Aurangabad is a historical city located in the west central part of Maharashtra State, on the banks of Kham River. The city was named after the last great Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb, meaning “built by the throne” in Persian. It is also called as "City of Gates" and it has plenty of them. The city is a tourist hub, surrounded with many historical monuments, including the Ajanta Caves and Ellora Caves, which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, as well as Bibi Ka Maqbara.
The Mauryans ushered Buddhism in this region of India, which is evident from the profusion of numerous Buddhist cave temples in and around Aurangabad. Temples built by Satvahanna and Rashtrakuta rulers are located here. The famous caves of Ajanta are a part of this Buddhist tradition. The heritage of Aurangabad is linked with different Muslim rulers and dynasties of India. The city was founded in 1610, on the site of a village named Khirki, by a local Muslim noble Malik Ambar. His son Fateh Khan ruled it and named the city as Fatehpur in 1626. Aurangzeb, the last great Mughal ruler, took over this city in 1653 and renamed it as Aurangabad. Due to its strategic location in peninsular India, Aurangzeb made Aurangabad his capital. He used this city as a base to quell the rising power of the Marathas.
By Air: Aurangabad Airport, Chikalthana Airport, is 10 km away from the city centre and is well linked with other major cities in India.
By Rail: Aurangabad railway station is not in the main route. Nearest Railway Station is Manmad which is 120 km away from Aurangabad.
By Road: Aurangabad is well connected to all the major towns in the state.
Shopping in Aurangabad is a delightful experience and a trip to the city is incomplete without some shopping. As you enter the narrow bylanes (gullies) of the old city, suddenly you will be transferred to an another era. Visit the Himroo workshop situated in near Zaffar Gate, here you can witness weaving, which was practiced hundreds of year ago, even today kept alive by skilled weavers. You can buy Himroo shawls and sarees which are found in the many showrooms around the city. Aurangabad is also famous for Paithani sarees, combining pure gold zari (golden thread) with pure silk to create a motifs of colours and motifs. Bidriware is another renowned art of the Aurangabad region. Some of the specialties of Bidriware are plates, vases, urns, boxes and necklaces made of a zinc-copper alloy. Check out the a wide array of semi-precious and precious stones available across the city of Aurangabad and stalls around the Ajanta Caves shopping complex.
Cannought: Cannought is a shoppers paradise of Aurangabad. The place has a Kam Khab, the golden and silver thread blended with cotton to make the dainty Himroo shawls and sarees. These products are available in many showrooms in and the market area.
Complex patterns of flowers, peacocks, parrots and the caves of Ajanta and Ellora are used as borders of sarees. Paithan sarees are being weaved and they follow age old traditions.
The shopping market of Cannought is now becoming very popular. It is making its place slowly but surely amongst the younger generation.
Gul Mandi: Like all other cities in India, Aurangabad also features a large number of bazaars. Gul Mandi is also one of the largest bazaars in Aurangabad. Exchanging also takes place in these markets.
Varities of goods are sold in this market. The products changes on all days and the products available depends on the day the market is visited.
But these bazaars do not have genuine shopping malls. The best quality products are sold in the markets. The special products are the Paithani saris. Different varieties of garments and Himroo silk stuff is also available.
Himroo Factory: The Himroo Factory is a major tourist attraction of Aurangabad. The conventional Himroo fabric is available here.
The Himroo material is an amazing mix of cotton and silk and it is known for its quality. Pathani saris and conventional handloom shawals can also be seen here. The materials of other factories and Himroo material and silver threads are also available here.
The designs and the patterns on these fabrics are the inspirations which is derieved from the Ajanta paintings. The locale of the Himroo Factory is ideal. The factory is near Zaffar Gate in the old town.
Aurangabad is dotted with several hotels ranging from Deluxe hotels to economy hotels. Most of Aurangabad's cheaper hotels are close to the railway station. Important hotels of Aurangabad city are mentioned below :
Deluxe Hotels : Taj Residency, Welcomegroup Rama International, Ambassador Ajanta, Hotel President Park and Quality Inn The Meadows.
Standard Hotels : Quality Inn Vedant, Hotel Aurangabad Ashok and Hotel Amarpreet.
MTDC Accommodation : Holiday Resort and Fardapur
Each year during the winter season, the Ellora Festival of Classical Dance and Music is organised against the dramatic backdrop of Ellora Caves. During Ellora Festival India's leading artists perform amidst the beautiful rock cravings. Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) organises this annual festival and it is a must-participate event.