Malegaon is the second largest city in Nashik District of Maharashtra and also a Municipal Corporation. The city lies at the convergence of the Mosam and the Girna rivers. Malegaon lies at a distance of 110 kilometers from Nashik towards the north-eastern part of Maharashtra. This city also lies on the Mumbai - Agra Highway called NH 3 and State Highway to Aurangabad and Pune. Malegaon has a very huge population and most of the people in the city are Muslims and the people are mainly power loom workers and weavers. The city possesses a very huge plastic and power industry. Service industries and trading are other economic activities are also practiced in Malegaon.
The communally polarized sketch of the city of Malegaon is because of its location and also because of the history that it possesses. Previously, Malegaon served as a very small junction called ‘Maliwadi’ or Hamlet of Gardens and it was very successful in gaining the huge reputation of serving as a source of employment for many people.
In 1740, Naro Shankar Raje Bahadur, who was a local jagirdar, began the construction of a massive fort in Malegaon. This construction work was a project that took around twenty years and served as a major source of employment for the Muslim artisans and workers who travelled all the way from north India and Surat and settled down in Malegaon.
The Malegaon Fort was captured by the British in 1818 and it was during this time that Muslims from the city of Hyderabad also settled in Malegaon. Many Momins from the northern part of India also settled in the city during the Revolt of 1857. From time to time, certain scenarios of the country, forced Muslims from different parts of India to move to Malegaon and this is the reason behind the great number of Muslims living in the city.
Malegaon is very popular for a very grand and big fair held in honor and dedication to Lord Khandoba. The fair is called “Malegaon Yatra” and is held at Margashirsh Vadya. This fair in Malegaon is very popular for the animal market that it features and thousands of people visit this fair to buy donkeys, camels and horses. An important festival that is celebrated with great enthusiasm in Malegaon is Shab - e - Barat or the festival of ‘Inam’. Apart from these main festivals, other festivals that are celebrated with great pomp and show in Malegaon include Ganesh Chaturthi, Holi, Makar Sankranti and Kumbha Mela.
Tourist Attractions in Malegaon
The tourism industry of Malegaon is not much developed until now and hence there are very few tourist spots or picturesque places in the city. There can be absolutely no doubt in the fact that some of the most beautiful places in India are located in Maharashtra but they are not found in Malegaon. There are cities that lie very close to Malegaon and such cities are known to have some of the best tourist spots in India.
Malegaon Fort : Malegaon Fort is located on the edge of the Mosam River and it is believed to have been constructed during the reign of Narav Shankar, a Maratha King in the year 1765. The 77 feet tall fort is said to be guarded by 310 Arab warriors who are well trained, which made it very difficult for the Britishers to capture the fort for weeks but they ultimately succeeded in capturing it on 14th June, 1818 A.D.
Shahi Masjid : There are over three hundred mosques in Malegaon and the reason behind this huge number of mosques is the large Muslim population of the city. One of the most beautiful mosques in Malegaon is the Shahi Masjid. India’s largest cemetery is also located here, which covers an area of about 40 acres.
Urdu Library : Though libraries are for book lovers, this place is a popular tourist spot as it is an ancient building. The Urdu Library in Malegaon is around sixty years old and it possesses a collection of some of the best and the well-known writers in Urdu language ranging from humor, literature, poems, history, fictions, civilizations to medicine, health and education. The Urdu library in Malegaon is regarded as the most well-equipped and modern library in India.
Best Time to Visit Malegaon
Monsoon : June to October, Summer : March to May, Winter : November to February
How to Reach Malegaon?
By Air : The only airport that lies very close to the city of Malegaon is Nanded airport that is available at a distance of 136 kilometers.
By Rail : The nearest railway station to Malegaon is Manmad railway station that lies at a distance of 38 kilometers. Other railway stations that connect the city of Malegaon to other important cities in Maharashtra are Jaulka at a distance of 10 kilometers, Aman Vadi at a distance of 10 kilometers, Washim at a distance of 24 kilometers and Akola Junction that lies at a distance of 60 kilometers from Malegaon.
By Road : Malegaon is located on the Mumbai-Agra National Highway which is called NH 3 and this is the reason why the city is well connected to the other cities of Maharashtra and the rest of India.