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Aurangabad Tourism And Travel Guide
16° C / 60.8° F
October to March
2 to 3 Days
Aurangabad Airport (10 kms)
Aurangabad Railway Station (4.9 kms)
The state of Maharashtra on the west of India has regions that are renowned for their hill stations and beaches that would make any excursion worthwhile, but if there is a city that is known for its history and still retains its ancient legacy, then it’s the city of Aurangabad.
Founded by Malik Ambar, the Ethiopian Prime Minister of the Nizam Shahi Dynasty and ruled by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, the tourist capital of Maharashtra is a remainder of the times gone by. Aurangabad is known as the City of Gates, 52 of them that celebrated victories and safeguarded the city along with strong masonry walls built during the time of Malik Amber and Aurangzeb. Only a few gates or Darwaza survive now, like the oldest Bhadkal Darwaza built in 1612.
Daulatabad Fort, Phitalkhora caves, the historic city of Khultabad, Mhaismal hill station and the renowned Ajanta and Ellora Caves are some of Aurangabad’s popular tourist places. Relive history through a trip in Aurangabad that also promises generous choices of adventure tourism.
If you are planning a trip to Aurangabad, our travel and tourism guide should help you chart a memorable journey.
How to Reach
Aurangabad is a significant city on the map of Maharashtra and has easy access by air, rail or road. There are several trains that run to Aurangabad and thus, the most ideal way to reach the city is by rail.
Aurangabad’s airport has domestic flights from most Indian cities. You can hire a cab from the airport to reach your destination. The nearest International airport is at Pune (229 km) that serves domestic flights as well as flights to Dubai, Sharjah, Frankfurt and Abu Dhabi. You can reach Aurangabad from Pune by domestic flight, train or bus.
There are frequent private and government bus services from most Indian cities to Aurangabad. There are excellent expressways that connect major state and national destinations and can be used to drive to Aurangabad.
There are state run buses, auto rickshaws and cabs for getting around town. There are special tourist buses that ply to significant tourist places like Ajanta and Ellora caves.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
Aurangabad has charming landscapes with large caves and open spaces with lush vegetation that turn beautiful in winter and monsoon. The most perfect months to visit the city would be in winter.
Summer (March - May):
Summer months are hot and are not comfortable if you are planning to indulge in adventure tourism or exploring the caves. Summers are dry and generally off season.
Monsoon (July - September)
Monsoons have an average range of rainfall, with occasional heavy rains. Monsoon is by and large a great climate for it turns the landscape lush and the hill stations and sanctuaries look awesome, but travel becomes a bother. If you don’t mind the rains, Aurangabad is good during monsoon too.
Winter (October - February):
Winters are cool, sometimes bordering on very chilly days. Winter’s the time for festivities and celebrations in Aurangabad and the near perfect season for sightseeing.
Things to Do
There are small hills, caves and hill fortresses around Aurangabad that are the favourite haunt of cyclists, joggers and trekkers. Climbing up and down a hill to watch the sun rise or get a breath of fresh air is a great way to start the day!
Mhaismal is a hill station, known for its salubrious seasons and lush picturesque locations. There are some great viewpoints that give a sweeping view of the plains as well as temples to Girijamata and Balaji. Take a day off to tour Mhaismal hill station.
If you are an avid bird fan, there are a good number of bird sanctuaries you can visit, with camera and binoculars in tow for some bird spotting. Check out the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Jayakwadi Bird Sanctuary which is a biodiversity hotspot with several species of fish and migratory birds, the wilderness of Gautala Wildlife Sanctuary and the Bani Begum Gardens.
To keep you on your toes, Aurangabad offers some interesting sport activities that are going to keep you busy when you are not sightseeing. Try parasailing or rafting up the river when you are done with clambering up the rocks.
Explore Towns nearby:
Visit Khuldabad, the Valley of Saints, which has the Badra Maruthi temple and the valley close by that has the tombs of about 1,500 sufi saints. You would also find the tombs of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, his eldest son Azam Shah and his general Nizam ul Mulk Asif Jah I, the foremost Nizam of Hyderabad in Khuldabad and Malik Ambar.
Begin a day of sightseeing or sign off the evening with a stroll in one of the beautiful gardens of Aurangabad. Walk among the lush greenery of Himayat Bagh listening to the peacocks cry or visit the Siddharth Garden, a picturesque landscaped garden with a park, aquarium and a zoo.
Trek up the Sihaychal hill ranges to explore the very ancient Aurangabad Caves, which are 12 Buddhist rock cut cave monuments; another example of craftsmanship and religious tolerance.
Naukhanda Palace built by Malik Ambar bears the stately remnants of a historic past. Now functioning as a college, the ancient edifice is a must visit.
Heritage and Food Walk:
Participate in the special culinary heritage food walk that focuses on the traditional cuisine of Aurangabad down the ages. Join foodies to indulge your cravings in feasting on the gastronomic delicacies of the heritage city.
Festivals and Fairs
Aurangabad’s celebrations are events that need a planned holiday to revel in. The city’s festivals are a binge of colour, merriment and traditions. Aurangabad Festival in December has folk dances, walks down a historical trail and bullock cart races. The 3 day Nath Sashti or Paithan Yatra in March on the death anniversary of Eknath Maharaj observes a holiday and traditional processions in Paithan. The 3 day Ajanta and Ellora festival heralds winter with dance, folk performances and music, one of the grandest celebrations of India.
Some interesting festivals are the Sagar Bull festival on Diwali Bhaiduj when bulls are decorated, shown off for their strength and paraded down the streets on a rally and the Karnapura fair during Navratri which is a kind of mela with food, adventure rides for kids and plenty of color and gaiety!
Aurangabad has special must buys that are the iconic hallmark of the historical city. Himroo fabrics, for instance, are ancient textile forms that were woven with cotton and silk. Nowadays you could buy Persian designs of exquisite Himroo shawls, sarees, cushion covers, fabrics and purses etc with zari, silk, cotton and wool, incorporated with floral, plain or geometric motifs or even paintings of Ajanta and Ellora to remember Aurangabad by.
Another speciality is the ancient traditional art form of Paithani silk from the town of Paithan in Aurangabad. Every Paithani saree is exquisitely hand woven with gold and silk zari with floral and peacock motifs and the most elaborate among them have borders of gems and pearls.
You could also check out Bidri pottery and local handicrafts, jewels made of semi precious stones and old coins.
Aurangabad’s cuisine is a rich blend of Marathwadi, Mughlai and Hyderabadi fare. There are a number of restaurants and street food stalls that make a plethora of delicious food that is traditional to Aurangabad or a blend of different cuisines.
Soft fluffy Nan with Khaliya, a spicy rich mutton curry served in a bowl is the hallmark of Aurangabad. Other dishes you could try are vegetable biryani with a variety of curries, paya or trotter soup with soft tandoori rotis, Aurangabad Cantukky, a desi version of Kentucky Fried Chicken, kebabs and missal pav, vada pav, samosas and pav bhaji finished off with syrupy imarti, mawa jalebis, apricots with cream or mango rabdi.