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Aurangabad Travel Trip
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Bibi Ka makbra Aurangabad
Aurangabad, commonly used as a base for a visit to the World Heritage Sites of Ajanta and Ellora is seeped in medieval history. Named for Aurangzeb, the last of the great Mughal Emperors, Aurangabad acquired plenty of monuments and a rich culture as its heritage from the middle ages. The one single factor that determined Aurangabad's role in the history of medieval India is its location. So strategic is its location at the cross roads of north and south India, that Mohammed-bin-Tughlak and Aurangzeb, two powerful kings attempted to translocate their capital from Delhi to Aurangabad. Their vision was clear, from Aurangabad, they would be better able to control both northern and southern regions of their empires. The fact they failed should not be attributed to the inherent flaws in their scheme as it should on the less evident fact that their empires were crumbling.

Under Aurangzeb, Aurangabad became the seat of the powerful Mughal Empire for a short while. His predecessors prefered Agra, Delhi or Lahore - all in the north, and Aurangzeb's move was not unopposed. But the autocratic Emperor's will prevailed. The Mughal court moved to Aurangabad and remained there till the his death. Built during his years in Aurangabad were such architectural gems as the Bibi-ka-Maqbara, a mausoleum with a marked resemblance to the Taj Mahal and a medieval watermill. Aurangabad became a thriving industrial centre with many fine academic institutions. Its textiles became much sought after and even today, the weavers of Aurangabad produce fine textiles like pathani, himroo and kimkhwab.

But Aurangabad's crowning glory is undoubtedly the famous Buddhist caves at Ajanta & the magnificent rock temples of Ellora. Built between 200 BC and 650 AD, the viharas and chaityas at Ajanta are masterpieces as are the incredibly ornate temples carved out of hard rock at Ellora.

Aurangabad Caves
India Taj Mahal ToursJust outside the city, lie the Aurangabad caves, excavated between the 2nd and 6th century AD. Tantric influences can be discerned in their architecture and iconography.There are twelve caves in all, a major chunk of which are viharas, of which Caves 3 and 7, are the most fascinating. Cave 3 stands supported by 12 finely carved columns, and sports sculptures portraying scenes from the Jataka tales. Aurangzeb's TombCave 7 houses an imposing sculpture of a Boddhisattva, praying for deliverance.

Aurangzeb's Tomb
India Taj Mahal ToursYou can visit Aurangzeb's Tomb at Khula-dabad, 25 km distance on the road to Ellora. Its simplicity has tourist appeal. After Aurangzeb's death in 1707 it was raised at the expense of late emperor's self-earned money by copying from Koran. His son Ajam decorated this tomb without edifice with stone lattice. Malik Ambar and other historic figures were buried in adjoining Karbala. The Angrakha (a loose and long robe) used by prophet Mahammad is also carefully preserved here. There is a Mughal garden nearby- Rani Begam ka Bag. Another 14 km from Khuladabad lies Mabishmal, a lovely picnic spot. You can stay at MTDC's Holiday Resort.

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