Gateway to Ajanta and Ellora Caves :
Aurangabad is a city that preserves a rich cultural heritage. Located in
the northern part of Maharashtra, Aurangabad is located at a distance of 375
kms from Mumbai. Aurangabad is better known as the gateway to the ancient
caves of Ajanta and Ellora. Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, who ruled the country
from the place till his death, is credited of building many architectural
gems that still adorn the landscape of this historical city of Maharashtra.
In fact, Aurangabad gets its name from Aurangzeb itself. Aurangabad is also
famous for the hand woven brocades of gold and silver known as Himroo.
Most unexpectedly, Aurangzeb had shifted the Mughal capital to Aurangabad
which remained there till his death in 1707. Under the patronage of the
Mughals, Aurangabad became a major industrial centre. Soon after, many fine
academic institutions were also established in the place. The textiles of
Aurangabad started gaining popularity all over the territory of Mughal
Famous For - Ajanta and Ellora Caves :
The caves of Ajanta and Ellora are located at some distance from
Aurangabad. But tourists can access the caves from Aurangabad only. The
magnificent caves, treasures of ancient Indian art forms, have been declared
as World Heritage sites. The caves have exquisitely carved out images from
Hindu epics and Jataka tales. The three religions of Hinduism, Buddhism and
Jainism have laid claim to the caves.
The cave temples of Ellora, listed among the World Heritage sites, are 30
km northwest of the city. The world famous Buddhist caves at Ajanta (world
famous for their well-preserved wall paintings), also a World Heritage site,
lies 100 km northeast of Aurangabad.
» Air -
There are daily flights to Aurangabad from
Delhi and Mumbai. Both Indian Airlines and private operators run their
services to the city.
» Rail -
Aurangabad is well connected through
railways with other parts of Maharashtra. Trains to the city are also
available from many major destinations of India.
» Road -
Aurangabad is also well connected through
roadways with other parts of Maharashtra and neighbouring states.
Additional Highlights of the City :
Aurangabad Caves -
The Aurangabad caves, located on the outskirts of the
city were excavated between the 2nd and 6th century AD. Tantric influences
could be clearly identified in the caves. There are twelve caves in total. A
few caves also have scenes carved out from Jataka tales. One of the caves
also has an imposing sculpture of a Bodhisattva, praying for deliverance.
» Pan Chakki -
Pan Chakki is the name of an
indegenuous watermill built by Malik Ambar in the year 1695. The water mill
was designed to generate energy from water brought down from a spring on a
mountain. A beautiful garden and fish tank around the place serve as a
memorial to Malik Ambar, a Sufi saint much respected by Aurangzeb.
» Grishneshwar Temple -
Located in a village named
Verul near Ellora caves, the temple is an important pilgrimage destination
for Hindus. It is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of India, where Lord Shiva
» Bani Begum Gardens -
Some kilometres away from
Aurangabad lie the Bani Begum Gardens, which surround the tomb of one of
Aurangzeb's queens. Tourists coming to Aurangabad make it a point to visit
the well laid out gardens.