Travel tips – Aurangabad – Its history, econimy and sightseeing places

Aurangabad About this sound pronunciation ) is a city in the Aurangabad district ofMaharashtra state in India. Aurangabad (“Aurang City”) is named after theMughal emperor Aurangzeb. The city is a tourism hub, surrounded by many historical monuments, including theAjanta Caves and Ellora Caves, which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, as well as Bibi Ka Maqbara.[2] The administrative headquarters of theAurangabad Division or Marathwadaregion, Aurangabad is titled “The City of Gates” and the strong presence of these can be felt as one drives through the city. Recently, Aurangabad was declared “Tourism Capital of Maharashtra”.[3]

Quick facts: Aurangabad औरंगाबाद, Country …

History

Zeb-un-Nisa‘s palace, Aurangabad 1880s.

Khadki was the original name of the village which was made a capital city byMalik Ambar, the Prime Minister of Murtaza Nizam, Shah of Ahmadnagar. Within a decade, Khadki grew into a populous and imposing city. Malik Ambar died in 1626.[4] He was succeeded by his son Fateh Khan, who changed the name of Khadki to Fatehnagar. With the capture ofDaulatabad by the imperial troops in 1633, the Nizam Shahi dominions, including Fatehnagar, came under the possession of the Moghals.

In 1653 when Mughal prince Aurangzeb was appointed the viceroy of the Deccanfor the second time, he made Fatehnagar his capital and renamed it Aurangabad. Aurangabad is sometimes referred to as Khujista Bunyad by the Chroniclers of Aurangzeb’s reign.

In 1724, Asif Jah, a Turkic general andNizam al-Mulk of the Mughals in the Deccan region, decided to secede from the crumbling Mughal Empire, with the intention of founding his own dynasty in the Deccan and decided to make Aurangabad his capital. His son and successor, Nizam Ali Khan Asaf Jah IItransferred his capital from Aurangabad to Hyderabad in 1763.[5] In 1795, the city came under the Maratha rule, following the Maratha victory in the Battle of Kharda,[6] along with an indemnity of 30 million rupees paid by Ali Khan Asaf Jah II, Nizam of Hyderabad to the Marathas. However, Maratha rule lasted only eight years before the city came under the rule of the Nizam of Hyderabad, under the protection of the British East India Company, following the British victory in the Second Anglo-Maratha War. During the period of the British Raj, the city was known as Aurungábád.[7]

Aurangabad was a part of the PrincelyState of Hyderabad during the British Raj, until its annexation into the Indian Union after the Indian Independence in 1947, and thereafter a part of Hyderabad state of India until 1956. In 1956 it became a part of newly formed bilingual Bombay state and in 1960 it became a part of Maharashtra state.

Geography and Climate

More information: Climate data for Aurangabad, Month …

The co-ordinates for Aurangabad are N 19° 53′ 47″ – E 75° 23′ 54″. The city is surrounded by hills on all directions.

Climate Classification: Aurangabad features a semiarid climate under theKöppen climate classification.

Temperature: Annual mean temperatures in Aurangabad range from 17 to 33 °C, with the most comfortable time to visit in the winter – October to February. The highest maximum temperature ever recorded was 46 °C (114 °F) on 25 May 1905. The lowest recorded temperature was 2 °C (36 °F) on 2 February 1911. In the cold season, the district is sometimes affected by cold waves in association with the eastward passage of western disturbances across north India, when the minimum temperature may drop down to about 2 °C to 4 °C (35.6 °F to 39.2 °F).[9]

Rainfall: Most of the rainfall occurs in the monsoon season from June to September.Thunderstorms occur between November to April. Average annual rainfall is 710 mm.The city is often cloudy during the monsoon season and the cloud cover may remain together days. The daily maximum temperature in the city often drops to around 22 °C due to the cloud cover and heavy rains.

Geology

Station Road, Aurangabad

The entire area is covered by the Deccan Traps lava flows of Upper Cretaceous toLower Eocene age. The lava flows are overlain by thin alluvial deposits along the Kham and Sukhana river. The basaltic lava flows belonging to the Deccan Trap is the only major geological formation occurring in Aurangabad. The lava flows are horizontal and each flow has two distinct units. The upper layers consist of vesiculara and amygdaloidalzeolitic basalt while the bottom layer consists of massive basalt.The lava flows are individually different in their ability to receive as well as hold water in storage and to transmit it. The difference in the productivity of groundwater in various flows arises as a result of their inherent physical properties such as porosity and permeability. The groundwater occurs under water table conditions and is mainly controlled by the extent of its secondary porosity i.e. thickness of weathered rocks and spacing of joints and fractures. The highly weathered vesicular trap and underlying weathered jointed and fractured massive trap constitutes the main water yielding zones. The soil is mostly formed from igneous rocks and are black, medium black, shallow and calcareous types having different depths and profiles.[10]

Demographics

More information: Religions in Aurangabad …

Quick facts: Population growth , Census …

2011 census has put the city of Aurangabad in million plus metro club of India. The city municipal area has total population of 11,71,260 while population including metropolitan area counts to 14,13,711. City ranks 5th in the population of metrocities of Maharashtra after Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur and Nashik. 52.5% of Aurangabad’s population is in the 15–59 years age category. Around 11% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Economy

Main article: Economy of Aurangabad

As one of the largest cities in India, and as a result of its many colleges and universities, Aurangabad is emerging as a prominent location for IT and manufacturing.

