Aurangabad at a glance

Aurangabad is an industrial town which also serves as a tourist hub with numerous points of interest such as Bibi ka Maqbara (or Mini Taj Mahal) Ajanta-ellora caves some of the most famous ones. This city in Maharashtra is titled “The City of Gates” and the strong presence of these can be felt as one drives through the city. Being the tourism capital of Maharashtra, a weekend trip to this city will surely bring out the historian in you.

Things to do in Aurangabad

Aurangabad caves

The majestic caves of Aurangabad are 12 in number, divided into two separate locations of Eastern and Western groups of caves. he Aurangabad Caves were dug out during the 6th and 7th century. These caves are often said to be the missing link between the Ajanta and ellora caves. Many historians visit this place for the above reason.

Bani Begum garden

At a distance of 24km from Aurangabad is this astonishingly beautiful garden with fountains, fluted pillars & massive domes. The garden is known for its lush green surroundings and comfortable atmosphere. The garden got its name from the tomb of Bani Begum, wife of Aurangzeb’s son, which is found in middle of this garden

Bibi-ka-Maqbara

Known as Dakkhani Taj (Taj of Deccan), Bibi Ka Maqbara is situated about 5 kms from the Aurangabad city. It was built by Azam Shah- son of Aurangazeb, in memory of his mother. This monument bears a striking resembelance to Taj Mahal.

Connaught

Most famous shopping market of Aurangabad, it is definitely a shoppers paradise. Known for its beautiful, intricate designs of Himroo shawls and sarees that are a blend of golden and silver thread mixed with cotton, it gives you a royal feeling of a cloth. This is among the must visit spots in Aurangabad.

Dargah of Pir Ismail

The Dargah was built in the memory of Pir Ismail, a tutor to the then Mughal ruler, Aurangzeb. The garden in the Dargah consists of many destroyed water tanks and fountains. The gate is regal in its form and it has a large pointed archway.

Daulatabad Fort

At a distance of about 13 km from the city, with its origins dating back to the 12th century, this fort owes its name to Mohammad Bin Tuglaq. Literally translating into the ‘City of Fortune’, the fort is build on a pyramid shaped hill called Devgiri. Daulatabad Fort is one of the world’s best preserved forts. A series of secret, puzzled tunnels and pathways lie amidst the tower. This fort also served as the capital hold under Mohammad Tughlaq for many years. This could be a perfect spot to visit during weekends, for those who seek knowledge coupled with excitement.

Ghrishneshwar temple, Ellora

A kilometer long walk away from Ellora caves, Grishneshwar is an ancient pilgrimage site where one of the twelve Jyotirlinga manifestations of Lord Shiva is found. The original temple is believed to be a pre-historic one, which was later restored in 18th century AD. There is also an interesting story associated with the Shiv ling of this temple.

Gul mandi

Every place has a distinct bazaar, so does Aurangabad. Amongst all the famous and well known ones, Gul mandi is the largest bazaar in Aurangabad. It is famous for the Paithani saris which are a hot favorite amongs women.

Himroo Factory

Himroo Factory falls on your list of essentials if you wish to take back home some conventional and traditional Himroo fabric, shawls and saris. It is a factory which has been in existence for more than 150 years. It stands as an excellent example of the rich tradition of handicrafts in Aurangabad. A carrier of proud legacy that has its origin in Persia, the Himaroo Factory attracts people from all over the country. Here, one can have a closer look at one of the oldest weaving traditions of the nation. This place is a paradise for art & craft lovers.
Killa Arak An elaborate palace with 4 entrances, this structure was built on Emperor Aurangzeb’s order. The throne room of Aurangzeb can be found here. The pavilion, while plain and simple is still elegant and can be entered by a gallery from behind.

Panchakki

This garden, once an abode to Sufi saints is also a water mill that was used to grind grains for the pilgrims. It generated energy from the water of the mountain springs. One can also find many beautiful fish tanks here, in this 17th century garden.

Salim Ali Lake

This beautiful lake was previously known as Khizri Talab during the Muhghal period. It was later renamed after the great ornithologist, naturalist Salim Ali (Birdman of India). Salim Ali lake and its surrounding is a rare and rich biodiversity spot with many species of birds, animals and plants nestled in. Boating, bird watching and picnicking are few of the things to do here.

Siddharth Garden and Zoo

A well maintained garden, elaborate with trees, flowers and an aquarium, rides, and a zoo, this one is ideal for some relaxed time in lush green and refreshing surroundings.

Sunheri Mahal

Once a popular monument, it is now converted into a museum built of lime & stone. It stores rare collections of pottery, art, dresses, etc. It was built by the Bundela kings during the Mughal rule. The palace is called Sunheri Palace because it was decorated with golden paintings. A well manicured garden adds to its beauty. The fort is the venue for the Aurangabad Festival (December), wherein musicians and dancers perform.

The Ajanta caves

At a distance of 100 kms from Aurangabad, lies a highlight to its tourism and heritage spheres. These ones find themselves a place in the UN’s list of World Heritage Sights and are a must visit while here. There are about 30 rock cut Buddhist monuments in Ajanta caves. The region around these caves, was once heavily forested. Dignaga- a celebrated Buddhist philosopher lived in these caves in 5th Century AD. Many paintings, cave engravings of different periods still exist. These historical paintings and rich backstory – make this place a perfect place to visit.

The Ellora caves

Another World Heritage Site that the town boasts of, are the Ellora caves, that one must not miss while in Aurangabad. The sculptures here, represent elements of three religions and do so grandly and beautifully. Jain, Buddhist and Hindu sculptures, carvings and paintings can be found in this historical site which dates back to 5th century AD.

What to Eat in Aurangabad : Local Food and Cuisine

Aurangabad offers a decent variety of cuisines, however traditionally, the food here, has a strong influence of Mughlai and Hyderabadi cuisine. Hence you can enjoy dishes of these styles in their rich and authentic form in the city . One must try the exquisite Pulao, Biryani, Tahri and Naan Qalia while here. ‘Naan’ is a type of bread prepared in a traditional style oven called ‘tandoor’ and ‘Qalia’ is a preparation of mutton. The other popular items of the area are Gavran Chicken, Thalipeeth, Poli and Bajrichi Bhakari.