Posted by: getaway2india | March 1, 2010

Aurangabad – City of Gates

Aurangabad – City of Gates
Aurangabad, a dream destination of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, founded in 1610, is known today, as one of the four important cities in Maharashtra.. It sees a lot of international tourist traffic due to world heritage sites, Ajanta & Ellora caves. Travellers to Aurangabad will find history dating back to the 2nd century BCE, when the Satavahanas rulers established their capital in Pratishtanapura, today known as Paithan. It was around this time that the viharas (monasteries) were carved out of caves in what is now Ajanta, and the stunning cave paintings were made, to be lost and rediscovered in the early 19th century. The carvings in the Ellora caves track the changing fortunes of three major religions Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism between the 5th and the 10th century CE.

Aurangabad is famous for its Historic gates and so is called the City of Gates. The entire city of Aurangabad was a fort and huge entrance gates were erected. Except for Bharkal gate all the other gates are associated with the period of Aurangzeb. The gates with prime importance were the ones facing the four directions, Delhi Gate facing the North, Paithan gate facing South, Makai Gate (Mecca Gate) facing East and the Khas Gate facing the West. In all there were 54 gates in Aurangabad. Out of 54 gates only 13 have survived over the period of time. The important and architecturally most appealing gates include Delhi Gate, Kala Darwaza, Makia Gate, Paithan gate and Rangeen Darwaza.

These are the thirteen gates which still stand with pride and have become the characteristic part of the city. These are as follows-

Barapulla Gate

Badkal Gate

Delhi Gate - Beyond lies the Road to Delhi

Kala Gate...Black Gate....looks white to me

Khas Gate – Now not so Khas!!!

Khizer Gate

Makai Gate

Manju Gate

Mehmood Gate

Naubat Gate...meaning 9 Way/point/instrument/something Gate

Paithan Gate...leads to Paithan City

Rangeen Darwaza...Colourful Gate...Is it colourful?

Roshan Gate...Famous Gate...look at all the posters!

The Yadava kings established their capital in Devagiri (also spelt Deogiri) and built a fort that stands to this day. The fort was reputed to be impregnable, but Ala-ud-din Khilji of Delhi captured it by laying siege on it and renamed it to Daulatabad. Malik Kafur, his general consolidated his hold on the region. As the Delhi Sultanate was captured by Mohammad bin Tughluq, the fort passed to him. Tughluq is famous for his famously botched plan to move his capital from Delhi to Daulatabad along with the entire population of the city, only to have to return because he had not planned for water supply at his new capital. This fiasco ensured fame for his name, as Indians took to describing the oft-shifting plans of their rulers as “Tughluq policies”.

The region kept changing hands till the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan consolidated his hold and appointed his son Aurangzeb as the governor. Aurangzeb established his base here. When he became Viceroy of the Deccan plateau he made it his capital and named it Aurangabad. This was the golden time in the history of Aurangabad when the city flourished the most in terms of culture, architecture, art etc. In the year 1679, Aurangzeb’s son built a replica of the Taj-Mahal, the ‘Bibi-ka-Maqbara’, in tribute to his mother Begam Rabia Durani. It is considered to be a masterpiece of Mughal architecture in the Deccan plateau.

He returned to the city again in 1681, this time as an emperor, determined to crush the south once and for all. He spent the last two decades of his life battling the Marathas in an ultimately fruitless campaign. He died in 1707 in Khuldabad near Aurangabad city and was buried there — the battles ultimately resulted in the demise of his empire too.

The district is now the headquarters of the backward region of Marathwada, but it is also a manufacturing hub as many Indian companies have their plants here. It also contains the headquarters of Videocon, a fairly large Indian MNC producing electronics.

Climate

The climate of Aurangabad is Temperate Climate with low relative humidity and diverse but not extreme weather conditions.

Summer – March to May – Maximum and minimum temperatures of 37 and 21 Degrees Celsius respectively. Nights are usually pleasant and cooler during the entire summer. Average Relative Humidity is as low as 9%.

Winter – November to February is the most comfortable time to visit Aurangabad. Maximum of 22°C & minimum of 10°C.

Monsoon – June to October receives moderate rainfall of 91 cm on an average. The average relative humidity during this period of time is 40%.

Languages

Major population in Aurangabad speaks Marathi- the regional language of Maharashtra. Hindi, Urdu and English are also spoken widely.

Generally people who come in close contacts with people do understand and speak fairly good English.

Getting in

Aurangabad enjoys central location with respect to Maharashtra and Goa. All major cities in Maharashtra lie within a radius of 500 Km. Thus it is well connected by Air, Rail and Road to other parts of country.

Aurangabad has a good network of National and State highways connecting all parts of the country. Aurangabad railhead is directly connected to many parts of the country including major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad. Direct flights from Mumbai and Delhi are available on a daily basis. One Flight except on Mondays from Udaipur is also available during tourist seasons.

By Air

Aurangabad has its own International airport – Chikalthana Airport is equipped with all modern facilities (Airport code: IXU).

Air India, Jet Airways, Kingfisher Class, Kingfisher Red and JetLite have a number of regular flights from Mumbai, Delhi & Hyderabad to Aurangabad.

The nearest international airports are Mumbai and Pune.

Flights From Mumbai to Aurangabad

  • Air India (IC-887 – Dep 15:55 hrs) -Full Service Carrier
  • Jet Airways (9W-113 – Dep 07:15 hrs) -Full Service Carrier
  • Jet Airways (9W-3109 – Dep 18:25 hrs) -Full Service Carrier
  • Kingfisher Red (formerly Deccan) (IT4139 – Dep 19:05 hrs) -Budget Carrier

Flights From Delhi to Aurangabad

  • JetLite (S2-6171 – Dep 09:05 hrs) -Budget Carrier
  • Air India (IC-887 – via Mumbai – Dep 13:00 hrs) -Full Service Carrier

Flights From Hyderabad to Aurangabad

  • Kingfisher Class (formerly Kingfisher) (IT-2921 – Dep 15:00 hrs) – Except Tuesday -Full Service Carrier

Flights From Udaipur to Aurangabad (Available during the Tourist season only)

  • Kingfisher Class (formerly Kingfisher) (IT-2331 – Dep 07:55 hrs) – Except Monday -Full Service Carrier

Website of Airlines:

By Rail

Aurangabad is a Railway Station of South-Central railway on Manmad – Secunderabad section (Railway Station code – AWB). The city has direct rail links to important Indian cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, etc. Aurangabad Railway Station is an average Indian railway station, with an information booth, waiting rooms, rest rooms, book stalls, canteen and a computerized ticket booking office. Wheel chairs are available on request from the Station Master’s office located on Platform No. 1. No trolleys are available. Porters can be hired to help with luggage. Please utilize the services only of Licensed Porters wearing red uniforms having numbered badges and pay them a fixed rate. The official approved rates in Maharashtra currently are as follows-

  • INR-25 for up to 10 Kgs/3 pieces of luggage (whichever is less) (Year 2009)
  • INR-20 per additional 5 Kgs/piece of luggage (whichever is less) (Year 2009)
  • A lightweight briefcase not exceeding 300 cubic cm is not included, but carries a INR-5 surcharge. No receipt is given by the porters. You can tip the porters up to INR-5 if you desire.

