Aurangabad | India
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Aurangabad is an important city in the state of Maharashtra, India. It sees a lot of international tourist traffic due to world heritage sites, Ajanta & Ellora caves. Aurangabad, a dream destination of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, founded in 1610, is known today as one of the four important cities in Maharashtra. The city is heading towards rapid industrial growth, but retains its past glory and charms, heritage and traditions. Conspicuously seen on the Deccan plateau, it has a rich culture and a plethora of magnificent arts on display.

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Travellers to Aurangabad will find history dating back to the 2nd century BCE, when the Satavahana rulers established their capital in Pratishtanapura, today known as Paithan. It was around this time that the viharas (monasteries) were carved out of caves in what is now Ajanta, and the stunning cave paintings were made, to be lost and rediscovered in the early 19th century. The carvings in the Ellora caves track the changing fortunes of three major religions Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism between the 5th and the 10th century CE. The Yadava kings established their capital in Devagiri (also spelt Deogiri) and built a fort that stands to this day. The fort was reputed to be impregnable, but Ala-ud-din Khilji of Delhi captured it by laying siege on it and renamed it to Daulatabad. Malik Kafur, his general consolidated his hold on the region. As the Delhi Sultanate was captured by Mohammad bin Tughluq, the fort passed to him. Tughluq is famous for his famously botched plan to move his capital from Delhi to Daulatabad along with the entire population of the city, only to have to return because he had not planned for water supply at his new capital. This fiasco ensured fame for his name, as Indians took to describing the oft-shifting plans of their rulers as "Tughluq policies". Aurangabad then fell to the local Muslim rulers of Deccan who revolted against the Delhi Sultan. The city of Aurangabad was founded by Malik Ambar, the Prime Minister of one of these rulers, though the name of the city then was Fatehpura. The region kept changing hands till the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan consolidated his hold and appointed his son Aurangzeb as the governor. Aurangzeb established his base here. He returned to the city again in 1681, this time as an emperor, determined to crush the south once and for all. He spent the last two decades of his life battling the Marathas in an ultimately fruitless campaign. He died in 1707 in Khuldabad near Aurangabad city and was buried there—the battles ultimately resulted in the demise of his empire too. The district is now the headquarters of the backward region of Marathwada, but it is also a manufacturing hub as many Indian companies have their plants here. It also contains the headquarters of Videocon, a fairly large Indian MNC. Aurangabad has a long association with the concept of heritage. Aurangabad has seen several dynasties and experienced the power of rulers of different religions, cultures and communities, each of which has left its mark on the city. The city of Aurangabad was founded in 1610 by Malik Amber, the prime minister of Murtaza Nizam Shah II. The town was named as ‘Khirki’ and was stated a capital. The town started growing. Aurangzeb when he became Viceroy of the Deccan plateau made it his capital and named it Aurangabad. This was the golden time in the history of Aurangabad when the city flourished the most in terms of culture, architecture, art etc. In the year 1679, Aurangzeb’s son built a replica of the Taj-Mahal, the ‘Bibi-ka-Maqbara’, in tribute to his mother Begam Rabia Durani. It is considered to be a masterpiece of Mughal architecture in the Deccan plateau. The entire city of Aurangabad was fortified and huge entrance gates were erected. Except for Bharkal gate all the other gates are associated with the period of Aurangzeb. The gates with prime importance were the ones facing the four directions, Delhi Gate facing the North, Paithan gate facing South, Makai Gate (Mecca Gate) facing East and the Khas Gate facing the West. In all there were 54 gates in Aurangabad. Out of 52 gates only 13 have survived over the period of time. The important and Architecturally most appealing gates include Delhi Gate, kala Darwaza, Makia Gate, Paitahn gate and Rangeen Darwaza. Climate The climate of Aurangabad is temperate, with low relative humidity and diverse but not extreme weather conditions Aurangabad, like any other part of India, experiences three major seasons: summer, winter and monsoon. Summer lasts from March to May with an average maximum and minimum temperatures of 37 and 21°C respectively. The hottest summer temperature is around 45°C, but it never goes above that. Nights are usually pleasant and cooler during the entire summer. Average relative humidity is as low as 9%. Winter, from November to February, is the most comfortable time to visit Aurangabad. The average winter temperature ranges from a maximum of 22°C to a minimum of 10°C. As it gets cooler the mercury even touches 7°C but that is the lowest usual temperature. As in summer, temperatures cool off at night. Average relative humidity is 17%. The monsoon ranges from June to October and receives moderate rainfall of 91 cm on an average. The average relative humidity during this season is 40%.

