The gateway to the World Heritage Sites of Ajanta and Ellora, Aurangabad is named after the Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb. Aurangabad the only tourist location in India having two-world heritage monuments to its credit. Moreover it is hoped that there will be good addition of two more in near future. Barring these heritage monuments of Ajanta, Ellora, Daulatabad and Bibi-Ka-Maqbara the district is rich in monuments, historical and religious, of National importance. Hence, it deserves the epithet as Tourist District of India. Lying along the right bank of the Kham River, the city is the district headquarters, which offers visitors all the modern comforts and amenities.
Places to see in Aurangabad: The sight seeing spots of Aurangabad includes:
Bibi Ka Maqbara
The tomb of Rabia Durani, wife of Emperor Aurangazeb is an excellent example of Persian architecture. It is reminiscent of the Taj Mahal though less ornamental.
Ajanta and Ellora Caves
Tourist attractions in Aurangabad that have made it to the list of World heritage sites are the Ajanta and Ellora caves. The Ajanta and Ellora cave shrines cut out of rock, by hand, rank amongst the most outstanding historical tourist attractions in India. It is believed that, originally, Buddhist monks sought shelter in these natural grottos during monsoons and began decorating them with religious motifs to help pass the rainy season. Later they taught and performed rituals in these caves, which became their Chaityas (temples) and Viharas (living quarters), the ancient seats of learning, and centers of the Buddhist cultural movement. Using simple tools like hammer and chisel, the monks carved out the impressive figures adorning the walls of these structures, depicting the story of Buddhism, spanning the period from 200 BC to 650 AD.
A watermill dating back to the pre-mughal period, which was used to operate large grain grinding stones, which served as flourmills, is an example of the engineering marvel of the 17-century.
It lies 3km north of Aurangabad, and excavated out of a south-facing hillside between 3 and 11 century and belong to the Buddhist era.
The magnificent Daulatabad Fort, once known as ‘Devgiri’ stands on a hill just 13 km. from Aurangabad was given the name Daulatabad, the ‘city of fortune’, by Muhammad Tughlaq, Sultan of Delhi who made a blunder trying to shift the capital from Delhi to Daulatabad. This fort is considered as one of the oldest existing and invincible forts of India.
Nearby attractions from Aurangabad: Aurangabad is an ideal base for making excursions to places like:
The ancient city of Paithan, 56km South of Aurangabad, now known Paithan, was the seat of the Satvahana dynasty that ruled from 2nd century BC to 2nd century AD. Situated on the banks of the sacred river Godavari, the little town is famous for its Shrine of ‘Sant Eknath’ where people flock every year during the time of ‘Paithan Yatra’. Paithan, which was once an important seat of learning, is also famous for its beautiful silk saris which sport intricately embroidered gold or silver borders called ‘Paithani’. The Shrine of Sri Sai Baba, Shirdi, 130 km from Aurangabad is a place of pilgrimage for devotees of Sri Sai Baba.
Grihneshwar Temple, 30 km from Aurangabad near the Ellora caves, is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva and sacred to Hindus.
Things to do in Aurangabad: The heritage site of Ajanta and Ellora is really attractive. Try to visit each and every caves. The intricate Buddhist architecture is mesmerizing. Inside the caves the giant size Buddha statue will take you to the ancient times. Apart from this the other sight seeing spots are also worth a visit.
Best time to visit Aurangabad: Aurangabad generally offers moderate temperature with low humidity and the best time to visit the place is from October to March.
How to go ?
Aurangabad Airport (Chikkalthana Airport) is an airport serving the city and has connecting flights to Hyderabad, Delhi, Udaipur, Mumbai,Jaipur, Pune, Nagpur and Kolkata.
Aurangabad railway station is not in the main route but is directly connected to Delhi (Sachkhand Exp), Mumbai (Janshatabdi Exp) and Ahmedabad (Rmm Okha Expres). Nearest Railway Station is Manmad which is 120 km away from Aurangabad. From here connecting trains running through the major cities across the country are available.
Where to stay ?
There are plenty of accommodation facilities in Aurangabad. Some options are:
VITS Hotel Aurangabad: +91-0240-2350701, 60017555 Website: www.vitshotelaurangabad.com
Lemon Tree Hotel: +91-0 240 6603030 Website: www.lemontreehotels.com
Hotel Regal Plaza: +91-0240 2329322, 2345578 Website: www.hotelregalplaza.com
Hotel Rama International: +91 -0240- 6634141 Website: www.itchotels.in
Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.