Aurangabad Travel Guide

 

 

Tourist attractions


* 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.

* Ellora-Ghrishneshwar Temple: Is half a kilometer 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.

* Khuldabad: Is a walled town lying at a distance of 3 km. from

Ellora. It is also termed as the Karbala town and forms the holy shrine

of Deccan Muslims. It is believed that the Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb

was buried here.

* Pitalkhora Caves: Lies peacefully nestled in the Satmala ranges of

the Sahyadris, at a distance of 78 kilometres from Aurangabad. There

are 13 cave sanctuaries embedded in this region. These monasteries date

back from 2nd century BC to 5th century AD. Rich carvings with

elaborate details can be seen in these monuments.

* Daulatabad fort: Earlier known as Devgiri, is situated at a distance

of 13 kilometres from Aurangabad. Also termed as the city of foutune,

it houses a stupendous 12th century fortress well placed atop a

charming hill. This invincible fortress boasts of a 5 kilometer sturdy

wall and an intricate series of ramparts.

* Aurangabad Ruins: Naukhanda Palace: The most conspicuous ruins are

the palace of Asaf Jah and the Killa Arak. Malik Ambar (1546-1626 A.

D.), the minister of Murtaza Nizam Shah II established himself at

Khirki, the modern Aurangabad and erected a number of buildings and

mosques. The Naukonda palace was built by him in 1616 upon the summit

of a rising ground. The massive portal gateway leading to this, over

which the Naubatkhana sounded, was called Barkal. According to one

account a noble of Aurangzeb’s court named Alam, Khan, made additions

to this Palace; and further additions were subsequently made by Asaf

Jah I. An adjoining block of buildings was screened off by a partition

wall for Nasir Jang. The Naukonda palace was also occupied by Nizam Ali

Khan, when he was at Aurangabad. The whole place is now in utter ruins.

The interior buildings consisted of five zananas, a Divani-Am a Divani

Khas, a masjid and a kacheri, each provided with a garden and a

cistern. The walls of the central part of the Devankhana, and a hamam

or hot bath attached to the building, are in a fair state of

preservation. However, the wood-work and the stucco plaster are all

gone. The Divani-Am is a large quadrangular structure much in ruins.

The Kacheri close by contains a gadi of the Nizam. In the throne room

are placed the original paraphernalia.

Ajanta Caves are about 99 km, while Ellora caves are sited at a

distance of 30 km from Aurangabad city of India.



Quila-E-Ark: In 1692, Aurangzeb ordered a palace to be built and named

it as the Killa Arrak. The space enclosed by the Killa Arrak or citadel

covered nearly the whole ground between the Mecca and Delhi gates of

the city. It had four or five gateways and a nagarkhana for the

musicians. The walls were battle-mented and loop-holed and had

semi-circular towers at the angles, on which guns were once mounted.

The inner portion was occupied by recesses similar to those in the city

walls. To the right of the entrance was a high terrace extending the

whole length of the ground enclosed. On this the remains of an

extensive garden and half ruined tanks and cistern can still be traced.

The Am Khas or the Darbar Hall, and the Jumma masjid are the only

remains of interest. A plot of ground close to the masjid was walled in

for purposes of sport. The gate leading to this ground contains an

inscription dated in, 1659 A. D. The takht or throneroom of Aurangzeb

is in a garden pavilion and has a rostral appearance. It is of a plain

and simple description.

Barra Darri: Salar Jang’s palace and Govind Baksh’s mahal were between

the Paithan and the Jafar gate. The Damri Mahal and the Barr Darri of

Ivaz Khan are close to the Delhi gate. The Mahal is new occupied by the

Collector’s Office. The Barra Darri and the adjoining buildings were

erected by Ivaz, Khan. A covered aqueduct passes over one of the

buildings and in the olden days water descended in a shower into an

oblong cistern below containing several fountains. It is now

inoperative.

Damri Mahal: The Damri Mahal which is close by was built after the

completion of the Barra Darri. It is so named because it was

constructed by levying a contribution of a ‘damri’ or the quarter of a

dub, on an labourers employed on Barr Darri. An arcaded verandah

projects in front like a portico, and contains five scolloped arches.

Behind are ten rooms of varying sizes, arranged in a line. To the right

are seven atom chambers with antechambers. The entrance is in the right

corner. Close by, on a slightly higher level than the rest is another

small but detached building. The roof is arched. There are also two

cisterns, one in front of the verandah and another outside the

building.

