Aurangabad A historical city, Aurangabad is rightly called the “Heart of Maharashtra” for its rich cultural legacy.


Aurangabad, the famous city of Maharashtra, is a heritage hub with great history, culture and diversity. The city was earlier known as Fatehpur and renamed Aurangabad when Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb made it his capital. It is a popular tourist destination bearing the marks of its glorious history stretching back to the Buddhist era. Aurangabad is well-known as the 'City of Gates' for the walls enclosing its central part built by Emperor Aurangzeb. The UNESCO world heritage sites of Ajanta and Ellora Caves top the list of its historical monuments along with sites related to the Mughal and Maratha periods.

Places to see

Aurangabad, the historically and culturally important city of Maharashtra, offers tourists a lot to explore.

Ajanta Caves

Located at a distance of 107 km from Aurangabad, these historical caves are famous for their narrative murals. The 30 Buddhist caves in Ajanta, dated from 2nd Century BC to 6th Century AD, are the best examples of wall paintings. There are two types of caves - finished and unfinished. Out of them five are “Chaityagrihas” (Buddhist shrines or prayer halls with a stupa) while the rest are “Viharas” (Buddhist monasteries). Beautiful sculptures and paintings adorn these caves. The paintings are based on Buddhist themes, and depict the life events of the Buddha, Avadana stories of Bodhisattva, various Jataka stories (pertaining to Buddha's previous life) and panels based on Mahayana themes from Vaipulya Sutras. The ceilings of the caves have decorative, geometrical and floral patterns. These stupefying caves were discovered by a British Army officer in 1819 during a hunting expedition. The caves are so magnificent that they will completely overwhelm you.

Ellora Caves

These caves, situated at 30 km from Aurangabad, happen to be one of the most captivating archaeological sites in Maharashtra. There are 34 caves in Ellora which are great example of rock-cut architecture. These caves are world-famous for their excavation out of the vertical side of the hills. The sanctuaries inside the caves are dedicated to Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, representing religious tolerance during ancient India. The great Kailasa Temple (cave 16) is an exceptional hand-carved cave made by using a single monolithic rock. It is a unique artistic creation which includes a gateway, exhibition area, square, hall, hut, sanctorum and tower displaying the Dravidian art.   



The beautiful mausoleum is dedicated to Rabia-ul-Daurani, the wife of Emperor Aurangazeb, which was built by her son Prince Azam Shah between 1651 and 1661 AD. It is also known as the "Taj of Deccan" for its resemblance to the Taj Mahal of Agra. However, due to decline in architecture and proportions of the structure, the mausoleum has come out as a poor imitation of the latter. Ata-ullah, the son of Ustad Ahmed Lahauri who was the chief architect of the Taj Mahal, designed the mausoleum. It is just 5 km away from Aurangabad, and has become a popular tourist spot.

Aurangabad Caves

These caves are located near Bibi-ka-Maqbara and have 12 rock-hewn Buddhist Caves of three separate groups depending on their locations. The first group comprises caves 1 to 5, the second 6 to 9 and the third 10 to 12 dating back to circa 2nd - 3rd century AD to 7th century AD. Out of them, cave number 3 and 7 are regarded as most engrossing. The place is a beautiful destination worth exploring.


Daulatabad Fort

Also known as Deogiri or Devagiri Fort, the impressive monument was constructed by the Yadava rulers of Deogiri in the 11th century AD. The Yadavas were defeated by Alauddin Khilji in 1296 AD. Muhammad-bin-Tughluq succeeded the Khiljis at Delhi and shifted his capital from Delhi to here in 1327 and renamed it Daulatabad. Spread in an area of 95 hectares, the fort is a brilliant structure in terms of military engineering and town planning with unique water management system. It is considered to be one of the best preserved forts in the world which has retained its originality without any alterations.

Grishneshwar Mandir

The temple is believed to be restored by Malojiraje Bhosle, Chhatrapati Shivaji’s ancestor in the early 17th century. It is 30 km from Aurangabad and is extremely revered for being the abode of one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. The temple was renovated by Queen Ahilyabai Holkar, the erstwhile ruler of Indore State, in the 18th century. With its elegantly sculpted walls, the temple represents a fine example of Bhoomija architecture with influences of Maratha style.


Luxury hotels

There are numerous hotels in Aurangabad offering a sumptuous experience, making your trip more pleasurable.

Vivanta by Taj

Sprawling in 5 acres, the palace-styled hotel boasts of its landscaped gardens, warm hospitality and impeccable services. Book a room in this grand hotel and remain tensionless as all your needs will be taken care of by the hotel efficiently. Here you get amazing accommodation, business facilities, banqueting facilities, dining options and all other high-end facilities; the end result of which is an authentic experience. Its every single thing carrying a royal touch set it apart from its rivals. It is a remarkable hotel with royal grandeur and picture perfect elegance.


WelcomHotel Rama International

It is a five star hotel consisting of 132 rooms, including five deluxe suites. Spread in 14 acres of land, the hotel is embellished with beautiful interiors with wooden and marble flooring and lavish hospitality. It is convenient and comfortable to both business and leisure travellers. Apart from its main amenities, the hotel offers spa, salon and health club; 24-hour concierge service, currency exchange and room service; swimming pool; valet and self-parking. In room facilities include internet usage at the business centre for 30 minutes per day, electronic safe, multi-channel television, daily newspaper, guest stationary, bottled mineral water, tea/coffee maker, personal care, etc.

Hotel Ambassador Ajanta

This majestic five star luxury hotel comes with splendid hospitality and effortless services. The building of the hotel is traditionally Gujarat-styled. Set amidst 14 acres of lush greenery, the hotel rooms are decked with antique furnishings and conservative décor. Its suites have living areas adorned with Buddhist artefacts and paintings. The hotel offers facilities like banquet halls, business centre, shopping arcade, travel desk, outdoor pool, a spa, a fitness centre with a track and sports courts, etc. It also features a multi-cuisine restaurant with ethnically styled bar called “Garbah”. Apart from these, there are also four star hotels like Lemon Tree Hotel and Hotel Quality Inn Meadows which are looked upon for their superb service standards, ensuring you a great time in the city.


Luxury trains

Add more grandeur to your Aurangabad tour by opting for a royal ride on luxury trains. These trains offer you a golden chance to revisit the magnificence and royalty of the bygone era. The Deccan Odyssey comes with 6 meticulously designed itineraries. Out of these, the Maharashtra Splendour and the Maharashtra Wild Trail will take you to the most beautiful destinations of Aurangabad namely - marvellous cave temples of Ajanta and Ellora along the western seaboard. A journey on these trains is an outstanding experience.  

Shopping: Aurangabad is world famous for its arts and crafts. One can get legendary paithani silk sarees, himru shawls, mashru and kimkhab which are weaved here. Bidriware, once patronized by the Mughals, is an intricate silver inlay craft. Also, a wide range of jewellery made of semi-precious stones is quite popular among tourists.

When to go: With summer season (March to May) being too hot and monsoon (June to September) being difficult for sightseeing, it is advisable to visit the city during winters (November to February) to get the best views of the city when the weather remains pleasant.

Getting Aurangabad

By Air: Aurangabad is the closest airport at about 10 km.

By Rail: With its own railway station, Aurangabad has good connectivity with major cities of India, including Maharashtra. By Road: There are government and private buses which regularly operate in Aurangabad. One can also hire cabs which are easily available.

Aurangabad - a spectacular city

With its splendid monuments, Aurangabad finds a significant place in the history of India.

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