Aurangabad is an important city in the state of Maharashtra, India. It sees a lot of international tourist traffic due to world heritage sites, Ajanta & Ellora caves. Aurangabad, a dream destination of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, founded in 1610, is known today, as one of the four important cities in Maharashtra. The city is heading towards rapid industrial growth, but retains its past glory and charms, heritage and traditions. Conspicuously seen on the Deccan plateau, it has a rich culture and a plethora of magnificent arts on display.
Aurangabad has a long association with the concept of heritage. Aurangabad has seen several dynasties and experienced the power of rulers of different religions, cultures and communities, each of which has left its mark on the city.
The city of Aurangabad was founded in 1610 by Malik Amber, the prime minister of Murtaza Nizam Shah II. The town was named as ‘Khirki’ and was stated a capital. The town started growing. Aurangzeb when he became Viceroy of the Deccan plateau made it his capital and named it Aurangabad. This was the golden time in the history of Aurangabad when the city flourished the most in terms of culture, architecture, art etc. In the year 1679, Aurangzeb’s son built a replica of the Taj-Mahal, the ‘Bibi-ka-Maqbara’, in tribute to his mother Begam Rabia Durani. It is considered to be a masterpiece of Mughal architecture in the Deccan plateau.
The entire city of Aurangabad was fortified and huge entrance gates were erected. Except for Bharkal gate all the other gates are associated with the period of Aurangzeb. The gates with prime importance were the ones facing the four directions, Delhi Gate facing the North, Paithan gate facing South, Makai Gate (Mecca Gate) facing East and the Khas Gate facing the West. In all there were 54 gates in Aurangabad. Out of 54 gates only 13 have survived over the period of time. The important and Architecturally most appealing gates include Delhi Gate, kala Darwaza, Makia Gate, Paitahn gate and Rangeen Darwaza.
The climate of Aurangabad is Temperate Climate with low relative humidity and diverse but not extreme weather conditions
Aurangabad like any other part in India experiences three major seasons viz. Summer, Winter and Monsoon.
Summer is observed from March to May with an average maximum and minimum temperatures of 37 and 21 Degrees Celsius respectively. The hottest summer temperature is around 42°C but never goes above that. Nights are usually pleasant and cooler during the entire summer. Average Relative Humidity is as low as 9%.
Winter is seen from November to February which is the most comfortable time to visit Aurangabad. The average winter temperature ranges from a maximum of 22°C to a minimum of 10°C. As it gets cooler the mercury even touches 7°C but that is the lowest usual temperature. Just like summer the nights are cooler in Aurangabad. Average Relative Humidity is 17%.
Monsoon which ranges from June to October receives moderate rainfall of 91 cm on an average. The average relative humidity during this period of time is 40%.
Major population in Aurangabad speaks Marathi - the regional language of Maharashtra. Hindi, Urdu and English are also spoken widely.
Generally people who come in close contacts with people do understand and speak fairly good English.
Aurangabad is well connected by Air, Rail and Road to other parts of country. Aurangabad enjoys central location with respect to Maharashtra and Goa. All major cities in Maharashtra lie within a radius of 500 Km. Aurangabad has a good network of National and State highways connecting all parts of the country. Aurangabad railhead is directly connected to many parts of the country including major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad. Direct flights from Mumbai and Delhi are available on a daily basis. One Flight except on Mondays from Udaipur is also available during tourist seasons.
Aurangabad has its own domestic airport on the outskirts of the city - Chikalthana Airport. Air India, Jet Airways, and Deccan have a number of regular flights from Mumbai to Aurangabad along with a daily fight connecting Delhi (via Mumbai - without changing the aircraft) operated by Air India. The nearest international airports are Mumbai and Pune. Kingfisher Airlines also operates a seasonal flight from Udaipur to Aurangabad
Flights to Aurangabad
Air India (IC-887 - Dep 15:55 hrs)
Jet Airways (9W-113 - Dep 07:15 hrs) and (9W-3109 - Dep 18:25 hrs)
Deccan (DN-339 - Dep 18:40 hrs)
Air India (IC-887 - via Mumbai - Dep 13:00 hrs)
Kingfisher Airlines (IT-2331 - Dep 07:55 hrs) - Except Monday
Aurangabad is a Railway Station of South-Central railway on Manmad - Secunderabad section. The city has direct rail links to New Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Hyderabad.
