Bibi Ka Maqbara
Gates in Aurangabad
Salim Ali Lake
Welcome to Aurangabad,
Aurangabad is a district in Maharashtra, India. It is located mainly in the Godavari River Basin and partly in the Tapi River Basin. Aurangabad, meaning "Built by the Throne", named after Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.
The city is a tourist hub, surrounded with many historical monuments, including the Ajanta Caves and Ellora Caves as well as Bibi Ka Maqbara. Aurangabad is said to be a 'City of Gates' and one cannot ignore the strong presence of these as one drives through the city. Aurangabad is also one of the fastest growing cities in the world. Traditional Himroo fabric, which has a blend of both cotton and silk, is found here. Paithani silk saris, and traditional handloom shawls are the major attractions in this factory. Famous places are Ajanta-Ellora Caves, Panchakki, Bibi Ka Maqbara, Kali Masjid and Jumma Masjid, Salim Ali Lake etc.
Ajanta Caves in Maharashtra, India are 28 - 30 rock-cut cave monuments created during the first century BCE and 5th century AD, containing paintings and sculptures considered to be masterpieces of both Buddhist religious art and universal pictorial art.
The caves are located just outside the village of Ajin'ha in Aurangabad district in the Indian state of Maharashtra (N. lat. 20 deg. 30' by E. long. 75 deg. 40'). Since 1983, the Ajanta Caves have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The caves are traditionally numbered starting from the one closest to the village.
Aurangabad Caves were excavated from the soft rock during the 6th and 7th century. These caves, ten in number, are divided into two separate locations - Western Group Caves having caves 1-5 and Eastern Group Caves having caves 6-10, located 1 km apart. The designing and image is molded by Tantric Hinduism.
Cave 4 from Western Group group is the oldest cave. The remaining four Western caves are viharas depicting an early type of Buddhist monastery. Cave 6 which belongs to the Eastern Group has a large statute of Buddha supported with a form of Ganesh and Cave 7 has forms of women which are barely clad and bejeweled.
Bani Begum Gardens are located 24 kilometres from Aurangabad at Khuldabad and surrounded the tomb of the consort of one of Aurangzeb's son. One can come across fluted pillars, massive domes and fountains that are built is various different styles.
The ruins of Aurangabad are a place of interest to romantic tourists. The ruins have more than a ghastly interest. The Baradari Iwaz Khan Aqueduct is also a place of ruins in Aurangabad. Only rubbles of this complex remains. The years have beaten-up the walls. The force of the attacks of the Marathas also have to an extend played a role in battering up the walls. The Baradari Iwaz Khan Aqueduct shows the style of architecture and now it is also in a state of ruins in the present days.
Barra Darri along with the Damri Mahal are loacted close to the Delhi gate in Aurangabad. The Mahal is new occupied by the Collector's Office. The Barra Darri and the adjoining buildings were erected by Ivaz Khan. A covered aqueduct passes over one of the buildings and in the olden days water descended in a shower into an oblong cistern below containing several fountains. It is now inoperative.
The Bibi Ka Maqbara is a beautiful mausoleum of Rabia ul Daurani also known as Dilras Banu Begum, the wife of the Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb. This mausoleum is believed to be constructed during 1651 to 1661 A.D by Prince Azam Shah, the son of Aurangzeb in memory of his mother. The mausoleum draws its inspiration from the world famous Taj Mahal of Agra and hence it is known as the "Taj of Deccan"and Mini Taj or Baby Taj.
The Maqbara is erected beyond a locality called Begumpura. The Mausoleum stands within an enclosed area measuring 500 yards by 300 yards. The surrounding high wall is crenellated with pointed arched recesses on the outside. There are bastions at intervals, and the recesses are divided by pilasters crowned with little minarets. The centre of the southern wall is occupied by a handsome portal entrance closed by folding doors which are covered with a running foliage pattern in brass. The structure is in the form of a hexagon and angles are ornamented with minarets.
Cannought is a shoppers paradise of Aurangabad. The place has a Kam Khab, the golden and silver thread blended with cotton to make the dainty Himroo shawls and sarees. These products are available in many showrooms in and the market area.
Complex patterns of flowers, peacocks, parrots and the caves of Ajanta and Ellora are used as borders of sarees. Paithan sarees are being weaved and they follow age old traditions. The shopping market of Cannought is now becoming very popular. It is making its place slowly but surely amongst the younger generation.
The Chauki-ki-masjid is one of the masjids and dargahs that are scattered in and around the old city of Aurangabad. The Chauki-ki-Masjid was built by Aurangzeb's uncle. It was built by Shayista Khan who was Aurangzeb's uncle in 1665 A.D. The Chauki-ki-masjid has five pointed arches in front. It is two arches deep. The arches are connected by eight pillars. They support five domes.
