Aurangabad named after Aurangzeb, the Mughal Emperor, is a city in Maharashtra. Aurangabad means 'Built by the Throne'. Aurangabad is a tourist hub and has many historical monuments of importance. Ajanta Caves and Ellora Caves show the cultural heritage and are declared as World heritage sites by UNESCO.
In 1681, Aurangzeb became the Mughal Emperor and used Aurangabad as the base for his campaigns. He died in 1707 and his tomb is located at Khultabad a small town near the city of Aurangabad which is a tourist spot of the state.
Aurangabad Caves, 10 in number, were excavated from the soft rock during the 6th and 7th century and are divided into - Western Group Caves having caves 1-5 and Eastern Group Caves having caves 6-10 - 1 km apart. Ajanta has 30 rock cut Bhuddhist caves and are 106 kms from Aurangabad. The basic designs of the caves are called 'Chaitya grihas' and 'Viharas'. Five caves are Buddhist cathedrals and the remaining 25 are monasteries.
The Chaityas are large, rectangular chambers separated by rows of pillars. They are decorated by sculptures and murals which depict the incarnations of Buddha.
Ellora Caves - Information
The Ellora Caves listed in the world-heritage are about 30 km from Aurangabad. The Kailash Temple of the Ellora caves is a masterpiece and is one of the world's largest and massive sculpture. It was curved out of a rock with the help of 7000 laborers and took nearly 150 years to complete. The shrines are a mix or both Hindu and Jain faiths. Cave number 32 has a Yakshi statue and beautiful ceiling paintings. (less)
Bani Begum Garden
Bani Begum Garden is located about 24 km from Aurangabad and is known for its lush green. It got this name from the tomb of Bani Begum - wife of Aurangzeb's son located in middle of this garden.
Baradari Iwaz Khan Aqueduct
The Baradari Iwaz Khan Aqueduct is in ruins with only rubbles remaining. The force of the attacks of the Marathas an extended a role in battering up the walls.
Bibi ka Maqbara
Bibi Ka Maqbara was built in 1679 AD by Aurangzeb's son, in memory of his mother Rabia. Ata Ullah was the architect and the design was based on Taj Mahal. The memorial is built of sandstone with plastered walls and has a marble dome. It has an flowery wall around with an entrance which provides the best view of the memorial. The enclosure of the tomb is made of marble and is octagonal.
The Chauki-ki-masjid is in the old city of Aurangabad and was built by Aurangzeb's uncle - Shayista Khan in 1665 A.D.
The Revenue Office building was known as the Damri Mahal. It was built after the completion of the 'Barra Darri'. The building was built by imposing a donation of a damri which is equivalent to a quarter of a dub. The contribution was collected from all the labourers employed.
Dargah of Pir Ismail
The Dargah of Pir Ismail was constructed in memory of Pir Ismail the tutor of the prince Auranzeb. The gate is magisterial and it has a large pointed archway.
Daulatabad Fort, earlier known as Devgiri is situated 13 kms from Aurangabad and stands on a pyramid shaped hill and was built by Bhillama, the king of the Yadav dynasty in the 12th century. It was Mohammed Bin Tughlaq who gave the name Daulatabad which means city of fortune.
The Ghrishneshwar Temple was built during 1765 and 1795 by Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore. The temple is built of red volcanic rock and it delivers a characteristic appearance. The temple is of great importance as the presiding deity is a jyotirlinga.
Aurangabad shopping - Gul Mandi is also one of the largest bazaars in Aurangabad. Exchanging also takes place in these markets.
The Himroo Factory is a major tourist attraction of Aurangabad. The Himroo material is an amazing mix of cotton and silk and it is known for its quality. Pathani saris and conventional handloom shawals can also be seen here.
The Jama Masjid is located near the Killa Arrak. It has 50 polygonal pillars arranged in 5 rows and are connected by arches which divide the building into 27 equal compartments. Each compartment is covered by a small domical vault which is simple but elegantlly designed.
Khuldabad is a important religious centre. The place is abode to 2 Muhammaden saints, Burhan-ud-din and Zain-ud-din. Their tombs are also situated here.
Aurangzeb in the year 1692 had built this palace. The Killa Arak has 4 entrances and a Nakarkhana for musicians. The Dabar hall and the Jumma Masjid are the only remains which are of some interest.
When Nizam Ali Khan was at Aurangabad, he occupied the Naukonda Palace, which is now in ruins. The palace consists of 5 zananas, a Dewan-i-Am, a Dewan-i-Khas, a masjid and a Kachari. Each section of the palace has a garden and a water tank.
Paithan is a village located 56 km south of Aurangabad. It is the ancient capital of Satvahanas and is famous for its 6 yards silk brocade sarees. The name of the saree is also Paithan.
Panchakki - the water mill was built during the early years of the 17th century and is used to grind grains for the pilgrims. It was designed to generate energy through water which was brought from a spring on a mountain.
The Purwar Museum is housed in a old haveli. The museum has exquisite personal collections of a retired Doctor Purwar on display since 1970.
Shah Ganj Masjid
The Shah Ganj Masjid is one of the finest buildings to be seen in any part of India. The mosque is on a elevated platform and the architecture style is Indo-Saracenic. The interior has 24 pillars out of which 6 pillars are arranged in the form of a square.
The Siddjartj Garden is situated in the heart of the city and is spread over a large area and it has a green outlook.
The Sunheri Mahal was constructed by a Bandalkand chief who came with Aurangazeb into the Dakhan. The Mahal is located in Paharsingpura, a suburb of Aurangabad. The structure is made of stone and lime. The Mahal has a high pedestal and as the paintings in the Mahal were once painted of gold, it is called Sunheri Mahal.