The Bibi Ka Maqbara is a famous monument found near Aurangabad. Situated 5 km from Aurangabad, the Bibi Ka Maqbara was built in 1678 by Aurangzeb’s son, Prince Azam Shah in the memory of his mother Begum Rabia Durani.
Attaullah was the architect of this mausoleum and he intended to replicate the famous Taj Mahal. However, despite the layout that comes close to Taj Mahal, the architecture fails to reproduce the aura of Taj. Hence, it is considered to be a poor imitation of the same.
Standing spectacularly on the lawns of the landscaped garden with ponds, fountains and water channels, the memorial is built of sandstone with plastered walls and has a marble dome. The enclosure of the tomb is made of marble and is octagonal.
Visiting hours for the monument are from 8 am to 6 pm, the entry fee for which is Rs 10 for Indians and Rs 100 for foreigners.
The Aurangabad Caves are located close to Bibi Ka Maqbara. These amazing caves are of Buddhist origin and are said to have been unearthed between the 2nd and 7th Century AD. There are ten caves in all, and are divided into two separate locations.
The first five come under the Western Group Caves while the last five come under the Eastern Group Caves. Of these, cave numbers 3 and 7 are the most enthralling ones. The designing and image is evidently inspired by Tantric Hinduism.
Entry fee is Rs 10 for Indians and Rs 100 for foreigners and the timings are from 9 am - 5 pm.
Grishneshwar is yet another Jyotirlinga dedicated to Lord Shiva. This famous Hindu temple also goes by the name of Ghushmeshwar and is located close to Aurangabad, near the famous Ellora Caves. Constructed by Ahilyabhai Holkar, this ancient site of pilgrimage attracts tonnes of worshippers annually.
It was renovated by the grandfather of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in the 16th century, almost 400 years back. This Jyotirlinga is easily accessible from Aundha Nagnath. The road journey takes close to four hours.
Sunheri Mahal is named after the paintings in the Palace that were once painted in gold. The monument was constructed by a Bandalkand chief who accompanied Aurangzeb into the Dakhan. The Mahal is located in Paharsingpura, a suburb of Aurangabad. The structure is made of stone and lime. The Mahal once had a high pedestal, but is presently dilapidated.
Indians are charged Rs 10 and foreigners Rs 100 as entrance fee and the timings are from 8 am - 6 pm.
Bani Begum Garden is a beautiful, lush green garden located about 25 km from Aurangabad. Popular for its comforting ambience, the garden got its name from Bani Begum’s tomb that is placed in the middle of the garden.
Bani Begum is Aurangzeb’s son – Azam Shah’s – wife. The garden consists of massive domes, fountains and fluted pillars and is a great example of the Mughal style and architecture of the departed period, making this site a must-visit.
Panchakki derives its name from the water mill that was used during the early years of the 17th century. Placed in the city of Aurangabad, the mill is pumped with water brought through earthen pipes from the river almost 6 km away and was used to grind grains for pilgrims.
The construction of masonry pillars aids the water flow. Once it reaches the masonry pillar, it falls from that height to transform into a splendid waterfall. The entry fee is Rs 5 for Indians and Rs 100 for foreigners.
The Shah Ganj Masjid proves to be a visual treat. Situated in Aurangabad, the mosque is perched on an elevated platform, with shops on three of its sides. The fourth one opens to a flight of steps. The mosque is styled in Indo-Saracenic architecture. 24 pillars make the interior, 6 of which are arranged in a square shape.
The courtyard in the front consists of two large water tanks. The entrance resembles a little mosque with a pointed archway and two towers.
Khuldabad is abode to two of the most worshipped Muhammaden saints - Burhan-ud-din and Zain-ud-din. It is a religious centre of prime significance located in Aurangabad. Their tombs still lie here. Langda, Pangra and Nagarkhana are the three gates of Khuldabad. To the west of the city, there rests a large tank that is believed to have been a major source of water to the city in those days.
Naukonda Palace is presently in ruins. However, back in those days when Nizam Ali Khan had occupied the Mahal when he was at Aurangabad, the place consisted of 5 zananas, a Dewan-i-Am, a Dewani-i-Khas, a Masjid and a Kachari. Each of these sections had a garden and water tank to themselves.
The central part of the palace, along with the Hamam, is still in good shape, though the wood work and the ornament plaster are missing.
The Himroo Factory is home to the conventional Himroo fabric. A major tourist attraction in Aurangabad, it is located near Zaffar Gate in old town. The Himroo material is famous for its quality and is a mix of cotton and silk. The designs and the patterns on these fabrics are inspired from the Ajanta paintings. Paithani saris and conventional handloom shawls are amongst the many other things available here.
Killa Arak is a major attraction in Aurangabad. Aurangzeb had ordered to build the palace Killa Arak in the year 1692. The ruins of this once-upon-a-time famous fort stretch from Delhi to Mecca. The Killa Arak has 4 entrances. The throne-room of Aurangzeb is in a garden while the gate to the ground holds an inscription that goes right back to 1659 AD.
Connaught is a shopper’s paradise in Aurangabad. Any shopaholic would delight in the wide range of products Connaught has to offer. The place houses a Kam Khab, the golden and silver thread mixed with cotton and used to make the Himroo shawls and sarees, and is available across many showrooms in the market area.
A shopper’s paradise of Aurangabad, Connaught offers different patterns and embroidery material inspired from the Ajanta and Ellora Caves that can be used as saree borders. Complex Paithan Sarees are weaved here, making use of age old traditions.
Gul Mandi is also one of the largest market places in Aurangabad. A variety of goods are sold in this market. The availability of products depends on the days you are visiting the marketplace. These bazaars are devoid of conventional shopping malls. The best quality products are sold in the markets. Apart from the many varieties of garments and Himroo silk, the special product, Paithani Saris are also present.
Purwar Museum is a popular museum in Aurangabad. A small museum situated on Sarafa Road, the Purwar Museum is out up in a marvellous old haveli and houses exquisite collections of a retired doctor. Doctor Purwar’s personal displays are exhibited here.
A 500 year old chain maul suit, a copy of the Quran written by Auranzeb, an 800 year old paithani sari are amongst the many collections that can be found here. The museum is open for visitors from Tuesdays through Sunday between 10.30 am – 1.30 pm and 3 pm - 6 pm. An entrance fee of Rs 5 is charged.