Kazan Cathedral, Saint Petersburg

Monday, 24 December 2012


Google Maps: Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India
Trip: AurangabadAjanta > Lonar > Daulatabad > Ellora

When we told friends that we will be in Aurangabad for Christmas the question we faced invariably was 'What's there in Aurangabad?' Any reply to that question would be an understatement. 

Chand Bibi's Tomb, Aurangabad

To begin with, above is the map of the city with marked destinations nearby as follows:

Ajanta Caves (15 centuries old monastry famous for wall paintings)
Daulatabad Fort (with an amazing defense system)
Aurangzeb's Tomb (the last abode of Mughal emperor)
Ellora (Shiva Temple carved out of hills) 
Grishneshwar (one of the 12 jyotirlingas)
Shirdi (pilgrimage)
Paithan (famous for gold embroidered silk sarees)
Lonar Crater (third largest crater in world)
Chand Bibi's Tomb (Aurangzeb's wife)

A week should suffice covering the entire list although I know tourists who have done a three day quickfire trip. This was my second trip to this city. I was in Aurangabad some twelve years ago when Bhaiya and I had covered 400 miles on bike to complete a whirlwind trip of Ajanta-Ellora. This time we were in no hurry. Bibi's tomb was covered on the eve of the day of arrival. Ajanta and Ellora were going to take two separate days. A day was saved for Lonar and another for Shirdi. Paithan trip was accommodated on the day we had to fly back.

7 Points @ Aurangabad Tourist Map

The day of Ellora Caves trip proved hectic because Daulatabad Fort trek was followed by a long exploration of Ellora and then a customary visit to Grishneshwar (one of 12 jyotirlings) since all were on the same route not more than 20 miles from the city. The five days went by in a jiffy and we were happy to return home a day before Sunday to refresh ourselves.