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Aurangabad - Entry in the historical city

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

When I first heard of a city named Aurangabad, the first thing that came to my mind is Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb the Great Mughul Emperor. Still don’t know him? No problem Aurangzeb is the son of Shah Jahan, the man who built the Taj Mahal for his wife Mumtaz. Now you know him. Great.

History was my favorite subject in school and Aurangzeb used to feature in it. I had it in the back of my mind that Aurangabad has to be a historical city simply because it was named after Aurangzeb. So I decided to pack my bags and go explore this beautiful city. O by the way the name of the city was originally Khadki. It was later named Aurangabad after the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.

I had my itinerary planned. Aurangabad Caves, Bibi k Maqbara, Himroo Factory, Panchakki, Daulatabad Fort, Khuldabad, Pitalkhora Caves, Sunheri Mahal Museum, University Museum, Chatrapathi Shivaji Museum, ElloraCaves, Ajanta Caves, Lonar Crater, Jama Masjid and the Doors to the city.

I had no idea as to how far these places were from each other, so instead of looking it up the map, I had planned with Namrata that we would go there and figure it for ourselves. I opted for two’s co as we didn’t want a crowd.

Public transport in the form of buses, trains and aero planes ply to Aurangabad on a daily basis other than the private vehicles. Planes are out of our budget and train tickets we wouldn’t get at a short notice so we opted for bus.

So as decided we boarded a bus to take us to Aurangabad. It took us around 10 hours to reach Aurangabad. As we were new to the city we decided to exit the bus near the ST bus stand or the Train Station as the number of hotels would be more there.

The bus landed us at a stop that was equidistant from the ST bus stand and the Train Station. As there were no hotels in that vicinity we decided to head to the ST bus stand. Why ST bus stand and not Train station is the question you will have in your head. Reason is simple we wanted to explore the place either by an ST bus or an auto rickshaw which would be easily available near the ST bus stand.

After walking for 20 minutes towards finally we could see hotels on either side of the roads. Finally the hotels are here. We checked in a hotel named Devpriya next to a nalla and at a distance of 5 minutes from the ST bus stand. The hotel isn’t a five star but a descent one for travelers after all we need place just for the night. We got a room for 600 bucks on twin sharing basis, but later due to non functioning of the switches in the room we were shifted in a three bed room.

There are both AC and Non AC rooms here and the price is also quite reasonable. The best is that competition is bad here that all hotels have signboards outside denoting the rates. I like that; the customer can see the prices at the door step but has to get in the room to check if it is good. We checked almost all the hotels and the rooms they had to offer. The rooms were no big deal but good for travelers on the move.

Aurangabad city had building which we no higher than 5 floors, but the traffic is crazy here. Though there were traffic cops around, no one payed any heed to them and continued to jump signals.

We decided to freshen up and head out to explore the city, wasting no time. The best way to explore the city is either by ST bus or a customized auto rickshaw. In case of auto rickshaws let the driver know of the places you want to see before hand and then negotiate on the cost. Rickshaw rate are negotiable, don’t be surprised if he charges you Rs.60 as waiting charge. This charge you pay over and above the rate you negotiated with the driver.

We were charged Rs .60 hence we know.

After making inquiries at the hotel reception in regards to the best possible way to explore the city. We clubbed most places together. We then headed to the ST bus stand to find a bus to take us to these places.

Buses ply to these places but have fixed timings and we had loads of places on our agenda. We then opted for an auto rickshaw as we could save on travelling time that way.

Outside the ST bus stand we found many auto rickshaws that take you to the tourist spots here and charge a lump sum charge for the same. Plus don’t forget the Rs.60 waiting / hidden charge.

The rickshaw- wala quoted a fee of Rs.1000 to show us Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga Temple, Ellora Caves, Hanuman Temple, Daulatabad, Khuldabad, Panchakki and Bibi ka Maqbara which after heavy negotiation we bought it down to Rs.600. Rs.600 to see 7 tourist spots for the entire day is not a bad idea. Oops I forgot the waiting charge. Hehe

To read about the rickshaw ride stay tuned to the next post.


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