There is evidence to believe that Aurangabad was developed as a trading hub four centuries ago. Aurangabad is one of the fastest developing cities in Asia. It tops the chart among the developing cities. It lies on a major trade route that used to connect north-west India’s sea and land ports to the Deccan region. Recently Aurangabad was in news for placing single largest order for Mercedes Benz cars in a single transaction in India — 150 Mercedes Benz cars worth Rs 65 crore.[12][13]Without a local Mercedes-Benz showroom and encountering an indifferent Mercedes-Benz dealer in the nearest city, a group of successful citizens pooled their orders and negotiated a record agreement with the firm. Soon after that, bulk purchase order of 101 BMW cars was also placed.

Industry

Himroo Shawl

The city was a major silk and cotton textile production centre. A fine blend of silk with locally grown cotton was developed as Himroo textile. Paithanisilk saris are also made in Aurangabad. With the opening of the Hyderabad-Godavari Valley Railways in the year 1900 several ginning factories were started.[14] After 1960, Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation(MIDC) began acquiring land and setting up industrial estates. Aurangabad is now classic example of efforts of state government towards balanced industrialisation of state.[15]

Major Industrial areas of Aurangabad are Chikhalthana MIDC, Shendra MIDCand Waluj MIDC. A new industrial belt namely Shendra – Bidkin Industrial Parkis being developed under DMIC.[16] The Maharashtra Centre For Entrepreneurship Development’s main office is in Aurangabad. Many renowned Indian and MNCs have established themselves in the Industrial Estates of Aurangabad:


Recently Aurangabad became the third city in Maharashtra (after Pune & Nashik) to host an auto cluster namely Marathwada Auto Cluster(MAC).[17]Electrical goods major Siemens has set up a plant for manufacturing of superior quality bogies for locomotives, electric multiple units and metro coaches at Shendra MIDC Aurangabad.[18]

Modern Retail Industry has made its presence felt in the forms of Malls.Prozone Mall spread over 1 million square feet is the biggest in the region. The industry is a big employment generator. Prozone alone created direct employment opportunities for 4000 people.[19]

Financial services

Modern banking in the district may be said to have begun when the Central Bank of India was established in Hyderabad State on 19 February 1932, at Jalna, and in next year i.e., on 20 December 1933, at Aurangabad. Later on in 1945 the Bank of Hyderabad was established under the Hyderabad State Bank Act of 1350 Fasli.[20]

In the first decade of the twenty-first century, Aurangabad has seen a spurt in financial activities, with almost all public sector and private banks have opened up branches including the State Bank of IndiaUnion Bank of IndiaState Bank of HyderabadBank of Maharashtra,Citibank IndiaDeutsche BankICICI BankBank of IndiaHDFC Bank, etc. Also Regional Rural Bank viz. Maharashtra Gramin Bank has its regional head office in Aurangabad city.

Administration and politics

Local administration

Further information: Aurangabad Municipal Corporation

Kranti Chowk

Aurangabad Municipal Corporation(AMC) is the local civil body. It is divided into six zones. The Municipal Council was established in 1936, the Municipal Council area was about 54.5 km2. It was elevated to the status of Municipal Corporation from 8 December 1982, and simultaneously including eighteen peripheral villages, making total area under its jurisdiction to 138.5 km2extended its limits.

The city is divided in 99 electoral wards called as Prabhag, and each ward is represented by a Corporator elected by the people from each ward. There are two Committees, General Body and Standing Committee headed by the Mayor and the Chairman respectively. AMC is responsible for providing basic amenities like drinking water, drainage facility, road, street lights, healthcare facilities, primary schools, etc. AMC collects its revenue from the urban taxes which are imposed on citizens. The administration is headed by the Municipal Commissioner; an I.A.S. Officer, assisted by the other officers of different departments.

State and central administration

Aurangabad division is one of the six administrative divisions of Maharashtrastate in India. Aurangabad divisions almost completely coincides with theMarathwada region of Maharashtra.