The central dome is elevated and has a metallic steeple. The other domes are hidden in the roof. Minarets at the corners can also be seen. The complete structure has a high basement which contains chambers. These chambers were used for shops and opens on the roadside.
Damri Mahal was built after the completion of the Barra Darri. It is so named because it was constructed by levying a contribution of a 'damri' or the quarter of a dub, on an labourers employed on Barra Darri.
The Dargah of Pir Ismail was constructed in memory of Pir Ismail the tutor of the prince Auranzeb. The garden in the Dargah consists of many destroyed water tanks and fountains. The gate is magisterial and it has a large pointed archway. It forms sort of a portico.
The actual entrance is by way of a small pointed arch which is at the extreme. The parapet is neatly decorated. The fa?ade has 3 little windows with pointed arches. The corners of the terrace has a tower which is surmounted with a bulging dome and spire. The Dargah is square and has 5 pointed arches on each side.
Daulatabad is situated 13 km from Aurangabad. The fort stands on a pyramid shaped hill. It was previously known as Devgiri. Bhillama, the king of the Yadav dynasty built it in the 12th century. It was Mohammed Bin Tughlaq who gave the name Daulatabad which means city of fortune.
The fort of the city is built on top of a high hill. It is surrounded by thick walls and has transfixed gates. Steep slip ways and a deep ditch can also be seen. Curled network of secret, teasing and underground transitions can also be seen in the fort.
Dnyaneshwar Udyan is the largest garden in Maharashtra resembling the Vrindavan Gardens of Mysore, situated on the banks of Nathsagar Lake formed due to Jayakwadi Dam. It is located in the ancient town of Paithan which is 40 km south of Aurangabad. Out of the 125 hectares, orchids cover 26 hectares, 28 hectares are laid out as parks and 15 hectares beautified with floriculture. Colourful flowerbeds, vast lawns and musical fountains are the attractions of the udyan.
Ten plazas (raised platforms), twenty-two fountains are added features. More than a hundred thousand trees, in addition to the forty thousand fruit trees are the pride of the garden. There is also a nursery selling saplings and spices. A children's play area, swimming pool and boat rides make this spot ideal for weekend picnics. Evenings are the best time to visit Dnyaneshwar Udyan.
Ellora is an archaeological site, 30 km (19 mi) from the city of Aurangabad in the Indian state of Maharashtra built by the Rashtrakuta rulers. Well-known for its monumental caves, Ellora is a World Heritage Site. Ellora represents the epitome of Indian rock-cut architecture.
The 34 "caves" actually structures excavated out of the vertical face of the Charanandri hills being Buddhist, Hindu and Jain rock cut temples and monasteries, were built between the 5th century and 10th century. The 12 Buddhist (caves 1-12), 17 Hindu (caves 13-29) and 5 Jain (caves 30-34) caves, built in proximity, demonstrate the religious harmony prevalent during this period of Indian history.
Gates in Aurangabad are one of the various things that makes Aurangabad stand out from the several other medieval cities in India are its 52 gates each of which have a local history or had individuals linked with them. Not many people are aware of the fact that Aurangabad is also known as the City of Gates.
Some of them are following - Kaala Darwaza, Jaffar Gate, Naubat Darwaza, Mahmud Darwaza, Makai Gate
Bhadkal Gate, Delhi Gate, Rangeen Darwaza, Roshan Gate, Barapulla Gate, Paithan Gate
Gautala Sanctuary is a sanctuary situated at a distance of 65 km from Aurangabad. Spread in the hill ranges of Sahyadri in the proximity of Aurangabad and Chalisgaon. The diversified vegetation scattered intermittently support rich faunal and floral diversity. Particularly it is good for the development of sloth bear habitat and for resident and migratory birds.
Ghrishneshwar Temple is a Hindu temple located in Verul very near to the Ellora Caves and about 30 km from Aurangabad. It was built during 1765 and 1795. The construction of the temple was done by Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore. The temple is built of red volcanic rock and it delivers a characteristic appearance.
The most impressing feature of Ghrishneshwar Temple is the 5 tier shikara. The shikara rises in decreasing height. The height is then increased with the help of the high wall component of the sanctum. An unerect bull at each corner and monkey behind it is the crown of the Shikara. The temple is of great importance as the presiding deity is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India.
Like all other cities in India, Aurangabad also features a large number of bazaars. Gul Mandi is also one of the largest bazaars in Aurangabad. Exchanging also takes place in these markets. Varities of goods are sold in this market. The products changes on all days and the products available depends on the day the market is visited. But these bazaars do not have genuine shopping malls. The best quality products are sold in the markets. The special products are the Paithani saris. Different varieties of garments and Himroo silk stuff is also available.
