Aurangabad, located in the western state of Maharashtra, is a city steeped in history and culture. It is often referred to as the "City of Gates" due to its numerous historical gates that once served as entry points to the city during medieval times. Aurangabad is perhaps most renowned for its close proximity to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Ajanta and Ellora Caves, which house remarkable rock-cut Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain temples dating back to ancient times. The city itself bears testimony to a rich historical legacy, with attractions like the Bibi Ka Maqbara, often referred to as the "Taj of the Deccan," as it resembles the iconic Taj Mahal. The bustling marketplaces, delectable Maharashtrian cuisine, and a vibrant arts and crafts scene add to the city's charm. With its amalgamation of history, art, and heritage, Aurangabad is a captivating destination that offers a glimpse into India's diverse cultural tapestry.
Aurangabad, located in Maharashtra, has a rich history dating back to ancient times. It was originally known as Khadki and served as an important center for trade and commerce during the Mughal era. The city gained prominence when Emperor Aurangzeb made it the capital of the Mughal Deccan province in the late 17th century. As a result, it was renamed Aurangabad. The city witnessed significant cultural and architectural development during this period, with the construction of iconic structures like the Bibi Ka Maqbara, often called the "Taj of the Deccan," built in memory of Aurangzeb's wife. Aurangabad also played a vital role in India's struggle for independence.
Aurangabad's culture reflects its historical influences. The city is a melting pot of Maharashtrian, Mughal, and Marathi cultures. Its vibrant arts scene includes the traditional Paithani sarees, Bidriware, and Himroo textiles. The local cuisine boasts delectable Maharashtrian dishes, including the iconic "Naan Khaliya" and "Mutton Bhakri." Festivals like Diwali, Eid, and Ganesh Chaturthi are celebrated with great fervor. Classical dance and music, such as Kathak and Qawwali, are integral to the cultural fabric.
The people of Aurangabad are predominantly Marathi-speaking, reflecting the state's culture. They are known for their warm hospitality and are deeply rooted in traditions. The city's residents are engaged in various professions, including trade, tourism, agriculture, and handcrafts. Many locals are skilled artisans, contributing to the city's artistic heritage. The coexistence of diverse communities adds to the city's cultural diversity.
Best Time to Visit Aurangabad
The best time to visit Aurangabad is from October to March when the weather is pleasant for sightseeing.
Top Places to Visit in Aurangabad
Ajanta Caves: These UNESCO World Heritage Sites house exquisite rock-cut Buddhist caves, known for their intricate sculptures and ancient frescoes.
Ellora Caves: Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Ellora Caves, feature rock-cut temples and monasteries representing Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.
Bibi Ka Maqbara: Often called the "Mini Taj Mahal," this Mughal-era mausoleum is a stunning architectural marvel.
Daulatabad Fort: A historic hill fort with impressive architecture and a fascinating history.
Aurangabad Caves: Buddhist caves showcasing intricate carvings and sculptures.
Grishneshwar Temple: An important pilgrimage site for Lord Shiva devotees.
Panchakki (Water Mill): A historic water mill complex with a serene garden.
Aurangabad Buddhist Caves: Lesser-known but historically significant caves with unique sculptures.
Salim Ali Lake and Bird Sanctuary: A haven for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.
Himroo Factory: Explore the art of Himroo weaving, a traditional textile craft.