Aurangabad Travel Guide
get there and around
get there and around
Aurangabad is well connected by roads with various major cities of maharashtra and other states. National highway NH-211 (Dhule-Aurangabad-Solapur) passes through the city. Road connectivity is excellent and road connecting to Pune, Nagpur, Beed, Mumbai are upgraded into four lane national highway. A New Nagpur-Aurangabad-Mumbai highway is being developed.
Now Aurangabad has an International airport. Recently there were flights made available to all the people traveling to Hajj pilgrimage. Aurangabad Airport has connecting flights to Delhi, Udaipur, Mumbai, Jaipur as well as Hyderabad.
Places to visit
places to visit
* Bibi Ka Maqbara: Situated about 3 km. from the city is Bibi Ka Maqbara, the burial place of Aurangzeb's wife, Rabia-ud-Durrani. It is an imitation of the Taj at Agra and due to its similar design, it is popularly known as the Mini Taj of the Deccan. The Maqbara stands in the middle of a spacious and formally planned Mughal garden with axial ponds, fountains, water channels, broad pathways and pavilions. Behind the mausoleum is located a small archaeological museum. 
* Panchakki (water mill): Is a 17th century water mill situated at a distance of 1 km from the city. An intriguing water mill, the Panchakki is famous for its underground water channel, which traverses more than 8 km. to its source away in the mountains. The channel culminates in a mesmerising 'artificial' waterfall that powers the mill. The beauty of the mosque housed in the inner enclosure is enhanced by a series of 'dancing' water fountains.
* Gates in Aurangabad: One of the things that makes Aurangabad stand out from the several other medieval cities in India are its 52 'gates' each of which have a local history or had individuals linked with them. Not many people are aware of the fact that Aurangabad is also known as the 'City of Gates'.
* Aurangabad Caves: Situated at a distance of 5 km, nestled amidst the hills are 12 Buddhist caves probably dating back to 3 A.D. Of particular interest are the Tantric influences evident in the iconography and architectural designs of the caves. One is also treated to a panoramic view of the city as well as the imposing Maqbara from this point.
* Ghrishneshwar Temple: Is half a kilometre away from the Ellora Caves, and 30 km. from Aurangabad. The present structure is an 18th century temple that presents outstanding architecture and carving. This place forms one of the five Jyotirlinga sites in Maharashtra where Lord Shiva is worshipped. The Ahilya Devi Holkar temple nearby is a must-see.
* Himayat Bagh: The Himayat Bagh is 17th century garden that now houses the Fruit Research Station & Nursery. It is a sprawling complex spread over 300 acres, naturally green and in the olden days it was known as the Mughal garden.
* Khuldabad: Is a walled town lying at a distance of 3 km. from Ellora. The town of Khuldabad contains the shrines of the most famous saints of the Dakhan. Initially it was known as Rauza meaning garden of paradise. It is known as the Valley of Saints, or the Abode of Eternity, because in the 14th century, several Sufi saints chose to reside here. The tomb of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb and his trusted general Qamar-ud-din Khan, Asaf Jah I first Nizam of Hyderabad are located in this town, so is the tomb of Malik Ambar.
Aurangabad is a city of great historic value. It was founded in 1610 A.D. by Malik Ambar, the Prime Minister of Murtaza Nizam Shah of Ahmadnagar, on the site of a village called Kharki. He made it his capital and the men of his army raised their dwellings around it. Within a decade, Kharki grew into a populous and imposing city. Malik Ambar cherished strong love and ability for architecture. Aurangabad was Ambar's architectural achievement and creation. However, in 1621, it was ravaged and burnt down by the imperial troops under Jahangir. Ambar the founder of the city was always referred to by harsh names by Emperor Jahangir. In his memoirs, he never mentions his name without prefixing epithets like wretch, cursed fellow, Habshi, Ambar Siyari, black Ambar, and Ambar Badakhtur. Malik Ambar died in 1626. He was succeeded by his son Fateh Khan, who changed the name of Kharki to Fatehnagar. In the same year, the Moghal viceroy Khan Jahan Lodi, advanced on the city, but retired to Burhanpur on being bribed by the Nizam Shahi Commander, Hamid Khan. With the capture of Daulatabad by the imperial troops in 1633, the Nizam Shahi dominions, including Fatehnagar, came under the possession of the Moghals. In 1653 when Prince Aurangzeb was appointed the viceroy of the Deccan for the second time, he made Fatehnagar his capital and called it Aurangabad. Aurangabad is sometimes referred to as Khujista Bunyad by the Chroniclers of Aurangzeb's reign.
In March 1666, accompanied by a body of 1,000 select troops, Shivaji arrived at Aurangabad on his way to Agra. Safshikan Khan, the governor of Aurangabad, treated him with scant respect. For this act, he was severely reprimanded by Jai Singh and made to pay a courtesy call on Shivaji. In 1668, the city nearly became a scene of a conflict between the imperial troops under Diler Khan, and those commanded by Prince Muazzam, the viceroy. In 1681, after plundering Burhanpur, the Marathas assembled in the neighbourhood of the Satara hills in order to attack Aurangabad. The plan was, however, abandoned on hearing of the arrival of the viceroy, Khan Jahan Bahadur. In the same year, Khan Jahan Bahadur erected a wall around Aurangabad to protect it against surprise attacks of the Marathas. It was done at the order of the Emperor, and cost rupees three lakhs. Two years later, the Emperor himself arrived at Aurangabad.
The Emperor ordered Mubariz Khan, the Subhedar of the Deccan to oppose the Nizam. A battle was fought near Sakharkherda, subsequently called Fatehkherda, in which Murbariz Khan was defeated and killed. Raghoji, a young scion of the house of the Jadhavs of Sindkhed who fought on the side of the Moghals was also killed. Incensed at the support lent by the Jadhavs to Mubariz Khan, the Nizam despatched a posse of troops to Deulgaon to capture the Jadhav family. But being informed of the design the family escaped to Satara and sought asylum with Chhatrapati Shahu. At the intervention of Shahu the Jagir was restored back to the Jadhavs.
In 1853, Aurangabad was the scene of a conflict between the contingent troops and a body of Arab mercenaries belonging to Mansing Rav, the Raja of Devalgaon. The Arabs placed the Raja under restraint, and threatened his life because their pay was in arrears. Brigadier Mayne, commanding the station, being apprised of the situation, marched out in the first week of October, with the 5th regiment cavalry, 6th regiment infantry, and a battery of artillery to Jasvantpura, just outside the Roshangate, where the Arabs had posted themselves. After a stiff resistance, the Arabs were defeated and dispersed and the Raja was released. In the action that was fought the Contingent lost 15 killed and 40 were wounded. Among those killed was Lieut. Boswell, and among those wounded Lieut. Vaughan, and Captain Parker. Both of them succumbed to their wounds later.