Aurangabad

Planning a Trip

1 Get in 1.1 By plane 1.2 By train 1.3 By bus 1.4 By car Aurangabad is well connected by Air, Rail and Road to other parts of country. Aurangabad enjoys central location with respect to Maharashtra and Goa. All major cities in Maharashtra lie within a radius of 500 km. Aurangabad has a good network of National and State highways connecting all parts of the country. By plane 19.8627775.3980561 Aurangabad International airport (Chikalthana Airport, IXU IATA, Marathi: औरंगाबाद विमानतळ), Jalna Road, Chikalthana (East four km from City Center. - Chikalthana Railway Station half km), ☎ +91 240 247 6147, +91 9422210151, fax: +91 240 2487044, e-mail: apd_vaau@aai.aero. Air India, Jet Airways and JetLite have a number of regular flights to Mumbai (from around ₹3500/-), Delhi & Hyderabad. - Udaipur (only in season)    Aurangabad Airport By train 19.8598175.3108442 Aurangabad Railway Station (Code: AWB), Bhanudas Sabhahgrah Railway Station Road, Padampani Colony. Direct trains to Mumbai (375 km via Manmad, Nasik, Kalyan, Thane, Dadar, six and half hours a/c seat ₹410, sleeper ₹1140), Nagpur (via Jalna, Parbhani, Nanded, Adilabad, Wani, Sevagram), to New Delhi, (via Bhopal, Jhansi, Gwalior, Agra ), to Amritsar (via same as to New Delhi further Panipat, Ludhiana, Jalandhar), Hyderabad (via Jalna, Parbhani, Nanded, Dharmabad, Basar, Nizamabad, Secunderabad), Pune. - Services: Information booth, waiting rooms, rest rooms, book stalls, canteen and a computerized ticket booking office. Wheel chairs are available on request from the Station Master's office located on Platform No. 1. No trolleys are available. Porters can be hired at a fixed rate: ₹25 for up to 10 kg/3 pieces of luggage (whichever is less), ₹20 per additional 5 kg/piece of luggage (whichever is less), A lightweight briefcase not exceeding 300 cubic cm is not included, but carries a ₹5 surcharge. - No receipt is given by the porters. Usual tip ₹5 if you desire..  Manmad: is the nearest Railway Junction on Central Railway wherein trains to all parts of India are available. Manmad - Aurangabad journey can be made by a good connection of trains or by road in a span of 2 to 2 1/2 hours. If you have a connecting train, make sure that there is at least a gap of 2 hours in the departures. In case you miss the connecting train, due to late running of a previous train, you can avail of a full refund at any of the two stations (i.e. connecting station or destination station). - The highest fare (Air-conditioned First Class Overnight Sleeper code 'H'), Air-conditioned 2-Tier Sleeper (Railway code 'A'), Air-conditioned 3-Tier Sleeper (code 'B'), and for day trains Air-conditioned Chair-Cars (code 'C'). - Reserved Non Air-conditioned sleeper class (code 'S') and Second Class Seating (code 'D') are available. By bus 19.8814175.316163 Aurangabad Central Bus Stand (Central Bus Station (CBS)), City Bus Station Rd, Mhada (Near to Siddharth Garden and Zoo). Buses from Mumbai (via Pune or Nasik via road Pune is a faster option, Air-con bus is from ₹450-₹650, Air-conditioned sleeper ₹700-₹850, and Non Air-con ₹250-₹350). - Pune (Shivajinagar Bus Stand) (6.00 AM-1.00 AM. every half an hour Air-con and non Air-con buses). Avoid taking private Buses. They never leave and reach on time! - From Nasik (Central Bus Stand (CBS))non a/c 'Asiad' bus service of MSRTC, every hour). - Nagpur (more than 12 hours. non a/c 'Asiad' bus of MSRTC, also private a/c and non a/c buses). - Also direct bus links from cities like Hyderabad, Solapur, Kolhapur, Goa, Ahmedabad, Indore and tourist places such as Lonar Crater (170 km), Shirdi (144 Km), Shanishignapur (90 km). MSRTC 'Red Buses',-extremely safe and fairly comfortable,-are available at regular intervals, to the important tourist destinations near Aurangabad like Grishneshwar Temple (30 km), Bibi ka Makbara (15 km), Panchakki (12 km), Daulatabad Fort (15 km), Kultabad (20 km), Paithan (51 km). No need for Advance Booking and the tickets are issued on the bus itself . Visit MSRTC site for time-table of all buses to and from Aurangabad. (NOTE: The web site requires the location of bus station e.g. for Pune you have to write 'Shivajinagar' for Ellora you may enter 'Verul').  19.876275.36724 Aurangabad depot of MSRTC (CIDCO Bus Stand), CIDCO, N-1 (Near Lemon Tree Hotel, Aurangabad), ☎ +91 0240 2240149. This is the depot operating City Bus services (public buses which halt at every stop particularly connecting the small villages and localities) and long route bus service to other districts and towns.  Apart from these cities Aurangabad has direct bus links from cities like Hyderabad, Solapur, Kolhapur, Goa, Ahmedabad, Indore and many more. 19.857575.33535 Private Bus Depot (Travels Depot), At Easy Day Mall. This is the depot for operators of privately owned buses and houses offices for travel agents and bus booking providers. Buses to long routes and other towns and cities operate through here, and generally pick passengers from other places too as they depart from the city. The services provide by most operators are mediocre, bus delays of an hour from time of departure are normal, sometimes buses may not depart until seats are filled. For properly using private bus services one may refer to reviews and information on online forums (www.redbus.in would be useful for this information). If looking for short distance ride of some hours one must prefer state owned buses for punctuality. (updated Nov 2015) Visit MSRTC (Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation) web site for time-table of all buses to and from Aurangabad (NOTE: The web site requires the location of bus station e.g. for Pune you have to write 'Shivajinagar' for Ellora you may enter 'Verul')[1] By car Aurangabad has excellent road connectivity to all important cities in Maharashtra namely Mumbai (400 Km), Nagpur, Pune (237 Km), Nasik (190 Km) etc. The highway connections make the journey to the world famous destinations of Ajanta (107 Km) and Ellora (29 Km) very comfortable. There are also many car rental companies in Aurangabad.

