Aurangabad – An attraction for Art and Architecture

A proverb goes into say that life without art is like a flower without fragrance. As per Plato, the more lovely and fascinating the arts may seem, the more deadly they may be in luring us to the emasculating influence of emotion. An artist imitates appearance of a reality and puts his idea, perception and intuition of certain distinctive and essential qualities into his work. In so doing, the artist leaves something long lasting to appeal to the emotion of the viewers and provide them pleasure.

Aurangabad, in the state of Maharashtra attracts tourists for the spectacular art and architecture of the Ajanta and Ellora caves. This dream destination of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, despite its rapid industrial growth, is a hot spot for tourists because of its, artistic, historical, monumental and cultural richness.

The Ajanta caves consist of 31 caves cut out of rock during the 2nd century B.C. The Buddhist paintings and sculpture depict the folk tales of India known as ‘JaatakaTales’. These paintings are the reminiscent of the Sigiriva paintings of Sri Lanka.

The Ellora complex consists of 34 caves cut out of vertical of the Charanndri hills. The Kailash temple, Buddhist monasteries and Jain temples are recognized as World Heritage site because of their architectural excellence.Aurangabad Caves located at a distance of 5 km from Aurangabad attract tourists for 12 Buddhist caves because of their iconographical and architectural designs.

Bibi Ka Maqbara, meaning ‘tomb of the wife’ is a replica of the Tajmahal. Built by Aurangzeb in memory of his wife, Rabia-ud-Durrani, this monumental complex soothes the mind of every visitor through its fountains, water channels, pavilions and broad pathways.

Panchakki or water, located in the premises of Baba Shah Musafir, exhibits the hydrological skill of the 17th century artisans. The underground water traverses more than 8 km from its origin from a mountain to reach the artificial waterfall and dancing water fountains developed in this serene environment.

The erstwhile Mughal Garden, Himayat Bagh is now stands transformed into Fruit Research Station & Nursery, sprawled over an area of 300 acres. Salim Ali Lake and Bird Sanctuary, the erstwhile Khizri Talab is a site of great interest for the bird watchers and nature lovers. Quila-E-Ark, with semi-circular towers for mounting of cannons, the Naukhand Palace and the 52 gates around the city with mighty city wall evidences the military strategy of the early rulers.

Some old mosques are worth visiting because of their architectural excellence. They are Kali Masjid, Jama Masjid, Shahganj Masjid, and Chowk Masjid. The Pir Ismail Mausoleum is a hybrid of Mughal style of architecture and Pathan architecture. The history of “Delhi to Daulatabad” of the crazy Muhammad bin Tughluq can be witnessed by visiting ‘Daulatabd’, 16 km away from Aurangabad. The tomb of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb lies at Khudabad, which is also renowned for the dargahs of sufi saints such as Zar Zari Baksh, Shaikh Burhan-ud-din Gharib Chisti and Sheikh Zain-ud-din Shirazi.

Any admirer of art and architecture will feel greatly contented after paying a visit to the architectural city of Aurangabad.