Trains are quite comfortable extremely cheap, affordable and fairly fast mode of transport. They are ideal for long and short hauls in India.

The difference between a lowest-fare air-ticket and the highest class train fare is remarkable. E.g. The highest fare (Air-conditioned First Class) for Mumbai – Aurangabad travel (around 375 Km) is only about INR-1050/- while the lowest air-fare of a low cost Airline, Deccan is around INR.3500/-!

Indian Railways offer various options including Air-conditioned compartments like Air-conditioned First Class (Railway code ‘H’), Air-conditioned 2-Tier Sleeper (Railway code ‘A’), Air-conditioned 3-Tier Sleeper (Railway code ‘B’), and for day trains Air-conditioned Chair-Cars (Railway code ‘C’). IRCTC provides complementary Blankets, pillows and hand towels on all Air-conditioned sleeper class compartments (H, A & B). Apart from this reserved Non Air-conditioned sleeper class (Railway code ‘S’) and Second Class Seating (Railway code ‘D’) are available on all sleeper trains and seating trains respectively.

Trains from Mumbai (Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus / Dadar Railway Station)

  • Tapovan express (7617) – Dep-06:10 hrs Arr-13:15 hrs

Train Route: Mumbai, Dadar, Thane, Kalyan, Igatpuri, Dewlali Cantt., Nasik, Lasalgaon, Manmad, Aurangabad, Jalna, Parbhani, Nanded.

  • Aurangabad Jan-Shatabdi (2071) – Dep-13:55 hrs Arr-20:30 hrs

Train Route: Mumbai, Dadar, Thane, Kalyan, Nasik, Manmad, Aurangabad.

  • Nandigram Express (1401) – Dep-16:35 hrs Arr-23:43 hrs

Train Route: Mumbai, Dadar, Thane, Kalyan, Igatpuri, Dewlali Cantt., Nasik, Lasalgaon, Manmad, Aurangabad, Jalna, Parbhani, Nanded, Adilabad, Wani, Sevagram, Nagpur.

  • Devagiri Express (7057) – Dep-21:05 hrs Arr-04:00 hrs

Train Route: Mumbai, Dadar, Thane, Kalyan, Igatpuri, Dewlali Cantt., Nasik, Lasalgaon, Manmad, Aurangabad, Jalna, Parbhani, Nanded, Dharmabad, Basar, Nizamabad, Secunderabad.

TRAINS FROM DELHI, Amritsar, Agra, Bhopal

  • Sachkand Superfast Express (2716) – Dep-13:10 hrs Arr-11:30 hrs

Train Route: Amritsar, Jallandher, Ludhiana, Ambala Cantt., Panipat, New-Delhi, Mathura, Agra, Gwaliar, Jhansi, Bhopal, Itarsi, Khandwa, Bhusawal, Manmad, Aurangabad, Jalna, Parbhani, Nanded.

TRAINS FROM HYDERABAD (Secunderabad / Kacheguda Railway Station)

  • Ajanta Express (7064) – Dep-18:10 hrs Arr-04:00 hrs

Train Route: Secunderabad, Nizamabad, Dharmabad, Nanded, Parbhani, Jalna, Aurangabad, Manmad.

  • Devagiri Express (7058) – Dep-13:320 hrs Arr-23:20 hrs

Train Route: Secunderabad, Nizamabad, Dharmabad, Nanded, Parbhani, Jalna, Aurangabad, Manmad, Lasalgaon, Nasik, Dewlali Cantt., Igatpuri, Kalyan, Thane, Dadar, Mumbai.

Availability of trains can be checked on the Indian Rail Official web-site:

http://www.indianrail.gov.in/inet_srcdest_names.html

Rail links via Manmad Junction: Manmad is the nearest Railway Junction on Central Railway wherein trains to all parts of India are available. Manmad – Aurangabad journey can be made by a good connection of trains or by road in a span of 2 to 2 1/2 hours. If you have a connecting train, make sure that there is at least a gap of 2 hours in the departures. In case you miss the connecting train, due to late running of a previous train, you can avail of a full refund at any of the two stations (ie connecting station or destination station).

Road

Aurangabad is linked by national highways and state highways to all parts of the country. Aurangabad has excellent road connectivity to all important cities in Maharashtra namely Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Nasik etc. The highway connections make the journey to the world famous destinations of Ajanta and Ellora very comfortable.

Distances from major Cities in Maharashtra and the places of Tourist interest:

  • Mumbai – Aurangabad: 400 Km.
  • Pune – Aurangabad: 237 Km.
  • Nasik – Aurangabad: 190 Km.
  • Shirdi – Aurangabad: 144 Km.
  • Ajanta – Aurangabad: 107 Km.
  • Ellora – Aurangabad: 29 Km.
  • Daulatabad – Aurangabad: 14 Km.

By Bus

From Mumbai:

Aurangabad can be reached by road from Mumbai via Pune or Nasik. Via road Pune is a faster option despite a bit longer distance due to the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. MSRTC (Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation) and private buses ply regularly and is an overnight journey. MSRTC operates their premium world class Air-conditioned Volvo B7R Bus service on this route named ‘Shivneri‘.

A few recommended private buses from Mumbai would be

  • Royal Cars(AC),
  • Konduskar(AC),
  • Ghatge Patil-Snozzer (AC Sleeper),
  • Humsafar (Non AC budget carrier).

Book your tickets only from authorized travel agents in Mumbai. Single ticket rates (in Year 2009):

  • Air-conditioned Bus is from INR-450/- to INR-650/-,
  • Air-conditioned Sleeper-Bus is from INR-700/- to INR-850/-, and
  • Budget Non Air-conditioned buses is INR-250/- to INR-350/-. Do not pay any agent more than this.

From Pune if you do not wish to drive then the safest and most reliable option is an MSRTC (Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation) Shivneri Air-conditioned Bus Service. All Volvo B7R-9400 buses and are extremely safe, comfortable and fast. MSRTC Shivneri buses depart every hour from Shivaji Nagar Bus Stand starting from early morning 6.00 AM till late night up to 1.00 AM.

For budget travelers, an award winning Non Air-conditioned semi luxury bus service Asiad, also operated by MSRTC is available. Asiad buses depart every half an hour from Shivaji Nagar Bus Stand, Pune starting from early morning 5.00 AM till late night up to 1.00 AM. These are non Air-conditioned but comfortable buses.

Caution:

Avoid taking Air-conditioned and Non Air-conditioned private Buses from Pune. They never leave and reach on time!