Aurangabad contributes one seat to theLok Sabha – Aurangabad (Lok Sabha constituency). The seat is currently held by Mr. Chandrakant Khaire, MP of theShiv Sena party. In latest constituency arrangements made by,[21] Aurangabad will conrtibute one Loksabha seat, and three state assembly seats namely Aurangabad East, Aurangabad West and Aurangabad Central. The latest MLAs being – Aurangabad (East) – Atul Moreshwar Save(BJP), Aurangabad (Central) – Imtiyaz Jaleel (AIMIM) and Aurangabad (West) Sanjay Shirsat of Shiv-Sena.[22]

Bombay High Court Aurangabad Bench, ITC Welcomgroup’s The Rama International, Ajanta Ambassador & Cidco Town Center – Aerial view

Judiciary

The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court was established in 1982. Initially only a few districts ofMaharashtra were under this bench. Subsequently in 1988, Ahmednagar and others districts were attached to the bench. The jurisdiction of the Aurangabad Bench is over the districts of Aurangabad, Ahmednagar, Dhule,JalnaJalgaonBeedParbhaniLaturand Osmanabad. The Aurangabad bench has now 15 judges. The first phase of centrally located magnificent High Court edifice, having 6,202.18 square metres built up area was opened in the month of June 1995.

Transport

Air

Aurangabad Airport (Chikkalthana Airport) is an airport serving the city and has connecting flights to Hyderabad,DelhiUdaipurMumbaiJaipurPune,Nagpur. In 2008, flights were made available to the people travelling to theHajj pilgrimage.[23][24]

Rail

Aurangabad (station code:AWB) is a station located on the SecunderabadManmad section of the Nanded Division of South Central Railway zone of theIndian Railways. Aurangabad has rail connectivity with MumbaiDelhi,Hyderabad. It is also connected toNandedShirdiParliNagpurNasik,PuneAmritsarAmbalaNizamabad,KurnoolReniguntaVishakapatnam,KakinadaErodeMaduraiBhopal,GwaliorVadodraNarsapurChennai,TirupatiRameswaramAhmedabad,Okha and Rajkot. But there is still a demand for direct rail connectivity to other major cities of India. TheAurangabad Jan Shatabdi Express is the fastest train connecting it with Mumbai.

Road

The busy Jalna road

Aurangabad is well connected by roads with various major cities of Maharashtra and other states. National Highway 211from Dhule to Solapur passes through the city. Aurangabad has road connectivity to JalnaPune, Ahmednagar, NagpurBeed, Mumbai and the route is currently being upgraded into four lane road of National Highway standard. A new Nagpur–Aurangabad–Mumbai express highwayis also being developed.

Local transport

The Maharashtra State Road transport Corporation (MSRTC) and numerous other private bus operators provide bus service connecting the city to all parts of the state. (MSRTC) also operates an intra-city bus service called ‘Aurangabad City Bus’ which connects different parts of the city together along with connecting the city to its nearby suburbs.

The local Municipal corporation have taken a big step in creating a good road condition by converting the roads in Cement inside the city. The AMC also decided to create the Bridges on the Main road in side the city in order to avoid the traffic Jams.

As part of creating the Smart City the Aurangabad going to create a good infrastructure.

Education

Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University (BAMU) is located in Aurangabad city. Most of the colleges of the region are affiliated to it. The University has 101 Colleges affiliated in Aurangabad and similarly 99 Colleges in Beed, 53 & 55 Colleges affiliated in Jalna & Osmanabad.[25]

Aurangabad has schools run by the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) and private schools owned and run by trusts and individuals. Government Polytechnic Aurangabad is one of the polytecnique institutions in marathawada region.

National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology Aurangabad(NIELIT Aurangabad) is located inside the Dr B.A.M. university campus. It is an central government engineering institute under the Ministry of Communication & Information Technology Government of India. It offers DEPM,B.TECH(Electronics Engineering),M.tech(Electronics Design Technology),P.hd and short term courses.[26]

Aurangabad Cantonment

Main article: Aurangabad cantonment

Aurangabad Cantonment is the greenest area of the Aurangabad city. It also has a nine hole golf course, the only such course in Marathwada region. Aurangabad Cantonment was formed in the year 1819 with European Officers to train the Nizam Army. In 1903, a treaty was signed between British and the Nizam, and it was decided to establish a proper Cantonment. Today the Cantonment is spread across 2,584 acres (10.46 km2) with civil population of 19274 as per 2001 census.[27]

Tourist attractions

Bhadkal Gate built by Malik Ambar in commemoration of his victory against the Mughals.

