The historic city of Aurangabad in Maharashtra is famous for being the gateway to the caves of Ajanta and Ellora. The city served as the base of Mughul emperor Aurangzeb during his Deccan campaigns and has got many interesting tourist spots within it. There are many significant tourist sites near Aurangabad including the world famous caves of Ajanta and Ellora. A large number of tourists visit these caves and other tourist sites near Aurangabad, making the city an important part of tourism in Maharashtra.
The Ellora caves are situated at a distance of 30 kilometers from the city. The 34 caves in the complex are the best example of rock cut architecture anywhere in the world. The Kailasa temple carved out of a single rock is an engineering marvel and has received recognition as the largest monolithic structure in the world. The complex consists of Buddhist , Hindu and Jain themes depicted by unparalleled mastery in the form of the many statues and panels craved out of stone.
A short and pleasant drive for 106 kilometers brings you to the Ajanta Caves. These caves along with the caves at Ellora have received World heritage site status from the UNESCO. There are 30 caves at Ajanta. Five caves are designed as Chaityas (Buddhist Cathedrals) and the rest as Viharas or monasteries. The caves are decorated with sculptures, murals, paintings and wall panels depicting the many incarnations of Lord Buddha and other Buddhist themes. The paintings still retain their freshness and are examples of the mastery of the artists of the bygone ages in India.
The Ajanta and Ellora caves are the most important tourist destinations in Maharashtra as they attract a vast number of Indian and foreign tourists every year.
Daulatabad was originally known as Devgiri and was the capital of the ancient and medieval rulers of the region. Mohammad bin Tughlaq took over the city and made it his capital in 1327. He changed the name to Daulatabad. The fort is a reminder of the ways of life in the medieval ages in India. It is an important tourist site in Maharashtra and attracts a large number of tourists to the city.
Khuldabad is a walled city located 3 kilometres from Ellora. The tomb of the mughal emperor Aurangzeb is situated here and is greatly revered by the local population. A mughal garden known as Bani Begum Ka Bagh, is a place worth visiting.
Some other important getaways from Aurangabad are Grihneshwar temple, the archaeological site of Paithan, Salim Ali Lake, Mhaismal hills, Lonar Lake, and Shirdi, are the other major tourist sites near Aurangabad.
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