Aurangabad: Bibi-ka-Maqbara (Mini Taj) & Panchakki

Surrounded by innumerous archeological sites in the backdrop of arid and hilly landscape of Western Ghats, Aurangabad had been attracting all the powerful dynasties of medieval India due to strategic location. This region also witnessed a series of battles for acquiring its ownership. The city is named after mughal emperor Aurangzeb who made it his capital and established several architectures in and around the city.Mughal style of gate (often seen in Delhi and Agra) are built through-out the city hence it’s also referred as “city of gates”. Recently, Aurangabad has been declared as the capital of tourism in Maharashtra.
Bibi Ka Maqbara Aurangabad Maharashtra
                                    
Bibi Ka Maqbara Aurangabad Maharashtra
Aurangabad is the favorite base location for the travelers to the world famous caves of Ajanta and Ellora. Ajanta Caves (97 km), Ellora Caves (30 km) and Daulatabad fort (15 km) are the famous monuments/archeological sites near Aurangabad. I will recommend you drive through or visit less popular but splendid architecture those lies within the city.
 

Reaching Aurangabad:
Pune to Aurangabad:  There are frequent AC and Non-AC busses (one in 15 min) from Shivaji Nagar Bus stand.  
Non-AC bus -: 5 hours, 247 km, 255 INR

From Mumbai: There are frequent busses from Mumbai

* Plenty of private/government busses ply between Surat and Aurangabad

Another view of Bibi ka Maqbara
                                        Another view of Bibi ka Maqbara

Accommodation:  Wide range of accommodation options is available. A long stretch of cheap lodges just in front of bus stand (200-300 INR per night)

Food: You would definitely relish Mughlai (Roasted) dishes. There are plenty of Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian restaurants.  

Lighter note: People love to fly kites in Aurangabad.

Bibi ka Maqbara aka Mini Taj
                                                Bibi ka Maqbara aka Mini Taj
BIBI-KA-MAQBARA

 

 

The beautiful mausoleum of Aurangzeb's wife is believed to have been constructed by Prince Azam Shah in memory of his mother Rabia-ul Durrani alias Dilras Banu Begum between circa 1651-1661 A.D. An inscription on the main entrance door mentions that this mausoleum was designed and erected by Ata-Ulla, an Architect and Hanspat Rai,an Engineer Hijri 1071 (1660-61 AD.). As the mausoleum architecturally resembles the Taj-Mahal of Agra, it is known as "Taj of Deccan". According to the "Tawariq Namah" of Ghulam Mustafa, Bibi-ka-Maqbara is said to have cost Rs.6, 68,203.7 (Rupees Six lakh sixty eight thousand two hundred three and seven anas) in those days.
 

The mausoleum stands within an enclosed area measuring 458 x 275 m approximately and is surrounded on all sides by a symmetrically planned garden, with paved paths, channels of running water and fountains. The main entrance is on the southern side of the outer wall, and at the centre of the three remaining walls are open pavilions, which were used as Mosque, Diwan-e-Am, and Diwan-e-Khas. These buildings contain beautiful paintings of Mughal and Nizam periods.
Bibi ka Maqbara Aurangabad
                                             Bibi ka Maqbara Aurangabad

The mausoleum proper is built on a high square platform with four minarets at its corners and is approached by a flight of steps from all four sides from the ground level. The lower and upper body of the building is made up of pure marble, decorated with beautiful carvings, whereas the middle portion is of basaltic trap, covered with fine plaster, rendered with a marble finish and adorned with stucco work. A flight of step descends into the body of the mausoleum where the actual grave is surrounded with marble screen of exquisite design. The octagonal gallery running around the interior enables imposing view of the grave below. The towering interior of the grave has a central dome, pierced with windows of trellis work and] the accompanying panels with flowers are as delicate as anything found at Agra.
 

The Mughal garden, Living Water Management System, Pavements which are ornamented with tittle kiosks, finely wotted brass doors, Stucco floral motifs on the shell lime plaster, rank Maqbara among the best of the "Beautiful Mughal buildings of Deccan."
Pavilions Bibi ka Maqbara
                                                 Pavilions Bibi ka Maqbara
Pavilions
 

The Bibi-ka-Maqbara complex is a good example of charbagh pattern of the Mughals. The enclosure wall of tomb complex has pavilions on the north and east at its centre. The northern pavilion is built on a raised platform and is approached from the main mausoleum through a stone (red basalt) paved pathway containing fountains. The pathway that runs parallel to the enclosure wall leading to the pavilion is paved with small well burnt bricks laid on edge with intricate designs. The pavilion is decorated with beautiful paintings in geometrical and floral motifs. The eastern pavilion is double storied. The upper storey has beautiful paintings of geometrical and floral patterns which was retouched and re-executed in early 20th century.

Visiting hours: From Sunrise to 10:00 PM
Entry Fee: 5 INR (Indian), 100 INR (Foreigners).

Panchakki Aurangabad
                                                   Panchakki Aurangabad
PANCHAKKI
 

Panchakki had its own underground water channel (Naher). The whole system is a typical example of medieval engineering. The source of water is 6 km away to the north of the city. Water is made to reach the final reservoir through earthen pipes. It is then raised by a siphon to the top of the rectangular masonry pillar, from where it is made to fall in the large reservoir below. A huge banyan tree on southern margin of the reservoir provided shade and adds beauty to the whole scene. In the north-west corner, adjacent to the cistern, is the water mill driven entirely by the water power. It is said that in the olden days, flour was obtained for the people from the mill without human effort. It was built in the year 1744 to commemorate Hazrat baba dhah musafir. He was a great religious teacher, who had migrated from a Russian town Gazdavan (Bukhara).

Visiting hours: 6:30 AM to 9:30 PM
Entry Fee: 5 INR (Indian), 100 INR (Foreigners).

Information Courtesy: © Archeological Survey of India Aurangabad Circle

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