Aligarh is a city of the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. It is located about 90 minutes to the south east of New Delhi, has a population of half a million and is the administrative headquarters of Aligarh district.
It was during his wolf hunting expeditions that Jahangir had described Aligarh, as a place covered by forests, grooves and thickets. And it was only with this information that one gets an idea of how Aligarh looked centuries ago. This is because nothing much is known about the history before the 12th century as the history is completely shrouded in obscurity.
The earlier name of Aligarh was Kol, by which it was referred to till the 18th century. It was only after the occupation by the British in September 1803 that the present Aligarh was formed in 1804.
Kol covered both the city and the entire district, with geographical limits changing from time to time. Not much is known about the origin of the name Kol. Some say it referred to a tribe or caste, the name of a place or perhaps the name of a sage or demon. It was during the reign of Ibrahim Lodi that the son of Umar, Muhammad was the governor of Kol. He had then built a fort at Kol and named the city after his own name as Muhammadgarh in 1524- 1525.
However Sabit Khan, the governor during the reign of Farrukh Siyar and Muhammad Shah had rebuilt the fort to name it after his name as Sabitgarh. It was with the Jats occupation of Kol in 1775 that the city was renamed Ramgarh. And finally, the Shia commander Najaf Khan who had captured Kol to give it its present name, Aligarh.
It was Sir Syed Ahmed Khan who had led the Aligarh Movement to educate Muslims of the Indian subcontinent after the defeat of Indian rebellion of 1857. And this was when he had founded the Muhammadan Anglo Oriental College following the patterns of Oxford and Cambridge universities after making a trip to England. This College is now the famous Aligarh Muslim University.




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