The Royal Review: All You Need To Know About Aurangabad

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Owing to its proximity to UNESCO World Heritage Sites like the Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Aurangabad is a very popular tourist destination in Maharashtra. Although, as the capital of the Deccan during the Mughal reign, the city of Aurangabad is home to numerous historical attractions itself. Named after Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, this city is one of India’s fastest-growing cities today; here’s all you need to know about Aurangabad!

Ellora, from 600-1000 CE period, is one of the world's largest rock-cut monastery-temple cave complexes!

Ellora, from 600-1000 CE period, is one of the world’s largest rock-cut monastery-temple cave complexes!

Places To See In Aurangabad

Boasting a rustic charm, the historic monuments of Aurangabad are the perfect place to step into its glorious past. This city has been called the tourism hub of Maharashtra because of its myriad number of heritage sites. Here are some of the must-see places in Aurangabad that you absolutely should not miss.

#1 Bibi-ka-Maqbara

Bibi-ka-Maqbara is the final resting place of Rabia-ud-Durrani (Dilras Banu Begum), the first wife of Emperor Aurangzeb.

Surrounded by Mughal gardens, Aurangabad’s Bibi-ka-Maqbara mirrors the Taj Mahal in Agra.

Azam Shah constructed the Bibi-ka-Maqbara in memory of his mother and Emperor Aurangzeb’s first wife Rabia-ud-Durrani (Dilras Banu Begum). Because of its striking resemblance to the globally renowned Taj Mahal in Agra, this monument has been nicknamed the ‘Taj of the Deccan’. Surrounding the beautiful tomb is a lush Mughal garden, filled with fountains, pavilions, ponds, and other water channels.

#2 Daulatabad Fort

Standing atop a conical hill around 200m above sea level, Daulatabad or Devagiri Fort is located approximately 11kms away from Aurangabad city.

The unconquered Daulatabad or Devagiri Fort stands tall and proud on a hill-top near Aurangabad

Standing atop a conical hill, around 200m above sea level, Daulatabad or Devagiri Fort is located approximately 11kms away from Aurangabad city. This fort has won the title of ‘unconquerable’, because its structure and features make it difficult for intruders to conquer it. Daulatabad Fort has not one, bur three layers of defensive walls, and the inside of the fortress can only by reached by crossing a narrow bridge.

#3 Gates Of Aurangabad

Because of the presence of these gates, Aurangabad is also referred to as the ‘City of Gates’.

With the presence of 52 gates across the city, Aurangabad is also referred to as the ‘City of Gates’

One of the striking features of Aurangabad, which sets it apart from the other cities in Maharashtra is its 52 gates. The presence of these ancient gates has also earned the city the title of ‘City of Gates’. History buffs should definitely check out at least some of these gates because each one has its own story to tell.

#4 Ellora Caves

The Kailasanatha Temple that is an imitation of Lord Shiva’s home on Kailash is one of the must-see attractions of the Ellora Caves.

The Kailasanatha Temple is one of the must-see attractions of the Ellora Caves

Just about 29km from the city lie the glorious Ellora Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These caves are crafted so skilfully that it seems unbelievable that they date back to between the 5th and 10th century. The epitome of cave-temple architecture, the Ellora Caves display Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain art in all its glory. Carved during the Rashtrakuta Dynasty, you will find a lot of monasteries (viharas) in these caves. The Kailasanatha Temple, an imitation of Lord Shiva’s home on Kailash, is one of the must-see attractions of the Ellora Caves.

Fascinating Facts About Aurangabad

  1. Aurangabad was founded by Malik Ambar in the year 1610; the city was called ‘Kharki’ then. After his demise, his son Fateh Khan, changed the name to Fatehnagar. It was only once Aurangzeb became the viceroy of the Deccan that he changed the name to Aurangabad.
  2. Although it may originally hail from Hyderabad, Aurangabad’s Bidri work is famous all over the country. Flowers, human figures, geometric designs, and leaves are some of the most common patterns of Bidri work. In Aurangabad, you will also find patterns that reflect the themes found in Ajanta Caves.
    Aurangabad is the best place to come and see the grand masters of Himroo work

    Aurangabad is the best place to come and see the grand masters of Himroo work

  3. The Ajanta Caves house about 29 Buddhist cave monuments and Ellora Caves boast of 34 monasteries and temples.
  4. Aurangabad enjoys a rich cultural heritage that is reflected in the arts and the handicrafts that are sold in the city. When you are shopping, do keep an eye out for the renowned Bidri ware and the beautiful Himroo products.
The best place to come and watch the masters at Himroo work is Aurangabad

Across Aurangabad, you’re sure to find many amazing items that display Badri artwork

Using Money In Aurangabad

The currency used in Aurangabad is the Indian Rupee (INR). At the end of 2016, the Indian government introduced new notes, and these are the notes that are being used today. Almost all of the restaurants, hotels, and shopping malls will accept debit as well as credit cards, and you will find plenty of ATM machines in Aurangabad when you want to withdraw cash. Use the coins for when you have to travel by local transport or when you are visiting the temples.

Come, uncover all this and more such interesting facts about Aurangabad with the Deccan Odyssey.

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