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Aurangabad

Top Attractions

Aurangabad

Ajanta Caves:

The Ajanta caves ought to be the first in the list for visit to Aurangabad. It is a series of about 30 Buddhist cave monuments carved on the mountains that dates back to the 2nd century BC to about 600 AD. The layout of the Ajanta caves is a kind of college monastery divided into several different colleges, with a central management and direction. The caves contain a stunning array of ancient paintings and sculptures depicting the life of Buddha as well as stories from the Jataka tales. The paintings have an easy and fluent naturalistic style and are described as the finest surviving example of India art. The Ajanta Caves have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983.

 

Ellora Caves:

The Ellora Caves is also top among the must visits in India. It is located about 100 kms from Ajanta caves. This structure is consists of 34 caves carved out of the face of the Charanandri hills. Interestingly, as a testimony to inter-faith harmony prevalent during that era, there are 17 Hindu cave, five Jain caves in addition to the 12 Buddhist caves all built in proximity to each other. The Ellora caves date to the 5th to 7th century AD.

 

The centrepiece of the Ellora caves is Kailasanatha cave, a model of Mount Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva – a giant multi-storeyed temple complex. An estimated 400,000 tons of rocks was carved out of one single rock over hundred years to complete construction of this monolith.

 

Monsoon is a great time to visit these caves since the mountains would be in their full blooms and rivulets and waterfalls adding quite a mystic setting to the sacredness of the monuments.

 

Bibi ka Maqbara:

Biwi Ka Maqbara means “The Mausoleum of the Wife”. This monument that resembles Taj Mahal is also called the poor man’s Taj and sometimes ‘Black Taj’ because it was originally planned to rival the Taj Mahal it its splendour. This structure is over 350 years old and constructed by the Mughal Azam Shah in memory of his mother, Dilras Bano Begam, the wife of Emperor Aurangzeb. The mausoleum is at the centre of a huge enclosure admeasuring approximately 500 m. There are pillared pavilions situated at the centre of north, east and western part of the enclosure wall. Biwi Ka Maqbara is surrounded by splendid gardens in the Char Bagh style of Mughal gardens where the quadrilateral garden is divided into four parts by walkways or flowing water.

 

Aurangabad Caves:

The Aurangabad caves are a little known secret of the city. It is believed to be ancient school of Tantric Buddhism founded in the 6th to 7th Century. The older caves seem to represent the architecture of ancient orthodox Buddhism while some caves appear to be Viharas or resting places for travelling monks. The interesting caves are caves 6 and 7. While cave 6 has sculptures of of exotic women, with intricate hairstyles and elaborates ornamentation, cave 7 has the sculptures and figures of women which are scantily clad and decorated with ornate jewellery.

 

Killa Arak:

The Killa Arak is a palace built by Aurangzeb in the year 1692. This palace has four entrances and a large music hall for concerts. The other things to see in this palace are the Dabar, Jumma Masjid and throne room of Aurangzeb. This is in a garden with a huge pavilion.

 

Sunheri Mahal:

The Sunheri Mahal means Palace of gold and was constructed by the Raja of Bundelkhand  before the death of ShahJahan. One version of the origin of this name was that this palace was rumoured to have paintings in gold. It is also said that the palace was constructed in stone and lime, had its high plinth swathed in gold. The palace itself is located in a picturesque place with the backdrop of the mountains and the lush green of nature giving it a perfect complement.

 

Bani Begum Garden:

Bani Begum Garden is located about 24 km from Aurangabad. This garden is a perfect Mughal garden with its lush greenery, blooming flowers and trees, huge domes, gurgling fountains and musical pillars. The garden got its name from the tomb of Bani Begum the wife of Aurangzeb’s son located here.

 

Salim Ali Lake & Bird Sanctuary:

Salim Ali Lake and Sanctuary so named after the renowned ornithologist Salim Ali dates back to the Mughal period where it was known as Khiziri Talab. For those who treasure precious moments in the lap of nature and in the rapture of the birds, this place cannot be missed.

 

Jama Masjid:

The Jumma masjid is a significant mosque in Aurangabad and is located near the Killa Arrak. The mosque has an intricate geometrical structure of fifty polygonal pillars arranged in five rows with system of arches connecting it.

 

Ghrishneshwar Temple:

The Grishneshwar temple is of special significance to Hindus because it is one of the twelve Jyotir lingas of India with the other eleven spread across the four corners of India. The jyotir linga is a place where Lord Shiva manifested as a fiery column of light and these places are supposed to be magnetic centres of special potency.  The temple is located 11 km from Daulatabad, near Ellora Caves. The red volcanic rocks with which the temple is constructed gives it a very striking appearance.

 

Connaught:

Connaught is a place to shop for traditional crafts and textiles. You can find a variety of shops in the markets here.

 

Gul Mandi:

The Gul Mandi is one of the largest markets in Aurangabad with a unique twist. It is famous for the large exchange of goods. Each day here is for a specific kind of good and attracts traders from all around.

 

Khultabad:

This small town near the city of Aurangabad is home to the tomb of the legendary Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb and his wife. The place was a walled town with 7 gates during the reign of Aurangazeb. The place is very important historically for bothe Muslims and Hindus. The museum close to Aurangazeb’s tomb is a must visit for history lovers.

 

Bhadkal Gate:

This is the biggest gate in Aurangabad and is also known as Victory Gate. The site is very popular due to its architectural beauty and historical relevance.

 

Naukhanda Palace of Nizams:

This massive gateway in Aurangabad is of great historical importance. The old palace is now demolished and the Medical college of Aurangabad was built here.