Aurangabad – City of Gates

The Aurangabad city has gained popularity across the globe and the reason being the presence of 2 world heritage sites: old caves of Ajanta and Ellora. For a traveler who is fond of art, there is adequate fun in these caves. Aurangabad city is enriched with medieval heritage and has much for offering to the tourists related to the ancient monuments, royal gardens, religious places and craft having a great national significance. Visiting historical monuments such as Bibi Ka Maqbara, Daulatabad Fort, Panchakki, Bani Begum Garden as well as other historical destinations of worship contribute in making one’s day itinerary. While visiting Aurangabad city, one can explore various tourist places overshadowed by Satmala hills caves.

Beauty of Aurangabad

Located in the center of Maharashtra, Aurangabad city is termed as Khirki, a dusty village which belonged to Aurangzeb prince for making it a capital city. The Mughal emperor made several contributions to its various architectural wonders. The amazing forts along with sun bleaching shrines, having pocked walls erected by Aurangzeb exhibiting the story of an interesting past.

History of Aurangabad

The name of the city got its derivation from the Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb. The history dates back to the age of Buddhism, however the modern Aurangabad history is known to be from 1610. The caves of Buddhists in Aurangabad and Ellora are proofs of great influence of Buddhism as well as influx surrounding the city in ancient times.

Malik Ambar, the ruler of Muslim Kingdom, incorporated a town in a village known as Khirki. Further his son, Fateh Khan in 1626 termed the town as Fatehpur. There was an effort by Mohammad Bin Tughlaq for switching over his Delhi sultanate capital to Fatehpur in the 14th century due to the strategic location of city. The town, located at the center of the country, was regarded as the safest place away from marauding armies of Central Asian raiders and Afghans.

When Aurangzeb had taken over Deccan kingdoms, he changed the name as Aurangabad city in 1653. He took advantage of town to strategically point for suppressing the rising power of Shivaji. The city was taken over by Hyderabad’s Nizam after Aurangzeb had died in 1707 retaining control until 1956 when it had a merger with Maharashtra state in 1956.

The present Aurangabad is rich with interesting history. The caves of Ajanta and Ellora along with Bibi-Ka-Maqbara give a glimpse of past history of the town.

Daulatabad Fort – The Invincible Fort

For people who are fond of ancient history, Daulatabad fort has a lot to offer and traces of Deogri city having circumference of 2.75 miles are of great interest. Straight beside the outer wall along the upper fort base, there are 3 lines of secret and defense and passages which lie in the middle of fort make it invincible. The stunning beauty of Chand Minar having 210 feet height enwrapped by the Persian glazed tiles, standing straight helped Ala-Ud-Din Bahamani for commemorating the capturing of fort. Various other monuments of the fort are China Palace or Chini Mahal along with Jamey Masjid got constructed by Sultan of Khilji Dynasty, Qutubuddin Aibak belonging to Delhi.

Attractions of Architectural Heritage

While visiting the city, there are elegant structures of Bibi Ka Maqbara, which attract the people, constructed by Azam Shah as a mark of respect for his mother, Begum Rabia Durani. This monument is termed as a ‘Twin of Taj’ by the local people, however, outsiders term it as Poor Man's Taj because it got preserved and retained luminosity of various Mughal structures. Panchakki also is a water mill and was constructed by Malik Amber, the slave king. The water gets drawn for this tank from a reservoir 6 km away having an underground supply of water which fills the tank. When water is discharged from tank, the energy gets produced from iron wheels churning flour mill for grinding grains for the pilgrims.

Besides, there are tanks and fountains which have fish adding more charm to it. The spot lies on left embankment of river Kaum holding Baba Shah Musafir shrine, the favorite saint of Aurangzeb. For several romantic tourists, the ruins mean a lot rather than merely simple rubbles. The Jalna, Delhi, Mecca and Paithan Darwazas got withered with age. The rubble at present, were once beautiful complexes such as Naukonda Palace, Damri Mahal, Killa Arak and Baradari Iwaz Khan Aqueduct.

Shopping Attractions

For people fond of shopping, Aurangabad offers Kam Khab, the silver and golden thread combined with cotton for making the exquisite shawls of Himroo as well as sarees which can be availed from several showrooms in the vicinity of market area. The Paithani sarees mixed with gold Zari of pure silk form an amazing color mix and motifs. There are fancy designs of parrots, flowers, peacocks along with Ajanta and Ellora caves being used across the borders in the major part. The Paithani sari weaving is an art dating back to 2000 years. Besides, semiprecious stones and Bidriware are few interesting things that can be bought in the city.

Best Time to Visit Aurangabad

Usually, Aurangabad has moderate temperature having low humidity and the ideal time for visiting the city is during months of October to March.

Winters start from November till February offering quite a pleasant weather with lowest temperatures of 10 °C. This is the ideal time for sightseeing as well as exploring heritage sites of Aurangabad.

Summers starts from March to May which is hot having an average temperature which ranges from 37 °C-21 °C having highest temperatures reaching about 43 °C. Usually, tourists do not visit in the hot months of April as well as May.

Monsoons beginning from June to September offer relief to hot climate as most of rainfalls happen in this season. These rains form the picturesque regions to become more beautiful.

The climate remains pleasant from October to March and dry and is ideal for sightseeing as well as outings. The months of April and May remain hot tourists visiting the place in summers wear summer clothes and carry sunglasses with water bottle. June-September time is suitable for enjoying drizzling.

How to Reach

By Air

The airport of Aurangabad serves the city with connecting flights to Delhi, Hyderabad, Udaipur, Jaipur, Mumbai, Nagpur and Pune. The recent flights can be availed by the people easily.

By Train

Aurangabad station is located on the section of Secunderabad-Manmad of Nanded Division belonging to zone of South Central Railway of Indian Railways. The city has well developed rail connectivity with cities such as Mumbai, Hyderabad and Delhi connected. It remains connected to Parli, Nanded, Nagpur, Nasik, Nizamabad, Pune, Madurai, Kurnool, Erode, Renigunta, Bhopal, Vadodara, Gwalior and Vadodara. However the demand for direct connectivity of rail to prominent cities of the country remains. Aurangabad Jan Shatabdi Express has been the fastest connecting train to Mumbai.

By Road

Aurangabad has a well developed road network with several prominent cities of Maharashtra as well as other states. NH- 211 starting from Dhule to Solapur is seen passing through Aurangabad. The city of Aurangabad connects road to Pune, Jalna, Ahmednagar, Beed, Nagpur, Mumbai and the route has been upgraded into 4 lane road of standard of National Highway. There is a new Nagpur–Aurangabad–Mumbai express highway developed here.

Local Transport

MSRTC (Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation) and several other private operators of bus providing bus service to connect the city to different parts of state. It also operates one intra-city service of bus known as 'Aurangabad City Bus' connecting various parts of Aurangabad along with connections with close by suburbs.

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