Located around 99 km from the town of Aurangabad, lie the Ajanta Caves now included in the list of UNESCO World heritage Sites. Ajanta caves depict the Buddhist culture and their stories through various sculptures and paintings. This historical place in Aurangabad also takes you to the world of Jatakas.
Another World Heritage Site that the town boasts of, are the Ellora caves, that one must not miss while in Aurangabad. The sculptures here, represent elements of three religions and do so grandly and beautifully.
Having a striking resemblance to Taj Mahal, the Bibi ka Maqbara is a beautiful mausoleum of Rabia- Ul - Daurani alias Dilras Banu Begum, the wife of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Bibi ka Maqbara was constructed by Aurangzeb in the year 1661 in the memory of his wife. Aurangzeb attributed this magnificent edifice in the name of his son Azam Shah who was born in the year 1653, so as to commemorate Rabia - Ul - Daurani, who left for her heavenly abode in the year 1657.
A kilometre-long walk away from Ellora caves, the 18th-century historical place in Aurangabad of one of the five Jyotirlinga temples of Lord Shiva in Maharashtra and 12 of that in India and holds great significance to its visitors.
Located 15 km away from the main city of Aurangabad, Daulatabad Fort is an ancient fortification that rises formidably from the midst of verdant greenery. Often hailed as one of the 'seven wonders of Maharashtra', this architectural marvel is believed to have been built in the 12th century.
Located on a roughly running hill, Aurangabad caves are the twelve rock-cut Buddhist shrines. A true architectural wonder with a deep history is attached to these caves. The beauty of ancient culture lives in this historical place in Aurangabad. The Aurangabad Caves were dug out of comparatively soft basalt rock during the 6th and 7th century. They are rightly described as a "Sensitive remaking of life situated in time and space span".
The 12 Buddhist Caves mostly include viharas or monasteries. In these caves, several monasteries have shrines that are carved with paintings and sculptures of Buddha, Bodhisattva and Saints.
Once a popular monument, this historical place in Aurangabad now finds itself converted into a museum built of lime & stone. It stores rare collections of pottery, art, dresses, etc.
At a distance of 24km from Aurangabad is this astonishingly beautiful garden with fountains, fluted pillars & massive domes.
Cave 34 is an unfinished four-pillared hall with a shrine. Another place called Samvatsarana is located in Ellora caves which was used by thirthankaras preached after attaining omniscience.
Hazrat Baba Shah Musafir built Panchakki, a water mill, in 1734. Situated in the vibrant city of Aurangabad, Nehar-e-Panchakki was used to grind grains for the pilgrims. It is essentially a grinding mill that works on water mechanism. The entire structure of Panchakki primarily consists of a court, a madrasa, the house of a minister, a mosque, houses dedicated to females and a sarai. This is a very popular and frequently visited spot in Aurangabad. Surrounded in hues of blue and shades of green, this historical place in Aurangabad acts like a perfect picnic spot for a family and an outing with friends.
While Ajanta and Ellora caves are known as the world famous Buddhist monuments, they are a testimony to the fact that the three religions Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism were one and hence there are also Hindu temples to visit here.
The Jama Masjid is located near Killa Arrak. Five rows of ten polygonal pillars are connected by a system of arches. This historical place in Aurangabad is, therefore, a very intellectually constructed structure.
The Dargah was built in the memory of Pir Ismail, a tutor to the then Mughal ruler, Aurangzeb. The gate is regal in its form and it has a large pointed archway, which forms a sort of portico. The Dargah as a small entrance and is built in intricate style which consists of a Parapet, facade, terrace and a dome.
An elaborate palace with 4 entrances, this structure was built on the Mughal king, Aurangzeb's order. The throne room of Aurangzeb can be found here. It also has a Nakarkhana for musicians. The Dabar hall and the Jumma Masjid are the only parts of the palace to remain and are still of some great interest at this historical place in Aurangabad.
Bhadra Maruti is one of the three shrines in India where the idol of the presiding deity, Lord Hanuman, is seen in the Bhav Samadhi or the sleeping posture. The shrine is often associated to the King of Bhadravati, Bhadrasen who was an ardent devotee of Hanuman and is thronged with devotees on special occasions like Ramnavami and Hanuman Jayanti.
Unlike several grand tombs built in the memory of Mughal Emperors, the Tomb of Aurangzeb is an unmarked grave at the Dargah of his spiritual guru, Sheikh Zainuddin. It is said that it was Aurangzeb's wish to be buried near the dargah. A British Statesman, Lord Curzon, tidied the place with marble as a mark of respect for the Emperor.
Dedicated to the 23rd Teerthankara, Chintamani Parshwanath, the Jain Temple is considered to be religiously important. It is said that the idol of the presiding deity was found in a basement about 250 years ago and is believed to possess magical powers. Therefore, the region is often referred to as "Atishaya Kshetra" which means the place with magical powers.
Dargah Baba Shah Musafir is a 17th century memorial built by Emperor Aurangzeb in the honour of Baba Shah Musafir who was the spiritual teacher of the emperor. The memorial complex houses a tombstone of Baba Shah Musafir, a mosque, a beautiful garden and a mesmerising fountain. The ambience created in the beautiful complex is extremely tranquil and inviting.
Pitalkhora group of caves is a 3rd century rock cut Buddhist cave complex with 14 caves. The complex was meticulously carved in basalt and has Viharas and Chaityas belonging to the Hinayana Period. Paintings belonging to the Mahayana Period are also found here. These caves have helped the archaeologists significantly in establishing the chronology of the Ajanta Ellora Caves.
Hazur Sahib is one of the five thrones of temporal authority in the Sikh culture. Located on the banks of River Godavari, the complex was built during the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh around 1833 and houses a Gurudwara known as Sach Khand which is a pristine monument built on the site where Guru Gobind Singh was cremated.
Himayat Bagh is a mesmerising 400-acre garden built in the 17th century during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Amidst the lush green lawns, Himayat Bagh houses a pool and a stunning nursery where one can find a variety of flora. The garden is now also a part of Marathwada University and has a Fruit Research Station.
Naukhanda Palace was built in 1616 by Malik Ambar and had massive gateways leading to it. This magnificent historical place in Aurangabad has nine apartments, masjid, hot baths, kacheri in addition to several other structures.
Which of these historical places in Aurangabad have you visited? Let us know your experience in the comments below!