Aurangabad is an important city in the state of Maharashtra, India. It sees a lot of international tourist traffic due to world heritage sites, Ajanta & Ellora caves. Aurangabad, a dream destination of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, founded in 1610, is known today, as one of the four important cities in Maharashtra. The city is heading towards rapid industrial growth, but retains its past glory and charms, heritage and traditions. Conspicuously seen on the Deccan plateau, it has a rich culture and a plethora of magnificent arts on display.
Silk fabrics were once Aurangabad’s chief revenue generator and the town is still known across the world for its hand-woven Himroo and Paithani saris.
Bibi ka Maqbara A replica of the Taj Mahal, the Bibi-ka-Maqbara is the only example of Mughul architecture of its kind in the Deccan plateau. It was built in 1679 by Aurangzeb’s son, in tribute to his mother, Begum Rabia Durani. It lies in the city of Aurangabad itself.
Daulatabad earlier known as Devgiri, is situated at a distance of 13km from Aurangabad. Also termed as the city of fortune, it houses a stupendous 12th century fortress well placed atop a charming hill. This invincible fortress boasts of a 5 kilometer sturdy wall and an intricate series of ramparts. Don't miss the climb to the very top through the bat cave.
Soneri Mahal, an old historic monument now converted into museum houses a variety of ancient Indian pottery, dresses, remains of local palaces and antiques of daily use. A number of sculptures and reliefs from the local excavations are also on display. It is located within Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University Campus and is on the way to Aurangabad caves.
Aurangabad Caves, a fine piece of architecture, is presented in the most unembellished manner. The caves lie just outside the city and are believed to have been excavated between the 2nd and the 6th century. They house the most stunningly intricate carvings. There are nine caves in all, most of them being the viharas. The 4th and the 7th cave are worth a look. The 4th cave stands well supported on 12 columns carved with scenes depicting the stories from the Jataka tales, whereas the 7th cave is embedded with carvings of women, adorned with jewels. The main attraction is the sculpture of a 'Bodhisatva' praying for deliverance. Also, the views of Aurangabad from the caves make it worth a trip. One can see the Bibi-ka-Maqbara almost from the air.
Best time to visit
July to March