Have you ever heard of Ajanta and Ellora? They are located in Aurangabad, India. This place is said to be the gateway from many interesting things to see and do in Maharastra. Aurangabad is the city of Maharastra State. The place is located just on the bank of Kham River. This place was actually founded in the year 1610 and was called as Khadke. But later, the name of this place was changed to Aurangabad and this was named after Auranzeb who was a Mughal Emperor. Its historical culture and the scenic beauty is making this place one of the best tourist places in India.
You would be amazed by the beauty of this place, especially the beautiful temples of Aurangabad are the best. The architecture of these temples keeps attracting tourist from all parts of the world every year. This is one of the most important cities in India and you will definitely enjoy your trip to Aurangabad. There are many hotels and other facilities for all the tourists from all parts of the world. This place is also called as the “City of Gates”. You can know more about this, why it is titled as a city of gates by the time you complete your tour in Aurangabad. There were almost 52 gates in this place, but now you will be able to see just 13 of them.
When To Go:
The climate of Aurangabad is semiarid. The summer in the place is too hot and you cannot tolerate as the temperature goes beyond 40 degrees Celsius also sometimes. The temperature is going to be really high from March to May. But if you are someone who like to travel in summer and do not mind getting wet with sweat, then you can plan your trip during February as the climate is not really hot during these months. Monsoons start here from June and will last till October. The rainfall that you experience in the Monsoon is the best time when you can relax from the hot temperature of Summer. For those who love traveling in the rainy season and would like to muddy then you can plan it in the rainy season, but make sure that you plan either in June or in October, because in between you will have heavy rains.
The best time for tourists to visit Aurangabad is during the Winter. Yes, this is the right time when you don’t have to be worried about high temperature or high rainfalls. Winter Starts from November and will last till Februrary. You will see a lot of international tourists during this period of time in this place. If you are planning your trip during this period, then you can plan it in advance as there are chances that you don’t get good accommodation facility or you will have to pay too high to get the one that you need. The climate is very likely for people of all age groups, but the climate may sometimes go below 10 degrees Celsius and you should carry proper warm clothes for winter. You can make your trip more interesting if you are planning your trip well and you are packing everything that you need.
It is not just planning the trip in advance can make your trip interesting, you should also know about the tourist attractions of that place so that you do not have to waste your time after you reach there. Here is the list of things to do in Aurangabad:
Ajanta and Ellora Caves
There are many tourist attractions in Aurangabad and you will not be able to see all of them on your first visit to Aurangabad. You will either have to visit the place again sometime later or you will have to plan a long trip. Whether it is a long trip or a short trip to Aurangabad, you will not find a single tourist leaving the place without visiting Ajanta and Ellora Caves.
The paintings and sculptures of Ajanta and Ellora present the pride of Indian Architectural heritage. This is considered as the masterpiece work of Buddhist artist. In the year 1983, UNESCO has taken these caves into world heritage site consideration. The Ajanta and Ellora cave paintings on the ceiling are really exciting and wonderful. The caves were left low until a British army officer in the year 1819. These Ajanta and Ellora caves are world famous and the reason behind this is these caves are made of stones and are done just using hands. No machinery was used in making of these cave shrines. This is definitely a must see destination in Aurangabad and you will really love the work.
Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga Temple
This temple is a must visit place for all the Lord Shiva devotees. This places visit is not restricted to just the Hindu, people of any religion can visit this place and you will really love the temple. This Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga Temple is very well maintained. This temple is considered to be one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines. This Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga is considered as the last Jyotirlinga on the earth and very precious as well. This Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga Temple is nearly 30 kilometers from Aurangabad, located in a small village called Verul.This place can be easily accessed from Ellora caves.
The structure and architectural style of this temple is really excellent. As said earlier, people of any religion can visit this place, but men should remove their shirt and belt when you are entering inside the temple. Mobile phones and cameras are not allowed inside the shrine, but you can click as many pictures as you want from outside the temple premises. The temple is very small but is heaven for all the Shiva devotees. You should definitely visit this temple as you will get a chance to see the last Jyotirlinga on the earth. The cool and calm atmosphere inside the temple is really amazing and you will love this experience.
Bibi Ka Maqbara, Aurangabad
A very beautiful Mausoleum of Dilras Banu Begum alias Rabia-ul-Daurani, who is the wife of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb is Bibi Ka Maqbara, Aurangabad. This is one of the largest structures in his credit. This structure resembles the Taj Mahal, but it is very small compared to the Taj Mahal. This structure was designed by Hanspat Rai, who is an engineer and Ata Ullah who was an architect. The stone used for constructing this building was marble stone and this marble stone was brought from a Jaipur mine. As this is inspired from the Taj Mahal structure, it is known as the “Taj of Deccan”.
If you are visiting this place during the winter season or during the weekends, then it is going to be crowded, but if you are planning in week days then you can really enjoy this place. It will hardly take 10 to 15 minutes for you to reach this place by an auto from the center of the city Aurangabad. You can easily spend 3 to 4 hours, but the place is not really huge and does not take much of your time. The 3 to 4 hours is just for spending some quality time with your family at such wonderful place. Do not miss this place and plan it in the afternoon timings.