The Himayat Bagh is 17th century garden that now houses the Fruit Research Station and Nursery, which is a part of the Marathwada Agricultural University. It is located near Delhi Gate in Rauza Bagh area of Aurangabad. It is a sprawling complex spread over 300 acres, naturally green and in the olden days it was known as the Mughal garden.
The Himayat Bagh is a tourist attraction in itself because of its greenery and cool environment. Visitors can have a look at various plants and trees in the nursery, on which research is being conducted.
The Himroo Factory is a major tourist attraction of Aurangabad. The conventional Himroo fabric is available here. The Himroo material is an amazing mix of cotton and silk and it is known for its quality. Pathani saris and conventional handloom shawals can also be seen here. The materials of other factories and Himroo material and silver threads are also available here. The designs and the patterns on these fabrics are the inspirations which is derieved from the Ajanta paintings. The locale of the Himroo Factory is ideal. The factory is near Zaffar Gate in the old town.
The Jama Masjid is located near the Killa Arrak. It has 50 polygonal pillars. These pillars are arranged in 5 rows. They are connected by a system of arches. This divides the building into 27 equal compartments. Each compartment is covered by a small domical vault which is simple but elegantlly designed.
Out of the 9 pointed arches in the front 5 were erected by Malik Ambar. A roomy court in front of the mosque, has open buildings on 3 sides for travellers. A water tank in the middle of the court, is provided with water from the Malik Ambar canal.
Jayakwadi dam is one of the largest irrigation projects in Maharashtra.It is a multipurpose project. Its water is used mainly to irrigate agricultural land in the drought prone Marathwada region of Maharashtra state. It also provides water for drinking and industrial usage to nearby towns and villages and to the municipalities and industrial areas of Aurangabad and Jalna.The surrounding area of the dam has a beautiful garden and a bird santuary.
Kailash Temple(Kailashnath Temple), also Kailasanatha Temple is one of the 34 monasteries and temples, extending over more than 2 km, that were dug side by side in the wall of a high basalt cliff in the complex located at Ellora, Maharashtra, India, and represents the epitome of Indian rock-cut architecture.
s of rocks was scooped out over hundreds of years to construct this monolithic structure. From the chisel marks on walls of this temple, archeologists could conclude that three types of chisels were used to carve this temple.
Kali Masjid and Jumma Masjid were built by Malik Ambar. Malik Ambar is said to have built seven mosques which go by the general name of Kali masjid. The Kali masjid is in Juna Bazar area and was erected in 1600 A. D. It is a six-pillared stone-building standing on a high plinth.
The Jumma masjid of Malik Ambar is near the Killa Arrak. There are nine pointed arches in front. Of these, five were erected by Malik Ambar in 1612 A. D. and the remaining four were added by Aurangzeb. In the centre of the court there is a cistern drawing its supply from the Malik Amber canal popularly known as Nahar Amberi.
Khuldabad is a walled town lying at a distance of 24 km. from Aurangabad. The town of Khuldabad contains the shrines of the most famous saints of the Dakhan. Initially it was known as Rauza meaning Garden of Paradise. It is known as the Valley of Saints, or the Abode of Eternity, because in the 14th century, several Sufi saints chose to reside here. The tomb of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb and his trusted general Qamar-ud-din Khan, Asaf Jah I first Nizam of Hyderabad are located in this town, so is the tomb of Malik Ambar.
Mhaismal is a hill station located 33 km from Aurangabad, is another tourist spot. Mhaismal originally called Maheshmal. An ancient temple of Girijamata is in the village and an exact replica of Lord Balaji temple, Tirupati is located at the top of hill. It is a small but beautiful hill station situated in the vicinity of Ellora caves has also become a hotspot for adventure sports like paragliding and parasailing.
The Naukhanda palace was built by Malik Ambar in 1616 upon the summit of a rising ground. The massive portal gateway leading to this, over which the Naubatkhana sounded, was called Barkal. When Nizam Ali Khan was at Aurangabad, he occupied the Naukonda Palace. The whole building is in ruins now. The palace consists of 5 zananas. It also consists a Dewan-i-Am, a Dewan-i-Khas, a masjid and a Kachari. Each section of the palace is provided with a garden and a water tank.
The central part of the palace is in a good state. Also a hamam meaning hot bath which is attached to the palace is also in a fine shape. The wood work and the ornament plaster are missing. The kachari consists a gadi of the Nizams.
Paithan is a historic city located 56 km south of Aurangabad on the banks of Godavari River. Previously known as Prathisthan, it served as the capital of the Satavahana dynasty of ancient India that ruled from 2nd century BC to 2nd century AD.
