Top attractions in Aurangabad
Aurangabad, located in the state of Maharashtra, India, is a historically and culturally rich city with several top attractions. Here are some of the must-visit places in Aurangabad:
These ancient Buddhist caves, a UNESCO World Heritage site, date back to the 2nd century BCE. The caves are renowned for their well-preserved murals and sculptures, depicting the life of Lord Buddha.
Another UNESCO World Heritage site, the Ellora Caves showcase a remarkable fusion of Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain art. These caves were carved out of the mountainside and feature intricate sculptures and stunning architecture.
Bibi Ka Maqbara
Often called the “Taj of the Deccan,” Bibi Ka Maqbara is a beautiful mausoleum built by Emperor Aurangzeb in memory of his wife. It bears a resemblance to the Taj Mahal and is known for its intricate designs and stunning surroundings.
Situated on a hill, the Daulatabad Fort is an impressive medieval fortress. It offers panoramic views of the city and showcases remarkable architecture, including a series of gates, moats, and defense structures.
Panchakki (Water Mill)
Panchakki is a 17th-century water mill that derives its power from an underground water channel. The complex also houses a mosque and a tomb, making it an intriguing historical site.
Located just outside the city, the Aurangabad Caves are a collection of Buddhist caves dating back to the 6th and 7th centuries. These rock-cut caves feature intricate carvings and sculptures.
Siddharth Garden and Zoo
A popular recreational spot in Aurangabad, Siddharth Garden is a lush green park with beautiful landscaping, fountains, and a zoo that houses a variety of animals and birds.
Situated on the Godavari River, Jayakwadi Dam is one of the largest earthen dams in the world. The dam provides irrigation water to the region and offers picturesque views.
This Mughal-style garden is known for its wide variety of fruit trees and lush greenery. It also houses the Fruit Research Station, where research and development of various fruit crops take place.
Built during the reign of Emperor Aurangzeb, the Naukhanda Palace showcases exquisite architecture and beautiful gardens. It is now converted into a museum displaying artifacts from the Mughal era.
These attractions make Aurangabad a fascinating destination for history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
Things to do in Aurangabad
Apart from visiting the top attractions, Aurangabad offers several other exciting things to do. Here are some activities you can enjoy in Aurangabad:
Explore the Bazaars
Aurangabad is known for its vibrant bazaars and bustling markets. Visit places like Gul Mandi, Connaught Market, and Nirala Bazaar to experience the local culture, shop for traditional handicrafts, textiles, and jewelry, and savor delicious street food.
Attend the Aurangabad Festival
If you’re lucky enough to visit during the Aurangabad Festival, make sure to attend it. The festival showcases various cultural performances, including music, dance, and theater, providing a glimpse into the region’s traditions and heritage.
Taste Local Cuisine
Aurangabad is renowned for its delectable cuisine. Don’t miss out on trying the local specialties like Naan Qalia (a mutton dish), Mawa Jalebi (a sweet delicacy), and Tandoori Chaap (grilled meat). Visit popular restaurants and street food stalls to savor the authentic flavors.
Visit Grishneshwar Temple
Located near Ellora Caves, Grishneshwar Temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas (sacred shrines of Lord Shiva). Pay your respects and soak in the spiritual atmosphere of this ancient temple.
Enjoy Nature at Salim Ali Lake
Spend a peaceful day at Salim Ali Lake, named after the renowned ornithologist. The lake is a birdwatcher’s paradise, attracting numerous migratory birds. Take a leisurely stroll or enjoy a boat ride while admiring the scenic beauty.
Witness the Aurangabad Heritage Walk
Embark on a guided heritage walk through the narrow lanes of Aurangabad’s old city. Learn about its rich history, architectural marvels, and cultural significance as you explore the ancient structures and interact with locals.
Experience a Light and Sound Show
Attend the mesmerizing light and sound show at the Daulatabad Fort. The show narrates the fort’s history, accompanied by a vibrant display of lights, sound effects, and music, adding a dramatic touch to the experience.
Visit the Buddhist Stupa at Ghrishneshwar
Explore the ancient Buddhist stupa located near the Ghrishneshwar Temple. This tranquil site offers a serene ambiance for meditation and reflection.
Engage in Adventure Activities
If you’re an adventure enthusiast, head to nearby locations like the Ajanta and Ellora Caves and engage in activities like rock climbing, rappelling, and trekking. Several adventure tour operators offer organized trips in the region.
Enjoy a Cultural Show
Attend a traditional music and dance performance showcasing the local art forms of Maharashtra. It’s a wonderful opportunity to witness the region’s cultural heritage come to life.
These activities provide a diverse range of experiences that allow you to delve deeper into the rich cultural tapestry of Aurangabad and make your visit even more memorable.
Aurangabad Tour Packages
FAQs on Aurangabad Tourism
The best time to visit Aurangabad is during the winter months from October to March when the weather is pleasant and suitable for outdoor activities. Summers (April to June) can be scorching hot, while monsoons (July to September) bring heavy rainfall.
Aurangabad has good connectivity by air, rail, and road. The city has its own airport, the Aurangabad Airport (Chikkalthana Airport), which has regular flights from major Indian cities. Aurangabad Railway Station is well-connected to various cities across the country. National highways and state highways connect Aurangabad to nearby cities and towns.
Aurangabad offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit different budgets. You can find luxury hotels, resorts, budget hotels, guesthouses, and homestays in and around the city. It’s advisable to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons.
To explore the major attractions in Aurangabad, including the Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Bibi Ka Maqbara, and Daulatabad Fort, it’s recommended to plan a minimum of three to four days. This will allow you to have a relaxed and comprehensive visit.
Yes, Aurangabad has various local transportation options. Auto-rickshaws and taxis are readily available for intra-city travel. You can also use ride-hailing apps like Uber and Ola. Additionally, state-run buses and private tour operators offer sightseeing tours to the popular attractions.
Aurangabad is generally considered safe for tourists. However, it’s always advisable to take standard precautions like being aware of your surroundings, keeping your belongings secure, and avoiding isolated areas at night. It’s recommended to follow local laws and customs and maintain general safety practices.
Yes, at the Ajanta and Ellora Caves, you have the option to hire local guides who are knowledgeable about the history and significance of the caves. They can enhance your visit by providing detailed information and insights about the caves’ architecture, sculptures, and paintings.
Yes, photography and videography are generally allowed at the attractions in Aurangabad, including the Ajanta and Ellora Caves. However, there might be restrictions on using flash or tripods inside certain caves or monuments. It’s advisable to check with the authorities or signage at the specific location.
Aurangabad hosts several festivals and events throughout the year. The Aurangabad Festival, held annually, showcases the region’s art, culture, and heritage through various performances and exhibitions. Additionally, religious festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi and Diwali are celebrated with great enthusiasm in the city.
Yes, Aurangabad offers a variety of vegetarian and vegan food options. Local Maharashtrian cuisine, as well as North Indian, South Indian, and international cuisines, are available in restaurants and eateries. You can also find Jain-friendly restaurants that serve vegetarian food without onion and garlic.