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Aurangabad – Depicting the Cultural Heritage through Various Caves
About Aurangabad
The city of Aurangabad, which is named after the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, is located in the district of the same name in the state of Maharashtra. The city is renowned globally for housing the magnificent Ajanta and Ellora caves, which have been declared as a World Heritage Site by Unesco. The city is also famous for its various historical monuments, which make it a major tourist hub in the region.

Prominent Tourist Hot Spots in Aurangabad
Ajanta Caves: The famous Ajanta caves are renowned for depicting the various tales of Buddhism between 200 BC and 650 BC. The group of 30 caves was discovered by a contingent of the officers of British who were roaming in the area to hunt tigers. The caves are believed to have been constructed by a handful of Buddhist monks with the help of simple tools such as chisel and hammer. The basic designs of these caves are known as ‘Chaitya grihas’ and ‘Viharas’ and while the first five caves are believed to be Buddhist cathedrals, the remaining 25 are considered to be the monasteries.  It is also believed that some Buddhist monks lived here and spread the gospel of Buddha besides performing various rituals in the Viharas and the Chaityas.

Ellora Caves: These caves are believed to have been constructed between 350 AD and 700 AD and symbolize the structures of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. Of the total 33 caves, the 17 located in the center are dedicated to the religion of Hinduism, the12 located on the southern side are focused on Buddhism, and the remaining five placed in the north are devoted to Jainism. Although all 33 caves are renowned for their beautiful interiors, with rich facades and sculptures, cave16 is especially famous for the magnificent architecture of the Kailashanath Temple situated there. According to legend, the entire structure of these caves was carved from a monolith and took nearly 100 years to complete. The Cave of Dumar Lena, was dedicated to the lord Shiva, is famous for its structural similarities with Mumbai’s Elephanta cave temple. Then there is Cave 32, which is renowned for the carving of the lotus flower which is there on its roof as well as a glorious sculpture of Yakshi, which is placed here.

Aurangabad Caves: This group of ten caves is believed to have been created out of soft rock sometime between the 6th and 7th century. The caves are divided into two different sections, namely the Western Group Caves and Eastern Group Caves, both of which lie at a distance of 1km from each other. The caves feature the design and imaging based on Tantric Hinduism and there is also an earlier version of a Buddhist monastery along with the idols of Buddha and Ganesha, besides the images of bejeweled women who are almost naked.

Bibi Ka Maqbra: Constructed in 1679 AD, Bibi Ka Maqbra is the solo monument across Deccan Plateau, built in Mughal architecture style. The maqbra shares its structural design with the famous Taj Mahal, located in Agra and was constructed by son of Aurangzeb, to commemorate Begum Rabia Durani who was his mother. Made from sandstone, the Maqbra features a marble dome and plastered walls, with the ones near the entrance having flower carvings. The Maqbra is enclosed within an octagonal boundary made of marble.

Daulatabad Fort: Located at a distance of nearly 13 km from Aurangabad, the area was previously known by the name of Devgiri. The fort, which dates back to the 12th century, is perched atop a hill and is renowned for its sturdy wall, which spans the length of 5 km. Another major attraction of the fort is its various ramparts which provide a magnificent view of the city of Daulatabad, which is also famous by the name of the city of fortune.

Things to buy in Aurangabad:
Paithani sarees, Himroo & Mishroo shawls:  Buy these local traditional as well as ethnic Paithani sarees, Himroo & Mishroo shawls from Aurangabad for your collection.

Bidri Pottery: Dont forget to buy Bidri Pottery which is of traditional style of Aurangabad near to the Ajanta Caves


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