Introduction:The Akola district falls in the western and it is bounded by Amravati in the East & North, Washim in the South & Buldhana in the West part of Vidarbha region . The district is divided in to 7 Talukas with Akola as its district Head quarter. There are 4 revenue subdivisions and they are located at Akola, Balapur, Akot and Murtizapur headed by Sub Divisional Officers.As per the Zilla Parishad and Panchayat Samiti Act a parallel set up of Z.P. at District Head Quarter and Panchayat Samiti at every Tahasil level have been established. The total area of the dist. is 5432 sq. km. and total population as per 2001 census is 16, 30,239 (38.49% urban).
In all, there are 914 villages in the dist. (inhabilated and uninhabilated), which includes Town. There exists Municipal Corporation at Akola i.e. Dist. Head quarter and Municipal Councils at Akot, Telhara and Murtizapur. Almost all villages are electrified and every village is invariably connected by either kaccha / pakka road. The overall road network is good in all parts of the district. Apart from this, Akola is connected by railway. It falls on Hawada - Mumbai (CST) track which runs in E - W direction and Ajmer - Kachiguda in Northwest - South direction. Being Junction place, it assumes great importance for both passengers as well as goods transport.
Geography:The dist. lies between 20o 18' & 21o 13' North latitude and 76o 41' & 77o 37' East longitude. It is included in the SOI Degree Sheets No 55 C, D, G, H. The Satpuda hill ranges are bordering the district in the North with their slope towards South. The central part of the dist is plain where as southern part is again elevated with its general slope towards north. Purna is the major river of the district and it flows from East to West through nearly central part of the dist. The other important tributaries of Purna River are Vidrupa, Shahanur, Van, Man, Morna and Nirguna.
The drainage density is fairly good and its pattern is sub parallel in the Northern Alluvial region & Dendritic to subdendritic in the Basaltic area in the Southern part of the district.
The Northern hilly region of 2 to 4 km. width, the part of Satpuda range, lie above 400 m. M.S.L. The central part of the District, which is mainly occupied by Alluvium deposits, is gently sloping and it ranges between 200 to 260 m. above M.S.L. The Southern part of BarshiTakli & Patur is a plateau region having its height ranging from 400 to 450 m above M.S.L.
Geology:The area is covered by mainly two formations i.e. Deccan Basalt and recent Alluvium. Alluvium is consisting of boulder, sand, silt and clay. The clayee and silty alluvium deposited all along the river Purna on both Northern & Southern side of it is a Saline tract. It covers about 330 villages i.e. about 1/3 villages of the dist. The Alluvial Tract lying between Satpura hills & saline tract is covered by Boulder Alluvium & sweet water (Alluvial) Zone. The total area covered by alluvium is 1864 sq. km. Another major formation / Rock type is Deccan Basalt and occurrence of which can be classified as under.
1) Hard compact massive Basalt.
2) Vesicular Zeolitic Basalt.
3) Fractured and jointed basalt.
4) Weathered Basalt.
At places lava flows are separated by red clays which are commonly called as Red Bole and its thickness varies from place to place .The average thickness of individual lava flow ranges from 10 to 15 mts., but at places their thickness is much more.
There is a very small patch in N W corner of the district where sandstone beds of Gondwana system are seen as an outcrop & also as an incrop as revealed from litho sections.
Deccan Basalts are generally horizontally disposed and are traversed by well developed sets of Joints. The horizontal joints at places give them a layered appearance when the rock is sufficiently weathered. Another feature of weathering of the compact Basalt is the development of concentric layers giving rise to spheroidal weathering or exfoliated weathering. Division of area covered by Alluvium and Basalt is as under.
1) Area covered by Alluvium 1864 sq. km.
2) Area covered by Basalt 3568 sq km
Total area 5432 sq. km.
Hydrogeology:Hydrogeological conditions are varying in Alluvial and Basaltic terrain of the district. In alluvial area, the water levels are comparatively deeper and groundwater occurs under unconfined and confined conditions. Fine to medium granular sand, coarse sand & boulder alluvium are the aquifers existing in this alluvial belt. Water table ranges from 12.50 M. to 14.50 M. & yield of the well / Tubewell ranges from 50 to 100 m3 per day. The aquifer is promising and perennial, Southern strip of the alluvium occupying an area of 720 Sq. kms.is silty & clayee in nature. In this particular belt, the groundwater is very saline and therefore called as Saline tract. It covers 372 villages from 5 different talukas.
In Basaltic terrain, weathered, jointed and fractured basalt is acting as an aquifer. The shallow aquifer is mostly unconfined or semi confined. Where as deeper aquifer is semi confined in nature. In phreatic aquifer the water level ranges from 7 M. to 8.50 M. & yield ranges from 18 to 72 m3 per day. The yield of the borewell is varying at place to place. It ranges from 500 to 15950 liter per hour.
History:Historically Akola district like other parts of Vidharbha was undoubtedly included in the empire of Ashoka. Akola district, a part of North Berar with its headquarter at Buldhana was further reconstituted in two parts and in 1903 Akola became the head headquarter of North Berar
In the historical event of Akola district it has been noted that the Battle of Argaon, ( Adgaon near Akot ) took place on 28 November 1803, between the British under the command of Governor Arthur Wellesley and the forces of Maratha under Bhonsle of Nagpur during Second Anglo-Maratha WarMany forts are located in Akola district viz
1) Akola Fort
2) Akot Fort
3) Balapur Fort
4) Narnala Fort (In Satpuda ranges)
Of all, Balapur fort is much more intact till today and important government offices are established in the premises of this Fort. However the remnants of the other Fort still exist today. The renovation and beautification of Narnala Fort is being taken by the government to attract the tourists.
Culture And Religion:Raj Rajeshwar Temple" in Akola is a famous pilgrimage place for worshippers of Lord Shiva and has a great historical heritage. Narsingh Maharaj Mandir at Akot and Baladevi temple at Balapur both in Akola District. Also in Balapur, ‘Chatri’ memento by Raja Jaisingh in the memory of his Horse is also famous.
Akola is known as a colorful city because of its many festivals. People residing in Akola district belong to various caste and community. The festivals namely Ganesh Chaturthi, Makar Sankranti, Dashera, Diwali, Holi and Eid are celebrated with special enthusiasm.
Hot Spot:Hot springs are not reported from any part of the district and entire area is safe from earthquake activities. Similarly long duration natural springs are hardly observed in the district.
Flood situation remains under control in normal rainfall condition except a small patch near Gandhigram (on Akot road 17 km from Akola) where river Purna takes a turn and river bed is shallow and wide without proper embankment.
Drinking water condition is overall satisfactory in all parts of the district except few villages having localized adverse topographical set-up and poor hydrogelogical condition.
Large numbers of villages from the saline tract are covered by Regional pipe water supply scheme due to non-availability and sweet water in this belt. Failure of water supply scheme due to any reason for couple of days can create severe scarcity of drinking water in the tract.