Aurangabad, which was declared by the Government as the Tourism Capital of Maharashtra back in 2010, is a famous tourist hub which greets its visitors with a richly woven tapestry of sights and sounds. The city got its name for being the erstwhile capital of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in the 17th century AD. The town is used as the base to explore the extremely famous caves of Ajanta and Ellora, Daulatabad Fort which is renowned for its strong defence systems, Mausoleums of Aurangzeb and Bibi-Ka-Maqbara famous for its architecture and Grishneshwar Temple, one of the only 12 Shiva Jyotirlingas in India.

From UNESCO World Heritage Sites to bustling markets brimming with delicate silk items and exquisite hand-woven garments, Aurangabad promises all tourists an exciting holiday experience. While the city is rapidly heading towards industrial growth and globalisation, it still retains most of its past glory, heritage, charms and traditions.

Places to Visit

Grishneshwar Temple

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Grishneshwar Temple located in Ellora is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. Also known as Ghrneshwar or Dhushmeshwar Temple, it is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is considered an important pilgrimage site. Grishneshwar is the smallest of the Jyotirlingas and is considered the last or the 12th Jyotirlinga of India.

Entry to the Grishneshwar Temple is open to all, but to enter the Garbhagriha (the main sanctum housing the Shiva Linga), men need to be bare-chested. This is also one of the only Jyotirlingas in India where the devotees can touch the Shiva Linga with bare hands.

The temple architecture follows a South Indian Style and it is known to be one of the holiest places to visit in Aurangabad. The five-tiered shikhara of the Grishneshwar Temple is spectacularly carved and constructed in the traditional temple architecture style. Rebuilt several times, the current form temple was built by Queen Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore in the 18th century.

Bibi Ka Maqbara

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.

The monument resembles the famous Taj Mahal, as the main inspiration for building the design was from here and is often referred to as the Taj of the Deccan. Bibi ka Maqbara intended to rival the Taj Mahal, but because of the decline in architecture and the proportions of the structure, it completely resulted in a copied form of the same. Incidentally, this is one of the largest structures to have been built during Aurangzeb’s reign. The mausoleum is a very popular attraction and the monument along with the backdrop of the mountain ranges bring out something beautiful.

The Ajanta Caves

At a distance of 99km from the town lies a highlight to its tourism and heritage spheres. These ones find themselves a place in the UN’s list of World Heritage Sights and are a must visit, while here.

Ellora Caves

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. 

Daulatabad Fort

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. Also known as Devgiri fort, perhaps the most enchanting qualities is its location, from the zenith of which you can capture a mesmerising view of the entire city. You need to hike some 750 odd steps up to the top, but the view down below is a wonderful thing to behold.

One of the most inspiring aspects of the Daulatabad Fort is its design which makes it one of the most powerful fortresses of the medieval period. It is built on a 200 metres high conical hill, which provides this grand fortress with a strategic position, architectural beauty and protection from the enemies. Another unique aspect of the mighty Devgiri Fort is its engineering genius, which not only provided an impregnable defence against enemy forces but also managed irreplaceable resources of water quite well. The contrast of the ancient edifice against the lush green fields of Aurangabad paints a wonderful picture that takes you back through the pages of the days gone by.

Aurangabad Caves

Aurangabad Caves are twelve rock-cut Buddhist shrines, located around 20km north-west of Aurangabad. These caves date back to the 6th and 8th century and should not be confused with the Ajanta and Ellora Caves which are also located close to Aurangabad. Carved out of Soft Basalt Rock, these are considered as one of the most spectacular caves in India. Bibi Ka Maqabra and Soneri Mahal are located quite close to the Aurangabad Caves, and they can be covered on the same day. From the top, a panoramic and breathtaking view of the city is seen. If you are fond of heritage, then you will love this place of attraction. The Aurangabad Caves are also considered ideal for trekking. 

