Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Aurangabad, Maharashtra

Aurangabad is an ancient city situated in the western region of India. Spread over an area of approximately 138.5 sq km, the city falls on the northern side of Maharashtra. Aurangabad stands on the banks of the Kham River, surrounded by wooded hills on all the four sides. A historical city, it is known for its rich cultural legacy and its splendid historic monuments, which speak volumes about its royal past. Infact, the city once formed a very important seat of Mughal Empire, though for a very short period.

As we look into the past of the Aurangabad city, we find that it was initially under the rule of the Mauryan rulers. Infact, they were the ones to introduce Buddhism in this part of the country. The numerous Buddhist cave temple seen in and around the city, serve as a proof of the advent as well as flourishing state of Buddhism here. Amongst them, the popular ones are those of Ajanta and Ellora, situated very close to Aurangabad. Satvahana and Rashtrakuta rulers also contributed to the construction of marvelous temples in the city.

When the talk is about Aurangabad's history, how can one forget the role of the Mughal rulers? The city was founded in the year 1610 and came up on the site of a 'Khirki' village, which was ruled over by Malik Ambar, a local Muslim noble. After him, his son took over the reins of the village and renamed it as Fatehpur in 1626. The hamlet went into the hands of Emperor Aurangzeb, the last Mughal Emperor, in 1653 and was renamed by him as 'Aurangabad'. Thereafter, the city became his capital and started moving forward on the path of development.

After Mughals, the historical city came under the rule of the Nizam of Hyderabad and continued to be ruled by him until 1948. Thereafter, it was combined with the other cities to form the state of Maharashtra. Today, Aurangabad claims a significant chunk of the travel & tourism industry of Maharashtra. The splendid monuments of the city reminds one of the Mughal era it has witnessed. Sites like Aurangabad Caves, Bibi-Ka-Maqbara, Daulatabad Fort, etc have contributed to its popularity. Whenever you in Maharashtra, make sure to visit Aurangabad and lose yourself in the historical charm of the city.

Places to See:

Aurangabad Caves lie nestled in a valley, between Sihyachal and Satara hill ranges. Dating back to somewhere around the 2nd - 3rd century, these caves serve as the proof of the flourishing Buddhist settlement in Maharashtra during that time.

Bibi Ka Maqbara is a magnificent mausoleum, situated at a distance of approximately 5 km from the Aurangabad city of India. It entombs Rabia-ul-Daurani, alias Dilras Banu Begum, the wife of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. The construction work on the mausoleum was started in the year 1651.


One of the major attractions of Aurangabad is Panchakki, which literally means 'Water Mill'. Indeed, it a mill in the city that receives water from an underground channel, with its source being 6 km away in the mountains. An artificial waterfall has been created near the mill, through which this water is discharged on to the wheel.

The other attractions of Panchakki comprise of a lush green garden and a beautiful fountain. The water tanks of the fountain are filled with fish and are a hit amongst kids. Situated near the mill is the tomb of Baba Shah Muzaffar, a Sufi Saint who served as the spiritual adviser of Emperor Aurangzeb.

Jama Masjid 
The Jama Masjid of Aurangabad is very popular amongst tourists. The mosque was constructed under the patronage of Emperor Aurangzeb and is located in Killa Arrack. Encircled by groves, it has a low building that stands adorned with slender minarets and a broad band. The band has been inscribed with Koranic inscriptions that have been carved through the length of the portico.

Chauk Masjid 
Chauk Masjid is another splendid mosque situated in Aurangabad. It was built by Shayista Khan, the uncle of Emperor Aurangzeb, in the year 1665. This masjid has been embellished with five beautiful domes.

Lal Masjid 
Lal Masjid is located in the old city area of Aurangabad. The mosque is a red-painted basalt building that dates back to the year 1655.

There are three museums in the city of Aurangabad, through which one can glimpse into its art legacy. These museums include Sunheri Mahal Museum, University Museum and Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum.


Mumbai: The Economic Capital of India Maharashtra

Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India, and the sixth most populous city in the world, with a population of approximately 20.5 million. Along with the neighbouring urban areas, including the cities of Navi Mumbai and Thane, it is one of the most populous urban regions in the world. Mumbai lies on the west coast of India and has a deep natural harbour. As of 2009, Mumbai was named an Alpha world city. Mumbai is also the richest city in India, and has the highest GDP of any city in South, West or Central Asia.

Mumbai's culture is a blend of traditional festivals, food, music and theatres. The city offers a cosmopolitan and diverse lifestyle with a variety of food, entertainment and night life, available in a form and abundance comparable to that in other world capitals. Mumbai's history as a major trading centre has led to a diverse range of cultures, religions and cuisines coexisting in the city. This unique blend of cultures is due to the migration of people from all over India since the British period.
Places to See:

Churchgate is one of the localities situated in the downtown South Mumbai. The locality takes its name from Churchgate Railway Station, a terminus of the western railway line of Mumbai Suburban Railway of Maharashtra.

Crawford Market is situated to the north of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus of Mumbai. It lies just opposite the headquarters of Mumbai Police. Officially known as Mahatma Jyotirao Phule Market, Crawford Market is counted amongst the popular shopping areas of the city. 

