Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar (Aurangabad), one of the fastest-growing cities in the world, is situated in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, India. This city is also known as the ‘City of Gates’ and is also declared the Tourism Capital of Maharashtra. Aurangabad is home to amazing sights, activities, and events and can give a quick view of the real India. The historical city is a combination of old-world charm with modern and vibrant nightlife.
The city changes its name according to the time and rulers. The history of Aurangabad can be traced back to 1610; a prime minister of the Muslim Kingdom of Ahmednagar, Malik Ambar established a town at a village called Khirki. In 1626, his son Fateh Khan changed the name of Khadki to Fatehnagar. In 1653 when Prince Aurangzeb was appointed the viceroy of the Deccan for the second time, he made Fatehnagar his capital and renamed it Aurangabad (meaning ‘Built by the Throne’), after the death of Aurangazeb in 1707 it was taken over by the Nizam of Hyderabad. After the independence of India, in 1960 it became a part of Maharashtra state.
Today, Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar is the most iconic travel destination in India. It offers a wonderful opportunity to step back to past history with many historical monuments, including the Ajanta Caves and Ellora Caves, which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Places to see in Aurangabad
The Ajanta Caves showcase the Buddhist stories of the period between 200 B.C. and 650 A.D. This group of caves was discovered by a few British Officers, who went for a tiger hunt at the site. There are 29 caves in Ajanta, constructed by some Buddhist monks, using tools like chisel and hammers.
Bibi Ka Maqbara
It is built in memory of Begum Rabia Durani, by her son Prince Azam Shah; Bibi-ka-Maqbara is a complete replica of the Taj Mahal. It is an excellent example of Persian Architecture.
The Ellora Caves were built during the period of 350 AD to 700 AD. It presents structures with the three faiths of Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism. The 34 caves of Ellora are situated at a distance of 29 km from Aurangabad. The 17 caves in the middle are devoted to the Hinduism, the 12 caves found in the south are dedicated to the Buddhists and the 5 caves located in the north are Jain.
Daulatbad formerly known as Devgiri or ‘the city of fortune’ was named by the Delhi Sultan Muhammad Tughlaq. 13 km away from Aurangabad this fort is known to be one of the oldest existing fort in India. The fortress displays a strong wall of 5 km and a series of ramparts.
The Jain temple is located at Kachner village, near Aurangabad this place is famous for the Chintamani Parshvanath installed inside the temple. This beautiful idol was discovered in an underground basement around 250 years ago. It is believed that the idol has some miraculous powers that can solve the problems of the people who seek the divine intervention of the deity.
Bhadra Maruti Temple is a well-known temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman located at Khuldabad, near Aurangabad. The idol of Hanuman here is in a sleeping posture. It is one of the only three temples where you will find Hanuman in a sleeping posture.
Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga Temple
Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga is located near Daulatabad in Aurangabad. The shrine is important because it is believed to be the last Jyotirlinga temple on the earth.
The Panchakki Water Mill was used for grain grinding stones. It was built in the early years of the 17th century by Baba Shah Musafir. Panchakki is one of the few places that are calm and peaceful in Aurangabad which helps to visualize the life that existed during the medieval period in India. Panchakki also has a tomb of Baba Shah Muzaffar, who was a Sufi Saint and was the spiritual adviser to Aurangzeb.
A glimpse of the conventional type of Himroo Weaving is an amazing mix of cotton and silk and it is known for its quality, as can be seen at the Himroo factory. The designs and the patterns on these fabrics are the inspirations that are derived from the Ajanta paintings. The factory is near Zaffar Gate in the old town.
Dargah of Pir Ismail
The Dargah of Pir Ismail is a memorial to Prince Aurangzeb’s tutor, Pir Ismail. The garden in the Dargah consists of many destroyed water tanks and fountains.
Khuldabad is a historical city that lies at a distance of about 27 km from Aurangabad. Khuldabad is popularly known as the Valley of Saints or Heavenly Abode as many Sufi saints chose to live and die here in the 14th century. Along with the tombs of the Sufi saints Zar Zari Zar Baksh, Shaikh Burhan-ud-din Gharib Chisti, and Syed Shah Zain-ud-din Shirazi, the tomb of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb and some of his aides and family members are also found in this town.
Chand Minar in Daulatabad is an outstanding example of Islamic art. Ala-ud-din Bahmani built this minaret in 1445 to celebrate his occupation of the area. The tower is 210 feet in height and 70 feet in circumference at the base. Beautiful Persian tiles cover it.
Top Hotels in Aurangabad
Name & Type
Vivanta by Taj
ITC Rama International
The Fern Residency
Best time to visit Aurangabad
Aurangabad generally offers moderate temperatures with low humidity. Summers (March to May) are hot with the average temperature ranging between 37 ºC and 21 ºC and with the maximum soaring to around 43 ºC. Monsoons (June to September) provide relief to the hot climate and most of the rainfalls occur in this season. Winters (November to February) provides a very pleasant climate with minimum touching only down to 10ºC.
The best season to visit Aurangabad is from October to March, it is the perfect time for sightseeing and exploring the heritage sites of the place. The climate is pleasant and mostly dry and suitable for sightseeing and outings.
How to Reach Aurangabad
Aurangabad Airport, Chikalthana Airport, is 10 km away from the city centre and is well linked with other major cities in India. Regular air services to Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Mumbai, and Delhi are available from Aurangabad. During the holiday season, Indian Airlines connects Pune and Mumbai to Aurangabad.
Aurangabad is well connected to other major cities of the country via regular trains. Railway Stations: Aurangabad (AWB), Rotegaon (RGO), Chikalthan (CTH), Mukundwadi halt (MKDD).
Aurangabad is well-connected to all the major towns in the state. State-owned public transport buses are available at cheap fares. Overnight luxury buses are running between Mumbai and Aurangabad. Famous Ellora town is connected to Aurangabad by bus services from many cities in Maharashtra.