City of Gates...
Aurangabad is famous for its Historic gates. These are the thirteen gates which still stand with pride and have become the characteristic part of the city. These are as follows-
- Barapulla Gate
- Bhadkal Darwaza
- Delhi Gate
- Kala Darwaza
- Khas Gate
- Khizer Gate
- Makai Gate
- Manju Gate
- Mehmood Darwaza
- Naubat Darwaza
- Paithan Gate
- Rangeen Darwaza
- Raushan Gate
Distances from major Cities in Maharashtra and the places of Tourist interest:
- Mumbai - Aurangabad: 400 Km.
- Pune - Aurangabad: 237 Km.
- Nasik - Aurangabad: 190 Km.
- Shirdi - Aurangabad: 144 Km.
- Ajanta - Aurangabad: 107 Km.
- Ellora - Aurangabad: 29 Km.
- Daulatabad - Aurangabad: 14 Km.
Ajanta and Ellora Caves
- The Ajanta Caves depict the stories of Buddhism spanning
from the period from 200 B.C. and 650 A.D. These caves were
discovered in the 19th century by some British Officers who had been
on a tiger hunt.These 29 caves were built by Buddhist monks using
simple tools like hammer & chisel. These caves were the retreats
of Buddhist monks who taught and performed rituals in the Chaityas
and Viharas, the ancient seats of learning. The elaborate and
exquisite sculptures and paintings depict stories from Jataka tales.
The caves also house images of nymphs and princesses.The Ajanta
caves and the treasures they house are a landmark in the overall
development of Buddhism as such.
- The Ellora (Verul) Caves have been Carved during 350 A.D. to 700 A.D. these structures represent the three faiths of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. These caves 34 in number are located 29 km. from Aurangabad. They are fascinating and the finest example of cave temple architecture housing elaborate facades and exquisite interiors. The 12 caves to the south are Buddhist, the 17 in the centre dedicated to Hinduism, and the 5 caves to the north are Jain.
- Ghrishneshwar temple is half a kilometer from
the Ellora Caves, and 30 km from Aurangabad. It is an 18th century
temple that presents outstanding architecture and carving. This
place forms one of the five Jyotirlinga sites in Maharashtra where
Lord Shiva is worshipped. The Holkar temple nearby is a must-see.
- Daulatabad, earlier known as Devgiri, is
situated at a distance of 13km from Aurangabad. Also termed as the
city of fortune, it houses a stupendous 12th century fortress well
placed atop a charming hill. This invincible fortress boasts of a 5
kilometer sturdy wall and an intricate series of ramparts. Don't
miss the climb to the very top through the bat cave.
- Bibi ka Maqbara A replica of the Taj Mahal,
the Bibi-ka-Maqbara is the only example of Mughul architecture of
its kind in the Deccan plateau. It was built in 1679 by Aurangzeb's
son, in tribute to his mother, Begum Rabia Durani. It lies in the
city of Aurangabad itself.
- Panchakki Pan Chakki is a 17th century water
mill. The name has been derived from the mill that crushed grain for
the pilgrims. There is a picturesque garden here that houses several
beautiful fish tanks and it plays abode to the memorial of a Sufi
- Aurangabad Caves, a fine piece of
architecture, is presented in the most unembellished manner. The
caves lie just outside the city and are believed to have been
excavated between the 2nd and the 6th century. They house the most
stunningly intricate carvings. There are nine caves in all, most of
them being the viharas. The 4th and the 7th cave are worth a dekko.
The 4th cave stands well supported on 12 columns carved with scenes
depicting the stories from the Jataka tales, whereas the 7th cave is
embedded with carvings of women, adorned with jewels. The main
attraction is the sculpture of a 'Bodhisatva' praying for
- Soneri Mahal, an old historic monument now
converted into museum houses a variety of ancient Indian pottery,
dresses, remains of local palaces and antiques of daily use. A
number of sculptures and reliefs from the local excavations are also
on display. It is located within Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada
University Campus and is on the way to Aurangabad caves.
- History Museum - Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar
Marathwada University also located on the University campus has on
display a good number of ancient Indian paintings, coins, fabrics,
arms, artifacts, etc. The museum collection is huge and has some
fine sculptures from the excavation at Bhokardan, a nearby historic
- Chatrapati Shivaji Museum - As the name
suggests, this museum is dedicated to the great warier of
Maharashtra - Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. A number of exhibits
associated with Lord Shivaji are on display. The museum is on the
way to Ajanta caves from the city.
- Lonar - This is site of a meteor which crashed
on earth some 50,000 years ago and formed a large crater (few
hundred meters in diameter) in the ground.
- Paithan is an ancient taluka town, which lies
56 km to the south of Aurangabad. This place is well known for the
exquisite saris that it specialises in. It was a trade centre
earlier and also the capital of the Satavahanas. MSSIDC (Maharashtra
Small Scale Industrial Development Corporation) has a weaving centre
where the traditional art is still practiced. It has formed a very
important excavation site recently. Of the few attractions found
nearby, the Jayakwadi dam is a treat to the eyes of the avid bird
watchers. Next is the Dnyaneshwar Udyan, which is supposedly
Maharashtra's largest garden planned and landscaped on the lines of
the Vrindavan gardens at Mysore.
- Gautala Wildlife Sanctuary is a dense forest
reserve, with rare flora and fauna, almost 70 Km. Northwest of
Aurangabad. Home to leopards, bears, wolves, hyenas, jackals, flying
squirrels and 85 different species of colourful birds.
- Pitalkhora lies peacefully nestled in the
Satmala ranges of the Sahyadris, at a distance of 78km from
Aurangabad. There are 13 cave sanctuaries embedded in this region.
These monasteries date back from 2nd century BC to 5th century AD.
Rich carvings with elaborate details can be seen in these monuments.
WARNING: The side road to reach Pitalkhora from the main Aurangabad
road is in an extremely bad shape. Don't go unless you have a
SUV/Tata Sumo type of vehicle. The caves are reachable via a
footbridge that is in a very bad shape. There is not much to see in
the caves except for half-finished carvings.
- Siddharth Garden is a beautiful landscaped garden, with good variety of trees and shrubs. There is a small aquarium inside the garden, however the biggest attraction is the Siddharth Garden Zoo, with a large variety of animals, viz. Lions, Tigers (White & Bengal), Leopards, Crocodiles, Snakes (Snake-house), Civet cats, Hyena, Fox, Porcupine, Emu, Deers and sprawling lawns to sit and have a great picnic.