Aurangabad is an ancient city situated in the western region of India. Spread over an area of approximately 138.5 sq km, the city falls on the northern side of Maharashtra. Aurangabad stands on the banks of the Kham River, surrounded by wooded hills on all the four sides. A historical city, it is known for its rich cultural legacy and its splendid historic monuments, which speak volumes about its royal past. Infact, the city once formed a very important seat of Mughal Empire, though for a very short period.
As we look into the past of the Aurangabad city, we find that it was
initially under the rule of the Mauryan rulers. Infact, they were the
ones to introduce Buddhism in this part of the country. The numerous
Buddhist cave temple seen in and around the city, serve as a proof of
the advent as well as flourishing state of Buddhism here. Amongst them,
the popular ones are those of Ajanta and Ellora, situated very close to
Aurangabad. Satvahana and Rashtrakuta rulers also contributed to the
construction of marvelous temples in the city.
When the talk is about Aurangabad's history, how can one forget the
role of the Mughal rulers? The city was founded in the year 1610 and
came up on the site of a 'Khirki' village, which was ruled over by Malik
Ambar, a local Muslim noble. After him, his son took over the reins of
the village and renamed it as Fatehpur in 1626. The hamlet went into the
hands of Emperor Aurangzeb, the last Mughal Emperor, in 1653 and was
renamed by him as 'Aurangabad'. Thereafter, the city became his capital
and started moving forward on the path of development.
After Mughals, the historical city came under the rule of the Nizam of
Hyderabad and continued to be ruled by him until 1948. Thereafter, it
was combined with the other cities to form the state of Maharashtra.
Today, Aurangabad claims a significant chunk of the travel & tourism
industry of Maharashtra. The splendid monuments of the city reminds one
of the Mughal era it has witnessed. Sites like Aurangabad Caves,
Bibi-Ka-Maqbara, Daulatabad Fort, etc have contributed to its
popularity. Whenever you in Maharashtra, make sure to visit Aurangabad
and lose yourself in the historical charm of the city.