Aurangabad - The City Of Golden Caves


Aurangabad, located in the state of Maharashtra, India, is a city steeped in history and culture. With its rich heritage and scenic beauty, Aurangabad is a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from all over the world. The city is named after the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, who made it his capital in the 17th century.

One of the most famous attractions in Aurangabad is the Ajanta and Ellora Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The caves are an architectural marvel, with intricate carvings and sculptures that date back to the 2nd century BC. The Ajanta Caves are known for their Buddhist paintings, while the Ellora Caves showcase a mix of Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain sculptures.

Another popular attraction in Aurangabad is the Bibi ka Maqbara, also known as the "Taj of the Deccan". Built in the 17th century, this beautiful mausoleum is dedicated to Aurangzeb's wife, Dilras Banu Begum. It is a stunning example of Mughal architecture, with intricate marble carvings and ornate minarets.

For history buffs, the Aurangabad Caves offer a glimpse into the city's past. These 12 Buddhist caves date back to the 2nd century BC and are known for their intricate carvings and sculptures.

For those looking to explore the outdoors, Aurangabad has a number of scenic spots to offer. The Panchakki, or "water mill", is a peaceful garden complex that features a beautiful water wheel and a series of canals. The Siddharth Garden and Zoo is another popular spot, with lush greenery and a variety of animals, including tigers, lions, and monkeys.

Foodies will also love Aurangabad, which is known for its spicy and flavorful cuisine. Local specialties include naan khaliya, a bread made with mutton and spices, and mawa jalebi, a sweet pastry made with condensed milk.

In addition to its many attractions, Aurangabad is also a convenient base for exploring the surrounding region. The city is just a short drive from the famous Ajanta and Ellora Caves, as well as the scenic Lonar Crater Lake.

The Popular Tourist Attractions in Aurangabad

  • Ajanta Caves: The Ajanta Caves are a group of 30 Buddhist rock-cut caves that date back to the 2nd century BC. These caves are famous for their beautiful paintings and sculptures that depict the life of Buddha and various Buddhist legends. The paintings are considered some of the finest surviving examples of ancient Indian art.
  • Ellora Caves: The Ellora Caves are a group of 34 rock-cut caves that are a mix of Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain temples. The caves were built between the 6th and 10th centuries and are known for their beautiful sculptures and carvings. The most famous of these is the Kailash Temple, which is the largest monolithic structure in the world.
  • Bibi Ka Maqbara: The Bibi Ka Maqbara is a mausoleum built by Aurangzeb in memory of his wife, Dilras Banu Begum. The mausoleum is a beautiful example of Mughal architecture and is often referred to as the "Taj of the Deccan" due to its striking resemblance to the Taj Mahal.
  • Aurangabad Caves: The Aurangabad Caves are a group of 12 Buddhist caves that date back to the 2nd century BC. The caves are known for their beautiful sculptures and carvings, which include images of Buddha and Bodhisattvas.
  • Panchakki: The Panchakki is a peaceful garden complex that features a beautiful water mill and a series of canals. The water mill was used to grind grain for the pilgrims who visited the nearby dargah of Baba Shah Muzafir.
  • Siddharth Garden and Zoo: The Siddharth Garden and Zoo is a popular spot for families and animal lovers. The zoo is home to a variety of animals, including tigers, lions, and monkeys, while the garden features lush greenery and a beautiful fountain.
  • Daulatabad Fort: The Daulatabad Fort is a hilltop fortress that was built in the 12th century. The fort was known for its impregnability and was considered one of the strongest forts in India. Today, visitors can explore the fort and enjoy the beautiful views from the top.

How to Reach Aurangabad

Aurangabad is well connected to other cities in India by air, road, and rail, making it easily accessible for tourists from different parts of the country.

By Air: Aurangabad has its own airport, the Aurangabad Airport, which is located about 10 kilometers east of the city center. The airport is well connected to major cities in India, including Mumbai, Delhi, and Hyderabad, with regular flights operated by airlines like Air India, IndiGo, and SpiceJet.

By Road: Aurangabad is well connected to nearby cities and towns via a network of state and national highways. The city is about 335 kilometers from Mumbai and can be reached in about six hours by car. Regular bus services also operate between Aurangabad and other cities in Maharashtra, as well as nearby states like Karnataka and Telangana.

By Rail: Aurangabad is served by the Aurangabad Railway Station, which is well connected to major cities in India like Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Pune. The station is located about 7 kilometers from the city center, and taxis and auto-rickshaws are readily available for transport.

Best Time to Visit Aurangabad

The best time to visit Aurangabad is during the winter months, from November to February, when the weather is cool and pleasant. The average temperature during this time ranges from 10°C to 25°C, making it the ideal time to explore the city's many attractions.

Summer in Aurangabad can be quite hot and dry, with temperatures often soaring above 40°C. The monsoon season, which lasts from June to September, brings heavy rainfall and can make it difficult to explore the city's outdoor attractions. However, the monsoon season can also be a good time to visit if you're interested in seeing the lush greenery and waterfalls that are found in the surrounding hills.

If you're planning to visit Aurangabad during the winter months, be sure to book your accommodations in advance as this is peak tourist season. You can also consider visiting during the shoulder seasons of October and March when the crowds are thinner, and the weather is still pleasant.

Frequently Asked Auestions about Aurangabad

Q: What are some popular food items to try in Aurangabad?
A: Aurangabad is known for its delicious cuisine, including local specialties like Naan Qalia (a spicy meat curry), Sheermal (a sweet bread), and Bhakri (a type of flatbread made from millet flour).

Q: Are there any cultural festivals or events in Aurangabad?
A: Yes, Aurangabad hosts several cultural festivals throughout the year, including the Aurangabad Festival (held in December), which features music, dance, and theater performances, as well as the Ellora Ajanta International Festival (held in November), which showcases classical music and dance performances.

Q: Are there any restrictions on photography in the tourist attractions in Aurangabad?
A: Yes, there are restrictions on photography in some of the tourist attractions in Aurangabad, particularly in the Ajanta and Ellora Caves. Visitors are generally not allowed to use flash photography or tripods, and some areas may be off-limits for photography altogether.

Q: Is it necessary to hire a guide to visit the tourist attractions in Aurangabad?
A: While it's not necessary to hire a guide, having a knowledgeable guide can enhance your experience and help you better understand the history and significance of the various attractions. Guides are readily available at most tourist sites in Aurangabad, and their services can be arranged on-site.