Aurangabad, one of the extremely populous cities of Maharashtra, is a prevalent tourist hub that fascinates thousands of visitors from around the country. Famously better known as the “City of Gates”, Aurangabad got its name from the erstwhile Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb who made this city the capital throughout his reign. Aurangabad is home to several prevalent tourist sites and is also located very close to Ajanta and Ellora Caves, the UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1993.
The city is dotted by different resplendent Mughal architectures, protruding among them being Bibi ka Maqbara, which has stood the test of time and still marvels at the onlookers who visit these locations. Aurangabad is also an overflowing hub of attractive silk and handwoven outfits, loved and sought after by locals and travelers alike. To truly embrace the amusing history and culture of this city, let’s take a look at the best places to visit in Aurangabad.
Table of Contents
Best 11 Places To Visit In Aurangabad
- Ajanta Caves
- Ellora Caves
- Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum
- Bibi Ka Maqbara
- Daulatabad Fort
- Salim Ali Lake
- Bani Begum Garden
- Pitalkhora Caves
- Zainuddin Shirzai’s Maqbara
- Lonar Crater Lake
- Soneri Mahal
Dated back to the 2nd century, Ajanta Caves are one of the most visited locations in Aurangabad Maharashtra. Professed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1983, these caves are a bright example of ancient Indian rock architecture. Murals, paintings, and carvings on the walls of these caves characterize three dissimilar religions, namely Buddhism, Jainism, and Hinduism, it is one of the best tourist places in Aurangabad.
Historians have faith that ancient Buddhist monks utilized these caves for seeking illumination. The Ajanta Caves itself have nearly 30 rock-cut Buddhist cave memorials while Ellora Caves have nearly 34 cave monuments. The Kailasa in Ellora Cave 16 is concerned as the world’s largest megalith unearthing, which is engraved out of a single rock.
It is an impressive epitome of Dravidian architecture showcasing the accomplished workmanship of that duration. Other protuberant caves that are prevalent among tourists involve Vishwakarma (cave 10) Dashavatara ( cave 15), Rameshvara (cave 21), and IndraSabha (cave 32), these caves are also among one the best places to visit nearby Shirdi.
Another architectural intelligence of a bygone era, Ellora Caves is also among the not to miss locations to visit near Aurangabad. Situated nearly 29 km from the city center, this chain of caves was constructed by the Rashtrakuta dynasty of the Buddhist clan and the Yadav group of the Jains. A must-visit UNESCO World Heritage site in Maharashtra, this series of caves also showcases the faultlessness and essence of the pre-historic times of Indian culture. With comprehensive and intricate carvings, the caves are now given different numbers.
Among all these, the Dashavatara; cave number 15, Kailasanatha Temple; cave number 16, Vishwakarma; cave number 10, Rameshvara; cave number 21 and IndraSabha; cave number 32, are the most prevalent and sought after in the Ellora Cave. The indications of a bygone era, the assorted history, architectural brilliance, and grandeur of this chain of caves make it one of the most prevalent tourist places near Aurangabad.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum
One of the best places to visit in Aurangabad is Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum which is enthusiastic about the courageous legendary Maratha fighter Chhatrapati Shivaji’s life and influence. The museum has 6 halls for an exhibition where several historically proficient things are on display. Take a walk back into history by browsing through several old war weapons, ancient rifles, sword shields, and artifacts utilized to defeat the Mughals.
The galleries also have different old images of the forts that Shivaji conquered and constructed during his lifetime. Other attractions involve a Copy of the holy Quran written by Aurangzeb, a war suit dating back to 500 years, a Paithani Saree which is 400 years old and so many more. A tour of this museum will teach you about the magnificent past of the Marathas.
Bibi Ka Maqbara
Bibi Ka Maqbara is a replica of the prevalent love symbol Taj Mahal and is one of the most ancient places to visit in Aurangabad. Seemed after by the Archeological Survey of India, this mausoleum was constructed by Prince Azam Shah, who was Aurangzeb’s son, in reminiscence of his beloved mother Begum Rabia Durani. Named Mini Taj, this tomb will leave you impressed with its attractive marble decorated up to the dado level.
These marbles are said to be brought from the mines of beautiful Jaipur. As per the engraving laid on the main entrance, Bibi Ka Maqbara was founded by Ata-Ullah and Hanspat Rai, two popular architects of the Mughal Empire. The mausoleum is founded on a square platform and is comprised of 4 minarets at its corners. There is also an archaeological museum and a mosque just behind making it one of the best tourist places in Aurangabad.
Situated 15 km away from the major city of Aurangabad, Daulatabad Fort is an antique fortification that augments horrendously from the midst of verdant greenery. Often addressed as one of the ‘seven wonders of Maharashtra’, this architectural marvel has faith to have been constructed in the 12th century. Also better known as Devgiri fort, perhaps the most captivating quality is its location, from the zenith of which you can seize a mesmerizing view of the entire city. You require to hike some 750-odd steps up to the top, but the view down below is a delightful thing to behold.
One of the most exciting aspects of the Daulatabad Fort is its design which makes it one of the most commanding fortresses of the medieval period. It is constructed on a 200 meters high conical hill, which delivers this grand fortress with a strategic position, architectural beauty, and protection from enemies. Another unique factor of the enormous Devgiri Fort is its engineering genius, which not only delivered an unassailable defense against enemy forces but also managed inimitable resources of water quite well. The contrast of the antique edifice against the lush green fields of Aurangabad paints a delightful picture that takes you back through the pages of the day’s bygone.
Salim Ali Lake
Salim Ali Lake was named Khiziri Talab throughout the Mughal Period and later called after naturalist Salim Ali, who is also better known as the Birdman of India. There’s a small bird sanctuary around the lake, so visitors often get to see dissimilar migratory birds throughout the nesting season.
