Aurangabad is located in the state of Maharashtra. Malik Ambar, prime minister of the Murtaza Nizam Shah II, founded the city in the early 16th century. Ambar’s son, Fateh Khan succeeded the throne in 1626, renaming the city Fatehpur, before the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb muscled on in and made it his capital in 1653. At his behest, the impressive city walls and gates were raised in 1682 to withstand persistent Maratha attacks. Following his death in 1707, the city was renamed in his honour and again changed hands. The new rulers, the Nizams of Hyderabad, somehow beat off the advances of the Marathas for some 250 years, until the city finally merged with Maharashtra in 1956.
The old walled city still forms the core of the Aurangabad’s big bazaar area, which is where much of the life and soul of the city is. In this area is the Chatrapathi Shivaji Museum, a museum exclusively devoted to 16th century artifacts. The city’s largest and most impressive mosque is the Jami Masjid. To the east of the mosque lie the ruins of Aurangzeb former imperial headquarters, the Kila Arak.
On the left bank of the Kham River is the Panchakki, an unusual water mill, and a marvel of ancient engineering.
Meanwhile, Bibi-ka-Maqbara, a 17th century mausoleum dedicated to Aurangzeb’s wife, Rabia-ud-Daurani is an imitation of the Taj Mahal, though a grand piece of Moghul architecture all the same. Beyond here are the Aurangabad Caves, ten Buddhist caves carved in the 6th or 7th century AD.
A flamboyant showcase of Rajasthani architecture and a firm favourite on tourist itineraries as the third corner of India’s ‘Golden ...