Tourist Places in Aurangabad
Known as the 'City of Gates' for having 52 gates, this city has great historical value. It was previously known as 'Fatehnagar'. Much of the cultural heritage, including the crafts and monuments, traces its roots back to the Mughal period. In 1653, after the appointment of Aurangzeb for the second time as the Viceroy of the Deccan, he renamed the place Aurangabad. Later on, when he was coronated as the emperor, he even shifted his court from the then capital city Delhi to Aurangabad, in 1681, for better administration of the Deccan region.
Aurangabad ranks fifth in terms of population among urban regions in Maharashtra. It has a population of 1,642,000. It is the largest city in the Marathwada region. The city is known worldwide for producing fine-quality cotton and artistic silk fabrics. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, a prominent educational institution, is also located here. Aurangabad is a tourism hub with many alluring monuments and sights. Anyone who plans to visit Mumbai usually also visits Aurangabad. Let's have a look at the eminent places to visit in the city-
1. Ajanta Caves
Ajanta Caves is one of the most prominent names when you search for spots to visit in Aurangabad. These caves are made of limestone and comprise around 30 Buddhist caves. They date back to the 2nd Century and are considered the epitome of ancient Indian architecture. They are considered a masterpiece of Buddhist religious art. Ajanta Caves was designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. It is further divided into different caves that are meant for different purposes. The murals, paintings, and carvings inside these caves reveal many secrets about past cultures and traditions. It is evident from the cave's architecture and shape that ancient Buddhist monks used the caves for study, living, and worship.
Timings: 8 AM to 5 PM
Entry Fee: Starts starting at Rs. 30/-
2. Bibi Ka Maqbara
Taj Mahal is considered the supreme symbol of love, but Bibi Ka Maqbara is sure to come next. It is one of the most famous historical places you must see while you are in Aurangabad. Although not as well-known and popular as the Taj Mahal, this historical monument is emblematic of the love between Aurangzeb, the Mughal Emperor, and Dilras Banu Begum, his beloved wife.
This ancient monument is adorned with beautiful marbles and decorated with intricate carvings that immortalize their love. It is built on an elevated platform and guarded by four minarets at its four corners. It's worth a visit if you plan to visit all the major attractions in Aurangabad.
Timings: 8 AM to 6 PM
Entry Fee: None
3. Ellora Caves
Ellora Caves, another architectural gem from a bygone age, is another place to see near Aurangabad. This series of caves are located at a distance of 29 kilometers from the city center. It was constructed by the Rashtrakuta Dynasty of Buddhist clans and the Yadav Group of Jains.
These caves are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-see when in Maharashtra. It also displays the ethos of prehistoric times Indian culture. The caves have been given distinct numbers due to their intricate and detailed carvings. Vishwakarma, cave number 10; Dashavatara, cave number 15; Kailasanatha Temple, cave number 16; Rameshvara, cave number 21 and IndraSabha, cave number 32, are the most popular and sought-after in the Ellora Caves. It is a popular tourist spot near Aurangabad because of its unique history, architectural brilliance, and grandeur.
Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM
Entry Fee: Starting at Rs. 40/-
4. Grishneshwar Temple
A significant pilgrimage site for Hindus, this ancient temple is known as the Grihneshwar temple. It is a shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva and is believed to be one of the 12 'Jyotirlingas' in India, considered extremely auspicious and sacred. Located around 30 kilometers from Aurangabad, this pious destination is not very far from Ellora Caves. The calmness of this place cannot be described; it can only be witnessed upon visiting it.
This temple was built in ancient architectural fashion, covered in red bricks with images of several Hindu deities carved on the walls. The renovation of the temple took place during the 18th century. According to Hindu legend, inside the temple is a well out of which holy water springs, which can purify one's heart and soul.
Timings: 5 AM to 9 PM
Entry Fee: None.
5. Daulatabad Fort
Daultabad Fort is also known as Devagiri Fort and is located in Devagiri, Aurangabad, Maharashtra. It is around 16 kilometers northwest of Aurangabad. This fort symbolizes victory. It was built in 1187 by Bhillama V, the first Yadava King. Later, it was annexed by the Khalji dynasty in 1308 and the Tughlaq dynasty in 1327. The fort is constructed on a conical hill at an elevation of 200 meters, surrounded by a moat filled with water, with crocodiles protecting it from enemy attacks.
The location of this fort is extremely advantageous, and the only access is through a narrow bridge and a long gallery. At the summit, cannons are facing the surrounding areas. The fort has only one entrance and exit and no parallel gates. There were spikes on the gates so that the entering elephants of the enemy troop would die of injuries. The three most sought-after structures in the fort are- Chand Minar, Chini Mahal, and Baradari.
Timings: 8 AM to 6 PM
Entry Fee: Starts from Rs. 10/-
6. Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum
One of the top places to go to in Aurangabad is the Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum, dedicated to the legendary, fearless Maratha fighter Chhatrapati Shivaji's history and contributions. A tour of this museum will help you understand the fascinating history of the Marathas. The museum houses six rooms for exhibitions in which a myriad of historical items is displayed. Take the time to relive the past by looking through the collection of old war weapons such as old sword shields, rifles, and other objects used in the battle against the Mughals. The galleries also display older photos of the forts Shivaji conquered and constructed during his time. Other attractions include the copy of the sacred Quran written by Aurangzeb; the war suit dates to the period 500 years ago, Paithani Saree, which is 400 years old; and many more.
