A lively city in the state of Maharashtra, Aurangabad has a rich history to boast. Named after the emperor Aurangzeb, the city came into prominence during the seventeenth century. The city has grown into a major cultural and tourism hub in the Indian subcontinent in recent years. Here is a compilation of the best places to visit in the city.
- Bibi – ka – Maqbara
Literally translated to mean “Tomb of the Lady”, Bibi – ka – Maqbara was built by Prince Azam Shah in memory of his beloved mother, Dilras Banu Begum, who was Empress of the Mughal Empire and wife of Emperor Aurangzeb. Its exquisite architecture replete with intricate carvings, pillared pavilions, exquisite inscriptions, and imposing minarets make for a stunning monument that is often likened to the iconic Taj Mahal. Located within 3kms of city limits, the structure is easily accessible from all major hotels in Aurangabad.
- Aurangabad Caves
These 12 man-made rock cut Buddhist shrines have captured the imagination of people across the ages. Perched high up on a hill, these shrines extend across a length of 2kms and are believed to have been built between the 6th and 7th centuries A.D. Located 2-3kms north of Bibi – ka – Maqbara, the caves are best reached by means of an auto rickshaw that should cost close to Rs 200 on a return trip. Out of the 10 caves, the seventh with exquisite carvings has received much attention.
- Himroo Factory
A must-visit destination for textile lovers, Himroo Factory is home to a conventional textile of the same name. It is an authentic local fabric that can be made into shawls, sarees, bags, wall hangings, and bed sheets. Tourists can also shop at the Paithani Weaving Centre, where one can observe the tradition of dexterous weavers weave pure gold and silver threads on to the silk fabric. Today however, clothing with this form of weaving is also available without gold and silver threads. Watching an artisan create this stunning weave is an experience in itself. Located about 6kms east of Kranti Chowk, a taxi is the best means of transport to come here if you do not have your own vehicle.
- Shivaji Museum
Dedicated to the revered leader Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the Shivaji Museum was built at a staggering cost of 194 lakhs and is worth every penny. The museum has 6 impressive exhibition halls that speak volumes of the Maratha Empire and its glorious history. It also houses a precious 500-year old coat of mail and a 400-year old hand-written copy of the Quran, written by Aurangzeb himself. Located near the Nehru Bal Udyan, the museum can be reached using state transport buses, taxis or rickshaws.