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The dwellers of Kampilya were known as Koil, if historian Thakur Desharaj is to be believed. The people occupied the South eastern lands of Ganges River and the city came to be known as Kampilgarh- place where the Kampil or Koil group lived. The town where these people resided became famous over time and came to be identified as Aligarh in modern times. In 18th Century, the place was identified with the caste of Kol or Koil which means a place in mountain, also resembles the name of a person, sage or demon, which is not known. Per literature of the past and if one goes by the meaning of the name, the place Koil was apparently covered with grooves and forests and the history of the place during 12th century till 18th century is not known.

The origination of the name Koil has got many connotations and many historians have attempted to get to the roots of the name. As per Edwin T Atkinson, the name was borrowed from the snippet of Epic Mahabharatha, where Balarama kills a demon named Kol and with the help of locals, the Ahirs subdued the doab. Another attempt is made by the same historian and makes a wild guess that in 372 AD the legend of Kol was founded by a tribal group named “dor” of Rajput. This legend can be related to the ruined forts of Dor still lying in centre of the city.

Prior to invasion of Ghazni Muhamud, the Kol area was predominantly occupied by Dor Rajpiuts and were influenced by Buddhist Religion. This part is confirmed by the remnants of Buddhist citadels during excavation and for some time in the history, even Hindu religion had influence on this area.

During the Muslim Rule in India, more specifically in 1194 AD, the fort of Kol was considered as one of the celebrated forts of Hind, which made Qutb-ud-din Aibak to conquer it and appoint Hisam-ud-din Ulbak as first Muslim Governor of Koil city.

The city of Koil is mentioned in Rihla written by Ibn Battuta where he travelled to the city on way to Gujarat (erstwhile Cambay) in 1341 as a representative of the then Yuan Ruler of China, Ukhaantu Khan. In his revelation, he also mentions about disturbance in Kol where one of the ambassadors were killed while relieving the tribe from Hindu attackers. Also there is a mention of mango grooves which was probably the reason for the city being known as Sabzabad or the green country.

During the reign of Akbar, Koil was elevated to the status of Sirkar and was treated on par with Akbarabad, Thana Farida, Kolb a Haveli and Marahra. Jahangir happens to mention the forest of Koil during his valour in killing wolves.

With change in Rulers, the fort of Kol was renovated and renamed as Muhammadgarh by the then governor Muhammad, son of Umar. In 1524-25, the Lodhi fort was rebuilt by the existing governors, Farrukh Siyar and Muhammad Shah and it as Sabitgarh.

With combined efforts of Muslim army, Jai Singh of Jaipur and Surajmal, the Jat Ruler- the fort of Koil was captured and renamed as Ramgarh. However, the fort was conquered later by Najaf Khan, the Shia Commander who renamed it as Aligarh. The present form of Aligarh for or the Aligarh Qila was engineered under the command of French Officers Perron and Benoît de Boigne.

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