One of the most magnificent buildings in the Mumbai city of India, Town Hall initially served as the venue of the Literary Society of Mumbai, when it was shifted here in the year 1830.


Mumba Devi

Chowpatty Beach

Elephanta Caves

Flora Fountain

Hanging Gardens

Jehangir Art Gallery

Kamala Nehru Park

Mahalakshmi Temple

Mani Bhawan

Marine Drive

Nehru Planetarium

Prince of Wales Museum

Taraporewala Aquarium


Film City

Vihar Lake


Jaipur, Rajasthan

Jaipur is a very famous tourist and education destination in Rajasthan in India. Lots of people flock to Jaipur to view the various forts and monuments in Jaipur which reflect its glorious past. Tourism is a significant part of Jaipur's economy. Some of the world's best hotels are located here. Major facilities and infrastructure development are expected to increase the number of tourists visiting Jaipur.

Among the many Jaipur sightseeing attractions include Hawa Mahal, a unique palace built by the poet-king Sawai Pratap Singh in the late 19th century. It is part of the City Palace complex, and has over 900 small windows facing the street. The idea was to allow the royal ladies to view the goings-on in the street without being seen. The breeze blowing through the windows also keeps the palace cool, and gives Hawa Mahal its name. Jantar Mantar, a monument built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh to observe the movement of the stars, Nahargarh Fort, Amber Fort, Gaitore, Central Museum and the City Palace are among the other major Jaipur tourist places.

Jaipur offers an exciting range of activities for visitors. You can enjoy excursions to Sanganer, known for its Jain temples and handmade paper industry, Ramgarh Lake or shopping in the city’s colourful markets. Shopping is one of the great Jaipur attractions; the city is renowned for kundan jewellery, brassware, textiles, quilts and footwear. Elephant/ camel rides and playing elephant polo at the Rambagh Palace can be an unforgettable experience. While visiting Jaipur tourist places can be fun, one way of getting the total Jaipur experience is by being there during one of its many colourful and vibrant festivals.

Other places on the Jaipur sightseeing agenda include Jaigarh Fort, Govind Deoji Mandir, Kanak Valley and the Laxminarayan Temple.

The old city of Jaipur, with its beautiful monuments and colourful bazaars, offer tourists a fantastic experience. Many hotels in Jaipur also offer cultural programmes that include puppet shows, music performances and folk dances that make a tour of this city memorable.


Places to See:

Jal Mahal

Jantar Mantar


Central Museum

City Palace

Ramgarh Lake

Govind Deoji Mandir

Kanak Valley

Laxminarayan Temple


Jodhpur, Rajasthan

Jodhpur, is the second largest city in Rajasthan. It is located 335 kilometres (208 mi) west from the state capital, Jaipur. It was formerly the seat of a princely state of the same name, the capital of the kingdom known as Marwar. Jodhpur is a popular tourist destination, featuring many palaces,forts and temples, set in the stark landscape of the Thar desert.

The city is known as the Sun City for the bright, sunny weather it enjoys all year. It is also referred to as the Blue City due to the blue-painted houses around the Mehrangarh Fort. Jodhpur lies near the geographic centre of Rajasthan state, which makes it a convenient base for travel in a region much frequented by tourists. The old city of Jodhpur is surrounded by a thick stone wall.Located on the foothill of a sandstone hillock, the city of Jodhpur seems like an oasis in the vast desert. Jodhpur is one of the favorite tourist destinations in Rajasthan. People from India as well as all over the world visit Jodhpur every year. There are a number of tourist attractions in Jodhpur, enchanting the tourists.

Jodhpur tourist spots stand as a living proof of the splendor, traditions and culture of the Jodhpur. The glorious past of Jodhpur is personified through the various forts, palaces and other monuments of Jodhpur.


Places to see:

The most magnificent fort in Jodhpur is the Mehrangarh Fort. It is situated on a 150m high hill. Rao Jodha, the then chief of Rathore clan, constructed it in 1459. There are a number of attractions within the fort like several palaces, galleries, a museum, temples and so on. More Pictures

One of the fascinating palaces of Jodhpur is the Umaid Bhavan palace. Maharaja Umaid Singh constructed it in 20th century. A part of the palace has now been converted into a hotel and a museum. More Pictures

Jaswant Thada

Jaswant Thada lies to the left of the Mehrangarh fort complex. It is a royal cenotaph made up of white marble. It was built to commemorate Maharaja Jaswant Singh. Some rare portraits of the former rulers of Jodhpur are also displayed here.

The queen of Maharaja Jaswant Singh-I, Hadiji, built this palace. It is situated near the Raika Bag palace railway station. Famous Rai Ka Bagh palace in Jodhpur, India was constructed in 1663. It was amongst the favorite palaces of King Jaswant Singh-II.

Chamundaji Temple

Raj Ranchhodji Temple

Achal Nath Shivalaya

Siddhanth Shiv Temple

Rasik Bihari Temple

Baba Ramdeo Temple

Udai Mandir

Kunj Bihari Temple

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