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Aligarh

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Best Time: October - February Read More

Ideal duration: 2-3 days

Nearest Airport: Indira Gandhi International Airport Check Flights

"India's Education Mecca"

Aligarh Tourism

Nestled in the populous state of Uttar Pradesh, Aligarh has grown as a prominent educational and commercial centre in Northern India. Known as Kol or Koli in the ancient times, the city is said to have been founded by the Dor Rajputs in 372 AD and has housed the famous Aligarh Muslim University since 1875. Aligarh is also famous for its lock industry.

Aligarh, a city that hasn't received a lot of tourist attention in the past, has but witnessed several important events in history. The region was under a lot of dynasties such as the Lodi Dynasty, the Mughals and the British East India Company.

The Aligarh Fort, built during the time of Ibrahim Lodi, is one of the prime attractions in the city. The Dor Fortress, although in ruins today, throws light on the history and importance of the place. Aligarh has been called the 'Mecca of Education' in India and for all the right reasons - the Aligarh Muslim University established by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan in 1875. Originally called the Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College, the college came to be known as Aligarh Muslim University only in 1920.

The Maulana Azad Library, one of the largest libraries in India, is also housed in Aligarh. Other notable spots are the Kheereshwar Temple, Teerthdham Mangalaayatan, Sir Syed Academy Museum, Chacha Nehru Gyan Pushp, Hakim Karam Hussain Museum, Baba Barchi Bahadur Dargah and the Shekha Lake that one must visit if in Aligarh.

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Local Culture of Aligarh

Aligarh is a vibrant city with a rich history and cultural traditions.
  • The population mostly consists of Hindus and Muslims, and hence, the languages commonly spoken are Hindi and Urdu.
  • The Aligarh Numaish is particularly famous for its cultural prominence and witnesses people coming from all over the country.
  • Many well-known personalities such as Javed Akhtar, Zakir Hussain, Syed Brothers, Naseeruddin Shah among others have their roots in Aligarh.
  • Folk dances of the area include Raasleela, Khayal, Nautanki Naqual, Dadra and Charkula that depict the rich tradition of the city.
  • Aligarh is known for its Mughlai cuisine. The non-vegetarian food here can tempt anybody and comes at a very reasonable price. Do visit Centre Point for some fantastic food!

History of Aligarh

The present-day Aligarh, situated in the middle portion of Doab (the land between Ganga and Yamuna), was previously called Kol and was established by the Dor Rajputs. Kol has been used to refer to a tribe or a caste of people who were said to have settled in the region in the past.

From the 2nd to the 9th century AD, the area was under the rule of many dynasties such as the Mauryas, Sakas, Kushans and the Gujars. Later, Muslim invaders such as Qutubuddin Aibek, Khilji, Tughlaq and the Lodhis took over Aligarh. It is during the Lodhi dynasty that the Aligarh Fort was built.

The 16th century saw invasions from the Mughals who controlled the region for many centuries, only to be defeated later by the French. In 1803, in the Battle of Aligarh, the British attacked the Aligarh Fort and captured it. After Independence, the city of Aligarh came under the state of Uttar Pradesh.

Shopping in Aligarh

Shopping in Aligarh can be an exciting experience since you're sure to find everything - from locks, brass fittings, sculptures, handmade articles that are made out of brass and other items.
  • If you're in Aligarh, do look out for some fantastic locks that come in various designs and shapes. Although these locks might not be pocket-friendly and they are handmade, you should still go and take a look at them!
  • You will also find handicrafts made out of brass, iron, aluminium and bronze that are intricate in their designs and are beautifully cast. Various wall hangings, decorative artefacts, idols of gods are also available.
  • Make sure to visit Upper Fort, Tasveer Mahal and Amir Nisha if you want to grab some beautiful handicrafts.
  • Other popular items you can shop for when in Aligarh is the Sherwani and the Aligarh Pyjama.
  • Do visit Centre Point as it is every shopper's paradise and has some best malls in the city.

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1: Reach Aligarh by morning. Have breakfast and freshen up. Start your tour around the city by visiting the famous Aligarh Fort near Ghantaghar Circle. The fort is a beautiful example of the fusion of Indian and French style of architecture. Next, visit the Jama Masjid, outside which you are sure to find amazing street food. Your next stop should be the Aligarh Muslim University, founded by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan in 1875. Close to the University is Sir Syed's House, which is also a must visit if you are in Aligarh. You can go shopping in the evening at Centre Point and the Great Value Mall.

Day 2: You can start your day by visiting the Kheereshwar Temple, a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. After this, you can go to Baba Barchi Bahadur Dargah which is almost 600 years old. After this, you can stop for lunch and continue your tour with Maulana Azad Library, one of the largest libraries in the whole of Asia. You can end the day after visiting the Dor Fortress, although it is in ruins today.

Day 3: You can use the last day to visit Teerthdham Mangalayatan, a religious centre in Aligarh. Next, you can go to Chacha Nehru Gyan Pushp, an educational museum founded in 1982. You can also visit the Hakim Karam Hussain Museum and Shekha Lake. End the day after visiting Nagliya, a small village that is popular for its Black Deer Conservation Reserve.

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FAQs on Aligarh

What are the places near Aligarh?

The top places near to Aligarh are Agra which is 80 km from Aligarh, Delhi which is located 120 km from Aligarh, Mathura which is located 60 km from Aligarh, Vrindavan which is located 51 km from Aligarh, Garhmukteshwar which is located 99 km from Aligarh

What is not so good about Aligarh?

Weather can get extremes during some months. The summers are too hot and the monsoons can also get difficult to commute within the city.

What are the things to do in Aligarh?

The top things to do in Aligarh are Jama Masjid Aligarh, Aligarh Fort, Sir Syed House Museum, Khereshwar Temple, Naqvi Park Aligarh, SkyHigh. You can see all the places to visit in Aligarh here

What is the best time to visit Aligarh?

October to February is the best time to visit Aligarh when the temperature is around 7 to 28 degrees Celcius. It is apt for visitors to tour around the city and visit monuments. The monsoon season in Aligarh starts from June and lasts till September, and it's not the best time to visit the city. The summers, too, which are from March-May, see a rise in temperature that ranges from 28 degrees to 48 degrees Celcius and might not be advisable for tourists to visit the city during the peak summertime.
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What is famous about Aligarh?

Rich in historical places, affordable shopping experience, Mughlai food

What is the best way to reach Aligarh?

Aligarh, being a small city in Uttar Pradesh, is not well-connected by direct flights. The most convenient way of reaching is by train or road (bus/car).
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