Titled the city of gates, Aurangabad is named after the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. It is the Tourism Capital of Maharashtra. This city was founded in 1610 by Malik Amber. Aurangabad was a part of the Princely state of Hyderabad until the British Raj and thus the culture is heavily influenced by Hyderabad. Here are the top places to visit in Aurangabad to ensure a wonderful trip.
Top Places to visit in Aurangabad
1. Ellora Caves
Named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ellora Caves is one of the largest rock-cut monastery-temple cave complexes in the world. There are over 100 caves, of which only 34 are open to the public. These consist of 12 Buddhist caves (1 to 12) in the south, 17 Hindu (caves 13–29) in the middle and 5 Jain (caves 30–34) caves in the North. These caves are Located at a distance of about 29 km from the city.
A megalith carved out of one single rock, the Kailasa Temple, cave no.16 is considered one of the most remarkable cave temples in India because of its size, architecture, and sculpture. The Kailasa Temple is notable for its vertical excavation—carvers started at the top of the original rock and excavated downward.
2. Bibi ka Maqbara
Translated to “Tomb of the Lady,” this monument bears a striking resemblance to the Taj Mahal. Due to this strong resemblance, it is also called the Taj of the Deccan. The maqbara is believed to be built between 1660 and 1661 C.E. Bibi-Ka-Maqbara was erected in memory of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb’s wife, Dilras Banu Begum, popularly known as Begum or Bibi. The maqbara has simulated the Taj Mahal’s style, pattern, and design. The major advantage of this Mughal structure was its setting on the most elevated part of the city, making it visible from a distance. This added greatly to splendor.
The Maqbara is 30 percent smaller in size than the Taj Mahal. Except for the small central portion of the main mausoleum, the rest of the maqbara is constructed in stone, red stone, lime, and stucco plaster. Its creators have employed intricate geometric patterns on the ceilings, stucco paintings, and relief work, stone, red stone and marble screens, metal ornamentation, etc.
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3. Jayakwadi Dam
The dam is located on Godavari river in Paithan taluka of Aurangabad district. The foundation of the dam was laid by Lal Bahadur Shastri on 18 October 1965. The dam was inaugurated on 24 February 1976 by Indira Gandhi. Jayakwadi is one of the largest earthen dams in Asia. There are total 27 water gates for the dam.
A hydroelectric power plant of 12 MW capacity is installed on the right bank of the river. Close to the dam a bird sanctuary has been created which is home for many species of resident and migrant birds.
4. Aurangabad Caves
The Aurangabad Caves, are twelve rock-cut Buddhist shrines dug out of comparatively soft basalt rock during the 6th and 7th century. There are tales of Jataka depicted through inscriptions in the Cave 4. And Cave 7 has inscriptions of bejeweled women, but the most notable attraction of these caves is the sculpture of Bodhisattva. The front wall of the verandah has an enchanting representation of a panel of a litany of Avalokitesvara and Bodhisattva on both sides of the entrance.
Also known as the water mill, the Panchakki was designed to generate energy via water brought down from a spring on a mountain. It was built in 1734. It is essentially a grinding mill that works on water mechanism. The water flows into the Panchakki through underwater earthen pipes. It is then raised by a siphon up to the top of a rectangular masonry pillar. This is where the water is stored, a reservoir, that is at a higher elevation than Panchakki. Since you need a higher velocity to rotate the turbine in generating electricity, the water is released from the elevated reservoir. Any surplus of water is carefully released into the Kham River.
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6. Ajanta Caves
A UNESCO world heritage site since 1983, Ajanta caves are approximately 29 rock-cut Buddhist cave monuments. The Ajanta caves are home to paintings and sculptures that depict heavy influence of Buddhist philosophy and religious teachings of the Buddha. Various incidents from the life of Gautam Buddha and the Jataka Tales are represented and recreated on the walls of these caves. Scenes from the royal court of the respective eras are also painted.
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7. Grishneshwar Temple
Also called as the Dhushmeshwar temple, it is one of the 12 jyotirlingas mentioned in the Shiva Purana. The temple is made up of red rocks and has a 5-tier shikara. Pilgrims believe that by paying a visit to the Grishneshwar Temple, one can reap the benefits of worshiping all the 12 Jyotirlingas.
8. Daulatabad Fort
Also called as Devagiri, Daulatabad is a fort-city about 16 km northeast from Aurangabad. The most enchanting thing about the Fort is its location. From its zenith, you can capture a mesmerizing view of the entire city. You need to hike some 750 odd steps up to the top, but the view down below is a wonderful thing to behold. It was built in the 12th century by Raja Bhillamraj. The ‘Daulatabad’ (city of fortune) name was given by Muhamad Tughlaq, Sultan of Delhi.
Initially, it was known as Rauzaa meaning Garden of Paradise. It is known as the valley of saints. It is purported to contain the graves of 1500 Sufi saints. It is here that Emperor Aurangzeb is interred. Also buried here are Azam Shah, Aurangzeb’s son, Nizam-ul-Mulk Asaf Jah, the founder of the Hyderabad dynasty, his second son Nasir Jang, Nizar Shah, king of Ahemadnagar, Tana Shah, last of the Golkonda kings and a host of minor celebrities.
The place has a famous Bhadra Maruti Temple. It is a temple dedicated to the Hindu deity Hanuman. The idol in this temple is portrayed in a sleeping posture. People come from Aurangabad and nearby places for offering puja on Hanuman Jayanti and on Saturdays in Marathi calendar month Shravan.
10. Atishay Kshetra Kachner
Located at a distance of 37 km from Aurangabad, this temple is called as Atishay Kshetra or the place of miracles. The idol is called Chintamani Parasnath and is of the 23rd Tirthankara Parasnath. About 250 years ago a cow dropped her milk daily at that place of recovery. One old woman noticed it and kept watching. One day she did not allow the cow to go there, she tied the cow at home. But in the evening cow broke the rope and went to the place to drop her milk there. The old woman told others about this event. The event was strange for villagers. So they decided to search that place for some god. They kept on digging there till they found the gate of a basement and this miraculous idol with seven serpent hoods. After some time the idol was installed in a temple constructed at the same places.
11. Gogababa Tekdi
This is a small hill. On the footsteps of the hill, there is a temple. A way behind this temple leads to the top of the Goga Hill. There is a small white colored temple at the top of the hill. The hill is famous for its serene beauty and you would normally find trekkers in the early morning and at sunset. The trek is easy with rough patches in between. The view from the top is breathtaking. Do not forget to carry a camera around for wonderful photographs.
Also called as Mahesh Mal, this is a not-so-crowded hill station near Aurangabad. It lies at an altitude of about 1060 meters. It attracts the most crowd during the rainy season. There is a temple atop this hill which is magnificently built and the view from the temple is superb and breathtaking. Locals sell roasted corn and onion bhajia, which are a must-have.
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If you feel that any of your favorite place is missed out, do share with us in the comment section below. We would be happy to update our list.