Akola a historic city with an edict dating back to Aurangzeb's period is an important trade centre for cotton vegetable oils cement, shahbad stone slabs etc. The district grows cotton, jowar, wheat, peanuts, as also various kinds of fruit, including plantains and grape orchards, lemons, oranges, sweet-lime and guavas, besides a local variety of mangoes and betel leaves. Wall clocks are manufactured at Karanja. Balapur produces equally popular handmade cloth, sarees and carpets. Murtazapur is famous for bullock-market. Akola is an important station on Mumbai-Nagpur railroad. Akola boasts of some Shiva temples built in Hemadpant style, while the Sirpur is the Benares of Jains.
The prime tourist attraction of Akola is Narnala Fort which actually a constellation of three forts- Jafarabad Fort, Narnala Fort & Teliagarh Fort. Situated at 973 metres above sea-level is protected by a curtain wall about 9 metres high with 67 bastions and six large gates. Various rulers kept having control of Narnala Fort at various times but Narnala was captured by Parsoji Bhosale I in 1701 AD and remained with the Marathas till it was taken over by the British in 1803 AD.