Even if you have already visited the Ajanta and Ellora caves, do not miss to visit Aurangabad Caves. This is a very interesting place to see in Aurangabad. The caves are very small but are very interesting. This place is at a 10 minutes walk outside Aurangabad city. If you are visiting in the Summer then climbing the steps of these caves can be little harder as there will not be able shade, but if you are planning your trip during Winter then you can take full advantage of these Aurangabad Caves as well just like the Ajanta and Ellora caves.
The best advantage of this place is there will be very less crowd during week days here, but that is not the case with the Ajanta and Ellora caves. This place Ajanta and Ellora caves are always overcrowded which is not ideal for clicking some photographs. But at this place you will be able click a lot of pictures with your family and friends. You will also get a chance to see a lot of parrots at this place, so don’t not miss that chance.
This Jayakwadi Dam is considered to be one of the largest dams of Aurangabad district. This dam is actually located in Jayakwadi villages and is one of the largest irrigation project in India. This project is used for multi purpose, but its main purpose is for agriculture only. This is one of the tourist spots that many people visit. Many people of Aurangabad also consider this place as one of the best places of spending with family and picnics. This place is suitable for people of all age groups like kids have a play area, beautiful garden and also dam.
Near this dam, you will find many different species of birds and that is more relaxing to see so many birds flying. It is a good place for people to go in groups and enjoy. Do not go to this place alone as it is not safe. The roadway to this place is not really good, but you should definitely consider visiting this place as this is one of the best places in Aurangabad. You should plan to visit this place in the afternoon after a good lunch so that you can enjoy the view and return back in the evening when the climate is getting cool.
A beautiful historic castle, which is situated in Daulatabad is Chini Mahal. You will come across this Mahal on your way to Ellora caves. This will look just like a very small place from outside, but when you step inside the Mahal then you would be surprised that it is really huge and it is like it seems from outside. This is two floored Mahal constructed on the top of a mountain and you should be able to climb up to the top of the mountain. If you are able to reach the top of the mountain, then you can enjoy viewing many birds and the 360 degrees view of the surrounding places in something that you should not miss.
The entire trip to reach the mountain and come back is going to take at least 3 hours or it may take more than that but not less than that. So you should always make sure that you are carrying enough water along with you as you will not get water in between. This place is definitely worth visiting as there are a lot of historical value associated with this place. The royal prisoners of this place were kept in the Chini Mahal.
Valley of the Sufi Saints
This place Valley of the Sufi Saints is located in Khuldabad in Aurangabad. In the 14th century, there were almost 1500 Sufi saints who chose to stay. This place is very close to the tomb of great Mughla Emporer Aurangzeb. This is one of the best tourist attractions for international tourists. You can spend some time in the Valley.
You should take a guide along with you who can help you in understanding the real history behind this Valley of the Sufi Saints. If you are not able to get information about the history of this place, then there is no point in going to this place as there is not too much to see here. There are many other things to see around this place so it is worth visiting this place on your trip to Aurangabad.
Gul Mandi Market
Here is a place for all women and shopping lovers. You should definitely visit Gul Mandi Market if you want to purchase some local Aurangabad stuff. There are many cloth stoles in this place which are worth visiting and buying as well. There are many small stalls in this marketplace and the food that you get here is really amazing and you should not miss it.
This place is very crowded and you should not miss shopping at this place, You might have experienced the shopping experience in shopping malls, but shopping at the Gul Mandi Market can give you a different experience. Just in the middle of this small market, you also have a very famous Maruti temple. You should visit that temple as well. This Gul Mandi Market is said to be one of the oldest markets in Aurangabad.
Jama Masjid Aurangabad
This Jama Masjid Aurangabad is a very auspicious place for the Muslims, and this Masjid was constructed with a purpose as well. This Masjid was built in the year 1612 and is located nearby Killa Arrak. One of the reasons why this place is very popular, it is constructed immediately after the Aurangabad was founded. This mosque was later again extended and made big.
It is also said that this is one of the oldest mosques in Aurangabad and is still in very good condition from the time it was built. Women are not allowed inside this Masjid according to the Muslim culture, but you can still enjoy its view from outside. This is no way related to the Jama Masjid in Delhi.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum
If you want to get good information about the Maratha Empire you should visit this place Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum. You will get information right from the beginning like from the coins they were used to the fabric they used. The only problem at this place is there is nothing written in English here.
Everything is written Marathi and it is really difficult to understand anything if you are not taking a guide along with you. This is a must watch place with a lot of information related to the history of Maharastra. You can spend at least 2 to 3 hours at this place and it is going to be real fun.
Tomb of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb
This Tomb of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb or call it as the grave of the Mughal Emporer Aurangzeb is definitely worth watching. This place is basically a small Mosque, which is very simple and small as well. This place is located in Khuldabad which is just 10 to 15 minutes to visit this place but it definitely worth visiting. You cannot call it as a tourist attraction as there is not much to see here except the grave, but there is a lot of historic value associated with this mosque. You will find a very old man sitting there who is going to explain you about the Mughal emperor and about this place as well. This man is a local person who lives nearby, but not a guide.
This is just a small list of things to do in Aurangabad as there are many things to see and that is the reason this place is very popular in India. You also have many good restaurants where you can taste the food India, which is definitely mouth watering. You should definitely enjoy the signature food of Maharastra and you can never forget it. It is a great experience to visit Aurangabad.