Aurangbad City Darshan

Aurangabad is a very historical city along with its surrounding towns and villages. It receives tourists and surveyors from all over the world.

An important city of Maharashtra state, Aurangabad is known worldwide for its closeness to UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Ajanta Caves and Ellora Caves. This city got its name from great Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. The intersections of north and south India meets here.

History of Aurangabad

  • Khadki was the original name of the village which was made a capital city by Malik 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. He was succeeded by his son Fateh Khan, who changed the name of Khadki to Fatehnagar. With the capture of Daulatabad by the imperial troops in 1633, the Nizam Shahi dominions, including Fatehnagar, came under the possession of the Moghals.
  • Aurangabad is sometimes referred to as Khujista Bunyad by the Chroniclers of Aurangzeb’s reign.
  • In 1724, Asif Jah, a Turkic general and Nizam 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 II transferred his capital from Aurangabad to Hyderabad in 1763.
  • In 1795, the city came under the Maratha rule, following the Maratha victory in the Battle of Kharda, 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 Aurangábád.
  • Aurangabad was a part of the Princely State 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.

Tourist attractions

Aurangabad is a very historical city along with its surrounding towns and villages. It receives tourists and surveyors from all over the world.

Bibi Ka Maqbara: 

The Bibi Ka Maqbara (English: “Tomb of the Lady) is a tomb located in Aurangabad. It was commissioned in 1660 by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in the memory of his wife Dilras Banu Begum (posthumously known as Rabia-ud-Daurani) and is considered to be a symbol of Aurangzeb’s ‘conjugal fidelity’. It bears a striking resemblance to the Taj Mahal, the mausoleum of Aurangzeb’s mother, Mumtaz Mahal. Aurangzeb was not much interested in architecture though he had commissioned the small, but elegant, Pearl Mosque at Delhi. Bibi Ka Maqbara is the second largest structure that Aurangzeb has built, the largest being the Badshahi Mosque.

Due to the strong resemblance, it is also called the Dakkhani Taj (Taj of the Deccan). Bibi Ka Maqbara is the “principal monument” of Aurangabad and its historic city.  An inscription found on the main entrance door mentions that this mausoleum was designed and erected by Ata-ullah, an architect and Hanspat Rai, an engineer respectively. Ata-ullah was the son of Ustad Ahmad Lahauri, the principal designer of the Taj Mahal. Aurangzeb’s son, Muhammad Azam Shah was in later years put in charge of overseeing the repair-work of the mausoleum by Shah Jahan.

Bibi Ka Maqbara is believed to have been built between 1668 and 1669 C.E. According to the “Tarikh Namah” of Ghulam Mustafa, the cost of construction of the mausoleum was Rs. 668,203-7 (rupees six lakh, sixty-eight thousand, two hundred three and seven annas) – Aurangzeb allocated only Rs. 700,000 for its construction. An inscription found on the main entrance door mentions that this mausoleum was designed and erected by Ata-ullah, an architect and Hanspat Rai, an engineer respectively. The marble for this mausoleum was brought from mines near Jaipur. According to Tavernier, around three hundred carts laden with marble, drawn by at least 12 oxen, were seen by him during his journey from Surat to Golconda. The mausoleum was intended to rival the Taj Mahal, but the decline in architecture and proportions of the structure (both due to the severe budgetary constraints imposed by Aurangzeb) had resulted in a different and particular monument with its own significant beauty

Panchakki:

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 water-mill is kept fed with sufficient water by an underground conduit, which commences from a well just above the junction of the Harsul river with a tributary stream eight kilometers away. After crossing the tributary stream near its confluence with Harsul, this water-pipe proceeds to the Panchakki reservoir. The arrangement is such that the water is made to fall into the Panchakki cistern from quite a height in order to generate the necessary power to drive the mill. The cistern lies in front of the mosque whose bottom forms the roof of a spacious hall. The cool chambers of the hall are used in summers by pilgrims, and is about 164′ X 31′ ornamented with fountains. The excess of water is let in the Kham river.

A fine view of the Kham river can be had from the windows of this hall. There is also a cenotaph to the spiritual preceptor of Baba Musafir Shah and a tomb to his disciple Baba Shah Mahmood and a few other graves. A huge Banyan tree on the southern margin of the reservoir provides shade and adds beauty to the whole scene. In the North-West corner, adjacent to the cistern, is the water mill driven entirely by water power. It is said that in the olden days, grain could be ground without physical effort.

Gateways:

The city is also famous for the 52 gateways built during Mughal era which gives it the name of “City of Gates”. Out of the 52, only four main and nine subordinate gates have survived, the most famous, oldest and biggest of them being the Bhadkal Gate near the Naukhanda Palace of Nizams.

When Aurangzeb made Aurangabad his capital, there were 54 suburbs which were walled in the city itself, the chief of these were Begumpura and Aurangpura.

During Khan Jahan’s second viceroyalty, Aurangzeb built a wall around the city in 1682, to protect it from the incursions of the Marathas; and in 1696 he erected a similar fortified wall for Begumpura. The city wall is terraced, and is of solid masonry, but of no great height, being in many parts not more than fourteen feet. The battlements are loop-holed, and the merlins over the gateways and at certain places along the wall, are machicolated; while semi-circular bastions surmounted by towers, occur at each flanking angle, and at regular intervals along the works. The wall is pierced with thirteen gateways, exclusive of a small postern wicket, and its total length is a little over six miles. All gates barring one are associated with Aurangzeb.

The four principal entrances face the cardinal points, and consist of the Delhi gate in the north, the Jalna gate in the east, the Paithan gate in the south, and the Mecca gate in the west.

Besides these, there are the Jaffar, Khirki, Barapul, Mahmud and Roshan gates; as well as four others, now closed, the Khizri, Khadgar, Mada, and Kumhar. The Barapul had also been walled up for some time.

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