Aurangabad is a city of Maharashtra. The city got its name from the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. The city is one of the major tourist destinations of Maharashtra surrounded by many historical monuments. The city is the gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage sites Ajanta and Ellora Caves. Recently, the city was declared the "Tourism Capital of Maharashtra". There are three museums in the city namely the Sunheri Mahal Museum, the University Museum and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum. The beautiful Bani Begum Gardens is also situated in this city. The place offers a clear insight into the glories of the past and the effects of wars as well. The cultural heritage and the architectural excellence of the early days and the beauty of centuries old monuments cannot be explained in words.
The main tourist places to visit in Aurangabad are:
Ajanta Caves: Ajanta Caves has been declared as World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Thousands of travelers from all parts of the world visit here throughout the year. You can see a unique style of mural paintings in Ajanta Caves. The paintings here are mainly depicting the events on the life of Buddha and also about Buddhist deities. These beautiful paintings reveal the skills of the artists of that time.
Ellora Caves: Ellora Caves throw light on the tolerance of the people of ancient India who were ready to accommodate other beliefs and faiths. These Caves are spread over 2 kms. There are 34 caves representing three religions namely Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. The monuments date between 600 A.D. and 1000 A.D. The monasteries and 34 temples here were dug adjacent to each other in the walls of a cliff. The first 12 caves are Buddhist Caves and they are the oldest. The next 17 caves are the Hindu Caves and the last 5 caves are Jain Caves.
Devgiri Fort: The Fort is situated in Daulat village. This massive fort was considered to be constructed by Billamraja who ruled Daulatabad during 1187 A.D. This fort was built to provide the best defense to the rulers. Devgiri Fort is really an architectural wonder.
Bani Begam Bagh: This beautiful garden was created by the grandson of Aurangazeb in memory of Bani Begum, his wife. This is a good example of the style of Mughal architecture. There is a waterfall near the garden.
Ghrishneshwar Temple: The temple is located just half a kilometer from Ellora Caves. This belongs to 18th century. The temple has a marvelous architecture and is one of the twelve Siva temples.
Khuldabad: This is a holy shrine for Muslims. The place has a wonderful view as it is surrounded by mountains. Here now you can see the ruins of the ancient buildings. The Tombs of Aurangazeb, Khan Jahan’s Lal Bagh and various other Tombs can be seen here.
Pitalkhora Caves: It consists of 14 Buddhist Caves situated under the picturesque valley. These caves are grouped into two sets with the first group consisting of 10 caves and the second group consisting of 4 caves. The caves display excellent paintings and sculptures.
The best time to visit Aurangabad is from October to March. Pune International Airport and Chattrapati Shivaji International Airport are the nearest airports to Aurangabad and the nearest railway station is Aurangabad.
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