From Nasik there is a similar semi luxury Asiad bus service of MSRTC (Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation) with semi luxury Asiad buses available every hour departing from Nasik Central Bus Stand (CBS).

From Nagpur also Aurangabad has also good road connectivity. If you are traveling by bus, it will take you a bit more than 12 hours. MSRTC (Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation) operates semi luxury – Asiad and ordinary buses to Aurangabad from Nagpur. Private AC Volvo and Non AC luxury buses are also available on local basis.

Good carriers include:

  • Prasanna (AC),
  • Saini (AC) and
  • Saini (Non AC budget carrier).

Apart from these cities Aurangabad has direct bus links from cities like Hyderabad, Sholapur, Kolhapur, Goa, Ahmedabad, Indore and many more.

Visit MSRTC (Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation) web site for time-table of all buses to and from Aurangabad (NOTE: The web site requires the location of bus station eg. for Pune you have to write ‘Shivaji Nagar’ for Ellora you may enter ‘Verul’)

http://msrtconline.in/

Getting around:

The city of Aurangabad has all forms of transport right from intra-city buses, metered auto-rickshaws to chauffeur-driven taxis. In general, public transport in and around the city is fairly good. There are:

  • Intra-city Bus service is Municipal Corporation owned but privately operated.
  • AMT (Aurangabad Municipal Transport) buses ply throughout the city and outskirts reaching thousands of citizens to their offices, schools, colleges efficiently and in a cost effective manner.
  • MSRTC (Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation) buses connect Aurangabad to nearby tourist places, distant suburbs and villages around.

TIP:As a tourist one is recommended to either take Metered Auto-rickshaws (3-wheeler taxis) or Chauffeur driven Taxis. These taxis are not very expensive and are ideal for one day tours to Ajanta, Ellora, Daulatabad, etc. A hatchback type air-conditioned taxi will cost you around INR 7.00/- (in year 2009) per kilometer for a least count of 80 KM or 8 hours whichever is less. Rates of more premium taxis are also computed in same manner with a higher cost per KM.

Caution: Important for the Tourists visiting Aurangabad for the first time:

Although Aurangabad has Metered Auto rickshaws(Three wheeler taxis) which run based on the fare as shown in Meter (details given below), it is seen that like any other tourist place Auto rickshaw drivers ask for exorbitant rates from the tourists especially at Railway station, Central bus stand or stops of Private buses. Make sure to ask before boarding the three wheeler cab that he will be charging you based on the meter reading, he activates the meter when you board, he also has a certified tariff card. The actual fare is around 8 times the meter reading in INR. But you can pay him around 10 times the reading. A tip up to 10% of the fare may be given ONLY IF you are happy with his services. Mid night fare is applicable from 00.00 hrs. to 05.00 hrs. which is 1.5 times the usual fare i.e. around 12 times the meter reading. Around half hour consideration can be given to auto rickshaw drivers (23.30 hrs to 05.30 hrs) as given by a majority of residents of Aurangabad.

Tourists who wish to travel to Ajanta, Ellora, Daulatabad, Paithan or any nearby tourist place are STRONGLY RECOMMENDED to travel only in MSRTC (Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation) buses from Aurangabad CBS (Central Bus Stand), if they have not hired a Chauffeur driven Taxi from an authorised agent. Do remember that it is worthwhile to wait some time for an MSRTC bus than travelling in maxi-cabs (medium sized black-yellow taxis) parked outside the Aurangabad CBS (Central Bus Stand). These taxis are extremely unsafe.

AMT and MSRTC Buses

AMT (Aurangabad Municipal Transport) intra-city buses ply throughout the city including the outskirts and connect different parts of the city and adjoining suburbs together. The AMT bus service is affordable, efficient and safe. AMT buses carry thousands of passengers to and fro their workplaces, schools & colleges daily and thus are quite crowded during morning and evening rush hours.

MSRTC (Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation) buses connect Aurangabad to nearby tourist places, distant suburbs and villages around. MSRTC Red Buses are available at regular intervals to the important tourist destinations near Aurangabad like Ajanta, Ellora, Daulatabad, etc. The frequency is good, are extremely safe and fairly comfortable though not very luxurious.

MSRTC also operates semi-luxury Asiad buses also to these destinations but the frequency is not very good. All these buses depart from and arrive at the Aurangabad Central Bus Stand (CBS). There is no need for Advance Booking and the tickets are issued on the bus itself. http://msrtconline.in/timetable.aspx

Aurangabad depot of MSRTC (Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation) was crowned as Number One in Maharashtra in terms of the passenger flow and revenue generation for the year 2007-08. Aurangabad Bus depot is also the depot operating maximum number of ‘Janata Bus routes’ (public buses which halt at every stop particularly connecting the small villages and localities around the nearest big city) to and from the smaller towns nearby.

Conducted Bus Tours by MSTRC, Wonder Car Rentals and ITDC

MSRTC (Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation) and ITDC (India Tourism Development Corporation) operate daily conducted tours by semi-Luxury buses to the tourist destinations like Ellora, Ajanta and Daulatabad wherein they also take a note of the tourist destinations in the city. These journeys can be booked at Aurangabad Central Bus Stand (CBS).

  • Tour 1: Aurangabad CBS to Ajanta Caves, Bibi-Ka-Muqbara, Pan-Chakki and back to Aurangabad CBS
  • Tour 2: Aurangabad CBS to Ellora Caves, Daulatabad Fort, Bibi-Ka-Muqbara, Pan-Chakki and back to Aurangabad CBS

These conducted bus tours are ideal only if you are short of time and are alright having a glance at all these places. The major disadvantage of these tours is a very tight time-schedule. The site seeing has to be wound up very fast without you being able to take your own time. You can even get in touch with them for private cabs. www.wondertravels.net

Metered Auto-Rickshaws (Taxis)

Metered Auto-Rickshaws are undoubtedly the most suitable and convenient way of traveling through the city. This is due to their easy availability at any time and the affordability. These are hired three-wheeler taxis which are ideal to move around the city. The Meter reading is read along-with a ‘tariff-card’ available with the driver. The actual fare is usually around 8 times the meter reading. Always ensure that the driver starts the meter on beginning of the journey. Fare from Mid night 12:00 AM to 05:00 AM is One and Half times the regular fare. The minimum regular fare is as low as INR 10/- Only.

Chauffeur Driven Taxis / Tourist Taxis

These are ideal for the tourists visiting the city and the tourist destinations around. The tourist taxis can be booked from various travel agents in the city like:

  • Blue-Ocean Travels,
  • Wonder Travels,
  • Manmandir Travels,
  • Saibaba Travels,
  • Welworth Travels,
  • Classic Cars, etc.
  • All hotels also have a taxi-counter.

