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Have you been to Aurangabad in Maharashtra? Do you know why Aurangabad is famous?
Recently I have had an amazing trip to Aurangabad from Pune by road, and I want to share all the related Aurangabad travel tips and guides. So, it will give you an idea of what to do, how to plan, and what places to visit.
I will start by telling some facts about Aurangabad that is quite interesting.
Aurangabad is a small city settled in the state of Maharashtra that is heavily influenced by the Mughal Empire. The city rose to come into prominence under the Mughal emperor Aurangazeb. The city is known for its rich history and one of the primary UNESCO World Heritage site that was announced in 1983, i.e., ‘Ajanta and Ellora caves.’
How to Reach Aurangabad
The best way to reach Aurangabad would be from Pune.
Since I live in Pune, I started my journey early in the morning with my husband driving our car. It is a 5 hours road journey, but we took two stopovers, so for us, it took nearly 5 hours and 45 minutes to reach the Ginger Hotel in Aurangabad, which was our stay.
If you are traveling from another state, then you have to take a flight till Pune; you can book at Makemytrip/Goibibo at a great deal. I highly recommend these two because they are reliable and offer great discounts. I use them for all my hotel and flight bookings.
After you reach Pune like I always recommend to rent a self-drive car from Zoom/revv and enjoy the drive till Aurangabad.
Note: If you love road drive, I must say you shouldn’t miss the drive from Pune to Aurangabad. As the Pune – Ahmednagar Highway connecting Aurangabad road is a smooth road with no potholes. The drive on this road is pleasant and hustle-free.
Once you pass the Pune city, you will start enjoying the road.
If you don’t want to drive, then you can book the MSRTC buses that operate from Pune city to Ahmednagar/Aurangabad. There are various types of Buses, like seater, sleeper, ac, and non-ac.
Which one is the best?
I would recommend looking for the AC buses. To be more precise, you can book Honey Travels Shatabdi that leaves from Shivaji Nagar (Pune) at 11:57 pm. It reaches in Aurangabad the next day early morning, which will give you the entire day to explore.
There are also a few others that are good like Humsafar Travels, Pancham Travels. All these you can book online on Redbus.in. (Not Promoting)
How Much does it cost?
You can check all the fares online. The rates often vary as per seat availability and time. Still, it will not go above 900 INR for single-seat bus fare.
Best Time to Visit Aurangabad
I, along with my husband, went to Aurangabad in January. The climate was pleasant with mild breeze at night. Even during the day time, the temperature was around 27-28 degrees Celsius.
When I asked the hotel staff which season remains the busier, he said from October to December. The climate remains relatively more relaxed.
But even you can go in January too.
Summer is the time when the hotel and tourism business in Aurangabad remains flat. The climate gets too hot and a bit unbearable for anyone to go there.
Again, just after the monsoon gets over, the surroundings of the Ajanta caves and Ellora Caves looks stunning and greener.
So, if I summarize, post-monsoon and winter are the best time of the year to visit Aurangabad.
Places to Visit in Aurangabad
Bibi Ka Maqbara
Well, there are not that too many places to visit in Aurangabad. But a few well-known historical sites that you should visit.
One day stay in Aurangabad would be fine enough to cover all the major attractions of the city. If you are taking the overnight bus from Pune, then you will reach the destination early in the morning, giving you plenty of time in hand to wander around.
So, on arriving in Aurangabad, you can head straight to the ‘Bibi ka Maqbara.’ The ‘Bibi ka Maqbara’ is the replica of the grand Taj Mahal but much smaller and not that extravagant.
This monument was built by the Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb, in the memory of his first wife, Dilras Banu Begum.
When I, along with my husband, went to the Bibi Ka Maqbara, it was a bit late, and the sun was above us. There wasn’t any queue in the ticket counter. It cost us only 10 INR for two persons.
There were security guards in the gate, and I was happy to see that a historical place like this has some security system and is taking care of.
Upon entering the gate, the first reaction of mine was ‘it looks exactly the same as the Taj Mahal only the look and feel of the Taj is much more grandeur and elegant.
The monument is situated in the middle of a giant garden. Throughout the garden, there are watercourses and fountains, but none seemed to be working (Maybe because of the water issue in Pune).
But there are lush green lawns and trees covered the garden area.
The Mughal architectural wonder has stunning arches, minarets, and tombs. There is calligraphy on the walls. I quickly explored around the maqbara and found that one part of the maqbara is under the restoration work.
You can cover the entire Bibi ka Maqbara in less than an hour.
Ajanta & Ellora Caves
The next one is the most popular place in India that you must visit on your trip to Aurangabad is ‘Ajanta & Ellora Caves.’
This has always been considered as the gems of India that represents Indian history and its artwork. This UNESCO World Heritage site was built thousands of centuries ago by cutting down rocks.
Ajanta Caves is located far from the Ellora, and as local people said that the road to the Ajanta isn’t good, so we thought it’s best to skip.
But if you are willing to explore Ajanta caves, you can go ahead and spend less time in Ellora because from Ellora to Ajanta by road, it takes around 3 hours on the given road condition.
As we had time, so we preferred to explore the entire Ellora properly. The Ellora caves are divided into three: Hindu caves, Jain caves, and Buddhist caves.
Visiting Ellora is surprisingly one of the best memories I had in the entire Aurangabad trip. Apparently, there are over 100 caves, and among them, only 34 are open to the public.
Cave 16 is the most impressive Kailash temple, which is the first you will see after entering the premises.
At the ticket counter, you will see several guides, but I believe you won’t require any. Instead, you can buy a book on ‘Ajanta Ellora’ from the local vendor. In this book, you will get all the detail about the place and its history.
Once you enter the Kailasha Temple, you will be in awe of the artwork and inscription on the wall. The rock-cut architecture is considered as the greatest monolithic structure in the world.
You will find several images of different gods and goddesses that are mesmerizing. Each cave in Ellora has a story to tell through inscription.
Once you are done with all the Hindu caves, you can explore the Jain and Buddhist caves too.
While returning from the Ellora caves, we stopped near the Daulatabad fort. It is located at about 15 km from Aurangabad on the road to Ellora.
The history of Daulatabad goes back to the 12th century when it was the capital of the Hindu Kingdoms in the Deccan. The fort was once one of the most strong forts under the hold of the Mughal empire.
If you go up to the fort, there is a Mughal pavilion, from where you can see the entire countryside view.
Going up to the fort is tough and extremely tiring because of its steep hill. You will be going to burn a lot of calories.
Panchakki is a 17th-century watermill. The water flows down through a clay pipe from a distance of 11 km. The mill is located amidst the city in a garden attached to the shrine.
Also, there is a large hall under the tank.
There isn’t much to visit or spend time in Panchakki but definitely a historical site that you can visit on your trip to Aurangabad.
So, these are pretty much are the places to visit in Aurangabad. If you have time left, you can also visit the Aurangabad caves, Paithan, and a few temples if that interests you.
Best Places to Eat
Well, in the city you will find pretty much several restaurants but most of them are pure veg.
The best restaurant, in my opinion, is Bhoj Restaurant, which serves Rajasthani vegetarian thali at only 250 INR. We have never tasted such delicious vegetarian thali anywhere. This restaurant has a rating of 4.5 in Tripadvisor.
Other than this, you can also try That Baat, Swad, and Naivedya. We have tried all the four restaurants and recommend the same for lunch/dinner.
Also Read: Hampi Travel Tips and Guide
Do not ignore the historical beauty of Aurangabad. If you have anything in mind, please be free to ask me. Either way, you can mail me for any other travel-related question or recommendation.