The lake opens boating facilities during the monsoon and winter seasons. The neighboring area of the lake has more than 16 species of trees, 10 variabilities of algae, 16 types of aquatic insects, 9 variabilities of fish, 7 types of rodents and mammals, 8 climbers, and 15 species of reptiles.
Bani Begum Garden
Teeming with an air of tranquility and royalty, Bani Begum Garden is, without uncertainty, one of the best places to visit in Aurangabad. The garden is called after Bani Begum, Aurangzeb’s daughter-in-law, whose tomb is situated in the heart of the site.
In addition to a refreshing ambiance generated by the existence of lush grass, swaying trees, and attractive fountains, the site also exhibitions specimens of Mughal architecture through elegantly constructed domes and pillars. If not to learn about the past of Aurangabad, visit this place to spend an informal day in its calm surroundings.
The Pitalkhora Caves are an antique rock-cut cave belonging to the 2nd century BC and are one of the great examples of Buddhist architecture across India. These cave tributes were carved out of basalt rock, which is extremely vulnerable to weather and hence most of the caves have been harshly damaged over the years.
Set in the Western Ghats alongside an enthralling waterfall, Pitalkhora Caves also better known as “Brazen Glen” is a must-visit place for apprehending and observing the surreal prettiness of Maharashtra as it’s one of the best Aurangabad tourist places.
Zainuddin Shirzai’s Maqbara
One of the prevalent places to see in Aurangabad, Zainuddin Shirzai’s Maqbara is well-known for its diverse history and enthusiastic saints. Among these popular saints, one was Syed Zain-ud-Din, who was born in Delhi and a believer of Maulana Kamaluddin in Samana. He finally came to Daulatabad with his teacher and originated the ‘Christian Order’.
He enthusiastic his life to propagandize the well-being of individuals. After his death, a cenotaph was established to memorialize his prodigious contributions to society. A maqbara called Zainuddin Shirzai’s Maqbara was constructed in Khuldabad and is now visited by Muslims from all over the globe.
Lonar Crater Lake
Nearly 3 hours from Aurangabad, the Lonar Crater Lake in the Buldhana district of Maharashtra is also among the imperative places to visit near Aurangabad. A study point of different geologists, ecologists, archaeologists, naturalists, astronomers, and ambitious students, this lake was created owing to the impact of a meteor that is better known to be the greatest of its kind.
The huge mass and velocity of the meteor, after it hit the ground, generated a saline soda lake that measures nearly 1.2 km in diameter and 137 m in depth. Though in the starting, the origin of this captivating lake was believed to be owing to a volcanic eruption, later studies on the Lonar Crater Lake ensured that it is the impact of a meteor that generated it. Oval in shape, it is enclosed by a series of low-lying hills and lush greeneries. In addition to the astonishing outlook of the lake, the surrounding also adds to its charming beauty and charm.
Situated 2 kilometers from the disreputable Bibi Ka Maqbara and nearly 6 kilometers from the Aurangabad Railway Station, is the last remaining Palace around the city, Soneri Mahal. This historical Palace is said to have resultant its name from the golden paintings that decked it in the past. These paintings have now vanished, leaving the two-storeyed spacious building, which has Rajput-style architecture.
The Palace has a museum that displays ancient pottery, sculptures, household items, antiques, and remains of local palaces. This museum is positioned on the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University campus. Soneri Mahal in Aurangabad is the location where the Ajanta and Ellora cave festivals are now held. Famous artists, musicians, and dancers are asked to the palace to elegance the four-day festival. The grandeur of the palace augments manifolds with sparkling lights and decorations. The Sunheri Mahal stands as a personification of architectural splendor, with elaborate details and a well-manicured garden.
Best time to visit Aurangabad
Prevalently known as the City of Gates, Aurangabad can be visited at any time during the complete year. However, Winter from October to March is the best time to visit Aurangabad to discover the historical monuments of the city. Winters are enjoyable and the temperature is fairly chilly in Aurangabad. This is also the perfect time for sightseeing and outdoor activities. This is also a good season to visit neighboring heritage sites like Ajanta & Ellora Caves and most of the tourist desire to visit Ajanta & Ellora Caves along with their Aurangabad trip.
December to February is the peak season and fascinates a large number of tourists throughout this season. Most of the tours are scheduled to visit Aurangabad during the Christmas and New Year holiday time. Hotels are frequently expensive during this season owing to the large crowd heading to this region.
How to reach Aurangabad?
By Air: Aurangabad Airport links the city to all the foremost parts of the country. It has linking flights to Pune, Delhi, Udaipur, Jaipur, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Nagpur. From the airport, buses and cars are conveniently available to all the foremost tourist places of the city.
By Road: Aurangabad is aided by two bus stations namely Central Bus station and CIDCO bus station, located nearly 6 km away from each other. Both government and private buses, function as daily services, thereby linking the city to other foremost Indian cities by road.
By Rail: Aurangabad railway station has upright rail connectivity with Mumbai, Hyderabad, Nasik, Delhi, Shirdi Nasik, Pune, Madurai, Amritsar, Bhopal, Chennai, Rajkot, and many more. Regular trains to Aurangabad are accessible from all the foremost railway stations around the country.
Aurangabad has a very well-urbanized transport system that caters to the flow of tourists traveling through the city daily. It is one of the foremost silk and cotton textile production centers in India. Paithani silk sarees are the gift of Aurangabad. Apart from these textile industries, it is a hub of different automobile and electronic industries. The city has an enormous collection of historical and architectural marvels, which are acclaimed around the universe.
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