The fare is calculated per kilometre with a minimum of 80 KM. The fare depends on the class of vehicle and the type (AC or Non-AC). See to it that the taxi you hire has a tourist permit and is not a private vehicle. The tourist permit cars can be easily identified by a yellow number plate.

Drive (Car or Two Wheeler)

This is the most common way of transport for the local people. But for the tourists, self driven cars and two wheelers are not easily available on hire basis in India. Driving on the streets is fairly comfortable as there is not much traffic on the roads and the roads are wide (except that in old part of the city). Some roads are not very well-maintained and are prone to pot-holes.

To See:

Ajanta Caves

Ajanta Caves

These depict the stories of Buddhism spanning from the period from 200 B.C. and 650 A.D. These caves were discovered in the 19th century by some British Officers who had been on a tiger hunt. These 29 caves were built by Buddhist monks using simple tools like hammer & chisel. These caves were the retreats of Buddhist monks who taught and performed rituals in the Chaityas and Viharas, the ancient seats of learning. The elaborate and exquisite sculptures and paintings depict stories from Jataka tales. The caves also house images of nymphs and princesses. The Ajanta caves and the treasures they house are a landmark in the overall development of Buddhism as such.

Ellora Caves

The Ellora (Verul) Caves

These Caves have been Carved during 350 A.D. to 700 A.D. these structures represent the three faiths of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. These caves 34 in number are located 29 km. from Aurangabad. They are fascinating and the finest example of cave temple architecture housing elaborate facades and exquisite interiors. The 12 caves to the south are Buddhist, the 17 in the centre dedicated to Hinduism, and the 5 caves to the north are Jain.

The nobility, grace and serenity inherent in Buddha is reflected in the sculptures of these caves. Caves 6 and 10 house images from the Buddhist and Hindu faith, under the same roof, the latter dedicated to Vishwakarma, the patron saint of Indian craftsmen.

The Vishwakarma cave is both a Chaitya and a Vihara, with a seated Buddha placed in the stupa. Its two – storied structure sports a colourful pageant of dwarfs, dancing and making music.

Kailasa Temple...the largest monolithic structure in the world


Kailasa Temple

Ellora caves are stunning architectural feats indeed, but the Kailasa Temple in Cave 16 is the jewel in the crown. It is an exquisite & largest monolithic structure in the world, carved top-down from a single rock (while other temple structures are built base upwards). the sculptures or architects of this majestic and fantastic sculptures started carving from the very top and the sides. The gigantic yet delicate and intricate piece of ancient work is the most amazing structure here.

It contains the largest cantilevered rock ceiling in the world. It is so carved as to represent Mt. Kailasa, the home of the god Shiva in the Himalayas.

The scale at which the work was undertaken is enormous. It covers twice the area of the Parthenon in Athens and is 1.5 times high, and it entailed removing 200,000 tons of rock. It is believed to have taken 7,000 labourers 150 years to complete the project.

Roof of the Kailasa Temple

The rear wall of its excavated courtyard 276 feet (84 m) 154 feet (47 m) is 100 ft (33 m) high. The temple proper is 164 feet (50 m) deep, 109 feet (33 m) wide, and 98 feet (30 m) high.

It consists of a gateway, antechamber, assembly hall, sanctuary and tower. Virtually every surface is lavishly embellished with symbols and figures from the “Puranas” (Historical Sanskrit poems). The temple is connected to the gallery wall by a bridge.

The Dumar Lena cave, dedicated to Lord Shiva, resembles the famous cave temple of Elephanta.

The Jain caves are about a mile away from the Kailasa temple, amongst which Cave 32, houses a beautiful shrine adorned with fine carvings of a lotus flower on the roof, and a yakshi on a lion under a mango – tree.

Caves 32 and 34 contain grand statues of Parasnath. The other Jain caves sport the images of Tirthankaras, and one of them, also, has a seated figure of Mahavira. These caves are a treasure of India which hold the wealth and display the rich Indian heritage.

Festival: Every year in the third week of March, M T D C organizes the Ellora Festival of Classical Dance and Music at the caves.

Cave Timings:

The caves are open from 9AM to 5:30PM Tues-Sun (closed on national holidays) Cave Timings: 9.00AM to 17.30PM Indian Standard Time (IST) Ajanta Caves remain closed on Monday and Ellora Caves remain closed on Tuesday. BOTH CAVES REMAIN OPEN ON ALL NATIONAL HOLIDAYS.

"No marble sheets should shield me from the sky as I lie there one with the earth."

Aurangzeb’s Tomb at Alamgir Dargah, Khuldabad

In the serene atmosphere of the court yard of Alamgir Dargah lie the remains of Aurangzeb the man who once ruled India sitting on jewel encrusted thrones, who, in his time, commanded the largest army on the face of the Earth.

One would be stunned by the utter simplicity of the tomb: the tomb of The Great Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. This man who was endowed with all riches of his ancestors wrote in his will, “No marble sheets should shield me from the sky as I lie there one with the earth.” And just as he desired only the portion where he lay is not covered with marble. The sides covered with plain white sheets. The rest is open to the sky, with few Tulsi plants growing over it.

Previously the grave was just a plain mound of earth until Lord Curzon the then viceroy of India in 1911, ordered a marble enclosure for the grave. The grave is thus enclosed in a delicately carved, lattice-work grill made of marble.

Aurangzeb didn’t want the expenses for his mausoleum to be taken from state treasury, instead he earned it all by stitching caps, copying verses from Quran and selling them. He was forever committed to simple living. He died in Ahmednagar but was buried in Khuldabad in the Dargah of his Guru, saint Sayyid Zain-ud-Din, who died in 1370 as per his wish.

Aurangzeb's Son's Grave

The tombs of Aurangzeb’s second son, Azam Shah, his wife’s and their daughter’s tomb were in another enclosure.

Alamgir Dargah - Khuldabad

Also along the Dargah’s premises are the various rooms, open water tanks, dormitories and tombs of other historical figures. One can feel a profound silent mood in the interiors in spite of the human traffic.

Grishneshwar Temple

Ghrishneshwar temple is half a kilometre from the Ellora Caves, and 30 km from Aurangabad. It is an 18th century temple that presents outstanding architecture and carving. This place forms one of the five Jyotirlinga sites in Maharashtra where Lord Shiva is worshipped. The Holkar temple nearby is a must-see.

Daulatabad Fort

Daulatabad, earlier known as Devagiri, is situated at a distance of 13km from Aurangabad. Also termed as the city of fortune, it houses a stupendous 12th century fortress well placed atop a charming hill. This is an interesting Fort, it stands on a conical hill, about 200 meters high. Much of the lower slopes of the hill has been cut away by Yadava dynasty rulers to leave 50 meter vertical sides to improve defenses. The fort is a place of extraordinary strength. The only means of access to the summit is by a narrow bridge, with passage for not more than two people abreast, and a long gallery, excavated in the rock, which has for the most part a very gradual upward slope.

