The epithet ‘Aurangabad’ literary means ‘built by the throne’. Aurangabad, an erstwhile Mughal settlement christened after the most notorious Mughal emperor ‘Aurangzeb’ presently functions as the headquarters of the Aurangabad District in the state of Maharashtra. Bequeathed with a rich treasure of numerous historical, archaeological and architectural monuments, for instance the World Heritage Sites Ajanta & Ellora Caves, the celebrated replica of the Taj Mahal i.e. Bibi Ka Maqbara, various historical gates such as Delhi Gate, Kala Darwaza, Rangeen Darwaza, and eminent mosques namely Jumma Masjid & Shahganj Masjid, and many others, Aurangabad is today distinguished far and wide as one of the principal tourist destinations of Indian Continent. Recently accredited with the laurel ‘the Tourism Capital of Maharashtra’, Aurangabad; ‘the City of Gates’ boasts of its abounding riches of extensive artistic and cultural history and heritage.
Cuddled up on the banks of the river Kham and enclosed by the towering hillocks on all its sides, Aurangabad today entertains huge domestic as well as international tourist traffic. Despite the fact that Aurangabad is now reckoned amongst the fastest growing cities in the world, this ancient conurbation has triumphantly preserved its absolute past grandeur and its peerless magnificence. Under the ascendancy of Aurangzeb, Aurangabad functioned as the legislative seat of the great Mughal Empire and thus engraved its name in golden letters in the history of India as the only city other than Delhi to serve as the capital of the country. Except for its highly revered Muslim religious and architectural monuments and Buddhist caves, Aurangabad has also earned the repute on the world platform for its exceptional Himroo and Mishroo fabrics, Paithani saris, Kimkhab Weaves, Bidri Art, and to top it all, its delectable and mouthwatering Hyderabadi and Mughlai cuisine.
Truly, Aurangabad is an archetype of classical Indian tourism hub that beckons myriads of globetrotters all round the year.
History Of Aurangabad
The genesis of Aurangabad’s pedigree can be traced back to 17th century AD when Malik Ambar; the Prime Minister of Murtaza Nizam Shah of Ahmadnagar established a military camp on the site of a small town named ‘Kharki’. In the year 1610, the soldiers of Malik Ambar’s army built their houses in this region and before long Kharki burgeoned into a thickly inhabited and architecturally impressive community. Subsequent to the death of Malik Ambar in 1626 AD, his son and successor Fateh Khan assumed the throne and renamed Kharki as ‘Fatehnagar’. Shortly after in the year 1633, Fatehnagar together with other Nizam Shahi domains came under the custody of the Mughals. After 20 years in 1653 AD when Prince Aurangzeb was appointed the viceroy of the Deccan plateau for the second time, he picked Fatehnagar as his capital and rechristened it as ‘Aurangabad’. The archives dated back to the epoch of Aurangzeb’s supremacy refer to Aurangabad as ‘Khujista Bunyad’ from time to time. During the ensuing years Aurangabad witnessed the relentless conflict between the Marathas and the Mughals.
In 1660 AD, Bibi Ka Maqbara; the paramount landmark of Aurangabad was erected. The Bibi Ka Maqbara was patronized by Prince Azam Shah; the son of Emperor Aurangzeb who dedicated this outstanding cenotaph to the fond memory of his beloved mother; Dilras Bano Begum. After Aurangzeb’s demise, Mughals lost their authority over Aurangabad and so the capital of the empire was shifted to Hyderabad during the sovereignty of the Emperor Muhammad Shah. As a result, until its annexation to the Indian Union Aurangabad remained a division of Nizam’s princely state of Hyderabad. The Indian Rebellion of 1857 was one of the most eventful episodes in the history of Aurangabad. The first regiment of British East India Co. that had shown the incipient signs of resistance and instigated the revolt had marched from Aurangabad to Malegaon. After the independence of India, Aurangabad was an ingredient part of the Hyderabad State until 1956 AD when it was incorporated into the newly formed Bombay State and eventually in the state of Maharashtra in the year 1960.