Aurangabad is a city in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, India. Aurangabad is named after the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. 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 KaMaqbara. The administrative headquarters of the Aurangabad Division or Marathwada region, Aurangabad is said to be a City of Gates and the strong presence of these can be felt as one drives through the city. Recently, Aurangabad has been declared as Tourism Capital of Maharashtra. It is also one of the fastest growing cities in the world. Aurangabad houses the very popular Prozone Mall which is the first largest horizontally designed shopping mall in India.
The Ajanta Caves, Aurangabad
The Ajanta Caves have 30 rock cut Bhuddhist caves and it is 106 km from Aurangabad. The basic designs of the caves are called ‘Chaitya grihas’ and ‘Viharas’. Five caves are Buddhist cathedrals and the remaining 25 are monasteries. The Chaityas are large, rectangular chambers separated by rows of pillars. They are decorated by sculptures and murals which depict the many incarnations of Buddha. The Vhharas are rectangular shaped halls. They have series of small cells which are attached on both sides. Opposite to the entrance is an image of Buddha. The caves also include a visual form of the life of Buddha and interesting stories from Jatakas.
The Ellora Caves, Aurangabad
The Ellora Caves are listed in the world-heritage list. They are located about 30 km from Aurangabad. The Kailash Temple of the Ellora caves is the most attractive and masterpiece of the creator. The Kailash temple in the Ellora caves is one of the world’s largest and massive sculpture. It was curved out of a rock with the help of 7000 laborers and took nearly 150 years to complete. The shrines are a mix or both Hindu and Jain faiths. Cave number 32 is famous for a glorious Yakshi statue and beautiful ceiling paintings.