The stunning caves were mostly Buddhist Viharas and are now under the protection of the Archaeological Survey of India. The Aurangabad Caves are divided into three separate groups depending on their location as the First group: Cave 1 to Cave 5, Second group: Cave 6 to Cave 9 and Third group: Cave10 to Cave 12. The first two caves have a distance of 500 metres between them, and the third one is slightly further to the east. The definite attraction of the Aurangabad Caves is its sculptures. They are artificially rock cut. Caves I and III of Aurangabad and last caves of Ajanta co-existed as is apparent from striking parallels.

Siddharth Garden

Sprawling over a large area is the well laid out and green landscaped Siddharth Garden enclosing a park as well as zoo together. It is conveniently located at a distance of about 3 kilometers from the Aurangabad railway station and about 4 kilometers from popular tourist attraction and landmark, Bibi ka Maqbara. The Siddharth Garden is a popular picnic spot for the locals of Aurangabad. The park is especially popular among joggers, nature lovers and photographers. It remains quite crowded in the evenings, especially on weekends. 

The vibrant Siddharth Garden is elaborate with vibrant flowers, majestic trees and colourful lawns, which are well designed and maintained. Another highlight of the garden is the zoo, where one can find a number of wild animals such as tigers, lions, leopards, civet cats, snakes, crocodiles, emu, fox, deer, hyena etc. There is also an aquarium in Siddharth Garden where one can look at a variety of colourful fishes. It makes for an enjoyable spot for children. Other beautiful spots in the garden include the musical fountain and the Buddha statue. 

Gul Mandi

Every place has a distinct bazaar, so does Aurangabad. Amongst all the famous and well-known ones, Gul Mandi is the largest bazaar in Aurangabad. Trading of the famous Himroo shawls and saree takes place here. Himroo is known for its cloth & the intricate designs inspired by peacocks, flowers, etc from the caves of Ajanta & Ellora.

Bani Begum Garden

At a distance of 24km from Aurangabad is the astonishingly beautiful Bani Begum Garden with fountains, fluted pillars & massive domes. Bani Begum Garden is a rather lush green site celebrating Mughal architecture and owes its name to Aurangzeb’s son’s wife, Bani Begum.

Jain Caves

Cave 34 is an unfinished four-pillared hall with a shrine. Another place called Samvatsara is located in Ellora caves which was used by tirthankaras preached after attaining omniscience.

Cave 34 is an unfinished four-pillared hall with a shrine. Another place called Samvatsara is located in Ellora caves which was used by tirthankaras preached after attaining omniscience.  

Must Try Food in Aurangabad

1. Green Leaf Vegetarian Cuisine

2. Bhoj Thali Restaurant

3. Naivedya Thali Restaurant

4. Swad Restaurant

5. Kream N Krunch

6. The Vegan Vegetarian Restaurant

7. Healthy Bite

8. The Appetite Food Truck

9. Kailash Vegetarian Restaurant

10. Teamo Restaurant

How To Get Here

Aurangabad by virtue of being one of the most popular tourist destinations in India is very well connected to neighbouring cities by road, rail and are and also to the major cities in India like Delhi, Kolkata and Hyderabad. 

By Air

There are international flights connecting Aurangabad with cities around the world through Mumbai or Pune.  

By Road

Aurangabad is well connected to Nagpur, Mumbai and Pune by road. The government of Maharashtra runs regular AC buses from Mumbai and Pune to Aurangabad, and there are also many private bus operators. Sleeper buses also commonly ply on this route. Taxis are available from all nearby cities and can be booked on the spot at reasonable prices. Driving to Aurangabad is also convenient because of the good quality of roads, and currently, National Highway 211 and 160 connects it to most cities. A new Nagpur-Aurangabad-Mumbai express highway is being developed to cater to the increasing number of tourists. 

By Train

Aurangabad falls in the South-Central Zone of Indian Railways and is well connected to Mumbai, Ahmadabad, Hyderabad, Bhopal, Pune, Nagpur and Shirdi by rail. Express trains from Mumbai are most frequent and comfortable including the fast Aurangabad Janshatabdi Express. 

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