Bibi Ka Maqbara, Aurangabad
Rich with the heritage of medieval past, Aurangabad is a modern city. Nestled in the heart of Kham River, Aurangabad makes a must visit destination in Maharasthra. Though famous to be the gateway to the world-famous caves Ajanta and Ellors, Aurangabad too reserves jewel i its womb. As you embark through the ancient monuments and caves of the city, the finest of memories automatically starts to generate in your mind.
As we Look Back
It is true that the city gains its name from the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, but the history of Aurangabad goes much further back than the Mughal heritage. To its south lies a city once visited by Greek traders even before the birth if Christ while to its north are caves by Buddhist monks in the 2nd century BC. But no doubt, it is the Mughals that gave the city a nrw identity with a new name.
As We Explore Aurangabad
As we start our exploration of the ancient city Aurangabad, its the grandeur of Mughal heritage that fascinate us the most. Be it the exquisite architecture of Bibi ka Maqbara or Bani Begum Garden, Aurangabad is still dipped into the colour of Aaurangzeb.
Bibi ka Maqbara
Built by Aurangzeb's son Azan Shah as a tribute to his mother Begum Rabia Durani, Bibi ka Maqbara is the most visited attraction in the city. The elegant structure and exquisite marble carvings make the locals to call it twin Taj Mahal while the outsiders have named it as Poor Man's Taj. Well preserved marbles's ivory shades and geometric design still narrate the excellent artistry and craft sense of the Mughals. Sunheri Mahal completes the Mughal grandeur with its remnants of glory that refuses to fade.
Panchakki meaning water wheel is one of the foremost attractions of Aurangabad. It is actually a mill which is driven by water coming through earthen pipes from the river 6 km away and manifests for a snazzy engineering marvel of yore. Built by the slave king Malik Amber, this wondrous architecture will surely amaze you.
Apart from the world famous caves of Ajanta and Ellora, Aurangabad has its own group of caves situated gracefully to the 2 km north of the city. There are 10 caves separated into east and west wings with the fourth and also the oldest among them belonging to the Hinayana Phase of Buddhist architecture. The friezes from Jataka tales are very much visible and are the prime attractions of these ancient caves. Cave 5 is very interesting where Lord Buddha has been painted over as a Tirthankara by the Jains.
Originated as an impact of either a comet or meteorite, this 50,000 years old lake near Aurangabad (160 km) is a must visit destination. Atop the rim, this mineral laden azure water lake surrounded by thick greenery is a sheer surprise of the nature. How the lake stays perennially full in dry days is a mystery. Till now no outlet for the water has been located and this makes Lonar Crater even more enigmatic and charming.
Chikalthana airport is the domestic airport of Aurangabad. Indian Airlines daily operate flight from Aurangabad to Delhi via Mumbai. Jet Airways and Air Deccan have also started their flight service from Auranagabad to Mumbai and Delhi. The nearest international airports to Aurangabad are Mumbai and Pune.
There is direct train link between Mumbai and Aurangabad. Devgiri Express and Tapovan Express run daily between Mumbai and Aurangabad in evening and morning respectively. Direct train connection to Hyderabad is also available from the city. Sachkand Express ply in a regular basis from New Delhi and Aurangabad.
Aurangabad is well connected to Mumbai via Manmad (388 km), Nashik (221 km), Shirdi (136 km), Ajanta (110 km), Pune (299 km) and Ellora (30 km). Maharashtra State Transport Corporation and other private operators run daily services from Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Jalgaon, Nagpur and Indore.