Bibi ka Maqbara
One more tribute from a man to a woman, only this time, from a son to a mother. Modelled on the Taj Mahal, Aurangabad's Mughal tomb garden was built by Prince Azam Khan in memory of his mother, Begum Rabia Daurani.
Completed in 1678 this poor man's Taj Mahal has largely drawn flak as a cheap imitation of the Taj but take a look at it anyway. May not be the marble glory that the Taj Mahal is, but is worth a dekko anyway.Purwar MuseumThis wonderful personal collection is housed in a lovely haveli and is the work of a retired doctor Mr. Purwar. Small and not given to the excesses that other museums are given to, the exhibits here include a 500-year-old chain mail suit, an 800-year-old Paithani sari and a copy of the Koran handpainted by Aurangzeb. To provide it perfect company is the antique shop next to it. You will find the place on Ghati road.The Caves
Aurangabad seems to have more than its share of secondary monuments and sights. Like the Aurangabad caves, which are no patch on the splendid Ajanta and Ellora caves. Having said that, these caves are a good introduction to rock-cut architecture.
3 kms north of the city, the caves have been carved out of a steep spur of the Sahyadri Range. A great view of the city, serenity and a piece of history are what you get to take back from here. The Aurangabad caves are Buddhist and are divided into two groups by the archaeological survey of India as the western and eastern caves.Daulatabad
13 km away from Aurangabad lies one of the country's most impressive and majestic forts, commanding the view from atop a pyramid-shaped hilltop. It is an unusually large fortress and is surrounded by huge, imposing grey, granite walls and has a central, slender pink minaret called the Chandminar - a Victory tower built in 1435 and is right on top of the hill, originally known as Devagiri or the Hill of the Gods. There is also a 15 m deep moat encircling the upper portion of the citadel.
In 1294, the Delhi Sultans stormed Daulatabad and looted its wealth, paving the way for eccentric Mughal ruler Mohammed bin Tughlaq, who took over the fort in 1327. He renamed it Daulatabad, the City of Fortune and made it his southern military operations base.Khuldabad
Khuldabad is a walled city also known as Rauza and famed as the 'Heavenly Abode'. It contains within its walls the karbala (holy shrine) for Muslims in the Deccan region. The courtyard of the Alamgir Dargah (shrine) is also the burial spot of the last great Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb. His grave is a simple open one, decorated by the fresh flower petals that visitors bring.
Aurangzeb chose Khuldabad as his final resting place because the mausoleum of Sayeed Zain-ud-din, a Muslim holy man lies next door. The Robe of the Prophet, which is considered an important relic lies here and revealed to the public once a year, on the 12th day of the Islamic month of Rabi-ul-Awwal.Grishneshwar MandirRani Ahilyabai Holkar is said to have built this Shiva temple in the 18th century in small village of Grishneshwar, which lies west of the caves. It houses one of the 12 'self born' jyotirlingas (the phallic symbol of the Lord Shiva) thought to date back to the 2nd century BC. There are no rules banning non-Hindus from the temple and allowed to join the queue for a glimpse of the deity. Men will need to take off their shirts before entering the temple though.Paithan
An ancient town that lies 56 km south of Aurangabad, Paithan is renowned for its famous Paithani silk saris. The beautiful 6-yard Paithani sari is woven with pure silk yarn and gold thread (drawn from pure gold). It is a matter of pride that this 2000-year-old art of weaving continues, with families passing on their creative skills to younger generations.
A heavy brocade Paithani takes at least 6 months to complete and costs over Rs 50,000, while an ordinary Paithani sari takes about a month to complete and costs between Rs 8,000 and Rs 15,000. The State weaving centre has lovely Paithani wall pieces as well.
Aurangabad has plenty of eating places and diverse cuisine on offer. This variety is mainly because the city has always seen tourist travel due to its proximity to the Ajanta and Ellora caves. You will find traditional Indian food but also enough Chinese and Continental food to satisfy your stomach's need for variety.
The Nizam influence means that there are a number of tantalising rice dishes and an assortment of gravies that you can try out. Aurangabad has a lot to offer the hungry and choosy traveller.Foodwala's BhojDr. Ambedkar road, 1st Floor
200 m South of the bus stand
AurangadbadFoodwala's Tandoori Restaurant and Bar
Shyam Chambers, Barsilal Nagar
Station road (East)
Near the train station
The third week of March every year, Aurangabad dons the mantle of host and gears up for a festival of music and dance. This festival is organised by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (the MTDC). The city decks up with lights in anticipation for this time and event.
The Ellora festival is conducted at the Aurangabad Caves, an ambience that succeeds in giving its audience a feeling of beauty and mystery. Sitting in the caves and listening to some of the best singers perform, one is almost transported to another time and the magic of an era that revelled in the beautiful
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