Akola District is a district of Maharashtra state with its administrative headquarters located at Akola city. Earlier, the region along with the Berar province was a part of the famous kingdom of “Vidarbha”, which has been mentioned in the great epic, Mahabharata. Throughout the centuries the place has been ruled by many different dynasties likewise, Mauryan, Satavahana, Chalukyas, the Rashtrakutas, Vakatakas, Sultan of Delhi, Bahmani Sultanate, Nizam Shahi sultanate, Mughals, Nizams, Marathas, Peshwas, etc. In 1803 the Battle of Argaon was took place in this region between the British under the command of Governor Arthur Wellesley and the army of Maratha under Bhonsle of Nagpur. It was the Second Anglo-Maratha War. In 1853, the district of Akola together with the Berar came under the administration of the British East India Company. Then Berar was divided into East and West Berar whereas Akola district was included in West Berar. Again, in 1903, the British East India Company leased Berar to the Nizam of Hyderabad in return of the debt. In 1947 when India got its Independence, the states and provinces were reorganized in 1956. Akola became a part of bi lingual Bombay state which was further divided into two states in 1960. On 1st July, 1998 Akola was emerged as a separate district in the state of Maharashtra.
The Third Anglo-Maratha War saw the defeat of the last Peshwa, Baji Rao II by the British. In 1853, the Akola district together with the rest of Berar came under the administration of the British East India Company.
Dr Vijay P. Bhatkar, an Indian computer scientist was born on 11th October, 1946 in Akola. In 1991 he developed the first Indian supercomputer, the Param 8000 and then in 1998 the Param 10000. In 2015 he was honoured by the Padma Bhushan Award.
Geographically, the district lies at 20070'N latitude, 77000'E longitude and 282 m altitude. In the year 2019, there was a total 6.00% forest area of total geographical area. The district occupies a geographical area of 5,673 sq km. and in terms of geographical area it occupies the ranks of 28th in the state and 185th in India. It is surrounded by Amravati District on the north and east, Washim District on the south and Buldhana District on the west. The district of Akola is blessed by numerous water bodies like Morna, Purna, Vaan, Aas and Shahnur. The climate of the district is very hot since it lies on the Tropic of Cancer. Annual temperatures range from a high of 48 °C (118 °F) to a low of 10 °C (50 °F). The actual rainfall in the district was 717.2 mm in the year of 2018-19.
Administrative wise, the district comprises of 7 tehsils-Akot, Telhara, Akola, Balapur, Patur, Barshitakli and Murtajapur. Akola city is divided into 73 electoral wards and 4 zones. Moreover, the district comprises 7 sub-districts, 12 towns and 864 villages. The administrative language in the district is Marathi.
As per 2011 census the district has a population of 18,13,906 including 9,32,334 are males and 8,81,572 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 946 females for every 1000 males. During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate of the district was 11.27% including 10.83% were males and 11.73% were females. The population density in the district is 320 persons per sq. km. In the year 2017 the number of live births in the district was 41,208 including 21,590 were males and 19,618 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 12,994 including 7,586 were males and 5,408 were females. According to 2011 census the major religions of the district are Hindu and Muslim with 61.07% and 19.70% of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal languages in the district are Marathi and Urdu with 70.39% and 17.33%.
The economy of the district is mainly based on agriculture. Cotton, soybean and sorghum are the predominant crops grown in the district. Other important crops of the region are wheat, sunflower, canola, peanut, pearl millet, pigeon peas, green gram, etc. The increasing textile mills are also contributing in the economy of the district. In the year 2017-18 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 23,64,500 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 19,18,000 lakh at Constant Prices in the year 2011-2012. In the year 2013-2014 the net domestic product in the district was Rs. 15,54,000 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 9,18,900 lakh at Constant Prices in the year 2004-2005. In the year 2013-14 the Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost in the district was Rs. 79,829 at Current Price and Rs. 47,204 at Constant Prices in the year 2004-2005.
Generally most of the schools of the district are affiliated to Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education. The public school of the district are controls by the Municipal Corporation. As per 2011 census the literacy rate of the district is 88.05% including 92.34% are males and 83.54% are females.
Sanjay Shamrao Dhotre, a famous political personality was born on 26th February, 1959 in Akola. He is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He is a member of the 16th Lok Sabha of India in which he represents the Akola constituency of Maharashtra.
Every year travellers from different places come to Akola to enjoy the four magnificent old forts of the district-Narnala Fort, Akot Fort, Akola Fort and Balapur Fort. Shegaon, a renowned pilgrimage place is located just 35 km. from Akola. Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan, the biggest temple trust in the Vidarbha region is called "Pandharpur of Vidarbha". Nehru Park,an amusement and Water Park in Akola city also allures a huge number of people. It became the pride of city by installing India's first 3D Planetarium. Ashok vatika of the Akola city is an important religious place for Buddhist & dalit peoples. Inside the Ashok Vatika there are the statues of some great people-Dr. B R Ambedkar, Siddharth Gautam Buddha and Mahatma Jyotirao Phule. Raj Rajeshwar Temple is the oldest Shiva Temple of the Akola city. Tourists from far distance place come to this temple to offer their prayers.