Ajanta Express (7064) - Dep-17:45 hrs Arr-06:00 hrs (From Secunderabad Via- Parbhani to Manmad)
Manmad is the nearest Railway Junction on Central Railway wherein trains to all parts of India are available. Manmad - Aurangabad journey can be made by excellent connection of trains or by road in a span of 2 to 2 1/2 hours. If you have a connecting train, make sure that there is at least a gap of 2 hours in the departures. In case you miss the connecting train, due to late running of a previous train, you can avail of a full refund at any of the two stations (ie connecting station or destination station).
Aurangabad is linked by national highways and state highways to all parts of the country. Aurangabad has excellent road connectivity to all important cities in Maharashtra namely Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Nasik etc. The excellent road connections make the journey to the world famous destinations of Ajanta and Ellora very comfortable.
BUS SERVICES TO AURANGABAD
The city of Aurangabad has all forms of transport right from city buses, metered auto-rickshaws to chauffeur-driven taxis. City Bus service is Municipal Corporation owned but privately operated. AMT (Aurangabad Municipal Transport) buses ply throughout the city along with the outskirts and reach thousands of citizens to their offices, schools, colleges efficiently and in a cost effective manner. MSRTC (Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation) buses connect Aurangabad to nearby tourist places, distant suburbs and villages around. As a tourist one is recommended to either take Auto-rickshaws or Chauffeur driven Taxis. Auto-rickshaws run according to meter but its always better to ask first. They carry a tariff card which tells the exact fare. The approximate actual fare is around 10 times what is shown in the meter.
AMT and MSRTC Buses
AMT (Aurangabad Municipal Transport) buses ply throughout the city including the outskirts and connect different parts of the city along with suburbs together. The AMT city bus service is affordable and efficient. The main Bus Termini for AMT buses include Aurangpura, Railway Station, Shahgunj, Baba Petrol Pump, CIDCO, Aurangabad Central Bus Stand (CBS), Chikalthana, Shivajinagar, Harsool etc.
MSRTC (Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation)buses connect Aurangabad to nearby tourist places, distant suburbs and villages around. MSRTC provides regular Bus services to the important tourist destinations near Aurangabad like Ajanta, Ellora, Daulatabad, etc. The frequency is fairly good and are extremely safe though not very luxurious. MSRTC also operates semi-luxury (Asiad) buses also to these destinations but the frequency is not very good. All these buses depart from and arrive at the Aurangabad Central Bus Stand (CBS).
Conducted Bus Tours by MSTRC, Classic Tours and ITDC
MSRTC (Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation), Classic Tours and ITDC (India Tourism Development Corporation) operate daily conducted tours by Semi-Luxury Buses to the tourist destinations like Ellora, Ajanta and Daulatabad wherein they also take a note of the tourist destinations in the city. These journeys can be booked at Aurangabad Central Bus Stand (CBS).
Tour 1: Aurangabad CBS to Ajanta Caves, Bibi-Ka-Muqbara, Pan-Chakki and back to Aurangabad CBS
Tour 2: Aurangabad CBS to Ellora Caves, Daulatabad Fort, Bibi-Ka-Muqbara, Pan-Chakki and back to Aurangabad CBS
These conducted bus tours are ideal only if you are short of time and are alright having a glance at all these places. The major disadvantage of these tours is a very tight time-schedule. The site seeing has to be wound up very fast without you being able to take your own time. CLASSIC TRAVEL SERVICES, MTDC Holiday, Camp, Railway Station Road, Aurangabad 431005 www.aurangabadtours.com [email protected] 0240 2337788 / 2335598
Metered Auto-Rickshaws (Taxis)
Metered Auto-Rickshaws are undoubtedly the most suitable and convenient way of traveling through the city. This is due to their easy availability at any time and the affordability. These are hired three-wheeler taxis which are ideal to move around the city. The Meter reading is read along-with a 'tariff-card' available with the driver. The actual fare is usually a bit less than 10 times the meter reading. Always ensure that the driver starts the meter on beginning of the journey. Fare from Mid night 12:00 AM to 05:00 AM is One and Half times the regular fare. The minimum regular fare is as low as Rs. 10/- Only.
Chauffeur Driven Taxis / Tourist Taxis
These are ideal for the tourists visiting the city and the tourist destinations around. The tourist taxis can be booked from various travel agents in the city like Manmandir, Saibaba, Welworth, Classic Cars, etc. All hotels also have a taxi-counter. The fare is calculated per kilometer with a minimum of 80 KM. The fare depends on the class of vehicle and the type (AC or Non AC). See to it that the taxi you hire has a tourist permit and is not a private vehicle. The Tourist Permit Cars can be easily identified by a Yellow Number Plate.
