Aurangabad

Lying along the right bank of the Kham River, the city is the district headquarters, which offers visitors all the modern comforts and amenities.There are several luxury and budget hotels, shopping centres and banks.In the city, there are three museums housing the art treasures of the region -- the Sunheri Mahal Museum, the University Museum and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum. You can also while away the hours in the pleasant confines of the Bani Begum Gardens.

Attractions:

Bibi Ka Maqbara: Situated about 3 km from the city is Bibi Ka Maqbara, the burial place of Aurangzeb's wife, Rabia-ud-Durrani. It is an imitation of the Taj at Agra and due to its similar design, it is popularly known as the Mini Taj of the Deccan. The Maqbara stands in the middle of a spacious and formally planned Mughal garden with axial ponds, fountains, water channels, broad pathways and pavilions. Behind the mausoleum is located a small archaeological museum.

Panchakki (water mill): Housed in the Dargah complex of Baba Shah Musafir, it is a 17th-century water mill situated at a distance of 1 km from the city. An intriguing water mill, the Panchakki is famous for its underground water channel, which traverses more than 8 km to its source away in the mountains. The channel culminates in a mesmerising 'artificial' waterfall that powers the mill. The beauty of the mosque housed in the inner enclosure is enhanced by a series of 'dancing' water fountains.

Gates in Aurangabad: One of the things that makes Aurangabad stand out from the several other medieval cities in India are its 52 'gates' each of which have a local history or had individuals linked with them. Not many people are aware of the fact that Aurangabad is also known as the 'City of Gates'.

Salim Ali Lake & Bird Sanctuary: Salim Ali Sarovar (lake) popularly known as Salim Ali Talab is located near Delhi Gate, opposite Himayat Bagh, Aurangabad. It is located in the northern part of the city. During the Mughal period it was known as Khiziri Talab. It has been renamed after the great ornithologist and naturalist Salim Ali. It also has a bird Sanctuary and a garden maintained by the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation.

Quila-E-Ark: In 1692, Aurangzeb ordered a palace to be built and named it as the Killa Arrak. The space enclosed by the Killa Arrak or citadel covered nearly the whole ground between the Mecca and Delhi gates of the city. It had four or five gateways and a nagarkhana for the musicians. The walls were battle-mented and loop-holed and had semi-circular towers at the angles, on which guns were once mounted. The inner portion was occupied by recesses similar to those in the city walls. To the right of the entrance was a high terrace extending the whole length of the ground enclosed.

Jama Masjid: The mosque was constructed by Malik Amber in 1612 AD, once he found the city Kharaki in 1610 AD, and when Malik Ambar died in 1626 AD, and succeeded by his son Fateh Khan who changed the name of Khadki to "Fatehnagar". When Mughals captured Daulatabad in 1633 AD, the Nizam Shahi dominions, including Fatehnagar, fell under the possession of the Mughals. In 1653 AD, when Prince Aurangzeb was appointed the viceroy of the Deccan for the second time, he made Fatehnagar his capital and called it Aurangabad and built the fort Killa Arrak near the mosque, upon which the mosque felt in the boundaries of the fort walls expanding from Delhi gate to Mecca Gate. Realizing the architecture values of the mosque, Aurangzeb extended the mosque by constructing four Arches in the front portion in 1692 AD.The low buildings are embraced by groves and are embellished by sleek minarets and a broad band where Quranic inscriptions are inscribed on it. Among the magnificent fort, Amkhar (Public Hall) and Jama Masjid are the only structures still remain in good condition.

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