Kali Masjid, Jumma Masjid: Among the mosques, the Jumma masjid and the

Kali masjid built by Malik Ambar, and the Shah Ganj mosque are the most

conspicuous. Malik Ambar is said to have built seven mosques which go

by the general name of Kali masjid. The Kali masjid is in Juna Bazar

area and was erected in 1600 A. D. It is a six-pillared stone-building

standing on a high plinth. The Jumma masjid of Malik Ambar is near the

Killa Arrak. It has fifty polygonal pillars arranged in five rows, and

connected by a system of arches, which divide the building into

twenty-seven equal compartments, each covered by a domical vault of

simple but elegant design. There are nine pointed arches in front. Of

these, five were erected by Malik Ambar in 1612 A. D. and the remaining

four were added by Aurangzeb. The plinth is high and contains several

chambers which open on the market side. The sloping cornice is

supported on brackets, and the parapet wall is neatly perforated. The

corner angles contain octagonal shafts, ornamented with discs and

carrying little domes. The design of the mosque is in very good taste,

plain but solid, and more like the buildings of Bijapur. A spacious

court in front of the mosque has open-fronted buildings in three sides

for travellers. In the centre of the court there is a cistern drawing

its supply from the Malik Amber canal popularly known as Nahar Amberi.


Shahganj Masjid : Occupying the great market square of Aurangabad is

the large Shah Ganj mosque, one of the finest edifices of its class to

be found in any put of India. It was built in about 1720 A.D. Khafi

Khan, the author of Muntakhabu-1-Lubab, referring to Sayyad Husain

Khan’s viceroyalty of the Deccan (1714-1719) says "the reservoir at

Shah Ganj was begun by Sayyad Husain Ali, and although Aazu-d Daula

Iraz Khan enlarged and made higher the buildings and mosques still

Sayyad Husain Ali was the originator of that extensive reservoir, which

in summer, when water is scarce relieves the sufferings of the

inhabitants". The mosque is on a raised platform, and has shops on

three of the outer sides; while the fourth or the north side is open

and is ascended by a flight of steps the facade represents an arcade of

five scolloped arches, constructed in the Indo-Saracenic style, and

supported on stone pillars. This portion projects a little; and the

interior contains twenty four pillars, which with six pilasters in the

back wall, are arranged in the form of a square. The central portion is

covered with a graceful bulbous dome, having the base adorned with

crisp crinkled lotus leave tied in a neat narrow band; and the apex

bears an elegant spire. Arcaded monasteries called Kham Khas, form the

east and the west wings, and consist of five arches on either side,

constructed like the arches of the main building, but of horizontal

structure. The interior is connected by horizontal arches ; and the

roof is formed of a series of little domes, each supported on four

pillars. There are minarets at the corners of the main building, and at

the end angels of the Kham Khas. The courtyard in front contains two

large cisterns. The entrance is in the form of a little mosque, with a

pointed arch and two minarets.


Chowk Masjid: In 1655 was built the Chauk Masjid by Shayista Khan, the

maternal uncle of Aurangzeb. Its front has five pointed arches, and is

two arches in depth. These are connected with one another by eight

pillars and corresponding pilasters, and support five domes. The

central dome, with a metallic spire is lofty, while the others are

concealed in the roof. The corners are decorated with minarets. The

whole structure has a high basement containing chambers used for shop,

which open out on the roadside. The gate has two minarets. There is a

cistern in the courtyard in front of the mosque


Jayakwadi dam:Jayakwadi project is one of the largest irrigation

projects in Maharashtra.It is a multipurpose project. Its water is used

mainly to irrigate agricultural land in the drought prone Marathwada

region of Maharashtra state. It also provides water for drinking and

industrial usage to nearby towns and villages and to the municipalities

and industrial areas of Aurangabad and Jalna.The surrounding area of

the dam has a beautiful garden and a bird santuary.


Paithan: Is an ancient taluka town, which lies 50 km. to the south of

Aurangabad. The looms of Paithan still weave the beautiful Paithani

saris that are prized by women. It has formed a very important

excavation site recently. Of the few attractions found nearby, the

Jayakwadi dam is a treat to the eyes of the avid bird watchers. The

garden is on the lines of Vrindavan Garden of Mysore with channels of

flowing water, musical fountain, varied trees, plants, shrubs, and

flowers. It is one of the best maintained gardens. The lighting

arrangement is also very charming. The entire garden creates the most

picturesque and enchanting environment. The town is also famous for the

Dnyaneshwar Udyan, which is the largest garden in Maharashtra, and a

museum which treasues a fascinating collection of art.


