Malegaon is a city and a Municipal Corporation in the Nashik district in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Malegaon is one of the largest cities in northwest Maharashtra with an estimated population of 12 lakh to 14 lakh. It is second largest city of Nashik district after Nashik city.
Malegaon is located on the Mumbai-Agra national highway (N.H.03) at the confluence of Mausam and Girna Rivers. Situated on the road linking Mumbai and Agra now National Highway No 3 it was once a small junction known as Maliwadi (hamlet of gardens) and quickly gained the reputation for being a source of employment. When a local jahagirdar, Naro Shankar Raje Bahadur, started building a fort in the area in 1740, a project that took 25 years, a sizeable number of Muslim workers and artisans from places like Surat and northern India settled in the area. After the British capture of the Malegaon fort in 1818, Muslims from Hyderabad migrated to the region. The 1857 revolt saw many Muslims from the north locate themselves here, and the pattern kept repeating itself over the years. Malegaon, with its growing Muslim presence, became something of a shelter and a source of employment for the community whenever it faced reversals. If famine in 1862 forced Muslim weavers in the Varanasi area to move to Malegaon, the political upheavals in the Hyderabad of the late 1940s and 1950s saw a similar exodus to the town. Communal riots, specially from the 1960s onwards, have also undoubtedly contributed to swelling the number of Muslim migrants to Malegaon.