Aurangabad

Getting Around

1 Get around 1.1 AMT Buses 1.2 Conducted Bus Tours by MSTRC, ITDC and other travel service providers 1.3 Metered Auto-Rickshaws (Taxis) 1.4 Chauffeur Driven Taxis / Tourist Taxis 1.5 Drive (Car or Two Wheeler) Map of Aurangabad The city of Aurangabad has all forms of transport right from intra-city buses, metered auto-rickshaws to chauffeur-driven taxis. Intra-city Bus service is Municipal Corporation owned but privately operated. AMT (Aurangabad Municipal Transport) buses ply throughout the city and outskirts reaching thousands of citizens to their offices, schools, colleges efficiently and in a cost effective manner. MSRT AMT Buses 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 and thus masses use it for their daily transport. AMT buses carry thousands of passengers to and fro their workplaces, schools & colleges daily and thus are quite crowded during morning and evening rush hours. Conducted Bus Tours by MSTRC, ITDC and other travel service providers MSRTC (Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation) and ITDC (India Tourism Development Corporation) operate daily conducted tours by semi-Luxury buses to the tourist destinations like Ellora, Ajanta and Daulatabad wherein they also take a note of the tourist destinations in the city. These journeys can be booked at Aurangabad Central Bus Stand (CBS). Tour 1: Aurangabad CBS to Ajanta Caves, Bibi-Ka-Muqbara, Pan-Chakki and back to Aurangabad CBS Tour 2: Aurangabad CBS to Ellora Caves, Daulatabad Fort, Bibi-Ka-Muqbara, Pan-Chakki and back to Aurangabad CBS These conducted bus tours are ideal only if you are short of time and are alright having a glance at all these places. The major disadvantage of these tours is a very tight time-schedule. The sightseeing has to be wound up very fast without you being able to take your own time. Metered Auto-Rickshaws (Taxis) As a tourist one is recommended to either take Metered Auto-rickshaws (3-wheeler taxis) or Chauffeur driven Taxis. These taxis are not very expensive and are ideal for one day tours to Ajanta, Ellora, Daulatabad, etc. A hatchback type air-conditioned taxi will cost you around for a least count of ₹560 (incl. first 80km) plus ₹7 per kilometer or 8 hours whichever is less. Rates of more premium taxis are also computed in same manner with a higher cost per KM. Metered Auto-Rickshaws are undoubtedly the most suitable and convenient way of traveling through the city. This is due to their easy availability at any time and the affordability. These are hired three-wheeler taxis which are ideal to move around the city. The Meter reading is read along-with a 'tariff-card' available with the driver. The actual fare is usually around 10 times the meter reading. Always ensure that the driver starts the meter on beginning of the journey. Fare from Mid night 12:00 AM to 05:00 AM is One and Half times the regular fare. The minimum regular fare is as low as ₹14. Chauffeur Driven Taxis / Tourist Taxis These are ideal for the tourists visiting the city and the tourist destinations around. The tourist taxis can be booked from various travel agents in the city like Blue-Ocean travels,Wonder, Manmandir, Saibaba Travels, Welworth, Classic Cars, etc. All hotels also have a taxi-counter. The fare is calculated per kilometre with a minimum of 80 KM. The fare depends on the class of vehicle and the type (AC or Non-AC). See to it that the taxi you hire has a tourist permit and is not a private vehicle. The tourist permit cars can be easily identified by a yellow number plate. Drive (Car or Two Wheeler) This is the most common way of transport for the local people. But for the tourists, self driven cars and two wheelers are not easily available on hire basis in India. Driving on the streets is fairly comfortable as there is not much traffic on the roads and the roads are wide (except that in old part of the city). Some roads are not very well-maintained and are prone to pot-holes. In general, public transport in and around the city is fairly good.

