A trip to Aurangabad is possibly the best way to get up, close and personal with the historical heritage of the city. Erstwhile, the royal seat of Mughal Empire's sixth descendent, Aurangzeb, today Aurangabad primarily serves as the backdrop of two of world's most renowned heritage sites, the rock-cut caves of Ajanta and Ellora. Apart from these ravishingly beautiful stone caves that seem inspired from Jatka Tales, Aurangabad is wadded with innumerable monuments, cave temples, gardens and lots more that serves as a part of its major attractions. Apart from rubbernecking, you can also sample some lip-smacking Mughlai cuisine here that is just mind-boggling. What's more, every year the tourism department organizes the Ellora festival that showcases the best talent in the country and is just another added attraction of this place. Make sure to stop by the city during this festival time to witness some spectacular performances of talented artists along with an opportunity to dive into the local cultural in the region. For shopaholics, do step into the local bazaar to shop for Himroo shawls and the exquisite Paithani sarees that is a synthesis of gold and silk thread weaves found in bright colorful and in traditional patterns. Scroll through the article to find the tourist attractions in Aurangabad.
Tourist Attractions In Aurangabad
The Ajanta caves are a magnificent structure that depicts the different stages of Lord Buddha. A UNESCO world heritage site, the caves are said to be a 2nd century BC monument. The grottos came to light only in the 19th century when an English officer was tracking down a tiger. During his trail, he discovered the caves hidden away in the middle of a thick forest. Built by a group of Buddhist monks, the Ajanta Caves consists of 29 caverns, each being a brilliant piece of work of art. The caves contains several sophisticated and exquisite inscriptions, sculptures and paintings that are said to be pictorial depictions from the Jataka Tales. Many historians believe that the monks used the caves as a learning center and for preaching and practicing the principles of Chaityas and Viharas that was common ritual among the Buddhists. The Ajanta caves are a benchmark among the Buddhist-styled architectures that cannot be witnessed elsewhere in the world.
Built during 350 A.D, the Ellora caves is another iconic structure in the city. The caves are said to be a composition of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism devotion. Located 29 km away from the city, the Ellora caves are the most excellent illustration of cave sanctuary in India. The Kailasa temple is believed to be carved out of a single block of stone. This monolith is said to be the world's largest, as the gateway, pavilion, assembly hall, sanctum and the tower is said to be all carved from the same stone. The Ellora caves have many such fascinating and complex sculptures that display the architectural skill and design of the medieval period. Just like the Ajanta caves, the Ellora grottos are also world renowned for their beautiful carved edifices.
Located close to the Ellora caves, the Ghrishneshwar temple is yet again another architectural wonder in the district. Built in the 18th century, the shrine is eulogized for its structural design and intricate stone work. The temple is presided by Lord Shiva and is an important place of worship for all Hindu devotees. Built by Rani Ahillyabai Holkar, a Maratha princess, this temple is an impressive work of art.
Bibi ka Maqbara
The Bibi ka Maqbara was built by Aurangzeb's son in honor of his beloved mother Begum Rabia Durani. This structure was designed by Ata Ullah who constructed the memorial on the lines of the Taj Mahal. Many historians state that the monument is a facsimile of the Taj Mahal but the edifice was erected out of sandstone with floral designs plastered on the entryway. Constructed in 1679, the Bibi ka Maqbara is situated within the city limits.
The Soneri Mahal was built by a Bandalkand chief who accompanied Aurangzeb when he entered the region. Inside the Mahal, you can take a quick sneak-peek at the paintings that have gold finishing to it. Soneri Mahal stands as a testimony to the lost grandeur of the Mughal era in the region. Today, however, the place functions as a museum that exhibits Indian pottery, traditional robes, antique collections, sculptures and variety of other artifacts. The Soneri Mahal is nestled within the Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University Campus, which is located close to the city walls.
The Siddharth garden is a beautiful promenade in the city of Aurangabad. The garden has a variety of trees and flowering shrubs that are well-laid down in the park. Siddharth garden also has a zoo that shelters a variety of animals including lions, tigers, leopards, crocodiles, snakes, civet cats, hyena, fox, porcupine, emu and deer. The garden is a popular attraction among the local people and often seen as an ideal picnic spot in the region.