This region in Maharashtra is a place for witnessing the
imposing architecture of caves and shrines of Buddhism, surviving hundreds
of years from 200 BC through 650 AD. The earliest caves at Ajanta and
Pitalkhora were excavated during the Satvahana period (2nd century BC).
Pratishthana, now known as Paithan, became an important centre of trade around the same time. During the Chalukya reign, Buddhism continued to flourish. This resulted in several 'Viharas' (monasteries) and 'Chaityas' (chapels) being excavated at Aurangabad, Ajanta and Ellora. In later years, the Rashtrakutas built several shrines, the most significant being the Kailash temple, which is an unrivalled example of Indian architecture.
Aurangabad caves are located outside the city of Aurangabad just few kilometres away from the famous monument Bibi Ka Maqbara. These caves were excavated between the 2nd and 6th century AD. These caves are carved out of the hillside and are a fine piece of architecture, housing the most stunningly intricate carvings. In total there are twelve caves, a major chunk of which are Viharas, of which Caves 3 and 7, are the most fascinating ones. Caves 1 to 5 are in the western group and caves 6 to 10 are about 1-km away in the eastern group. One can see that Tantric influences discerned in their architecture and iconography of the caves.
Bibi Ka Maqbara, situated 5-km from the Aurangabad city was built in 1678 by Aurangzeb's son Prince Azam Shah, in memory of his mother Begum Rabia Durani. It is considered as a fine piece of Mughal architecture in the Deccan region. It is also known as "The Taj of south India". This mausoleum is a replica of the famous Taj Mahal. Though the layout and surrounding of the tomb is very much similar to that of Taj but some how the architecture fails to produce the magic of Taj. When its delicacy of work etc. is compared, it falls far short of the glory of the Taj at Agra. Hence, it is considered to be a poor imitation of Taj Mahal in Agra.
They lie just 24-kms from Aurangabad, the centre of which houses the tomb of Bani Begum set amidst the tranquil gardens. She was the wife of one of Aurangzeb's son. One can come across fluted pillars; massive domes and fountains that are built in different styles.
Once known as "Devgiri", this magnificent 12th century fortress stands atop a hill, 13-km from Aurangabad, and is one of the few impregnable forts in Maharashtra with a fine architecture. Rising dramatically over 600 ft above the Deccan plain, this fort served as the head quarters of the powerful Yadava rulers. In the 13th century, Mohammed Bin Tughluq, the Sultan of Delhi made it his capital and renamed it Daulatabad, or City of Fortune.
Dargah of Baba Shah Muzaffar is located on the left bank of the River
Kham, near Begampura Bridge, with a mosque, a modest tomb and ornamental
gardens. It has an unusual watermill known as "the Pan Chakki",
built by Malik Ambar in 1695. The water, channelled from a spring on a
distant hill was used to power the flourmill and grind grain for the