Aurangabad Travel Guide
* 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
* 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
* 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
being upgraded into four lane highway.
A New Nagpur-Aurangabad-Mumbai highway is being developed.
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. The "Maharashtra State
Road Transport Corporation" (MSRTC) and numerous other private bus
operators provide a bus service to all parts of the state.
"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. 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
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.
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
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
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. 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
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
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