Ellora: The cave temples of Ellora, listed among the World Heritage

sites, are 30 km northwest of the city. Ellora caves are again rock-cut

caves with beautiful temples and monasteries. There are 34 caves in

all, which have been segregated as 12 Mahayana Buddhist caves (550-750

A.D.), 17 Hindu caves (600-875 A.D) and 5 caves of the Jain faith

(800-1000 A.D.). Lately 22 new caves have been discovered that are

dedicated to Lord Shiva. Carved out of a single huge rock, there is a

gateway, pavilion, courtyard, vestibule, sanctum and tower. The Kailash

Temple near the caves is a major attraction of this place.


Ajanta: The world famous Buddhist caves at Ajanta, also a World

Heritage site, lies to the northeast of Aurangabad. The splendid caves

of Ajanta are not new to anyone. Nestling in the tranquil laps of the

Sahyadri hills, at a distance of 100 km. from Aurangabad are 30 rock

cut caves of Ajanta that date back to 2nd century B.C. The caves have

on display, exquisite paintings, and sculptures depicting Buddha's

life, halls and monasteries. The land was discovered in 1819, by a

group of British Officers.


Pariyon ka Talab: Situated at a distance of 30 km, Pariyaon ka Talab

translated to mean 'Fairies' Lake', is a large lake with steps all

along its western shore and a stage like platform which bears great

resemblance to the ancient Roman Amphitheatre. On the banks is also a

temple of Shiva with its own colourful history.


Bani Begum Gardens: 24 kilometers from Aurangabad lie the Bani Begum

Gardens, which surrounded the tomb of one of Aurangazeb's queens. Bani

Begum was the wife of one of Aurangazeb's sons. One can come across

fluted pillars, massive domes and fountains that are built is various

different styles.


Mhaismal: 25 km from Aurangabad, is another tourist spot. Mhaismal

original called 'Maheshmal'. An ancient temple of Girijamata is in the

village and an exact replica of Lord Balaji temple at Tirupat is

located at the top of hill. It is a small but beautiful hill station

situated on the way to Ellora caves.


Lonar Crater: 122 km away from the city is Lonar - one of the world's

5 largest craters, formed by the impact of meteorite nearly 50,000

years ago. It is also believed that impact craters like the Lonar

crater is one of the probable causes for the extinction of dinosaurs.

The surface diameter of the crater is nearly 1.75 km., and its depth is

nearly 132 metres. At its base has formed a beautiful lake, formed over

thousands of years by the perennial streams flowing into the crater. On

the periphery of the lake are temples built in the 12th - 13th century.

Their exquisite carvings are remnants of their glorious past.


Gautala Sanctuary: Is a sanctuary situated at a distance of 65 km from

Aurangabad. Spread in the hill ranges of Sahyadri in the proximity of

Aurangabad and Chalisgaon. The diversified vegetation scattered

intermittently support rich faunal and floral diversity. Particularly

it is good for sloth bear habitat and excellent for resident and

migratory birds.


Museums: Aurangabad is home to some of the best museums that are

unknown and forgotten. It hosts the State Archaeology Museum (Sonehri

Mahal), University History Museum and Aurangabad Municipal Corporation

Museum. These museums house some of the historical landmarks of this

city's growth. Objects from the excavations of the ASI - Archaeological

Survey of India are here. Coins, medals, seals, tools, arms, armour,

jewellery, manuscripts, textiles, gems can be seen here but are little

known and unique.


Folk Art: Aurangabad hosts the greatest folk art traditions and can

boast of Tamashas and Lavanis, Powadas and Gondhals, Rang Baazi and

Sawaal Jawab, Dhol Nritya, Jhimma, Phugdi, Tarpi, Dindi and Folks

Songs.


Other attractions: An Ideal Gateway to Religious Destinations namely

Shirdi, Nanded, Paithan, Grishneshwar, Shani Shingnapur, Aundha

Nagnath, Parli Vaijnath, Khadkeshwar, Bhadra Maruti Deosthan all of

which are well connected by road and railways to the city.

get there and around



Road

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
being upgraded into four lane highway.
A New Nagpur-Aurangabad-Mumbai highway is being developed.
Inter-city
The scheme of nationalization of passenger transport services was
started as early as 1932 by the State of Hyderabad, which was one of
the pioneers in the field of public road transport, first in
collaboration with the railways and then as a separate Government
Department. After the reorganization of States and with effect from 1
July 1961, the Marathwada State Transport was amalgamated with the
Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation.[6] The "Maharashtra State
Road Transport Corporation" (MSRTC) and numerous other private bus
operators provide a bus service to all parts of the state.

