Aurangabad

Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb named this city as Aurangabad. Before Aurangabad it was called Fatehpur. This city is gateway to the World Heritage Sites of Ajanta and Ellora caves. Aurangabad developed as a modern city, provides all comforts and modern facilities, several luxury budget and star hotels, which caters the tourists of the city.

Points of Attraction

  • Aurangabad Art Emporium and Madilgekar Art Studio are some of the important art galleries in Aurangabad.
  • Aurangabad Caves, Bibi Ka Maqbara, Himroo Factory, Panchakki
  • Daulatabad, Khuldabad Anwa Temple, Pitalkhora Caves, Lonar Crater, Paithan
  • Sunheri Mahal Museum, University Museum, Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum

Caves

Aurangabad caves are few kilometers away from the famous Bibi Ka Maqbara. These caves are excavated between 2nd and 6th century AD. Aurangabad caves are a fine piece of architecture and carved out of the hillside. Viharas are the major chunk of caves in Aurangabad. Total number of caves is twelve; out of which cave number 3 and 7 are the most fascinating ones. Cave number 1 to 5 are in the western group and caves from 6 to 10 are in the eastern group. Tantric influences are noticeable in Aurangabad caves.

Panchakki

Panchakki is situated at a shrine of a saint, Baba Shah Musafir. Panchakki (Water Wheel) derives its name from the mill that was used at the early days. This mill is driven with the water brought through earthen pipes from the river 6km away.

Bibi Ka Maqbara

Prince Azam Shah, son of Aurangazeb built Bibi Ka Maqbara in 1678 in the memory of his mother Begum Rabia Durani. Bibi Ka Maqbara is situated 5 km away from Aurangabad. This mausoleum is a replica of the famous Taj Mahal. It is very much similar to Taj Mahal, somehow the architecture fails to produce the magic of the Taj. Hence, it is considered to be a poor imitation of the Taj Mahal.

Festivals

The Aurangabad Festival Committee orgnizes festivals. These festivals promote the rich local culture, talent, art and heritage of the city. Festivals are organized to explore the hidden talents and to increase the vibrancy of this historic city. Generally festivals fall in December. The festival has programmes of culture, local art and heritage, through classical dance performances, folk songs, popular songs, Mushaira, Ghazals and Qawalli. The festival also exhibits local handlooms and handicrafts like Paithani Himroo, Bidri and Paperwork. Festivals include, traditional bullock cart race, heritage walk for senior citizens, marathon, inter-school and inter-college competitions, etc.

Dussehra is celebrated for ten days. On the tenth day, a fair is held when people greet each other with offerings of 'Apta' leaves that symbolize good luck. Thousands of devotees visit Bhavani Temple in Karnapura locality of Aurangabad on this day.

Buddha Jayanti is organized in the city as an important festival. Community halls and public places are remained crowded for mass prayers. Religious processions are also taken out on this day.

Ganesh Chaturthi is the most important festival in Maharashtra; this festival is celebrated in Aurangabad as well with great zeal. Ten day long celebrations are organized. On the last day, the clay images are taken in a procession and immersed in the river.

Khultabad Urs on this festival Muslims gather at the tomb of Khawaja for five days each year during the month of Rabi-Ul-Awal. This festival is known as the Khultabad Urs.

Mahashivratri is celebrated during the months of February or March every year. Worshipers throng to at Grishneshwar temple to worship Lord Shiva on this day.

Shivaji Jayanti is celebrated in May. This is the birth anniversary of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the great Maratha ruler. A procession with lezims, a traditional musical instrument and floats is taken round to the city.

Paithan Fairis celebrated in the months of March or April every year. Pilgrims gather to pay homage to saint Eknath Maharaj at Paithan on the banks of the river Godavari. This fair runs for 10 days with great enthusiasm.

How to Reach

Aurangabad airport is located at a distance of around 10 km east of the town. This is directly air-linked to Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur and Udaipur. Aurangabad is known to be the gateway to the region, as most of the visitors who are coming from outside reach Aurangabad once just after the arrival or before leaving the state.

Several luxury and state run buses too are running between Mumbai and Aurangabad that extends up to Ajanta/Ellora Caves. Two trains leave daily from Mumbai for Aurangabad. Tapovan Express departs Mumbai early morning that arrives Aurangabad by late afternoon, while the Devgiri Express is an overnight train.

Speciality

Aurangabad is rich in its culture, heritage, its art and crafts. Whenever we think of Aurangabad, himroo shawls, mashroo and kimkhab weaves click on one's mind, The silver inlay craft of Bidri ware and the well-known fine paithani silk sarees too are world famous.

All these things not only relate to the rich art and craft of the region but also reflect the expertise and dedication of the artistes on their works. Many outsiders come to this city to shop these world famous crafts.