The largest city in northern Maharashtra, Aurangabad is the nearest air-link to the splendid caves at Ellora and Ajanta. It was founded in 1610 by Malik Ambar, prime minister of the Nizam Shahi rulers of Ahmadnagar. In 1653 it became the headquarters of Aurangzeb, the last great Mughal emperor. It was from this city - which he renamed after himself - that he conquered the Deccan states. Aurangabad is most famous for its historical monuments and caves. The most renowned tourist attraction of Aurangabad is Bibi-Ka-Maqbara, built in memory of Aurangazeb's wife, Begum Rabia Durani. Among others there are Aurangabad Caves, Panchakki, Himroo Factory, Daulatabad Fort, Khuldabad, Shirdi, Grihneshwar Temple, Ajanata and Ellora Caves, and History Museum of Marathwada University.
Aurangabad Quick facts
Aurangabad Geography and Climate
Geography: The location co-ordinates for Aurangabad are N 19° 53' 47" - E 75° 23' 54". It is located 512 meters above sea level. The city is surrounded by hills on all sides.
Best time to visit Aurangabad
One can visit this Mughal capital any time of the year but it is better to come here between October and March.
Situated on the banks of the Kham River, this historical city is famous for its medieval monuments and cultural heritage. The gateway to the World Heritage Sites of Ajanta and Ellora, Aurangabad is named after the Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb. Aurangabad was earlier known as 'Khirki', due to its strategic position that provided a window view of the Deccan plateau. Though the city looks like a calm and serene city but it is rapidly growing as an industrialized city, trying to be as competitive as possible. Bibi-ka-Makbara, the mausoleum of Aurangzeb's queen, is the main tourist attraction of Aurangabad. This mausoleum is also termed as 'poor man's Taj Mahal' owing to it being a poor replica of the Taj.
Aurangabad Near Getaways
One of the major cities of Maharashtra, Aurangabad is a gateway to several Buddhist sites such as Ajanta, Ellora and Pithalkhora. The gateway to the World Heritage Sites of Ajanta and Ellora :
Aurangabad is located in the northern part of the state of Maharashtra, in the western region of India. It is 375 km from Mumbai .
How to reach Aurangabad by Road
Aurangabad is well connected by good motorable road with Ajanta 106 kms, Bombay 392 kms, Ellora 30 kms, Nanded 272 kms, Nasik 221 kms, Pune 229 kms, Shirdi 136 kms and other important cities.
How to reach Aurangabad by Rail
Aurangabad is a Railway Station of South-Central railway on Manmad - Secunderabad section. Aurangabad is directly connected by rail with Bombay, Manmad, Nasik Road, Kalyan, Secunderabad (Hyderabad) and with other cities via Manmad.
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How to reach Aurangabad by Air
Aurangabad Airpor, popularly known as the Chikalthana airport is the main domestic airport here. It is situated 10 km east of the city. Both Indian Airlines and Jet Airways have a daily flight to Mumbai (Bombay). The Indian Airlines has an evening flight to Delhi via Udaipur and Jaipur.
Aurangabad Festivals and culture
The Ellora Ajanta Aurangabad Festival takes place in Aurangabad's 17th-century architectural marvel, the Soneri Mahal. Indian musicians and dancers perform classical and folk dances.
Aurangabad district has a long artistic and cultural history, to which several dynasties have made major contributions over the years. As a result of the long Mughal rule in the region, the cuisine of Aurangabad has been highly influenced by the North Indian method of cooking, . It has retained much of its Islamic feel, although in the present day both Hindu and Muslim population lives in perfect harmony. Principal languages spoken over here are Marathi, Urdu, Hindi and English.
Aurangabad Religious Places
Ghrishneshwar Temple: Ghrishneshwar Temple was built by Rani Ahillyabai Holkar, is one of the twelve-jyotirlingas of India. It is located in the village of Verul, near Ellora caves situated at a distance of 35 kms from the city. The temple is made up of red sand stones built in 18th century and is a fine example of medieval architecture. The idols of God Vishnu, Ganesha and Shiva are placed inside the temple. Devotees rush to the place during Shivratri to get blessings since it enshrines a Jyotirlinga.