Aurangabad

Top Attractions

19.9185875.315831 Aurangabad Caves (Two km north of Bibi ka Maqbara). 24/7. This is a fine piece of architecture, is presented in the most unembellished manner. The caves lie just outside the city and are believed to have been excavated between the 2nd and the 6th century. They house the most stunningly intricate carvings. There are nine caves in all, most of them being the viharas. The 4th and the 7th cave are worth a dekko. The 4th cave stands well supported on 12 columns carved with scenes depicting the stories from the Jataka tales, whereas the 7th cave is embedded with carvings of women, adorned with jewels. The main attraction is the sculpture of a 'Bodhisatva' praying for deliverance. 200 INR.  Replica of the Taj! Bibi Ka Maqbara-Aurangabad 19.9014275.320252 Bibi ka Maqbara (NW twelve km. - Take an MSTRC bus from Central Bus Station to Makbara Bus Stop.). A replica of the Taj Mahal, the Bibi-ka-Maqbara is the only example of Mughul architecture of its kind in the Deccan plateau. It was built in 1679 by Aurangzeb’s son, in tribute to his mother, Begum Rabia Durani. 200 INR.  19.905475.31193 History Museum - Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University (Located on the University campus. - North of the Botanical Garden). It has on display a good number of ancient Indian paintings, coins, fabrics, arms, artifacts, etc. The museum collection is huge and has some fine sculptures from the excavation at Bhokardan, a nearby historic site.  19.894175.31744 Pan Chakki, Pan Chakki Road (Khami river embankment. Take a northbound city bus from CBS to VITS Hotel and walk half km west. - Or any bus toDr. Ambedkar Law College Bus Stop and walk 300 m). This is a 17th-century water mill. The name has been derived from the mill that crushed grain for the pilgrims. There is a picturesque garden here that houses several beautiful fish tanks and it plays abode to the memorial of a Sufi Saint.  19.894575.33525 Shrimant Chatrapati Shivaji Raje Museum, Dr Ambedkar Rd, Himayat Bagh (Collector's Office Bus Stop, near to Delhi Gate). As the name suggests, this museum is dedicated to the great warrior of Maharashtra - Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. A number of exhibits associated with Lord Shivaji are on display.  19.9066575.309986 Soneri Mahal (N-NW of the Botanical Garden. - Located within Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University Campus and is on the way to Aurangabad caves.). an old historic monument now converted into museum houses a variety of ancient Indian pottery, dresses, remains of local palaces and antiques of daily use. A number of sculptures and reliefs from the local excavations are also on display.  Further afield Ajanta Caves - A panorama 20.532775.7517 Ajanta Caves (MSH8 Road. - NE 90 km. Take a public bus from CBS). depict the stories of Buddhism spanning from the period from 200 B.C. and 650 A.D. These caves were discovered in the 19th century by some British Officers who had been on a tiger hunt.These 29 caves were built by Buddhist monks using simple tools like hammer & chisel. These caves were the retreats of Buddhist monks who taught and performed rituals in the Chaityas and Viharas, the ancient seats of learning. The elaborate and exquisite sculptures and paintings depict stories from Jataka tales. The caves also house images of nymphs and princesses.The Ajanta caves and the treasures they house are a landmark in the overall