Paithan was home to the great Maharashtrian saint Eknath of Hindu religion. Lots of people flock every year to his samadhi during the time of Paithan Yatra, also known as NathShashti. The town is also famous for the Jain temple dedicated to Bhagwan Munisuvratnath who was 20th Jain Tirthankar.
Panchakki also known as the water mill, takes its name from the mill which used to grind grain for the pilgrims. This monument located in Aurangabad, Maharastra, displays the scientific thought process put in medieval Indian architecture. It was designed to generate energy via water brought down form a spring on a mountain. The building, attached to the dargah of Baba Shah Musafir a Sufi saint is located in a garden near the Mahmud Darvaza and consist of a mosque, a madrissa, a kacheri, a minister's house, a sarai and houses for zananas.
Pariyon ka Talab (Fairies Lake) situated at a distance of 30 km from Aurangabad at Khuldabad, is a large lake with steps all along its western shore and a stage like platform which bears great resemblance to the ancient Roman Amphitheatre. On Its banks is the mausoleum of Ganj Rawan Ganj Baksh, believed to be the earliest Mohammedan saint of the Deccan. Pari-ka-talab is also known as Ganj Rawan Talab.
The Pitalkhora Caves also known as Brazen Glen are a group of caves nestled in the Satmala ranges of the Sahyadris, located near Kannad at a distance of 78 kilometres from Aurangabad. Pitalkhora consisting of 14 Buddhist Caves and it forms one of the earliest centres of the rock-cut architecture. These monasteries embedded with rich carvings with elaborate details date back to the 2nd century BC to 5th century AD. The sculptural representations here are similar to that of found in the stupas of Sanchi, Karla, Nasik, of the same period.
The Purwar Museum is a small museum situated in Sarafa road. The museum is housed in a fantastic old haveli. The museum has exquisite collections of a retired doctor. The personal collections of doctor Purwar is on display since the year 1970. The collections in the museum consists of a 500 year old chain maul suit, a copy of the kuran written by Auranzeb. The museum also contains an 800 year old paithani sari as exhibit. An old timer shop is located near the museum.
Quila-E-Ark(Killa Arak) was built in 1692, when Aurangzeb ordered a palace to be built and named it as the Killa Arrak. Aurangzeb in the year 1692 had ordered to built a palace. This palace is called the Killa Arak. The space enclosed by the Killa Arrak or citadel covered nearly the whole ground between the Mecca and Delhi gates of the city. It had four or five gateways and a nagarkhana for the musicians. The Am Khas or the Darbar Hall, and the Jumma masjid are the only remains of interest.
Salim Ali Sarovar (lake) popularly known as Salim Ali Talab is located near Delhi Gate, opposite Himayat Bagh, Aurangabad. It is located in the northern part of the city. During the Mughal period it was known as Khiziri Talab. It has been renamed after the great ornithologist and naturalist Salim Ali. The office of Divisional Commissioner Aurangabad Division is located near it.
Shahganj Masjid occupyies the largest market squares of Aurangabad and is one of the finest edifices of its class to be found in India. The mosque built in about 1720 A.D. by Khafi Khan, constructed in the Indo-Saracenic style, and supported on stone pillars. The interior contains twenty four pillars, which with six pilasters in the back wall, are arranged in the form of a square.
There are minarets at the corners of the main building, and at the end angels of the Kham Khas. The courtyard in front contains two large cisterns. The entrance is in the form of a little mosque, with a pointed arch and two minarets.
The Siddjartj Garden is situated in the heart of the city. It is placed near the station road. The garden is spread over a large area and it has a green outlook. The Siddharth Garden is one of the most popular outdoor recreational centers of Aurangabad. There is a small aquarium in the garden. Large areas of grass flanked by shurbs and trees is fantastic to watch. There is also a good spot for picnic. Variety of games can also be played in the garden.
The Sunheri Mahal was constructed by a Bandalkand chief who came with Auranzeb into the Dakhan. The Mahal is located in Paharsingpura, which is a suburb of Aurangabad. The structure is made of stone and lime. The Mahal has a high pedestal but it is now in dilapidations. The paintings in the Mahal were once painted of gold and so the name Sunheri Mahal. The Sunheri Mahal finishes the Mughal grandness with its remnants of glory that rejects to fade.
The city was a major silk and cotton textile production centre. A fine blend of silk with locally grown cotton was developed as Himroo textile. Much of the silk industry has vanished over time, but some manufacturers have managed to keep the tradition alive. Paithani silk saris are also made in Aurangabad. The name of this cloth is derived from Paithan town.
The Himroo material is an amazing mix of cotton and silk and it is known for its quality. Pathani saris and conventional handloom shawals can also be seen here. The materials of other factories and Himroo material and silver threads are also available here.
- Hutatma Stumbh, Alamgir Mosque, Begumpura, Kham river and City Walls of Aurangabad etc.