola Airport (also known as Shioni Airport) is the domestic airport of Akola city at an elevation of 999 ft (304 m) and has one runway (4,600×145 ft). The airport is just 7 km away from the city on National Highway No. 6. The nearest international airport is at Nagpur (250 km) and at Aurangabad, Maharashtra (265 km) . Renovation and operation of Akola airport is taken by the Airport Authority of India.
Akola city is well connected to major cities by road. The NH6 runs through Akola from Hazira (Surat) to Kolkata. NH6 is a part of Asian Highway 46. The National Highway 161 (new) starts in Akola connecting Nanded and then Sangareddy (Telangana). Government has declared new National Highway 161A National Highway 161A(new) connecting Akot, Akola to Mangrulpir, Mahur, and Mudkhed. State Highway no. 68 and 69 also pass through the municipal limits. Other highways include State Highway 204, State Highway 200: Akola - Amravati, and State Highway 197. The "NH6" runs through Akola from Hazira (Surat) to Kolkata. NH6 is a part of Asian Highway 46. Maharashtra state transport buses are most commonly used by people to travel to rural parts of the region. They are the cheapest means of transport. State-owned and private air-conditioned bus services run daily to most major cities to and from Akola. The bus frequency is good. Bus service is available for cities like Nagpur, Bhopal, Indore, Hyderabad, Nanded, Amravati, Mumbai, Nashik, Jabalpur. Akola has the vehicle registration code as MH-30. City transport: Akola Municipal Transport (AMT) runs Akola's public transport service. Autorickshaws are also widely used in Akola city for city transport. The municipal corporation is working with the IRDP (Integrated Rural Development Planning) to develop the roads of the city. The stopped service of AMT bus transport was restarted in December 2015 with a total of 35 buses. Inter-city transport: Maharashtra state transport buses are most commonly used by people to travel to rural parts of the region. State-owned and private air-conditioned bus services run on daily basis to most major cities to and from Akola. Bus service is available for cities like Pune, Nagpur, Bhopal, Indore, Hyderabad, Nanded, Amravati, Mumbai, Nashik, Surat and Jabalpur, as well as other important cities and towns in Maharashtra and the neighbouring states.
Akola, situated on both the Howrah-Nagpur-Mumbai line and the Kacheguda-Jaipur line, is an important junction for passengers from North and South India and also for freight trains. The Kacheguda-Jaipur line is being recently converted to broad gauge and the number of trains connecting to Hyderabad has increased since then. Broadgauging of the Akola Junction-Purna railway line has recently been completed and passenger trains have started running on this route. The work of gauge conversion (meter gauge-broad gauge) of Akola Junction - Indore Junction MG and Indore Junction MG - Ratlam railway line of SCR zone has started and is projected to be completed in a few years. Akola has good railway connectivity with direct trains to Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Okha, Surat, Nanded, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Kolhapur, Pune, Kamakhya, Indore, Mhow, Ujjain, Khandwa, Ratlam, Bhopal, Chittorgarh, Nagpur, Bilaspur, Howrah, Hatia, Puri, Chennai, Hingoli, Purna, Parli, Tirupati, Ganganagar, Secundarabad, and many more important railway stations in the country. Important railway stations in Akola region with their codes are Paras, Gaigaon, Akola Junction (AK), Murtizapur Junction (MZR) and are under the Bhusawal-Badnera section of Bhusawal Division of Central Railway. Some of the trains originated from Akola Junction are: Akola - Kacheguda Intercity Express Akola - Purna Passenger Akola - Parli - Adilabad Passenger Akola - MHOW Passenger Akola - Ujjain Fast Passenger Akola - Narkher Special ExpressThe other stations under meter gauge are Hiwarkhed (HWK), Adgaon Buzurg (ABZ), Akot (AKOT), Patsul (PTZ), Ugwe (UGWE), Akola Junction, Shivani Shivpur (SVW), Barshitakli (BSQ), Lohogad (LHD), Aman Vadi (AMW), and Jaulka (JUK) under Purna - Khandwa section of South Central Railway. The stations under narrow gauge are Lakhpuri, Murtizapur Junction, Karanja under two Narrow Gauge Branch lines viz Murtizapur-Achalpur and Murtizapur-Yavatmal of Bhusawal Division of Central Railway. In 2009, a new railway station was built at Shivani-Shivar to reduce the load of goods transport of Akola Junction railway station. It is the modification of a meter gauge station into a broad gauge station. It now connects Purna to Hyderabad through Akola. Akola Junction railway station is one of the Top 100 Booking Stations in India. Now Akola urban area has two stations - Akola Junction and Shivani-Shivapur Railway Station.