Drive (Car or Two Wheeler)
This is the most common way of transport for the local people. But for the tourists, self driven cars and two wheelers are not easily available on hire basis in India. Driving on the streets is fairly comfortable as there is not much traffic on the roads and the roads are wide (except that in old part of the city). Some roads are not very well-maintained and are prone to pot-holes. Link title
The nobility, grace and serenity inherent in Buddha is reflected in the sculptures of these caves. Caves 6 and 10 house images from the Buddhist and Hindu faith, under the same roof, the latter dedicated to Vishwakarma, the patron saint of Indian craftsmen. The Vishvakarma cave is both a Chaitya and a Vihara, with a seated Buddha placed in the stupa. Its two - storeyed structure sports a colourful pageant of dwarfs, dancing and making music.The Kailasa temple in Cave 16 is architecture. The entire structure was a exquisite piece carved out of a monolith, the process taking over a century to finish. This mountain - abode of Lord Shiva, is in all probability, the world's largest monolith, the gateway, pavilion, assembly hall, sanctum and tower, all hewn out of a single rock. The most striking feature about this structure is that unlike other temple structures that are built base onwards, the sculptures or architects of this majestic and fantastic sculptures started carving from the very top and the sides. The gigantic yet delicate and intricate piece of ancient work is the most amazing structure here. The Dumar Lena cave, dedicated to Lord Shiva, resembles the famous cave temple of Elephanta. The Jain caves are about a mile away from the Kailasa temple, amongst which Cave 32, houses a beautiful shrine adorned with fine carvings of a lotus flower on the roof, and a yakshi on a lion under a mango - tree, while Caves 32 and 34 contain grand statues of Parasnath. The other Jain caves sport the images of Tirthankaras, and one of them, also, has a seated figure of Mahavira.These caves are a treasure of India which hold the wealth and display the rich Indian heritage.Festival: Every year in the third week of March, M T D C organizes the Ellora Festival of Classical Dance and Music at the caves.
The caves are open from 9AM to 5:30PM Tues-Sun (closed on national holidays)
Aurangabad has a fairly good restaurants and eating joints. Apart from the star catagory hotels there are many restaurants in the city. If you are a full Indian meal lover then That-Baat and Bhoj are just for you. A few good non vegetarian restaurants here include Kohinoor Plaza based on the first floor in Nirala Bazaar , which is a bar cum restaurant. Hotel Angithi and Riviera offer good Non-Vegetarian Indian cuisine. Smile Restaurant, Laadli are a few of the good pure veg a-la-carte and breakfast options. Good cakes and saviors can be enjoyed at Baker's Lounge in a cosmopolitan and elegant decor. If you can digest extremely hot n' spicy meat then you can visit The Maratha Hotel - but its defiantly a down-market place. Connaught place in CIDCO has a number of restaurants where both vegetarian and non vegetarian foods are available.
Gayatri Chaat Bhandar is a roadside but very hygienic eating place where you can eat freshly made hot Kachoris, Samosas and Bhjjiyas prepared in front of you on a 'chullha'. The place is open only in the evenings. Milan Mithai and Bikaner Bhujiawalla are the best places to eat sweets and munchins like farsan and bhujiya.
A lot of global coffee shop chains, snack bars and Ice cream chains like Cafe Coffee Day, Dinshaws, Smokin Joe Pizza, Korn Klub and many more are also available.
Pan at Tara Pan Centre, Osmanpura is a must have. If you feel how can a Pan be so special then you have to feel a variety of Pans with excellent presentation at this joint. You will not have a Pan like this anywhere.
If you are looking for kream and Krunch that will give you complete western food, generally serving all cuisines. The food here is good and the desserts are excellent.
Try Thai food at the newly opened restaurant behind Scholar Stationary shop in Station Road near Kranti Chowk.
There are other good restaurants spread over the city, like darling near kranti chawk, chopstick on kranti chawk, and quite a few of them on the railway station road. some good restaurants can also be found on the Daulatabad road.
Other Good Restaurants include Indian Fast Food Centers Such as Uttam Bhandar, There are lots of budget restaurants offering both Veg and Non Veg Food Such as Indrali, Prathmesh, Mewad Restaurants, Sagar Hotel & Jazeera hotel in buddi lane, Moonlight at Kranti Chowk, Priya Hotel in city chowk and Lots of Dhaba Restaurants Like Fauji,Ambience and Tinu's.
Aurangabad is not a very Alcohol friendly place. Generally one should go to one of the star hotels mentioned in 'Sleep' menu. Budget Bars would include Kohinoor Plaza, Angeethi, Riviera, etc. Do not try very cheap looking Bars in the city. They are not very safe.
