Akola is a major city in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, India. It is the third-largest city in Vidarbha after Nagpur and Amravati. Akola is located on the banks of the Morna River, about 580 kilometers east of Mumbai and 250 kilometers west of Nagpur. Akola is known as the "Cotton City of India" due to its high cotton production. It is also a major commercial and educational center.
The city has a rich history and culture. Akola was founded in the 16th century by the Mughal emperor Akbar. It was later ruled by the Marathas and the British. Akola has many historical monuments, including forts, temples, and mosques. Akola is also a popular tourist destination. The city is known for its beautiful scenery, including the Morna River, the Akola Fort, and the Ramtek Fort. It also has several religious and cultural festivals, including the Akola Utsav and the Ramtek Fairwhich are celebrated by the people with utmost enthusiasm. If you are a nature lover and a history enthusiast, make sure to visit this beautiful city of Akola in Maharashtra.
Places to Visit
Akola is a city rich in culture and heritage that can be seen in its ancient forts, palaces, and temples. From nature lover’s paradise to a history enthusiast’s haven, here are some of the best places to visit in Akola:
- Lord Mahadeo Cave: The slopes of the Melghat forest contain the Lord Mahadeo Cave. By travelling to this stunning region, you can take your loved ones on an unforgettable journey.
- Kapshi Lake: Near to Akola is the well-known tourist resort of Kapshi Lake. This renowned lake was constructed when the British controlled the region. The migatory birds from different countries are a bonus, and the natural scenery is breathtaking.
- Nehru Park: If you're searching for a spot to unwind and have fun, Nehru Park is a terrific place to enjoy a picnic. It is quite well-liked as a water park as well as an amusement park. The opening of the city's first 3D planetarium in India inspired local pride.
- Narnala Fort: The old Narnala Fort serves as an excellent picnic location because of its sarai and bungalow. This historic landmark is still a fantastic choice for a family visit despite the lack of a custodian. Burhanuddin's grave is in the courtyard's opposite corner, and a small tank called the Shakkartalao is located beyond it.
- The Salasar Balaji Temple: The Salasar Balaji Temple is in the Ganga Nagar Akola area. Deities include Hanumanji, Shri Ram Darbar, Shri Radhakrishna, and the other members of the Shiv Parivar. This temple occupies a 2,000,000 square foot plot of land and features a garden.
- Katepurna Sanctuary: At the Katepurna Sanctuary, visitors can see more than 115 plant species, including moha, tendu, khair, salai, and others. The Barking Deer and Four-horned Antelope are two of Katepurna Sanctuary's most well-known residents.
- Raj Rajeshwar Temple: Within the renowned Akola Fort is the historic Raj Rajeshwer Temple. The patron god of this temple is Lord Shiva, who appears to devotees here in the form of a linga. The temple receives hundreds of tourists annually.
- Balapur Fort: The drive to Balapur Fort, which is 26 kilometres from Akola, during the monsoon season is a visual treat. Its intricate defences and other architectural feats are particularly well-known. The son of Emperor Aurangzeb built Balapur Fort.
- Om Shri Baara Jyotirlinga Shiv Mandir: The Om Shri Baara Jyotirlinga Shiv Mandir is a notable historical site and one of Alko's first religious structures. In this temple, Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of a linga. One of the most popular Shiv Temples in Akola is also found to be this one.
Here are some of the most popular restaurants in Akola to cater to the taste of every visitor and with all kinds of budget:
- Dawat Restaurant: Dawat Restaurant is a popular restaurant for both Indian and Arabic cuisine. They are known for their biryani, kebabs, and other grilled meats.
- Courtyard by Jasnagra: Courtyard by Jasnagra is a fine dining restaurant that offers a fusion of Indian and European cuisine. They have a beautiful courtyard setting and a rooftop bar.
- Zam Zam Hyderabadi Biryani and Family Restaurant: Zam Zam Hyderabadi Biryani and Family Restaurant is a must-try for biryani lovers. They serve authentic Hyderabadi biryani with a variety of meats and vegetables.
- Hotel Vaibhav: Hotel Vaibhav is a popular restaurant for both Indian and Chinese cuisine. They have a large menu with something for everyone.