Intra-city

"Aurangabad Municipal Transport" (AMT) is an intra-city bus service
which covers almost all parts of the city, and also connects to the
more distant industrial suburbs. AMT (Aurangabad Municipal Transport)
intra-city buses ply throughout the city including the outskirts, and
connect different parts of the city and adjoining suburbs together. The
AMT bus service is affordable, efficient and safe.[citation needed] The
AMT buses are quite crowded during morning and evening rush hours.
Metered auto rickshaws ply throughout the city. The fare is based on a
meter and is computed by a tariff card available from the driver.
New Integrated Terminal Building, Aurangabad Airport

Air
Main article: Aurangabad Airport
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.



Rail service

History
The Hyderabad-Godavari Valley Railway was establisted by the Nizam of
Hyderabad and was part of The Nizam's Guaranteed State Railway owned
and worked by a company under a guarantee from the Hyderabad State. The
capital for Hyderabad-Godavari Valley Railway was raised by the issue
of redeemable mortgage debentures.

The Hyderabad-Godavari Valley Railways (metre gauge) runs for 391 miles
north-west from Hyderabad city to Manmad on the north-eastern section
of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway and was built between 1899 and
1901.

Present
Aurangabad (station code: AWB) is a station located on the
Kachiguda-Manmad section of Hyderabad(HYB) division of South Central
Railway (SCR). The Manmad-Kacheguda Broad gauge railway line which
emanates from the Mumbai-Bhusawal-Howrah trunk route at Manmad is an
important artery of traffic in Aurangabad district. The importance of
this line lies in the fact that it has opened for traffic the fertile
agricultural tract in Marathwada region. It also serves as a link
between Mumbai and Secunderabad in Andhra Pradesh. This line was
formerly the only route of traffic as there were no good roads in the
Marathwada region. This railway route was opened for traffic in 1900.
After Divisional adjustments in 2003, which saw the bifurcation of
Hyderabad division, Aurangabad now comes under the newly created Nanded
(NED) Division of SCR. Aurangabad has rail connectivity with Manmad,
Aurangabad, Nanded, Parbhani, Parli Vaijnath, latur, Osmanabad,
Gangakhed, Mudkhed, Adilabad, Nagpur, Basar, Nizamabad, Nasik, Mumbai,
Pune, Daund, Mahbubnagar, Kurnool, Kadapa, Renigunta, Tirupati,
Katpadi, Erode, Madurai and Kachiguda (KCG). Ajanta Express between
Kachiguda and Manmad and Sachkhand Express between Amritsar and Nanded
are the most prestigious trains passing through this station.

The Jan-shatabdi Express is the fastest and most comfortable train
option to and from Mumbai, with a total traveling time of 6½ hours.

Three overnight trains and two daytime trains also travel between
Mumbai and Aurangabad.
Aurangabad has more number of trains to HYB than to any other city.
Ajanta Express, Secunderabad Bi-Weekly Express, Kakinada Express,
Devagiri Express, Hyderabad Passenger, Manmad-Kachiguda Passenger,
Okha-Rameswaram Express — all these trains connect AWB with HYBt









History


The city 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.[1] 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.
is a monument built in 1660 by Aurangzeb's son, Azam Shah, as a loving
tribute to his mother, Dilras Bano Begam.]] In 1692, he ordered a
magnificent palace to be erected near the great reservoir to the north
of the city - the ruins of which are now to be seen in the Killa Ark. A
fortified wall was thrown round the suburb of Begampura in 1696 A. D.
Shortly after the death of Aurangzeb, the city of Aurangabad slipped
from the hands of the Moghals. In 1720, Nizamul-Mulk Asif Jah, a
distinguished General of Aurangzeb with the intention of founding his
own dynasty in the Deccan, arrived at Aurangabad. He paid a visit to

Delhi in 1723, but turned in 1724 2[clarification needed], defying the
orders of Emperor Muhammad Shah. Soon after he transferred his capital
from Aurangabad to Hyderabad.

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