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Aurangabad (City of Gates)

Aurangabad took its name from the great Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, it is a famous tourist destination in Maharashtra. Aurangabad's rich past can be seen in tombs,magnificent palaces and historical monuments. Aurangabad has cultural diversity and pleasing weather which make it a popular destination of India. If you are destination of Indiahistory buffs, art lovers or a photographer then Aurangabad is a must visit city for you. It is also known as a city of gates.

The city is famous for its shopping, major shopping attraction would be Paithani Sarees,handicrafts and semiprecious stones jewellerymetal goods andwoven Himroo shawls.

Aurangabad city has some famousMughal monuments like Bibi Ka Maqbara,Aurangzeb's tomb, Aurangabad Caves and more.This city is known for being the gateway to UNESCO world heritage sites, Ajanta and Ellora Caves.

Some of the top tourist attractions of Aurangabad:

Ajanta Caves

Ajanta caves is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is one of the popular touristdestinationbest known for having several paintings, statues carving and sculptures of Lord Buddha.

The paintings and sculptures are made by the Buddhist monks. Almost all the paintings featuresBuddhist arts such as Avalokiteshvara, Bodhisattvas and Padmaoani. Ajanta Caves have preserved many sculpturesand holy images of Lord Buddha. Painting in Ajanta caves are based on the message of religious theme. Some paintings are inspired by Greek and Roman style but majorly inspired from Indian style.

Every cave has its own importance and each cave depicts the life of Buddha. Al the paintings and carvings in the cave are made from a massive rock. The caves of animals and humans arebelieved to be inspired from Gupta and post-Gupta period.

There are in total 30 caves. The caves are divided into two groups, out of which caves 9, 10, 19, 26 and 29 are known as Chaityagrihas, all the rest are known as Viharas.

You can find lots of paintings and sculptures in these caves, the best paintings are found in caves 1,2,16 and 17. While the best sculptures are found incaves 1, 4, 17 and 19.

Ellora Caves

Ellora Caves are at a distance of 30km away from Aurangabad city, it is also listed as the UNESCO Aurangabad city. It is believed that these caves were made by the Rashtrakuta Dynasty. These caves feature exquisite carvings which shows the workmanship of that period.

There are in total of 34 caves which are categorized into three main groups - the Hindu Group, theJain Group and the BuddhistGroup. The Buddhist Group has the first twelve caves, the Hindu Group has 17 other caves and the Jain Group has the last five caves.

All these caves are located near to each other which shows the harmony between these religions during 5th to 11th century in India.

Panchakki

Panchakki was built by Sufi Saint Baba Shah Musafir in the 17th century, it is a major attraction of Aurangabad.

Panchakki is known to be an abode of the great Sufi saints. The name was derived from the water mill which was used to grind grains for pilgrims and to generate energy through water As the water flows through the pipes, it rises to a high raised masonry pillar. Once the water reaches the masonry pillar, it falls from that height to flow as a beautiful waterfall.

Bibi ka Maqbara

Bibi ka Maqbara is one of the most popular historical monuments of India, which is located at a distance of 5 km from Aurangabad. Bibi ka Maqbara was constructed by Aurangzeb's son- Prince Azam Shah in year 1678 in the memory of his mother Begum Rabia Durani. Bibi ka Maqbarawas built as the burial place of Aurangzeb’s wife exactly like Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. However, in the construction of the monument there was no usage of semiprecious stones.

The monument is completely made of white marble. The wall of the structure features stucco, inlay works and carvings. Bibi ka Maqbara stands alone in the middle of a spacious garden and is all around surrounded by water channels, fountains and axial ponds.

An archaeological museum is built behind the monument which shows the history and architecture of Bibi Ka Maqbara.

Aurangabad Caves

Aurangabad Caves are beautiful caves of Buddhist Origin, are located at a a distance of 2 km from the famous Bibi Ka Maqbara.

Aurangabad Caves were built in 2nd century AD, there are a total of 12 caves, which are categorized into 3 different groups according to their location.Tantric Hinduism holds a major inspiration in the carvings and design of these caves.

The sculptural carvings of these caves are the best examples of Indian classical art and they are compared to the best paintings of Ajanta Caves.

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