Malik Ambar, the Prime Minister of Murtaza Nizam Shah II, founded the city of Aurangabad in 1610 A.D, on the site of a village, Khirki. When Fateh Khan, Malik Ambar&39s son succeeded the throne in 1626, he named the city &39Fatehpur&39. In 1653, when Aurangzeb became the Viceroy of the Deccan, he made it his capital, and renamed it Aurangabad. Maurya rule heralded the advent of Buddhism in the state of Maharashtra. The earliest caves at Ajanta and Pithalkora were excavated in the 2nd century BC, during the Satvahana era. Paithan, then known as Pratishthana, was an important trade centre at the time.
Aurangabad, 400 kms from Bombay, is linked by air too. Spectacular rock cut caves and cave paintings exist at two nearby places, Ajanta and Ellora.
Altitude: 513 meters, Climate: (deg C)-Summer- Max 39, Min 21.5; Winter- Max 31.3, Min 10,Rainfall: 557 mms, Seasons: Throughout the year
Places Of Interest:
Aurangabad Caves, State Archaeological Museum, Nehru Udyan, History Museum of Marathwada University, Bibi ka Maqbara, Panchakki, Siddharth Udyan.
Daulatabad Fort-13 kms, Khuldabad- 26 kms, Grishneshwar Temple- 30 kms, Paithan- 56 kms, Shirdi-136 kms, Pithalkhora Caves- 78 kms, Aundha Nagnath-203 kms, Ajanta-106 kms, Ellora- 30 kms.
By Air: Well linked with major cities of India.
By Rail: Well connected by to all major cities and towns of India.
By Road: Ajanta- 106 kms, Bombay- 392 kms, Ellora- 30 kms, Nanded- 272 kms, Nasik- 221 kms, Pune- 229 kms, Shirdi- 136 kms.
It was only in the 19th century, that the Ajanta group of caves, lying deep within the Sahyadri hills, cut into the curved mountain side, above the Waghora river, were discovered. A group of British officers on a tiger hunt, stumbled on these ancient works of art. They depict the story of Buddhism, spanning the period from 200 BC to 650 AD.
The 29 caves were built as secluded retreats of the Buddhist monks, who taught and performed rituals in the Chaityas and Viharas, the ancient seats of learning, and nerve - centres of the Buddhist cultural movement.
Using simple tools like hammer and chisel, the monks carved out the impressive figures adorning the walls of these structures.
By Air: The nearest airport Aurangabad is -106 kms.
By Rail: The nearest railhead is Jalgaon- 60 kms and Aurangabad– 106kms.
By Road: Aurangabad- 106kms, Ellora- 70kms. Jalgaon- 60kms.
The Ellora caves, 34 in number, are carved into the sides of a basaltic hill, 30 kms from Aurangabad. The finest specimens of cave - temple architecture, they house elaborate facades and exquisitely adorned interiors. These structures representing the three faiths of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, were carved during the 350 AD to 700 AD period.
The 12 caves to the south are Buddhist, the 17 in the centre dedicated to Hinduism, and the 5 caves to the north are Jain.
By Air: The nearest airport Aurangabad is -30 kms. from Ellora
By Rail: The nearest railhead is Aurangabad- 30 kms. from Ellora
By Road: Aurangabad- 30kms, Ajanta-76kms.