Aurangabad, Maharashtra Travel Guide :
Aurangabad is the tourism capital of Maharashtra. It is a growing city of the state in terms of industries, investments, and tourism. The city is known for its historical monuments and provides connection to the world famous Ajanta and Ellora caves. The city is a major link to the Shirdi SaiBaba temple, Tryambakeshwar of Nasik, and the famous Shani Shinganapur. Aurangabad is historical place. Earlier it was known as Fateh Nagar. Moghal emperor Aurangzeb renamed it as Aurangabad in 1653. In the colonial period the city was one of the centers for the British cavalry. Major sightseeing points in the city are:
»Bibi Ka Maqbara: This is 2km away from the main bus stand. This monument is called the Taj of the Deccan; it is a replica of the Taj Mahal built by Shah Jahan. . It was built by Azam Shah (son of Aurangzeb) in 1660 for his mother. The monument is surrounded by a beautiful garden and an archeological museum. The place is closer to the Marathwada University, of Aurangabad.
»Panchakki: This comes on the way to Bibi ka Maqbara. This is a flour mill run by water.
»Aurangabad caves: These are the Buddhist caves situated in Aurangabad city. This place is quite closer to Bibi Ka Maqbara. During rainfall the place adorns complete greenery and it would be quite mesmerizing to see the waterfall over there. Besides these major points there are many durgas, temples, masjids for the interested people, and a lake named after Dr. Salim Ali. There are more than 50 gates to be seen in Aurangabad. Places connected to Aurangabad:
»Ajanta caves: These Buddhist rock cut caves were discovered by a British officer called John Smith in 1819. It is said that the caves were completed around 6th century BC. The caves are known for the Buddhist paintings most of which are damaged due to rains. They depict various stories from the Buddhist Jataka tales. Padmapani, Vajrapani, the flying Apsaras are some well known paintings to be mentioned here. The caves include Buddhist chaityas and stupas too. There are totally 29 caves in Ajanta. If we look at all the caves from a distance they seem like a horse shoe. The caves are declared as world heritage centers by UNESCO. Ajanta is situated about 100 km away from Aurangabad. We can reach the destination by private cars, taxi or by bus till the Jalgaon T point. From there visitors are supposed to take eco-friendly luxury buses (paid) towards the cave site. It is only five minutes drive from the junction point. Food and beverages are available at the T-point, or, otherwise there is a MTDC restaurant at the cave site.
»Ellora Caves: Ellora is around thirty kilometers away from Aurangabad. In Ellora there are 34 rock cut caves, belonging to Hindu, Jain and Buddhist traditions. They were built around fifth and sixth century. The famous single rock cut temple Kailasnath temple is there in Ellora. On the way to Ellora caves we get to see, - The fort of Daulatabad: - Daulatabad was earlier known as Devagiri. Many dynasties in the Indian history have ruled the place including the Yadavas, the Khilji dynasty, and the Bahamaini dynasty. In the fourteenth century, Mohammad-bin-Tuglak named it as Daulatabad after making it as his capital city. - Khultabad:- Moghal emperor Aurangzebs tomb is there in Khultabad. -
»Ghrishneshwar:- One among 12 jyotirlingas could be seen here. Shopping in Aurangabad: Aurangabad is famous for its own silk and cotton textile industry, known popularly as Paithani and Himroo. Wide range of sarees, shawls and dress materials are available in both, silk and cotton. Cuisine: Aurangabad is a confluence of Moghal and Maratha traditions. Tourists can savor gourmet quality pulao and biriyanis, Naan Qalia, chilly chutney (Thessa), Thaalipeeth and Puran Poli. Aurangabad is ideal to visit during the winter, from October to February. Since the city is converting into an industrial hub the infrastructure of the city is also changing. The city hosts of many good hotels accommodating the customers needs. Good transportation is available connecting all the major cities of India by road/rail and air.