Daulatabad Fort- View from the Top

About midway along this gallery, the access gallery has steep stairs, the top of which is covered by a grating destined in time of war to form the hearth of a huge fire kept burning by the garrison above. At the summit, and at intervals on the slope, are specimens of massive old cannon facing out over the surrounding countryside. Also at the mid way, there is a cave entrance meant to confuse the Enemies. Don’t miss the climb to the very top through the bat cave.

The fort area is sorrounded by three concentric walls (fortifications) known as kots. The outer one, Amberkot covers the Daulatabad old town (a few shopts on both sides of the road). The National Highway 211, connecting Aurangabad to Ellora passes through the area covered by Amberkot.The second one, Mahakot, is currently the boundary of the fort for all practical purposes. Around Mahakot, sorrounding the fort is a water body (it is dry now). The main entrance is in Mahakot and has eight gates. The third one is Kalakot.

After Kalakot, one has to cross a deep waterbody (moat), built around the pyramid shaped mountain. It is not over yet. This is followed by a dark zig-zag passage, carved through the rock known as Andhari. It is pitch dark inside. This is followed by a flight of 400 odd steps up to reach the main fort. The long ascending tunnel rises rapidly and tortuously by flights of steep steps. Opening of it at intervals are chambers for guards commanding the approach. At the head of the tunnel is an iron shutter which runs horizontally on small wheels, covering or uncovering the opening like a trap-door. A most ingenious and effective defense of this tunnel was the provision of a barrier of smoke. At a point about half-way through, where the tunnel passed near the vertical face of the rock a hold was cut through to secure draught for the fire in an iron brazier which installed in a small chamber opening into the tunnel when the fire was kindled the current of air from the hole would waft the smoke up the tunnel and render its passage impossible.

Also lying nearby is the Elephant tank. It used to be part of the extensive water supple system of the fort. Two large terracotta pipes channel water from the hills to the well- known fruit and vegetable gardens of Daulatabad.  The citadel possesses a plentiful supply of water from its own perennial springs.

The fort could be conquered only by treachery.

The moat is 16 metre wide and 20 meter deep. Two dams are constrcted in the moat to control water level. Water level can be increased above the bridge, so that the bridge is submerged during enemy attack. Leather bridges were also used, so that it could be rolled up immediately if needed.

Daulatabad Fort - Long (Range) Cannon


The Fort which according to Indian ancient texts falls under the classification of Misra durg or mixed fort as it combines the qualities of Giridurg (mountain fort), Dev durg (God’s fort) and Bhumi durg (land fort). The fortification walls were built at different periods by Yadavas, Khilji, Tughlaq, Bahamani, Nizam Shahi and Malik Amber bears a marked resemblance to medieval European forts in the disposition of projecting towers, covered passages and bastions. The walls consist of labyrinth like arrangements of the underground secret passage with safety arrangements, in the style of buildings which give the bastions, despite their grim appearances, a touch of beauty by insertions of carved stones and dainty architectural details at various places.

Watch Tower - Definate Influence from Rajsthan!

The fort has been considered as the most powerful, puissant fort that offered robust resistance to the enemies. An invincible fort, one of the best preserved in comparison to other forts in the vicinity of the same period. Its sound and sturdy quality exists due to the powerful wall about three miles in perimeter and defended by a moat and gacis that runs round the hill at its foot and between this outer curtain and the citadel, also known as Dharagir and Duwagir. These details have been extracted from Professor Dulari Qureshi’s book Fort of Daulatabad. ” The moat around the citadel is crossed by a stone bridge, the level of water in the moat being controlled by dams which could render the bridge inaccessible during siege.

The Moat

The fort also has many underground tunnels. Most of them have been closed/sealed. It is believed that one such tunnel stretches from inside the fort to Rajur town where famous Ganapati temple is built. The tunnel’s length is approximately 70 kms. It is said that Daulatabad Fort’s ‘deep-mala’ (lights tower) can be seen from Rajur temple.

Watch a video on Daulatabad Fort:

Bibi ka Maqbara A replica of the Taj Mahal, the Bibi-ka-Maqbara is the only example of Mughal architecture of its kind in the Deccan plateau. It was built in 1679 by Aurangzeb’s son, in tribute to his mother, Begum Rabia Durani. It lies in the city of Aurangabad itself.

Panchakki

Panchakki

It is an impressive pre-Mughal watermill harnessed to operate large grain-grinding stones. It was built in 1624 to commemorate the memory of the
Sufi saint Baba Shah Musafir, whose tomb lies nearby. The mill which was considered a marvel of engineering at that time.

Dating back to the 17th century, this ingenious water mill was designed to use the energy generated by flowing water from a nearby spring to turn
the large grinding stones of the flourmill

The water-mill is kept fed with sufficient water by an underground conduit, which commences from a well just above the junction of the Harsul
river with a tributary stream eight kilometers away. This water-pipe after crossing the tributary stream near its confluence with Harsul
proceeds to the Panchakki reservoir. The arrangement is such that the water is made to fall in the Panchakki cistern from quite a height in
order to generate the necessary power to drive the mill. The cistern in front of the mosque whose bottom forms the roof of a spacious hall.
The cool chambers of the hall is used during the summers by pilgrims, and is about 164′ X 31′ ornamented with fountains, . The excess of water
is let in the Kham river.

Library

An 18th century library, housing manuscripts and a number of precious books has been reopened after 70 years here (Aurangabad). The
library treasured about 100,000 books and writing pieces till Indian independence (1947). However, it was closed down in 1970s due to
administrative reasons due to which many of the library books were shifted to Hyderabad. The library presently houses 2,500 books on various
subjects related to history, law, medicine, Sufism, religion and philosophy in Arabic, penned by philosophers, saints and scholars in Urdu and
Persian language.

Aurangabad Caves, a fine piece of architecture, is presented in the most unembellished manner. The caves lie just outside the city and are believed to have been excavated between the 2nd and the 6th century. They house the most stunningly intricate carvings. There are nine caves in all, most of them being the viharas. The 4th and the 7th cave are worth a dekko. The 4th cave stands well supported on 12 columns carved with scenes depicting the stories from the Jataka tales, whereas the 7th cave is embedded with carvings of women, adorned with jewels. The main attraction is the sculpture of a ‘Bodhisatva’ praying for deliverance.

Soneri Mahal, an old historic monument now converted into museum houses a variety of ancient Indian pottery, dresses, remains of local palaces and antiques of daily use. A number of sculptures and reliefs from the local excavations are also on display. It is located within Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University Campus and is on the way to Aurangabad caves.

History Museum – Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University also located on the University campus has on display a good number of ancient Indian paintings, coins, fabrics, arms, artifacts, etc. The museum collection is huge and has some fine sculptures from the excavation at Bhokardan, a nearby historic site.