- Mirch Masala: Mirch Masala is a vegetarian restaurant that is known for its innovative and flavorful dishes. They also have a great selection of Indian sweets and desserts.
- Rathi Pedewala: Rathi Pedewala is a popular restaurant for North Indian cuisine. They are known for their pedes, which are a type of savory snack made with puffed rice.
- Lazzat Deccan Tandoor Restaurant: Lazzat Deccan Tandoor Restaurant is a popular restaurant for tandoori cuisine. They have a wide variety of tandoori meats and vegetables, as well as a selection of Indian breads.
- Fresh Flavor: Fresh Flavour Restaurant is a popular restaurant for South Indian cuisine. They serve a variety of dosas, idlis, uttapams, and other South Indian dishes.
Nightlife (Clubs, Bars and Pubs)
Akola has a few bars and restaurants that offer great appetizers with a wide range of alcoholic beverages and mocktails. Here are some of them:
- Club Rush: Club Rush is a popular nightclub that is known for its energetic atmosphere and its wide variety of music. They play a mix of Bollywood, international, and EDM music, and the dance floor is always packed. Club Rush is a great place to go if you want to party until the early hours of the morning.
- Folks: Folks is a pub that is known for its friendly atmosphere and its selection of craft beers. They have a wide variety of beers on tap, as well as a selection of wines and spirits. Folks is a great place to go if you want to relax with friends and enjoy a few drinks.
- Phoenix Family Garden Restaurant and Bar: Phoenix Family Garden Resturant and Bar is a restaurant that also has a bar and a dance floor. They are known for their live music and their delicious food. The restaurant serves a variety of Indian and Chinese dishes, and the bar has a wide selection of drinks. Phoenix Family Garden is a great place to go if you want to enjoy a meal and some dancing.
- Malhar Bar and Restaurant: Malhar Bar and Restaurant is a bar that is known for its affordable drinks and its friendly staff. They have a wide selection of drinks, including beers, wines, and spirits. Malhar Bar is a great place to go if you want to have a few drinks with friends without breaking the bank.
Here are some traditional markets in Akola from where you can buy things from household items to vegetables and groceries and clothing, etc.
- Akola Mandi: The Akola Mandi is the main wholesale market in Akola, where you can find a wide variety of agricultural produce, including grains, pulses, vegetables, and fruits. The market is open from early morning to late evening, and it is a great place to find fresh produce at a good price.
- Kalpana Gali: Kalpana Gali is a narrow alleyway in the old city of Akola, where you can find a variety of shops selling traditional Indian handicrafts, clothing, and jewelry. The shops in Kalpana Gali are mostly family-owned, and they sell a wide variety of items, from traditional sarees to hand-carved wooden sculptures.
- Mahatma Phule Market: Mahatma Phule Market is a covered market in the heart of Akola, where you can find a variety of shops selling everything from groceries to clothes to electronics. The market is open from early morning to late evening, and it is a great place to find everyday necessities as well as souvenirs and gifts.
- Rani Baug Market: Rani Baug Market is a weekend market in the Rani Baug area of Akola, where you can find a variety of stalls selling fresh produce, handicrafts, and other local goods. The market is open from early morning to late evening on Saturdays and Sundays, and it is a great place to find unique souvenirs and gifts.
- Satya Narayan Market: Satya Narayan Market is a small market in the Satya Narayan area of Akola, where you can find a variety of shops selling religious items, such as idols, puja thaalis, and incense sticks. The market is open from early morning to late evening, and it is a great place to find religious items for puja or for gifting.
Museums and Art Galleries
- Dhore Patil Haveli: Dhore Patil Haweli is a 17th-century mansion that has been converted into a museum. The museum exhibits a collection of artifacts from the Maratha era, including weapons, jewelry, and clothing.
- Mahadeo Mandir Deori: Mahadeo MandriDeori is a temple complex that houses a museum of Hindu religious art. The museum exhibits a collection of sculptures, paintings, and other artifacts from the Hindu tradition.
