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Information about Aurangabad

Aurangabad is 2200 year old city which was known as Rajtadak, Kirkee Fatehnager and finally renamed after Aurangzeb and came to be known as Aurangabad. Aurangabd was founded in 1653 by the Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb who established his capital here once he became the Viceroy of Deccan. It is surrounded by Lakenvasa Hills on the North and Satasa Hills on the South. Today, it is an integral part of the region that is home to Buddhist, Hindu and Islamic monuments. The charm and glory of its long past has not been lost till today and its heritage is also very rich and varied. This city still evokes the feeling of royal splendour, which was once, a way of life. Its past finds a fine expression in its fort, the fort wall and other relics spread across the city. The city is the district headquarters, which offers visitors all the modem comforts and amenities. The present Government names this city as ‘Sambhajinagar’. Today, Aurangabad is known for some of the finest colleges and universities in Maharashtra. It is the fastest growing industrial town in India. Aurangabad experiences extreme climate; hot summers and cold winters. The best time to visit this place is from October to March. Marathi, Hindi, Urdu and English are the various languages which are spoken in Aurangabad.

Tourist Attractions in Aurangabad

The main tourist attraction in Aurangabad are the Aurangabad Caves, Bibi ka Maqbara, Pan Chakki and History Museum of Maharathwada University.

Aurangabad Caves
The Aurangabad caves are situated just outside the city. The Aurangabad caves were excavated between the 2nd and 6th centuries A D. These caves are a fine example of contemporary life and displays the influence of Tantric cult in the iconography and architectural designs. There are nine caves which are mainly viharas. The most interesting among these are Cave 3 and 7. The Cave 3 is supported on 12 highly ornate columns and has sculptures depicting scenes from the legendary ‘Jataka’ tales. Cave 7 with its detailed figures of bejeweled women also has a dominating sculpture of a ‘Bodhisattva’ praying for deliverance. The pictorial depiction of Jataka tales, the remarkably well preserved image of Buddha and the lavish ornamentation, shows about the tantric influence which is evident in the sculptures and architecture.

Bibi ka Maqbara
Bibi ka Maqbara is the tomb of Begum Rabia ud-Durani, wife of Aurangzeb. In 1679, Aurangzeb’s son built this tomb in the memory of his mother. This maqbara is a replica of the Taj Mahal and stands out as the only piece of Mughal architecture on the Deccan Plateau.

Pan Chakki
Pan Chakki is the water mill which belongs to the late 17th century. This mill was built by the Malik Ambar, the architect of Aurangabad City in 1695. This water mill was designed to generate energy by water brought down from a spring on a nearby mountain to turn the large grinding stones serving as a flour mill. This mill is surrounded by a picturesque garden landscape, dotted with fish tanks. It also has the tomb of Baba Shah Muzaffar, a Sufi saint, who was a spiritual guide to Aurangzeb.

History Museum of Maharathwada University
The History Museum of Maharathwada University has some excavations displayed from 2nd century BC., sculptures from 7th to 12th centuries AD., miniature paintings of the Maratha, Rajput and Mughal times, paintings of the East India Company, weapons, and Persian and Arabic manuscripts of the 17th and 18th centuries.

Excursions from Aurangabad

Daulatabad is situated about 13 kms. from Aurangabad. It is famous for its Daultabad fort that was once considered invincible. The Daulatabd fort, earlier known as Devgiri fort was constructed by Bhillama, Raja of Yadav Dynasty in the 12th century. Mohammed Bin Tughlaq, Sultan of Delhi was so impressed by this fort that he decided to shift his capital here in 1326 and renamed it as Daulatabad ‘city of fortune’. Daulatabad was held as fine fortress by successive dynasties in the Deccan. The fort is situated on a pyramid-shaped hill and has slippery gravel pathways, spiked gates, spiral staircases and dungeons. The Chand Minar, 30 meter high minaret with three circular galleries, looked down over the approach from the north and east and played a defensive as well as religious role in this fortress.

Khuldabad is situated about 26 kms. away from Daulatabad and 3 kms. from Ellora caves. Khuldabad literally means the heavenly abode and was the final resting place of Aurangzeb. It is a holy shrine for the Muslims and contains the tomb of the last Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb. The monument has serene austerity, as was the wish of the emperor himself. This place is also known for the Bhadra Hanuman temple which houses the image of the Lord Hanuman in sleeping posture.

Ghrishneshwar Temple
Ghrishneshwar Temple is situated about half kms. from Ellora caves. This magnificent temple was built in the 18th century. This temple is one of the twelve Jyotirligas of India and dedicated to the Lord Shiva. The temple is the finest example of medieval architecture, built by Rani Ahillyabai Holkar, the Maratha princess.

Pithalkora is situated about 78 kms from Aurangabad, on a remote stretch of land on the ancient trade route linking Ajanta and Ellora and progressing to the coast. This place has a cluster of 13 Chaityas and Viharas that were carved between the 2nd and 5th centuries AD. The relief work is strikingly richer and more elaborate and the carvings are more precise. Cave 4 has an elaborate and beautiful sculptured façade.

Paithan or Pratishthan is situated on the banks of the Godavari river, about 56 kms south of Aurangabad. This ancient city was the capital of Satvahanas and is famous for its beautiful silk saris with intricate zari borders known as Paithanis. Paithan was once a booming trade center and also a great seat of learning. Today, it is an important excavation site. Eknath, the Marathi poet-saint, lived here centuries ago. The Jayak Wadi Dam, located nearby is a heaven for nature lovers. Here one can see a variety of resident and migratory birds. The large Gyaneshwar Udyan (garden) named after the well known Saint Gyaneshwar is planned along the lines of the Brindavan Gardens, Pinjore and Shalimar. Facing Nath Sagar, near the north and south ends of the Dam are constructed two view points to watch the native and migratory birds.

Bani Begam Gardens
Bani Begam Gardens is situated about 24 kms. from Aurangabad. The tomb of Bani Begam, the wife of one of the Aurangzeb’s sons is situated amidst these sprawling landscaped gardens, interspersed with fluted pillars, elegant domes and aesthetic fountains which shows the splendid architecture of the olden times.

Lonar is situated about 145 kms. from Aurangabad. Over 30,000 years ago, a falling meteorite struck the area creating the world’s largest impact crater in basaltic rock. Botanists have recently discovered vegetation life forms in the stunning lake of the Crater. The lake is home to many aquatic birds. Along the edge of the lake, there are temples which are now in ruins including the Daityasudan temple.

Shopping in Aurangabad

Aurangabad is famous for its Himroo Shawls, Mashru and Kimkhab weaves, Bidriware artifacts, Agate stones and Paithani silk sarees.

How to get there

By Air:
Aurangabad airport is situated 10 kms. to the east of the city and is well connected by Indian Airlines flights to all parts of India.

By Rail:
Aurangabad is well connected by rail with any part of India.

By Road:
Aurangabad is well connected by road with Ahmedabad, Mahabaleshwar, Mumbai, Nasik, Nanded, Pune and Shirdi.

To know the distances from Aurangabad click here.


Frequent group departures...

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