There are many hotels to suit all kinds of budget right from some of the least expensive hotels on the station road to the luxurious star hotels like The Meadows, Taj, Rama International, President Park, Ajanta Ambassador, etc.
List of 4 and 5 starred hotels in aurangabad.
1)Hotel Classic, Railway Station Road, Aurangabad - 2 www.hotelclassicaurangabad.in
2)Hotel Windsor Castle - 4
3)Hotel Taj Residancy - 5
4)Hotel Rama International - 5
5)Hotel Ajanta Ambassador - 5
6)Quality inn Meadows - 3
7)Hotel President Park - 3
8)Aurangabad Gymkhana Club - 4
1) MTDC Holiday Resort (Government Owned & Opetated) - Station Road
2) Hotel Amarpreet - Kranti Chowk
3) The Manor Hotel - Kranti Chowk
The Maharshtra State Roaad Transport Corporation (MSRTC) buses are available at the Aurangabad Central bus stand (CBS). Tickets can either be reserved at the counters on the Central bus stand or bought after boarding from the bus conductor. MSRTC buses run to almost every town and village in Maharashtra state.Saibaba Travels on Jalna Road and Manmandir Travels in Adalat Road and Wonder Travels in Jalna Road and near the Railway Station has facilities to book private bus tickets to Hyderabad, Indore, Mumbai, Nagpur, Nasik, and Pune.
There are daily trains to Delhi, Mumbai, and Hyderabad. Train tickets can be bought at the Railway station or at Manmandir Travels in Adalat Road or Wonder Travels in Jalna Road or near the Railway station. Manmandir Travels and Wonder Travels charge a nominal service fee in addition to the train ticket costs.
For air tickets, visit Jet Airways Office in Jalna Road near the flyover or the nearby Indian Airlines office. Indian has one daily flight to Mumbai (in the evening) while Jet Airways has two daily flights to Mumbai (one in the morning and the other in the evening). Recently Air Deccan, a low cost carrier has started daily flights to Mumbai. Tickets can booked online, at the airport or Saibaba Travels (09823167777)on Jalna Road at Wonder Travels.
Mumbai can be reached by road via Pune or Nasik. The best option if you can not afford flights is train though. Via road Pune is a faster option despite a bit longer distance. MSRTC or private buses ply regularly and is an overnight journey. A few recommended private buses to Mumbai would be Royal Cars(AC), Konduskar(AC), Ghatge Patil-Snozzer (AC Sleeper), Humsafar (Non AC budget carrier). Book your tickets only from authorized travel agents like Welworth, Manmandir, Jaidev etc. Pune too has an excellent road connection. If you do not wish to drive then the safest and most reliable option is an MSRTC semi luxury bus service -Asiad departing every half an hour from Aurangabad Central Bus Stand (CBS) starting from early morning 5.00 AM till late night up to 1.00 AM. These are non AC but comfortable buses. Private luxury AC Volvo buses also ply on a regular basis. Avoid taking Non AC private Buses. They never leave and reach on time!!
Nasik has a similar Asiad bus service of MSRTC with semi luxury buses available every hour departing from Aurangabad Central Bus Stand (CBS).
Nagpur has also a good road connectivity. If you are travelling by bus, it will take you a bit more than 12 hours. MSRTC operates semi luxury - Asiad and ordinary buses to Ngapur. Private AC Volvo and Non AC luxury buses are also available on local basis. Good carriers include Prasanna(AC), Khurana(AC), Khurana(Sleeper), Saini(AC) and Saini(Non AC budget carrier).
Ajanta and Ellora both have a good connectivity as well. MSRTC operates semi luxury Asiad tourist buses as a package tour each to Ajanta and Ellora wherein they also take a note of a few important tourist destinations in the city. The journey can be booked at Aurangabad Central Bus Stand (CBS). The best option rather is to travel on our own by a hired tourist taxi or the MSRTC bus as one needs a lot of time to enjoy the Architectural Marvels of Ajanta and Ellora. MSRTC operates ordinary bus service to both these places which has a fairly good frequency. All these buses ply from Aurangabad Central Bus Stand (CBS). This is Not so comfort oriented service but is fairly good as the travel is short and the service is extremely safe, reliable and efficient. Do not opt for the Black and Yellow taxis particularly parked outside the Bus Stands. They are very unsafe and rash.
Taxis can also be hired and the rate depends on class of the vehicle. See to it that the taxi has a Tourist Permit and is not a private vehicle. These can be easily identified by a Yellow Number Plate.