- RashtrasantTukdoji Maharaj Museum: RashtrasantTukdoji Maharaj Museum is a museum dedicated to the life and work of the Marathi saint Tukdoji Maharaj. The museum exhibits a collection of artifacts, photographs, and documents related to Tukdoji Maharaj's life.
- Image Art Gallery: Image Art Gallery is a private art gallery that exhibits a collection of modern and contemporary art. The gallery exhibits a collection of paintings, sculptures, and other artworks by local and international artists.
- Vaishag Farm: Vaishag Farm is an art and cultural center that hosts a variety of exhibitions, workshops, and performances. The center also has a permanent collection of artworks by local artists.
Festivals and Events
Here are the majorly celebrated festivals and events in Akola:
- Akola Utsav: This is an annual festival that is celebrated in the month of January. The festival features a variety of cultural events, including music, dance, and theater.
- Ramtek Fair: This is a religious fair that is celebrated in the month of February. The fair is held at the Ramtek Fort, and it features a variety of religious events, as well as stalls selling food, handicrafts, and other goods.
- Ganesh Chaturthi: This is a Hindu festival that is celebrated in the month of August. The festival is celebrated to mark the birth of the elephant-headed god Ganesha. In Akola, Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with great enthusiasm, and there are several public processions and pandals (temporary shrines) that are erected in the city.
- Diwali: This is a Hindu festival that is celebrated in the month of November. The festival is celebrated to mark the victory of good over evil. In Akola, Diwali is celebrated with great enthusiasm, and there are several public fireworks displays and family gatherings.
- Holi: This is a Hindu festival that is celebrated in the month of March. The festival is celebrated to mark the arrival of spring. In Akola, Holi is celebrated with great enthusiasm, and there are several public Holi parties and water fights.
Gardens and Parks
Spend some time on the beautiful and peaceful parks and gardens in Akola amidst lush green surroundings. Here are some of the best parks and gardens in Akola:
- Nehru Park: This is a large park in the heart of Akola, with a variety of gardens, a children's play area, a jogging track, and a lake.
- Hutatma Smarak: This is a park dedicated to the martyrs of the Indian independence movement. The park has a well-maintained garden, a children's play area, and several historical monuments.
- Ramnivas Garden: This is a beautiful garden in the Ramnivas area of Akola. The garden has a variety of flowers, trees, and a water fountain.
- Nandankanan: This is a zoo in the Patur area of Akola. The zoo has a variety of animals, including lions, tigers, elephants, and monkeys.
- Echo Park: This is a small park in the Patur area of Akola. The park is known for its echo, which can be heard when you speak into a particular spot.
- Nexus Celebration Mall: Nexus Celebration Mall is a large mall with a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options. The mall has a four-screen multiplex, a food court, and a gaming zone.
- Elements Mall: Elements Mall is a smaller mall with a more exclusive range of shops. The mall has a two-screen multiplex, a food court, and several high-end brands.
- Tapadia City Centre: Tapadia City Centre is a community mall with a focus on local businesses. The mall has several shops, restaurants, and a play area for children.
- R Kay Mall: R Kay Mall is a small mall with a mix of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options. The mall has a single-screen multiplex, a food court, and a gaming zone.
- Nakshatra Mall: Nakshatra Mall is a small mall with a focus on fashion brands. The mall has several shops, a food court, and a play area for children.
Satara has several hotels catering to visitors of all kinds of budget requirements. Here are some of the famous ones:
- Big Bazaar
- Reliance Trends
- Metro Cash & Carry
- Amazon Megastore
- Flipkart Smart Store
- Narendra Modi Emporium
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Akola is from November to February when the weather is pleasant and there is no rainfall. The summers are a bit hot and humid but outdoor activities can be done. Monsoons come with heavy rainfall, so it is advised to not visit the city from June to August.
How to Reach
- By Air: Akola has a domestic airport which is connected to some major cities of the country. The nearest international airport is at Nagpur and Aurangabad in Maharashtra which are connected to all the major cities in India and abroad.
- By Train: Akola has a trail station which has a good connectivity to other parts of India. You can get a bus or taxi from the station to reach your destination.
- By Road: State run buses are commonly used by people to reach the remote regions of the city and the buses always go to and from other cities of the state.