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Aurangabad having a duplicate of 7 wonders

by on September 3, 2007

I went to Aurangabad, to inspect the fabulous heritage of the Buddhist caves at Ajanta and Ellora. It was a rough journey across the forbidding mountains on India’s frontier was made I suppose 600 years ago by Zahiruddin Babur who had descended from two ferocious Asian conquerors, Timur and the Genghis Khan. I also found the man who brought the dynasty to an end Aurangzeb buried here. Like all the other Mughal spots it is two faced one shows the bygone era and the old city.

We went to the India’s most important sites of heritage and natural wealth. The Ellora Road leads west out of the city, taking us to the Daulatabad Fort and the Buddhist caves of Ajanta and Ellora and Pitalkhora. The Paithan Road, south of the Aurangabad station leads past Bidkingaon and Dhorkingaon to ancient Paithan on the banks of the Godavari. Bibi ka Maqbara,aurangabad-taj.jpg which the locals proudly also call the Twin of Taj Mahal and outsiders call Poor Man’s Taj, was built by Aurangzeb’s son. It was quite a trek, well preserved and retaining the luminosity of all Mughal structures. It has the marble’s shade and geometric designs still survive despite the intermittent vandalism of the decades. Then there was Panchakki, a water wheel with a healthy ecology of its own, and large khol of fish glide gracefully in a tank that as part of a snazzy engineering marvel in those days, built by the slave- king Malik Amber. Water drawn from a reservoir some km away, again drawn into a tank and ceramic pipes and an iron fan churned the water to create energy used by the flour mill to grind grain for pilgrims. In its ordinary red marble structure it shares the memory of Aurangzeb himself.

Then we visited few masjids and Dargahs. Jama Masjid was our first choice which was between the market and The Shah Ganj Masjid, and the famous of all where the emperor’s tutor lies buried in Dargah of Pir Ismail in the north of the city. Then Bani Begum Gardens, about 24kms from Aurangabad is the house tomb of Bani Begum, the consort of one of Aurangzeb’s sons. It is built in various styles with massive domes, fountains and pillars, these gardens were a fine specimen of Deccan influenced Mughal architecture.

For Travel Directions to Aurangabad check here

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