Aurangabad is a city in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra state in India. Aurangabad (“Aurang City”) is named after the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. The city is a tourism hub, surrounded by many historical monuments, including the Ajanta Caves and Ellora Caves, which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, as well as Bibi Ka Maqbara and Panchakki.The administrative headquarters of the Aurangabad Division or Marathwada region, Aurangabad is titled “The City of Gates” and the strong presence of these can be felt as one drives through the city.The City was founded in 1610 by Malik Amber which in the year 2010 completed 400 years. Aurangabad is Tourism Capital of Maharashtra.
Khadki was the original name of the village which was made a capital city by Malik Ambar, the Prime Minister of Murtaza Nizam, Shah of Ahmadnagar. Within a decade, Khadki grew into a populous and imposing city. Malik Ambar died in 1626. He was succeeded by his son Fateh Khan, who changed the name of Khadki to Fatehnagar. With the capture of Daulatabad by the imperial troops in 1633, the Nizam Shahi dominions, including Fatehnagar, came under the possession of the Moghals.
In 1653 when Mughal prince Aurangzeb was appointed the viceroy of the Deccan for the second time, he made Fatehnagar his capital and renamed it Aurangabad. Aurangabad is sometimes referred to as Khujista Bunyad by the Chroniclers of Aurangzeb’s reign.
In 1724, Asif Jah, a Turkic general and Nizam al-Mulk of the Mughals in the Deccan region, decided to secede from the crumbling Mughal Empire, with the intention of founding his own dynasty in the Deccan and decided to make Aurangabad his capital. His son and successor, Nizam Ali Khan Asaf Jah II transferred his capital from Aurangabad to Hyderabad in 1763.In 1795, the city came under the Maratha rule, following the Maratha victory in the Battle of Kharda,along with an indemnity of 30 million rupees paid by Ali Khan Asaf Jah II, Nizam of Hyderabad to the Marathas. However, Maratha rule lasted only eight years before the city came under the rule of the Nizam of Hyderabad, under the protection of the British East India Company, following the British victory in the Second Anglo-Maratha War. During the period of the British Raj, the city was known as Aurungábád.
Aurangabad was a part of the Princely State of Hyderabad during the British Raj, until its annexation into the Indian Union after the Indian Independence in 1947, and thereafter a part of Hyderabad state of India until 1956. In 1956 it became a part of newly formed bilingual Bombay state and in 1960 it became a part of Maharashtra state.
Aurangabad is a very historical city along with its surrounding towns and villages. It receives tourists and surveyors from all over the world.
Bibi Ka Maqbara: The Aurangabad city is known for the Bibi Ka Maqbara situated about 3 km (2 mi) from the city which is the burial mausoleum of Emperor Aurangzeb’s wife, Dilras Banu Begum also known as Rabia-ud-Daurani. It is an imitation of the Taj Mahal at Agra and due to its similar design, it is popularly known as the “Taj of the Deccan”.
Daulatabad Fort: The Daulatabad Fort (aka Devgiri Fort) located about 15 km (9 mi) north-west of Aurangaabd was one of the most powerful forts during the medieval period. Built in the 12th century CE by the Yadava Dynasty, it’s a citadel that was never conquered by any military force. The British called it the “best fort of India”, due to its extraordinary military strength. Built on a 200 metre high conical hill, the fort was defended by moats and trenches running around the hill at its foot besides the most complex and intricate defence system. The fort has two fixed massive canons which can be pivoted. The fortifications comprise three encircling walls with bastions.
Ellora and Ajanta Caves: The world famous Ellora and Ajanta Caves are situated at 29 km (18 mi) and 107 km (66 mi) respectively from Aurangabad city and come within the Aurangabad district. The Ellora Caves consist of 34 caves built between 5th and 10th century CE under the patronage of Rashtrakuta Dynasty. They represent the epitome of Indian rock cut architecture.The Ajanta Caves are also 30 rock cut caves around a gorge, built by the Satavahana, Vakataka and Chalukya dynasties between 2nd and 5th century CE.They contain the rarest and finest surviving examples of ancient Indian art, especially painting. Both the Ellora and Ajanta Caves are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Panchakki: The 17th-century water mill (Panchakki) situated at a distance of 1 km from the city is known for its underground water channel, which traverses more than 8 km. to its source away in the mountains. The channel culminates into an artificial waterfall that powers the mill.
Gateways: The city is also famous for the 52 gateways built during Mughal era which gives it the name of “City of Gates”.
Aurangabad Caves: These are situated at a distance of 5 km (3 mi), nestled amidst the hills are 12 Buddhist caves dating back to 3 A.D. Of particular interest are the Tantric influences evident in the iconography and architectural designs of the caves.
Salim Ali Lake & Bird Sanctuary: Popularly known as Salim Ali Talab is located in the northern part of the city near Delhi Darwaza, opposite Himayat Bagh. During the Mughal period it was known as Khiziri Talab. It has been renamed after the great ornithologist and naturalist Salim Ali. It also has a bird Sanctuary and a garden maintained by the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation.
Tomb of Aurangzeb: The tomb of the last great Mughal emperor Aurangzeb is located in the village of Khuldabad, 24 km (15 mi) to the north-west of Aurangabad in Aurangabad district It is located in the south-eastern corner of the complex of the dargah of Sheikh Zainuddin.