Chatrapati Shivaji Museum – As the name suggests, this museum is dedicated to the great warrior of Maharashtra – Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. A number of exhibits associated with Lord Shivaji are on display. The museum is on the way to Ajanta caves from the city.

Lonar Crater

Lonar – This is site of a meteor which crashed on earth some 50,000 years ago and formed a large crater (few hundred meters in diameter) in the ground.

The Lake is the only crater in the great basaltic formation of India. Initial appreciation of the lake was, as of volcanic origin, but now it is recognized as an impact crater created by the hypervelocity impact of either a comet or a meteorite.

The presence of shatter cones, impact deformation of basalt layers comprising its rim, shocked breccia inside the crater, and non-volcanic ejecta blanket surrounding the crater are further proof of the impact origin of Lonar crater.

The chemical characteristics of the lake shows two distinct regions that don’t mix – an outer neutral (pH7) and an inner alkaline (pH11) each with its own flora and fauna. The lake is a haven to a wide range of plant and animal life. Resident and migratory birds such as black-winged stilts, brahminy ducks, grebes, shell-ducks (European migrants), shovellers, teals, herons, red-wattled lapwings, rollers or blue jays, baya weavers, parakeet hoopoes, larks, tailorbirds, magpies and robins and swallows are found on the lake. Among reptiles, the monitor lizard is reported to be prominent. The lake is also home to thousands of pea fowls, chinkara and gazelles.

Paithan is an ancient taluka town, which lies 56 km to the south of Aurangabad. This place is well known for the exquisite saris that it specialises in. It was a trade centre earlier and also the capital of the Satavahanas. MSSIDC (Maharashtra Small Scale Industrial Development Corporation) has a weaving centre where the traditional art is still practiced. It has formed a very important excavation site recently. Of the few attractions found nearby, the Jayakwadi dam is a treat to the eyes of the avid bird watchers. Next is the Dnyaneshwar Udyan, which is supposedly Maharashtra’s largest garden planned and landscaped on the lines of the Vrindavan gardens at Mysore.

Gautala Wildlife Sanctuary is a dense forest reserve, with rare flora and fauna, almost 70 Km. Northwest of Aurangabad. Home to leopards, bears, wolves, hyenas, jackals, flying squirrels and 85 different species of colourful birds.

Pitalkhora lies peacefully nestled in the Satmala ranges of the Sahyadris, at a distance of 78km from Aurangabad. There are 13 cave sanctuaries embedded in this region. These monasteries date back from 2nd century BC to 5th century AD. Rich carvings with elaborate details can be seen in these monuments. WARNING: The side road to reach Pitalkhora from the main Aurangabad road is in an extremely bad shape. Don’t go unless you have a SUV/Tata Sumo type of vehicle. The caves are reachable via a footbridge that is in a very bad shape. There is not much to see in the caves except for half-finished carvings.

Siddharth Garden is a beautiful landscaped garden, with good variety of trees and shrubs. There is a small aquarium inside the garden, however the biggest attraction is the Siddharth Garden Zoo, with a large variety of animals, viz. Lions, Tigers (White & Bengal), Leopards, Crocodiles, Snakes (Snake-house), Civet cats, Hyena, Fox, Porcupine, Emu, Deers and sprawling lawns to sit and have a great picnic.

Things to Buy:

  • The local, traditional and ethnic:
  • Himroo & Mishroo shawls,
  • Bedcovers
  • Paithani sarees

From:

  • Paithani Weaving Centre, New Aurangabad (opposite MGM CIDCO).
  • Aurangabad Himroo Industry, Zaffer Gate Mondha Road, ☎ 09890000220

(himroo@hotmail.com).

  • Traditional Indian Khaadi clothing
  • Pure honey,
  • Handicrafts and
  • Hand made artifacts and
  • Curios made in rural India

From:

  • Khaadi Gramodyog Bhandaar at Sarafa, near City Chowk.

The Khaadi cloth is hand woven from pure cotton and the outlet is the official outlet of Government Of India. The Palace of a local King, ‘Deulgaon Raja’ has now been converted into the Khaadi Gramodyog Bhandaar. The whole ambiance and the range of products truly evoke the concepts of Khaadi (Cloth made on a Charkha) & Gramodyog (Village based small scale industries) evolved during India’s Independence Struggle. The movement was started by Mahatma Gandhi.

  • Traditional Bidri Pottery and many more curios at small shops near Ajanta caves parking bay. (and Don’t you forget to bargain!!)

Visit the only organic food market in Aurangabad. Every Friday evening, locals flock to Shree Mangal Karyalaya near Kranti Chowk to buy fresh organic produce and to taste an assortment of organic honey, tea and other processed foods as part of the weekly shopping experience.

With a wide selection of fruits and vegetables, the Organic Bazaar is cheap, delicious, unique and definitely is worth a visit.

Also, visit the Organic Link – an organic food shop- open all seven days a week at Kailash Market opposite to Padampura fire station, Station Road – Aurangabad.

You can visit local bazaars Gul Mandi and Aurangpura’ for some essentials.

A number of Global retail brands have their company authorised showrooms in the city like:

  • Raymond – Adalat Road, Tilak Path, Aurangpura
  • Levi’s – Nirala Bazaar
  • Lee – Nirala Bazaar
  • Provogue – Nirala Bazaar
  • Wrangler – Nirala Bazaar
  • Adidas – Nirala Bazaar
  • Reebok – Nirala Bazaar, Mondha Naka
  • Excalibur – Nirala Bazaar
  • Spykar – Nirala Bazaar, Osmanpura
  • Pepe Jeans – Nirala Bazaar
  • Indigo Nation – Nirala Bazaar
  • Numero-Uno Jeans – Nirala Bazaar
  • Bombay Dyeing – Nirala Bazaar, Cannought Gardens
  • Homes & Apparels (H&A) – Nirala Bazaar
  • Kouttons – Aurangpura, Cannought Gardens
  • Samsonite Bags – Nirala Bazaar
  • United Colors of Benetton – Nirala Bazaar

Apart from these there are a number of Multi Brand Retail Outlets like:

  • Globus – CIDCO, Jalgaon Road
  • Cut – Nirala Bazaar
  • Big Bazar – Aakashwani
  • Chermas – CIDCO

A number of mid size to large retail outlets or supermarkets selling grocery, fresh vegetables and daily needs, stationary, basic accessories, etc. are dotted throughout the city. Few important of them being:

  • Big Bazar – Aakashwani, Jalna Road.
  • Spencer’s Retail – CIDCO, Samarth Nagar, Osmanpura, Ulkanagari.
  • Sapna Super Market – Ulkanagari, Aurangpura, Shahgunj.
  • Cannought Super Market – Cannought Gardens, Tilak Nagar.
  • More – Shahnoorwadi, CIDCO, Pundliknagar.
  • Along with these, there are a number of small time retail shops and grocery shops all around the city.