development of Buddhism as such. Prices : Indian citizens : 30 Rs ; foreigners : 500 Rs.  20.024175.177438 Ellora (Verul) Caves (N-NW 30 km from Aurangabad. Use public bus. Very well connected.). The caves are open from 9AM to 5:30PM Wed-Mon (open on national holidays). The caves were carved between 350 AD and 700 AD. These structures represent the three faiths of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. These caves 34 in number are located 29 km. from Aurangabad. They are fascinating and the finest example of cave temple architecture housing elaborate facades and exquisite interiors. The 12 caves to the south are Buddhist, the 17 in the centre dedicated to Hinduism, and the 5 caves to the north are Jain. - Ghrishneshwar temple is half a kilometer from the Ellora Caves. Prices : Indian citizens ₹30, foreigners ₹500.  Daulatabad Fort - Aurangabad 19.9429175.213029 Daulatabad Fort (City of Fortune, Devgiri), Daulatabad (Situated NW at a distance of 13 km from Aurangabad. - Take an MSTRC bus from Central Bus Station, cca. half hourly. - Or Daulatabad Railway Station three km away. Half km west from road.). 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. Don't miss the climb to the very top through the bat cave.  20.312675.186710 Gautala Wildlife Sanctuary, Chalisgaon-Silod Rd, Mehun Puranwadi (Northwest almost 70 km of Aurangabad). This is a dense forest reserve, with rare flora and fauna. Home to leopards, bears, wolves, hyenas, jackals, flying squirrels and 85 different species of colourful birds. Also try to visit the Pithalkhora Buddhist rock-cut caves (from the 2nd century BCE to 1st century CE), the Patnadevi Temple, the Mahadeva Temple and the Sita Khori waterfall.  20.00675.192711 Khuldabad ([xʊld̪aːˈbaːd̪]) (Between Ellora and Aurangabad). Sights here: Khuldabad Fort, Bhadra Maruti Temple. Aurangzeb's Tomb, Tombs of Azam Shah and his wife, Zainuddin Shirazi Dargah, Burhan ud din's Mausoleum, Nizam-ul-Mulk Asaf Jah's Tomb, Bani Begum’s Makbara, Khan Jahan’s Lall Bagh, Malik Ambar's Tomb, Zar Zari Zar Baksh & Ganj Rawan Ganj Baksh Dargah  19.976376.507612 Lonar Crater Lake, Buldhana (Regular buses (four hours) to there. - East 170 km. - Hwy 171 pass it). This is site of a meteor which crashed on earth some 50,000 years ago and formed a large crater (few hundred meters in diameter) in the ground.  Jaikwadi Dam over Godawari river - Paithan, Aurangabad 19.474675.391913 Paithan (56 km to the south of Aurangabad, takee a bus to here). is an ancient taluka town . This place is well known for the exquisite saris. It was a trade centre earlier and also the capital of the Satavahanas. Here was a weaving centre where the traditional art is still practiced. 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. Next is the Dnyaneshwar Udyan, which is supposedly Maharashtra's largest garden planned and landscaped on the lines of the Vrindavan gardens at Mysore.  20.31347374.99422814 Pitalkhora Caves (Northwest 78 km from Aurangabad). Part of the UNESCO World Heritage List. This lies peacefully nestled in the Satmala ranges of the Sahyadris. 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. WARNING: The side road to reach Pitalkhora from the main Aurangabad road is in an extremely bad shape. Don't go unless you have a SUV/Tata Sumo type of vehicle. The caves are reachable via a footbridge that is in a very bad shape. There is not much to see in the caves except for half-finished carvings. 

Aurangabad