Bibi ka Maqbara : The city's most famous monument is the Bibi ka Maqbara. Located outside the walled city, this imitation of the Taj was built in 1678 by Aurangazeb's son, Azam Shah, in memory of his mother Rabia Durrani. Standing in the middle of a large Mughal garden, it has four disproportionately large minarets at the ends of its raised platform. Like the Taj, it uses white marble and stucco, but the lack of fine artistic work here distinguishes Shah Jahan's creation.
Aurangabad Entertainment and Night Life
Ellora Caves: (34 Caves) Located about 30 Kms from Aurangabad, Ellora caves are known for the genius of their sculptors. It is generally believed that these caves were constructed by the sculptors who moved on from Ajanta. This cave complex is multicultural, as the caves here provide a mix of Buddhist, Hindu and Jain religions. The Buddhist caves came first, about 200 BC - 600 AD followed by the Hindu 500-900 AD and Jain 800-1000 AD.
Nightlife does not exists much here.
Kidding around Aurangabad
Aurangabad Municipal Zoo : Established in 1986, Aurangabad Municipal Zoo is located at Sidharth Garden in Aurangabad. Spread over an area of 14 hectares, the zoo houses some rare species of birds, reptiles and mammals. There are sloth bear, hyena, white tigers, jackal and peafowl.
Aurangabad textiles is much sought after even today, the weavers of Aurangabad produce fine textiles like pathani, himroo and kimkhwab.
Famous To Eat at Aurangabad
As a result of the long Mughal rule in the region, the cuisine of Aurangabad has been highly influenced by the North Indian method of cooking, . The East Station Road in Aurangabad is known for eating points and restaurants that charge reasonably. Indian, Chinese and fast food are available across the city in restaurants and hotels. If you are a full Indian meal lover then That-Baat and Bhoj are just for you. Hotel Angithi and Riviera offer good Non-Vegetarian Indian cuisine. If you can digest extremely hot and spicy meat then you can visit The Maratha Hotel - a bit down-market place.
Aurangabad Museum and Hill Stations
History Museum of Marathwada University : This museum has excavated materials of Sathavahana dynasty and sculptures from Marathwada region. The collections also include Miniature paintings of Maratha, Rajput, Mughal and paintings of East India Company period. The decorative objects of Chinese and Japanese origin, several manuscripts are also kept in the museum for display.
Gardens and Parks at Aurangabad
It is true that Aurangabad is not a green hilly destination, though it has a good number of gardens giving you a comfortable stay in the town.
Lake at Aurangabad
River Kham passes through the city of Aurangabad. Waghora river is situated near Ajanta Caves:
Aurangabad Travel Tips
Travellers should note that the World Heritage sites at Ajanta and Ellora are closed for public viewing on Monday. Respect the culture and tradition of the place and remove footwear before entering into temples and mosques. Carry all your important documents along with two or three sets of photocopies in case of loss or theft. Carry a route map for safety.
Aurangabad Tourist Offices
The Government of India tourist office is located on Station Road West. Aurangabad Holiday Resort, Station Road, Aurangabad-431 001. Tel: 0240 2331513 Fax:331198 Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation Registered Office: Express Towers, 9th Floor, Nariman Point, Mumbai-400021. TEL: +91 22 2202 4482/4522 / 4584 FAX: +91 22 2202 4521 E-mail:email@example.com
Bank Of Baroda Paithan Gate, Tilak Road, Near Alfa Lodge, Aurangabad- 431001 Phone : 0240-2341931 ICICI Bank Ltd Tapadia Circle, Nirala Bazar, Aurangabad- 431001 Phone : 0240-2349106 Bank Of Maharashtra C-3, N-3, Town Centre Cidco, Aurangabad- 431003 Phone : 0240-2470455, 2481232 State Bank Of India Adalat Road, Kranti Chowk, Aurangabad- 431005 Phone : 0240-2351126 State Bank Of Hyderabad Plot No 1, Town Centre Cidco, Aurangabad- 431003 Phone : 0240-2487430
Must do at Aurangabad
A visit to Ajanta and Ellora Caves is a must as it is considered as World Heritage Sites. The imitation of the Taj-Mahal, Bibi ka Maqbara is also a place not to be missed out in your trip.