To Eat

Aurangabad has fairly good restaurants and eating joints spread across the town. Apart from the star category hotels there are many restaurants in the city.

Budget / Mid-range

  • Indian Vegetarian(a-la-carte)
  • Indian Vegetarian(Thaali Meals) ‘Thaali’ in Marathi & Hindi means a complete meal. Thaali meals consis of Assorted Indian breads, Rice varieties, 2 or 3 vegetables, Munchins, Dals, Kadhi, Tradtional cold drinks, Indian Desserts, etc.
  • Indian Non-Vegetarian
  • Smile – Nirala Bazaar
  • Laadli – Jalna Road
  • Madhu’s – Adalat Road
  • Mrignayani – Sootgirni
  • Thaat-Baat,Off Adalat Road serves a similar kind of Thaali in traditional Indian Silver pottery. The Thaali is a good deal.
  • Naivedya on Jalna Road, is also a good and reputed Thaali restaurant near the Aurangabad Airport and is an ideal place for people visiting or staying around Airport Road.
  • Bhoj, Near Varad Ganesh Mandir is one of the oldest Thaali restaurants in the city. The contents keep on changing daily. The Thaali is neither spicy nor very oily. Recommended and worth a visit even for foreigners visiting the city.
  • Indrali at Aurangpura is a good budget Thaali restaurant.
  • Swad at Osmanpura is another good Thaali restaurant.
  • City Spice – Cannought Gardens (Restaurant & Fluid Lounge)
  • Gharonda – Nirala Bazaar (Bar & Restaurant)
  • Hotel Janaki – Surana Nagar, Jalna Road (Non veg multi-cuisine)
  • Angeethi – Seven Hills, Jalna Road (Bar & Restaurant)
  • Riviera – Seven Hills, Jalna Road (Bar & Restaurant)
  • Atithi-Rooftop – Seven Hills, Jalna Road (Bar & Restaurant)
  • Kohinoor Plaza – Nirala Bazaar (Bar & Restaurant)
  • Amarpreet – Jalna Road (Bar & Restaurant)

Non Vegeterian Dhabas (Garden Restaurants & Bars) on outskirts of the city These are Open air/ semi open restaurants on outskirts of the city. They serve good food and liquor. Being a bit far from town they make ideal getaway for families.

  • Fauji Dhaba – Nasik Road
  • Ambiance Dhaba – Nasik Road
  • Tinu’s Dhaba – Nasik Road
  • Master Cook – Beed Highway NH-211
  • Madhuban – Beed Highway NH-211
  • Garden Court – Beed Highway NH-211
  • Pizza, Coffee, Breakfast, Snacks, Savories, Pastries, etc.
  • Hookka lounges
  • Domino’s Pizza – City Pride, Opp Gurudwara Gate, Mondha Naka, Jalna Road – is the outlet of the world’s no.1 pizza chain.
  • Smokin Joe’s – Nirala Bazaar is a pizza chain serving good veg and non-veg pizzas.
  • Korn Klub – Nirala Bazaar serves a large variety of tasty corn products.
  • Cafe Coffee Day – Nirala Bazaar and Jalna Road are the outlets of India’s largest coffee chain serving variety of coffees and soft drinks along with savories and pastries.
  • Kream & Krunch – Opposite Aurangpura AMT Bus Stop and at Aakashwani – Jalna Road,Opp to Big bazaar serves excellent non veg & veg sandwiches, savories, pastries, soft drinks, etc. One of the best place for non-veg savories in the city.
  • Baker’s Lounge at Osmanpura and CIDCO (opposite Lemontree Hotel)serves mouth watering pastries, cakes (best in town) and excellent veg savories in an elegant contemporary decor.
  • Fast Food Center(Veg) – Nirala Bazaar serves good burgers, sandwiches, savories.
  • Smile, Nirala Bazaar and Laadli, Jalna Road serve good south Indian vegetarian snacks.
  • Cafe Cofee Break at Nirala Bazaar and Cannought Gardens, CIDCO serve good coffees, cold drinks and veg savories at an affordable price.
  • Cafe Coffee Day – at Nirala Bazaar and at CIDCO opposite to Sakaal Newspaper office. You will enjoy various diffrent varieties of coffees.
  • Chimney – Off Jalna Road, Near 7 Hills flyover.
  • City Spice – Cannought Gardens, CIDCO.

Splurge (Multi-cuisine / Specialty)

  • Residency(Restaurant at Taj) at Ruza Buag, Harsool Road serves excellent Indian, Chinese & Continental food in traditional Mughal decor and cozy ambiance.
  • Society (Restaurant at the Ambassador Ajanta) on Jalna Road evokes the memory of Diwan – E -Aam that was built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar at Fatehpur Sikri. This recently renovated multi – cuisine restaurant serves Indian, Chinese and Continental food.
  • Restaurant at Rama International on Jalna Road serves good multi-cuisine varieties.
  • Relish (Restaurant at the Windsor Castle) Jalgaon Road, CIDCO – Feast on Chinese, continental and Indian culinary delights at Relish Restaurant.

Road side eateries

Caution:

Don’t drink water from outside other than Mineral Water. Foreigners wanting to try the food from road-side eateries must make sure that it is hot, prepared in front of them and must resist from having the
non-vegetarian road-side eatables, sauces (chutneys), juices, ice-candies, etc; however tempting may they look! Drinking regular water on streets is strict no-no.

There are a number of good road side eateries in the city. Apart from being cheep, they serve hot and tasty food provided you are used to deep fried and medium spicy Indian junk food. Drinking water should be avoided at such places.

  • Gayatri Chaat Bhandaar at Kranti Chowk and Gulmandi are the oldest road side eateries in town. They serve excellent deep fried snacks like Kachoris, Samosas and Bhajjiyas hot and fresh prepared in front of you on a ‘Chulha’ (clay oven). The places open at 6:30 PM.
  • Bikaner Bhujiyawalla at Kranti Chowk has snacks counter serving hot & fresh Kachoris, Samosas, Bhajjiyas and Dhoklas.
  • Omkar Pav Bhaji at Kranti Chowk serves good Paav Bhaji. Pav Bhaji originated at Bombay as a quick nourishing meal consisting of Indian bread and mashed & Stir fried mixed vegetables with a dash of butter.
  • A number of road side eateries serve good Indian grilled chicken varieties like Chicken Tikka, Tandoori, Kebabs, etc. at Cannought Gardens, CIDCO. The places usually open at around 8:00 PM and are open till midnight.
  • Vada Paav a traditional Marathi snack, a Maharashtrian version of burger is available at a number of places in town. The Vada Paav at almost all locations is fairly good. But do insist on a hot Vada Paav.
  • Pan (Tradition of Aurangabad, a must have!!)

Pan at Tara Pan Centre, Osmanpura is a must have. If you feel how can a ‘Pan’ be so special then you have to feel a variety of mouth melting Pans with exquisite presentation at this joint. You will not have a Pan like this anywhere in India.