The Aurangabad city is known for theBibi Ka Maqbara situated about 3 km (2 mi) from the city which is the burial place of Emperor Aurangzeb’s wife,Dilras Banu Begum also known as Rabia-ud-Daurani. It is an imitation of the Taj Mahal at Agra and due to its similar design, it is popularly known as the “Taj of the Deccan”.[28] The 17th-century water mill (Panchakki) situated at a distance of 1 km from the city is known for its underground water channel, which traverses more than 8 km. to its source away in the mountains. The channel culminates into an artificial waterfall that powers the mill. The city is also famous for the 52 gates built in Mughal era which gives it a name as “City of Gates”.[29] Aurangabad Caves, situated at a distance of 5 km (3 mi), nestled amidst the hills are 12 Buddhist caves dating back to 3 A.D. Of particular interest are the Tantric influences evident in the iconography and architectural designs of the caves. The Salim Ali Lake & Bird Sanctuary, popularly known as Salim Ali Talab is located near Delhi Gate, oppositeHimayat Bagh. It is located in the northern part of the city. During the Mughal period it was known as Khiziri Talab. It has been renamed after the great ornithologist and naturalist Salim Ali. It also has a bird Sanctuary and a garden maintained by the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation. The Shuli bhanjan is a nearing hill station withDattatreya temple.

Fun Places

City of Aurangabad have various fun places, Aurangabad have one of largest shopping mall in India named Prozone Mall along with several multiplex cinema houses, city also have several outlets ofKFCDomino’s PizzaCafe Coffee Dayetc. Aurangabad being a tourist capital of Maharashtra, have several high quality hotels along with five star hotels, also has several sport clubs including Golf Course.

Culture and cuisine

Culture

The culture of Aurangabad city is heavily influenced by Hyderabad. The old city still retains the cultural flavour and charms of Muslim culture of Hyderabad. Its influence is reflected in the language and cuisine of the locals. AlthoughMarathi and Urdu are the principal languages of the city, they are spoken inDakhni – Hyderabadi Urdu dialect.[30]

Cuisine

Naan Qalia, Aurangabad

Aurangabadi food is much like Mughlaior Hyderabadi cuisine with its fragrantpulao and Biryani. Meat cooked in fresh spices and herbs is a speciality, as are the delectable sweets. The local cuisine is a blend of Mughlai and Hyderabadi cuisine, with an influence of the spices and herbs of the Marathwada region.[35]Naan Qalia is a dish that is associated with Aurangabad in India. It is a concoction of mutton and a variety of spices. Naan is the bread made intandoor (Hot furnace) while Qalia is a mixture of mutton and various spices.

The dish originated in the army camp ofMuhammad bin Tughlaq when he shifted his capital from Delhi to Daulatabad in the year 1327. Later the dish was used in the army camps of the Mughals who had their base in and around Daulatabad and Aurangabad in the deccan. Soldiers and camp followers settled in Aurangabad patronised the dish and the tradition continues to this day.

Tahri or Tahari is similar topulaoBiryani and is very popular in Aurangabad and Marathwada. Tahri is prepared by adding the meat to the rice, as opposed to traditional Biryani where the rice is added to the meat.[36]

Aurangabad / Marathwada / Dakhni cuisine is a blend of the Puneri and the Hyderabadi cuisine (which beautifully blends the use of typical South Indian ingredients such as curry leaves, tamarind and coconut into their celebrated culinary practices).[37]

Local arts

  • Paithani Textiles: The Paithani sarees from Paithan are considered to be priced possession by one and all. One can get an opportunity to witness this age old art of weaving Paithani sarees. The yarn used is of pure silk and the zari or gold threads drawn from pure gold.

Mashru and Himroo

Aurangabad is famous for Mashru and Himroo fabrics made of cotton and silk with the lustre of satin. Himru is an age-old weaving craft, and was originally known as kum khuab.

  • Himroo: The fabric is said to have originated in Persia, though not conclusively proved, Himroo is associated with the times of Mohammad Tughlaq who ruled in the 14th century. When Mohammad Tughlaq shifted his capital from Delhi to Daulatabad many weavers came and settled here. During the exodus the weavers instead of returning to Delhi stayed back here. During the reign ofMalik Ambar, the city’s fame attracted many people from far and wide. During the Mughal rule under Aurangzeb‘s governorship, Auarangabad the capital and the weavers became more prosperous. The only industry in Aurangabad allured hundreds of craftsman. Members of the royal family and an elite few used the famous Aurangabad Himroo. Himroo weaving is very characteristic and distinctive. Fabrics and shawls from Aurangabad are much in demand for their unique style and design.[38]
  • Bidriware : A unique form of gold and silver inlays on copper is preserved here from ancient Persian traditions that have been sustained in the Deccan. This ancient art still finds expression in the modern items like cufflinks, nameplates and more. Typical bidri items include plates, bowls, vases, ashtrays, trinket boxes, huqqa bases and jewellery.
  • Kaghzipura: A place situated near Daulatabad made first handmade paper in India after the technology was brought here by Mongol invaders. Interestingly this paper has been used to print the Quran.[38]
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