Tourist Places to Visit in Akola, Maharashtra, India
Akola is a conurbation in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, India. It is the directorial command center of Akola District. The city is surrounded by Amravati district in the north and north-east, Buldhana in the west, Washim in the south and Yavatmal in the south-east. It lies on the banks of river Murna. Akola is renowned as Cotton City. The city is accepted for its cotton production, textile mills, oil mills and pulses.
Akola being the third largest township in Vidarbha region, it is home to cultural activities like classical music, mysticism, drama, sports and literature.
History of Akola
Akola has a legendary past. It is mentioned as a part of the Berar territory which formed a part of the Mauryan Empire during the reign of Ashoka. Akola’s past dates back to 12th century when it was ruled by the Chalukyas. Downfall of Chalukyas in late 12th century gave rise to the Yadava dynasty of Devagiri who ruled Akola till early 14th century. Allauddin Khilji of the Delhi Sultanate subjugated the region in the early 14th century that eventually became a part of the Bahmani Sultanate, which again broke away from the Delhi Sultanate in the mid-14th century. Until 1572, Berar was a part of Nizam Sultanate later it was conquered by the Mughal Empire in 1595. The Maratha Empire took over the region in the year 1674 .Three Anglo- Maratha Wars took place and in the third Anglo-Maratha war Berar with Akola came under the supervision of the British East India Company. Berar was separated into East and West Berar with Akola district being incorporated in West Berar.
Attractions in Akola
Akola Fort renowned as Asadgad is the most prominent tourist attraction in Akola. The fortress was raised in 1697 by Asad Khan, during the reign of Aurangzeb. During 18th century the fortification was ruined and desolated by the British. It is home to the popular Temple of Lord Shiva and the Rajeshwari Temple. Tourists explore these temples where as the Devotees visit the temple.
Raj Rajeshwar Temple
Raj Rajeshwar Temple is devoted to Lord Shiva, numerous tourists and devotees visit the place and offer prayers.
Narnala Wildlife Sanctuary
Narnala Wildlife Sanctuary is situated 42 km away from the Akola city. It has a stretch over 12 square km of land and is one of the most striking and heavily populated wildlife sanctuaries in the state of Maharashtra. This sanctuary is home many species of flora and fauna.
Balapur Fort is positioned just 28 km away from the city. The extremely built fort is probably the sturdiest in Vidarbha and Khandesh provinces of Maharashtra. The fort is positioned on an higher ground among the two rivers, the fortress has awfully high fortifications and bastions built of the best masonry of its time. The fortress has three gateways. The fort was built as per requirements of the then Military. Intricate architecture is used as a safety procedure in the fort. It is one of the most impassable forts in the county. The well-known Bala Devi Temple placed on the southern part of the fort.
Although Narnala fort is a division of the Narnala Wildlife sanctuary, it still upholds its own uniqueness. The fort envelops the area about 392 acres. The fort is enclosed by intense forest. It lies 10 miles north of Akola and close to the neighborhood Shahnur.
Shirpur is a sacred township which nearby Washim Tehsil. The chief attraction here is the Temple of Padmaprabha, one of the 24 Tirthankars of the Jains. The place has attracted a lot of tourists and is also home to many cultural festive.
Other Interesting Places in and around Akola are:
- Shambavnath Shwetambar Jain Temple
- Ram Temple
- Kala Maruti Temple
- Shani Maharaj Temple
- Vitthal Rukmani Temple
- Mahadev Temple
- Datta Temple
- Gajanan Maharaj Temple
- Ganesh Temple
Best season to visit Akola
The best season to visit Akola is December – February. Since lies on the Tropic of Cancer, the summers are very hot and there is heavy downpour during the monsoon season. Winter is the best season to visit.
Accessibility to Akola
By Road: Numerous public and private luxury buses ply to Akola at a regular basis. National Highway 6 is a part of Asian Highway 46 passes through Akola. It is well connected by road to the major cities across the state. MSRTC is the best option for people who travel to the rural parts of the province.
By Rail: Akola railway junction lies on both the Mumbai-Bhusawal-Howrah rail line and the Kacheguda-Jaipur rail line. Akola gets direct trains from Nanded, Bikaner, Surat, Okha, Ahmedabad, Delhi and Mumbai.
By Air: Shivani Airport is the domestic airport of Akola township. The airport is 7 km away from the city on the National Highway 6. The nearest international airport is at Nagpur 254 km away from the city.
Accommodation in Akola
Akola is good for both tourists and pilgrims. It has many hotels, resorts, guest house, home stay and lodges that provide necessary services at reasonable prices. The rates may have variance from hotel to hotel and most of them offer advanced booking and reservations for safe and relaxed stay of the visitors. List of hotels located in Akola are:
- Alankar Hotel
- Hotel Central Plaza
- Green Vallies Resort
- Greenland Hotel
- Shyam Guest House
- Jasnagra Hotel
- Ramlata Hotel
- Vishram Gruh
- Greenland Cottages Hotel
- Regency Hotel
- Center Plaza Hotel
- Ramlata Palace Hotel
- Presidency Hotel
- Tushar Hotel