Named after the Mughal emperor – Aurangzeb, Aurangabad is not short of picturesque scenery or ancient and historic wonders. This old-world city will offer every tourist a glimpse to our golden past. Also known as the ‘City of Gates’, Aurangabad is a tourist hub of Maharashtra.
This guide is perfect for covering Aurangabad in an extended weekend (3 Days) and cover all the highlights this beautiful city has to offer.
Here is my ultimate guide to Aurangabad in a weekend!
If you’re following me on Instagram, you already know that I’m currently on an extended weekend getaway to Aurangabad. If you’re not then do follow me on Instagram to stay updated about my travels!
🚌 There are several buses running between Mumbai and Aurangabad. Fares range from Rs. 600 to 750, and will take around 8 hours. You can book bus tickets here.
🚂 You can also take a train from Mumbai to Aurangabad, its takes almost the same time as a bus. So choose whatever mode of transport you like better. You can check more details about trains to Aurangabad here.
Where to Stay
TIP: It was my first time in the city, and there was lot to cover. So I stayed in the city center, as it is well connected with all the hot spots.
Where to Eat
🍴 Enjoy the delicious favorites at Yalla Yalla – Dum Aloo Biryani, Barbecue Chicken and to die for Badam ka Halwa. The food is so flavoursome here… that I could visit Aurangabad again, for this outlet alone!
🍴 Another must do while in Aurangabad is to end your meal the traditional way – by having Paan at Tara Pan Center in Osmanpura. Its a fun experience – must do. 🍃
Day 01: Ellora Caves
Ellora Caves is proof of the peace and brotherhood that existed between our ancestors and how accommodating they were of other beliefs and faiths. There are a total of 34 caves representative of three religions – Buddhism (first 12 caves), Hinduism (next 17 caves) and Jainism (last 5 caves). Spread over 2 kilometers these caves were carved out during the late 5th and 10th century. The architectural brilliance and the efforts taken by artisans in constructing Ellora caves will leave mesmerized!
Must Visit: Vishwakarma (Cave No. 10), Dashavatara (Cave No. 15), Kailasanatha Temple (Cave No. 16), Rameshvara (Cave No. 21) and IndraSabha (Cave No. 32).
Day 02: Ajanta Caves
Ajanta Caves is a chain of 30 Buddhist caves that were carved out of rocks in the 2nd century. The unique style of mural paintings found here cannot be seen anywhere else in the world. They depict the life of Buddha besides some illustrations on Buddhist deities. As you stroll around – Admire the scale, the time and the efforts that must have gone into making these grand structures come alive with beautiful paintings.
TIP: If you have the time and the energy, try walking down from Ajanta viewpoint. The panoramic view is worth it! (picture above)
Day 03: Aurangabad City
Keep the last day in Aurangabad for wandering around and exploring the city. Below are some places you can visit:
1. Bibi ka Maqbara (must visit)
Built in 1678 by Azam Shah (son of Aurangzeb) in memory of his mother – Dilras Banu Begum. It bears a striking resemblance to the famous Taj Mahal, and this constant comparison has often obscured its substantial charm. It is also called the ‘Dakkhani Taj’ or Taj of the Deccan.
It literally means ‘a water mill’ and is named after the mill which was used to grind grain for the pilgrims. A scientific marvel of its time, it was designed to generate energy using water brought down from a spring nearby.
Also when here, do visit the Dargah of Baba Shah Musafir which is close by and don’t forget to get picture clicked with the 1,400 years old tree growing in the courtyard!
3. Soneri Mahal
The palace is named so because of the paintings made in pure gold water which decorate its interiors. It is situated inside the campus of the B.R. Ambedkar Marathwada University and has the beautiful Satara mountain range as its backdrop. It also houses a small history museum that one can visit.
4. Aurangabad Caves
These were carved out of comparatively soft basalt rock during the 6th and 7th century. Unlike other older Buddhist caves which show artwork with gods and goddesses like Ganesha and Durga, these caves are among those few that show the same in 1st millennium CE.
After visiting the Ajanta and Ellora caves previously you may think of skipping this, but I suggest you to go ahead and give this a shot. As this is not crowded with tourists like other sights, you can enjoy watching the sunset peacefully. Make sure you bring a bottle of wine and a snack! 🍷🌮