Aurangabad

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Aurangabad Attractions

Ellora Caves
Jayakwadi Bird Sanctuary
Anerdam Wildlife Sanctuary

India >> Maharashtra >> Aurangabad >> History of Aurangabad

History of Aurangabad

The history of Aurangabad can be traced back to 1610, when the former Abyssinian slave and then prime minister of the Muslim kingdom of Ahmednagar, Malik Ambar establishment a city on the site of an old village called Khirki. His son Fateh Khan named the city he ruled over, Fatehpur in 1626.

But the region’s history goes even farther back. Buddhism was introduced to this region during the reign of the powerful Mauryan Emperors and its rapid acceptance is evident in the profusion of Buddhist cave temples found in and around modern Aurangabad. The Hindu temples of Ellora built by the kings of the Satvahana and Rashtrakuta dynasties predate the influx of Buddhism. Strategically located in the centre of India, the region was considered the safest from the marauding armies of the Afghan and Central Asian raiders. The Tughlaq King Mohammed bin Tughlaq of the Delhi Sultanate moved his capital from Delhi, along with the citizens to this area in the 14th century but failed due to poor logistical planning.

Later on, the control of the Deccan kingdoms passed into the hands of the Mughals. The Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, the last great Mughal Emperor, took over this city in 1653. He renamed it Aurangabad when he made it the base for his campaigns into the Deccan. Because of its strategic location in peninsular India, Aurangzeb made it his capital from where he tried to quell the rising power of the Marathas. After his death in 1707, the city was taken over by the Nizam of Hyderabad who retained control till it was merged with Maharashtra in 1956.

Modern Aurangabad retains an Islamic ambience and still retains an old world charm. Veiled women (in burkhas) move about in the Chowk area, the call of the muezzin can be heard over the din and bustle of traffic, and come Friday, large crowds veer towards the mosques for ritual prayers. But the city has donned a more contemporary face as a major industrial centre for pharmaceuticals, automobiles, textiles and electronics and as the gateway to the cave temples of Ajanta & Ellora.


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