Want to escape the routine and skip the city for the weekend but don’t know where to go? Look no further, Aurangabad is here. It is well connected to Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur by road, rail and air.
Things to do in Aurangabad:
The famed Ellora caves are just an hour drive from Aurangabad and 30mins from Daulatabad.
The caves open at 6 a.m. and stay open till 6 p.m. Going early will allow you to escape from the sun and the crowd. There are 34 caves in total. The caves are divided into three parts.
Caves 1 to 12 are the Buddhist caves, caves 13 to 29 are Hindu and 30 to 34 are Jain.
The entry and exit gates are in front of the cave 16 and rightly so. This is the biggest caves in Ellora. My suggestion is to start with cave 16 as the earlier you go in the less the crowd will be. This cave will take your maximum time. The cave has detailed carvings and has a Shiva temple in it.
After cave 16 you can either go cave by cave till cave 27 or directly to cave 27 to see Waghora waterfall. The other caves in this group have nothing special.
The caves 30 to 34 are a little ahead and worth the hike. If you don’t feel like walking come back to the entrance and take the free bus ferrying tourist directly to cave 30- 34.
These Jain caves are interconnected and have carvings of Mahavir Jain the founder of Jainism.
Take the bus back to Buddhist caves. Exploring every cave would be very time consuming. If you are short on time then I would recommend skipping the caves other than caves 2, 5, 10 and 12 among this group. Cave 10 is a temple with richly decorated facade.
The next stop in the daulatabad itinarary is the Deogiri/Daulatabad fort is en route to Aurangabad and is of historical importance. The fortress was considered to be invulnerable and remained so till it yielded to the enemy assault and passed into the hands of Sultan’s of Delhi.
Daulatabad was made the capital of India under the notorious sultan Muhammad Tughlak, for a brief moment. One is greeted by Chand Minar on the right side which was built to commemorate Kings victory over Daulatabad.
The fort has a dark corridor which acted as a maze and kept the enemy at bay. I recommend investing in a guided tour for this part.
Biwi ka Maqbara:
Popularly known as the Taj of the Deccan. The tomb was built by Aurangzeb and is the final resting place of his wife. The architecture is inspired by Taj Mahal.