Famous For: Aurangabad is a historic city in Maharashtra state of India. The city is a tourist hub, surrounded by many historical monuments. It is also one of the fastest growing cities in the world. Here are some famous places to visit in Aurangabad below –The Ajanta Caves, Bibi Ka Maqbara, Ellora Caves, Grishneshwar Temple, Daulatabad Fort, Siddharth Garden, Aurangabad Caves, Panchakki, Salim Ali Lake, The Buddhist Caves, Khuldabad, Himroo Factory, Jama Masjid, Dargah Of Pir Ismail, Hazur Sahib Nanded, Soneri Mahal, Gautala Wildlife Sanctuary etc.Major Attractions: The Ajanta Caves, Bibi Ka Maqbara, Ellora Caves, Daulatabad Fort, Salim Ali Lake, Gautala Wildlife Sanctuary, Jama Masjid.Ideal Visit Time: Winter (November to February) is the best time to visit Aurangabad. Winters are pleasant with clear skies and cold temperature, making it a lovely holidaying experience. Since most of the tourist attractions in the city are located outdoors, it is best to avoid the monsoons as it severely restricts sightseeing activities.
Aurangabad is a city in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the administrative headquarters of Aurangabad district and is the largest city in the Marathwada region. It’s located on a hilly upland terrain in the Deccan Traps, Aurangabad is the fourth-most populous urban area in Maharashtra with a population of 1,175,116. The city is known as a major production center of cotton textile and artistic silk fabrics. The culture of Aurangabad city is heavily influenced by the culture of Hyderabad.
There are also many places to visit in Aurangabad that regularly attract tourists. A brief description of some of these interesting places are given below-
The Ajanta Caves
The Ajanta caves is a set of 3rock-cutut Buddhist caves that date back to the period between 2nd century BC and 650 CE. This caves are considered one of the most prestigious monuments of India as they house many beautiful paintings and sculptures depicting the rich cultural heritage of India. Naturally used as a retreat by the Buddhist monks, the cave depicts the serenity of Buddhism through its simple yet breathtaking sculpture.
The Ajanta Cave, located about 99 km from the city of Aurangabad, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Buddhist culture and their stories in this caves are depicted through various sculptures and paintings. It takes you into the world of the born.
The basic designs of the caves are called ‘Chaityagrihas’ & ‘Viharas’. Figurines of Lord Buddha and scenes from the traditional Jataka tales are the mainstays of this place. The area used to be heavily forested and the caves fell out of social conscience before being rediscovered by a British hunting officer in 1819.
Bibi Ka Maqbara
Bibi Ka Makbara is basically a monument or mahal, which is an interesting mahal in resemblance to the Taj Mahal. It was originally built by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in memory of his wife Rabia-Ul-Daurani alias Dilras Banu Begum. Emperor Aurangzeb built this famous palace in 1661.
Aurangzeb attributed this magnificent edifice in the name of his son Azam Shah who was born in the year 1653, so as to commemorate Rabia-Ul -Daurani, who left for her heavenly abode in the year 1657.
Bibi ka Maqbara intended to rival the Taj Mahal, but because of the decline in architecture and the proportions of the structure, it completely resulted in a copied form of the same. Incidentally, this is one of the largest structures to have been built during Aurangzeb’s reign. It is often referred to as the Taj of the Deccan. The shrine is a very popular attraction and the memorial reveals something beautiful as well as the background of the mountains.
Another World Heritage Site in Aurangabad is the Ellora Caves; And the whole city is proud of it. It is a traditional place that should not be missed while staying in Aurangabad. The sculptures here represent the elements of the three religions and make it great and beautiful.
Daulatabad Fort is an ancient fort that rises from the middle of the growing green. Often referred to as the ‘Seven Wonders of Maharashtra’, this architectural marvel is believed to have been built in the 12th century. This fort is also known as ‘Devgiri Fort’. It’s located 15 km away from the main city of Aurangabad. Perhaps the most enchanting qualities is its location, from the zenith of which you can capture a mesmerising view of the entire city.
Another unique aspect of the mighty Devgiri fort is its engineering genius, which not only provided unwavering defense against enemy forces but also managed the irreplaceable resources of the water. In contrast to the ancient sculpture on the green field of Aurangabad, there is a wonderful painting that takes you back to the pages of earlier days.
Salim Ali Lake
It’s also known as the Salim Ali Sarovar. This lake is a beautiful bird-watching spot, nesting a wide variety and number of migratory birds. There is also a well-stocked bird sanctuary at the lake which is a humble abode to a number of local and foreign exotic species of birds. It’s located in the heart of Aurangabad, standing opposite the Himayat Bagh near Delhi Gate.
The lake is named after a famous ornithologist. The lake has a 60-foot watchtower which is a perfect place to click in the picture and enjoy the panoramic view of the whole city. The best time to visit Salim Ali Lake was in the early hours of the morning when I heard the chirping of birds as I watched the sunrise. It is a must-visit for photographers, nature lovers and bird watchers.
Gautala Wildlife Sanctuary
Gautala Wildlife Sanctuary is also known as ‘Gautala Autramghat Sanctuary’ and ‘Gautala Abhayarannya Sanctuary’. It is a protected wildlife sanctuary in the village of Gautala in Maharashtra. It is located between Satmala and Ajanta hills in the Western Ghats. The sanctuary was established in 1986 to protect wildlife. It is the pride of the dense green forest spread over the hilly region.
This wildlife sanctuary is home to wildlife species, among which the most common ones include Panther, Nilgai (Blue Bull), Bear, Wild Dog, Sambar, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Wild Cat, Bison, Chital, Peacock, Monkey etc. It is also home to several avifauna species like Cranes, Storks, and Spoonbills etc. And also reptiles like Cobra, Krait, Keel black viper, Python, and Rat snake etc. This sanctuary is especially known for being home to several species of flora, both exotic and rare.
The mosque, extended by Aurangzeb shortly after Aurangabad was founded is historically significant and a must-visit for the history and architecture buffs. It is one of the oldest standing mosques of Aurangabad. It’s located near the Killa Arrak. It’s highly known for its grand Islamic architecture & the Masjid looks magnificent in every way. This is the largest and the central mosque in Aurangabad, which was built in the Mughal period which has been restored to its original form by the Archaeological Survey of India.
Those who seek peace and tranquility can also visit the Jama Masjid and become part of the massive prayers held while admiring the beautiful open-colored structures, open wards and minarets of the mosque.
How To Reach
By Road: The city of Aurangabad being famous for its tourism, has very efficient connectivity through road, to most of the cities within the state and the country as well. Many private travel companies namely Konduskar, Ghatge Patil and Royal Cars offer bus services to all major cities of the state. Also A/C & non A/C buses are available. ‘Shivneri’ A/C Volvo bus service from MSRTC connects Auranganad to Pune every hour and twice a day to Mumbai.
By Train: Aurangabad has its own railway station. The railway station is located within the city. It has direct trains running to all major Indian cities like Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad and Ahmadabad. There are two trains daily to and from Mumbai, providing fair options for people commuting between the cities. Another major railway station is Manmad Junction, which lies 120 km away from the city.
By Air: Aurangabad Airport is well-connected to all major Indian cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Udaipur. Daily flights are available to these cities. Various airlines like Air India, Air Deccan and Jet airways provide their services here. International flights are also available, but only to middle eastern countries, as of now. Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai, is the best option for international travellers.