To Drink:

Although Aurangabad is not a very Alcohol friendly place, there are a number of good bars in the city. Usually All good hotels have in-house bar facilities. Some good places to enjoy a drink in Aurangabad are:

Mid-range

  • Bubbles – Near Cannought Gardens, CIDCO
  • City Spice – Restaurant & Fluid Lounge – Cannought Gardens, CIDCO
  • Angeethi – Seven Hills, Jalna Road
  • Gharonda – Nirala Bazaar
  • Kohinoor Plaza – Nirala Bazaar
  • Atithi-Rooftop – Seven Hills, Jalna Road

Splurge

  • Garden Bar (Taj Residency) – Rauza Baug, Harsool Road is a semi-open bar in a sprawling campus of the Taj Residency inspired by Mughal Architecture.
  • The Garbah Bar(The Ambassador Ajanta)The Ambience of Gujarat finds a faithful echo in an inviting appeal in this lovely bar.
  • Slounge (Lemon Tree)- Airport Road, Aurangabad is a contemporary lounge & bar with young and cozy decor along with play-station facilities.

Place to Stay:

Since Aurangabad is a tourist place, the city has a number of good hotels from all the budget categories suiting the needs of all tourists visiting the city. The budget hotels are located near the Aurangabad Railway Station and City Center, The mid range hotels have been distributed over the city and the 5 star & 4 star hotels are located near the Chikalthana Airport.

Budget < 1500 INR

Near Aurangabad Airport

http://www.lemontreehotels.com/lemon-tree-hotel-aurangabad-58/home-page-aurangabad.aspx

  • Hotel Manasi – Jalna Road, CIDCO, New Aurangabad
  • Hotel Sahyadri – Near new High Court, Jalna Road, Aurangabad
  • Hotel Heritage Palace – Opposite ‘Sakal Papers’, Jalna Road, CIDCO, New Aurangabad
  • Near Aurangabad Railway Station
  • Hotel Classic – Near Goldie Cinema, Station Road, Aurangabad
  • MTDC Holiday Resort (Government Owned & Opetated) – Station Road, Aurangabad
  • Hotel Great Punjab – Station Road, Aurangabad

Near Aurangabad Central Bus Stand (CBS), Private Bus Stand & the City Center

There is a Air-conditioned Dormitory for Rs.150 per head. Locker is free.

  • Hotel Kohinoor Plaza – Nirala Bazaar, Samarth Nagar, Aurangabad
  • Hotel Raviraj – Adalat Road, Aurangabad
  • Hotel Girnar – Near LIC, Adalat Road, Aurangabad
  • Hotel Amardeep – Adalat Road, Aurangabad

Outskirts of Aurangabad

  • Aurangabad Sports Club (A.S. Club) – Nagar Road, Aurangabad

Mid Range 1500 INR to 3000 INR

Near Aurangabad Airport

  • Near Aurangabad Railway Station
  • Outskirts of Aurangabad

Splurge > 3000 INR

Near Aurangabad Airport

http://www.tajhotels.com/Business/Taj%20Residency,AURANGABAD/default.htm

  • The Ambassador Ajanta – Jalna Road, CIDCO, New Aurangabad

http://www.ambassadorindia.com/aurangabad.asp

  • Hotel Rama International – Opp. New High Court, Jalna Road, Aurangabad

http://www.welcomhotelrama.com/default.aspx

  • Aurangabad Gymkhana Club – Jalna Road, CIDCO, New Aurangabad
  • Hotel Windsor Castle – Near CIDCO Bus Stataion, Jalgaon Road, New Aurangabad

http://www.hotelwindsorcastle.com/

Phone

Aurangabad international dialling code – +91-240-xxxxxxx (Dialling from anywhere in the world except India), 0240-xxxxxxx (Dialling from anywhere in India).

Internet

A large number of internet cafes are available across the city. The surfing charges per hour vary from INR-20 to INR-35. A few of the good Internet cafes are:

  • Internet Browsing Hub, Railway Station, Aurangabad
  • Cyber Mall – Samarth Nagar, Aurangabad
  • Sify I-Way, Nirala Bazaar, Aurangabad
  • Sify I-Way, Osmanpura, Aurangabad
  • Shradha Net Cafe, N-2,Thakare nagar, CIDCO, Aurangabad
  • Priya Net Cafe- N-12,Hudco Aurangabad
  • Log In- Nirala Bazar, Khatod Complex, Aurangabad

Generally Aurangabad is a fairly safe place.

Walking on the streets up to 9:00 PM is usually safe for women but avoid going into small lanes and by-lanes after it is dark and make sure that you are not wearing any jewelry while walking on the streets. The people in city are by and large decent with the international and domestic tourists. Ladies should be careful while traveling alone late at night after 10:00 PM.

The local buses (AMT & MSRTC) are very safe for women even at late night. If a lady is traveling alone on an overnight bus from Aurangabad usually the seat next to her is given only to a lady traveler as a courtesy but make sure to request for a ‘ladies-seat‘ while making your bookings.

Caution: Women are not recommended to take lifts from private vehicles at any time of the day. Do not display wads of INR-500 and INR-1000 currency notes in public you might attract pick-pockets who usually frequent crowded locations like Railway Stations, Bus Stations, Bazaars etc.

Violent crime in Aurangabad is very low though not negligible. Please have the following numbers with you all the time. They can be dialed from any mobile or fixed line phone.

  • Police – 100
  • Fire – 101
  • Ambulance – 102, (+91-240)-2473301, (+91-240)-2473302
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Responses

  1. Hi,

    This is very useful information. Please also consider to add information like this into http://cityofindia.net .
    http://cityofindia.net is community driven project.
    You can add such information on http://cityofindia.net/city/aurangabad

    Thanks
    Smit

  2. A wel compiled information! Thanks for puuting up such great efforts to collect and put them up here.. You post really has been able to remove a lot of my worries of reaching there and finding myself around the place, finding the transport, the food et al..!!

    I just have a doubt – you did mention that there are buses between Aurngabad to tourist places, I wanted to particulary know about the bus service between Aurngabad and Ellora, how frequent would that be and how much would that cost?

    Thanks in advance.

    • *Lots of bus services running to Ellora from Aurangabad Central Bus Station, MTDC Bus Service is most reliable.
      *There is a luxury bus tour departing daily at 8AM from the MTDC office on Railway Station Road. In addition to Ellora, the tour also includes several famous sites in Aurangabad.
      * Taxis of all types are available from Aurangabad.One more option is Saibaba Travels which offers chauffer driven taxi service at reasonable rates and decent chauffers.one can contact them on (saibabatravelsabad@yahoo.co.in) or 919823167777.One can visit the Famous Daulatabad Fort while on the way to Ellora.
      * Also Autorickshaws are available for around Rs 400.


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