Timings: 10 hours from 6 am
Entry Fee: Rs. 50/- per person
7. Salim Ali Lake
Suppose you are looking for tranquil places with beautiful scenery in contrast to bustling markets and touristy locations. In that case, Salim Ali Lake counts among the most popular tourist spots in Aurangabad for those who want to relax. Surrounded by lush greenery, the picturesque lake is, due to its tranquillity, a paradise for a nature-lover that allows one to enjoy the uninterrupted sounds of Nature.
Various birds can be seen within the bird sanctuary, making it a well-known location for bird watching, with numerous bird watchers flocking the place. It doesn't matter if you'd like to take a break and look at the beauty on the shore, record the beauty on camera, or explore it by boat; this is a place worth a trip.
Time: From 8 AM to 5 PM
Entry Cost: Free Entry
8. Pitalkhora Caves
The caves date back to the 3rd Century BCE. The stunning Pitalkhora Caves have been made of rock, making them one of the most impressive examples of rock-cut architecture in India. They comprise 14 old Buddhist caves situated in the lap of Western Ghats right next to a gushing waterfall that lends the place an aesthetic vibe and enhances its charm. Monks would pray in the Chaityas or Viharas, which are two sub-categories of caves. This site is now looked after by The Archaeological Survey of India and depicts various motifs, buildings, paintings, and more from the past.
Timings: 9 AM to 6 PM
Entry Fee: Rs. 10/- per person
9. Bhadra Maruti Temple
This temple is thronged with devotees of the Hindu God, Lord Hanuman, who come from across the nation. This temple is situated in Khuldabad, four kilometers from Ellora caves. Folklore tells us that this place was previously ruled by King Bhadrasena and was, therefore, known as Bhadravati. After hearing the king sing a devotional for Lord Rama, Lord Hanuman came and became so happy that he slept over there. He blessed this place which was made into a temple, after that. Lord Hanuman's idol is placed in a sleeping position because of the incident. This place is charismatic, serene, and a must-visit in Aurangabad.
Timings: 5 AM - 12 PM and 4 PM - 9 PM
Entry Fee: Free entry
10. Siddharth Garden and Zoo
If you want to spend a day amidst Nature to calm yourself or have a family day out, Sidharth Garden and Zoo should be your pick. This place is always teeming with beautiful flowering plants, a variety of trees, and an aquarium. The presence of the Zoo is like the cherry on top, making this place a great spot for tourists and locals.
While you can sit, play, walk around, and relax in the garden, if you're an animal lover or have kids, you'd want to know about the various animal species; you should visit the Zoo. It provides a home for animals like snakes, crocodiles, elephants, and tigers. You can find some rare and exotic species here.
Timings: 9 AM to 5 PM
Entry Fee: Garden: Rs. 20/- per person; Zoo - Rs. 50/- per person
11. Jayakwadi Dam
Another must-see Aurangabad tourist attraction is the intriguing Jayakwadi Dam. It is regarded as one of Maharashtra's largest dams and one of the biggest earthen dams in Asia. It is primarily used for irrigation purposes and secondarily for agricultural reasons in the Marathwada area, which is mostly a region that suffers from drought. While visiting Jayakwadi Dam, don't forget to pay a visit to the Jayakwadi Bird Sanctuary. Comprising 30 tiny islands carved by Nath Sagar, it serves as one of the prominent tourist destinations close to Aurangabad.
The shallow water, the favorable conditions, and the abundant food sources make this sanctuary a great place to shelter a variety of birds that are both local and migrants. The sanctuary is home to more than 200 species of exotic and rare birds like cranes, flamingos and wigeons, and Brahminy, among others.
Timings: 10 AM to 6 PM
Entry Fee: None.
12. Bani Begum Garden
Bani Begum Garden is one of the best spots to visit in Aurangabad. The garden was named in honor of Bani Begum, Aurangzeb's daughter-in-law. Her tomb is situated in the middle of the garden. Alongside the tranquil atmosphere that is created by green grass, swaying trees, and stunning fountains, this site showcases examples of fine Mughal architecture, with gracefully built pillars and domes. These places not only make you aware of the history of the Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb but also provides a serene atmosphere to spend a relaxing day away from work.
Timings: 9 AM to 6 PM
Entry Fee: Free Entry
13. Lonar Crater Lake
The Lonar Crater Lake is located in the Buldhana district in Maharashtra, about 3 kilometers from Aurangabad, and is one of the top places to visit near the city. This lake is of interest to various archaeologists, geologists, natural scientists, astronomers, and curious individuals because of the source of the formation of this lake. The lake was formed because of the collision of a meteor which is believed to be the biggest ever recorded.
The massive mass and speed of the meteor after it struck the ground resulted in a saline soda lake, which measures approximately 1.2 km in size and is 137 m deep. While at first, the source of this amazing lake was believed to be the eruption of a volcano, subsequent research on Lonar Crater Lake confirmed that it was the work of a meteor. Oval in form, it is set in a swath of hills with low slopes and lush greenery. Apart from the breathtaking view of the water, its area also boasts stunning elegance and charm.
Timings: All day.
Entry Fee: None
14. Goga Baba Hill
This one is for adventure lovers. If you're someone who has a zeal for hiking, then you've got your spot! Goga Baba Hill provides you with a breathtaking view of Aurangabad city. You can reach the top after a short hike. It is extremely popular among hikers, photographers, nature lovers, and devotees. You can pay reverence to the Lord at the temple located on the outskirts of Goga Baba Hill and in a small temple on the highest point of the hill. Take a moment to be in the lap of nature and relish the tranquillity around you.
Enjoy watching the sun go down, leaving behind vivid colors, making it a spectacular sight. The peace and serenity of this spot will leave you awestruck, and you'll want to return to this location.
Timings: All Day
Entry Fee: None