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Part 1 – History, Overview

Discovered in 1610 by Malik Ambar, originally named Kharki, Aurangabad is surrounded by several historical places, most of which are much older than the city itself. It is one of the rare districts hosting two important UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Capital of Marathwada region, Aurangabad provides a perfect base to stay and explore the tourist as well as religious attractions around.

Nearing its 400 years of history, Aurangabad has seen some interesting historical incidents. Owing to Malik Ambar’s love for architecture, the city was a beautiful place during its early days. It grew rapidly to become an important place of trade, which later witnessed a violent act of war by Mughal emperor Jahangir, who burnt it down. But the city grew again. After Malik Ambar’s demise in 1626, his son took the charge and named the city after himself as Fatehnagar. But that did not last long as Aurangzeb, then Prince of the Mughals appointed as Viceroy, took charge of the city and named it Aurangabad. A fortified wall was erected around the city later.

Often called the city of gates, Aurangabad itself hosts several small historical structures within it, most of which are the gates from Mughal period. Though the original number of these has reduced from 52, there are still several prominent gates present throughout the city. Bibi-ka-Maqbara, Panchakki and Aurangabad Caves are another historical places, amongst which Bibi-ka-Maqbara is the only place that still reminds of its old beauty. Panchakki, a watermill that provided free flour to the poor, can be visited on the way to Bibi-ka-Maqbara.


Aurangabad caves, considered unfinished as they were abandoned half way through due to the unsupportive nature of the hill, are worth a visit if you are coming for a longer stay than two days. In the same case, you can also stroll through the old town area and observe the remnants of Nahar-e-Ambari, a marvelous water circulation system based on siphon method that provided water through the pipelines to the whole town.

A perfect place to spend leisurely time, internal transport of the city is efficient and comfortable. After a day full of site seeing, Aurangabad provides various options to relax during the evening. Just a few years ago named fastest growing city of Asia, the city’s rate of development has rocketed once more over the last five years, resulting in a newly developed international airport, several huge shopping complexes and malls, multiplex cinema halls, five star hotels and a wide range of specialty restaurants throughout the city.

With its warm and hospitable nature, the city of Aurangabad invites you to spend a perfect holiday.

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A Week in Aurangabad - by Mahesh Khurana  Dated : 2011-05-02
Aurangabad is not very far from my town, Pune, but I had not gone there until very recently. I did not know that the city had so many important places. I was here for a week almost visiting a friend and had the pleasure of driving around to various places.

By far the best experience that we had was at Gavtala, the not so dense forest near Kannad which is 60 kilometers from Aurangabad. Even if this forest is not very dense it is a thrilling place. We stayed at the government guest house and had an exciting walk nearby. I did not believe my ears when I actually heard a Leopard's roar coming from a place not very far from us. It was a wonderful experience to be in a scary atmosphere and surroundings. There are also deer and monkeys here but the leopards are the definite attraction. This forest does not provide safaris like other famous forest and is mostly unknown, which is perhaps the reason why you can easily find booking at the guest house.

Apart from Gavtala forest there are amazing monuments of Ajanta and Ellora near Aurangabad. It took us an entire day to visit Ajanta and another day to visit Ellora and Devgiri Fort, which is also a great fort unlike anywhere else in India. Ajanta is a marvelous place with really nice paintings. Those who love art will certainly find this to be one of the best tourist destinations in India. Ellora has sculptures and caves which are quite different from Ajanta and are just as famous. You can see a lot of foreign tourists at both these places.

Aurangabad city in itself is not very big as compared with Pune but there are some nice places to eat. The taste of the food here differs from Pune and other places in Maharashtra and some cuisines are certainly greatly enjoyable. The distances are very short and going from one place to another does not take much time. Auto Rickshaws are a very convenient means of transport here.
A wonderful day in Aurangabad - by Jyoti Shergil  Dated : 2011-03-10
During our road trip to Nagpur, we decided to halt at Aurangabad for the night. Upon discussion with the hotel owner we found out that there are some very interesting places in Aurangabad and it wont be a bad idea if we stayed there for a day. And he was correct. Due to pressing time we could not stay there for more than a day but it was a nice experience.

We went to see the fort of Daulatabad which is an astonishing creating. This fort is beautiful from the outside, although not in a conventional way. It is a huge hill carved from all sides giving it a very interesting shape. And inside the fort there are some features that are hard to find in the forts anywhere else.

After Daulatabad we went to Ellora, which I learned is a famous tourist place not only in Aurangabad but also in India. The temple of Kailasa here is a great creation and one should visit it if they have an interest in visiting ancient monuments. The way it has been designed is unbelievable and it will not be incorrect to say that more efforts have been taken on it than were on Tajmahal of Agra.

After visiting these places we were quite exhausted and returned to the hotel as we had to drive the entire day the next day. But we went out again in the night and had a wonderful dinner at a place called That Bat. The weather in Aurangabad was very pleasant and we wanted to stay a little more but we could not. But I am sure I will come here one more day to visit Ajanta and other places that I could not visit during this trip.
Aurangabad a Historical Place - by Ritesh Kulkarni Dated : 2011-03-10
Aurangabad is situated in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra and is a historic toown with many attractions. It is popular for Ajanta and Ellora caves which are not very far from the city. There are many tourist places inside the city such as Bibi ka Mukbara and Panchakki. The city is also famous for historic gates built after the city was founded in the 17th century. There are as many as 52 gates in this city, but most of these gates are ruined. However, some gates are still in a good shape and can be seen.

Panchakki is a very nice water mill where they used to grind wheat in old days. This works on water on siphon method. There was no electricity in olden days and still this worked very well, which tells about the wonderful technology of the people from Aurangabad from history.

Bibi ka mukbara is a replica of Taj mahal from Agra. It is a very nice historic place and many tourists visit it every year. Tourists from many countries come to Aurangabad to pay a visit and find it very nice. They like Ajanta, Ellora and other places in the city as well. But they also like the food of Marathwada which has a different taste. Pithla Bhakri of Marathwada is a very simple but famous food. It is the food of farmers.

It takes only five hours to come to Aurangabad from Pune and 8 hours from Mumbai by road. Aurangabad has many fives star as well as economy hotels from a wide range. As it is the capital of Marathwada, there is also an airport and a railway station which is well connected with other important cities.