Khuldabad

The city of Aurangabad, in the state of Maharashtra takes great pride of having Khuldabad under its municipal limits.  Located at 20.05oN 75.280E at 2,732 feet above mean sea level with pleasant and temperate climate it was initially it was known as “Rauzaa” or garden of paradise. In the 14th century it was the home for many Sufi saints thereby earning the sobriquet “Valley of Saints” or “Abode of Eternity”. 

Aurangabad enjoys the tag of one of the popular Indian tourist destinations having over half a dozen famous tourist attractions bearing historical and religious importance. There are famous dargahs, temples, caves and forts in a single plain.

On the historical front, Aurangabad boasts of monuments and tombs during the period of the last Mughal emperor Aurangazeb. Aurangazeb’s son, Azam Shah is buried here so also Tana Shah the last Golkonda kings. The founder of the Hyderabad dynasty, Nizam-ul-Mulk Asaf jah’s second son Nasir Jung is buried and in the vicinity the king of Ahmednagar, Nizare Shah is also buried in the valley. The Dargah of Zar Zari Zar Baksh, Shaikh Burhan ud-din Gharib Chisti & Shaikh Zain-ud-din Shirazi share space with tomb of the Mughal emperor Aurangazeb and his trusted General Asif jah I the first Nizam of Hyderabad are located in this town within a short distance of each other.

Significantly, Khuldabad contains around 20 or more tombs and burial chambers of celebrity of Moghul era.  

Built by Aurangazeb, the high fortified wall surrounding Khuldabad has seven gates including a wicket gate appropriately named.  Though, at many places, the wall has collapsed now but the wall is still an imposing Mughal architecture with its gateway approached by a paved ascent of 300 feet inside the town. Between the north and the south gates lies the mausoleum tomb of Aurangazeb. Erected in 1760, a doomed-porch and gateway a large quadrangle is approached on three sides of an open fronted building which was used for conducting school, used as a mosque and as choultry for travelers.   The replica of the mosque is below the structure taken by a flight of descending steps and further a gateway leads into an inner courtyard. Great work of Moghul architecture is displayed.  

In addition the famous Bhadra Maruti Temple, the temple devoted to the monkey god, where devotees congregate from far away places to offer prayers particularly during Hanuman Jayanti the birthday of the monkey god Hanuman, on Saturdays and during the month of Shravan; the religious month revered by the natives of Maharashtra. Ironically, in the nearby valley 1500 Sufi Saints are believed to be buried in the Valley of the Saints in Khuldabad.   

In addition, there are the famous UNESCO accreditation caves of Ellora the largest monolithic rock-cut monastery-temple in the world, presenting monuments and artwork of Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism. UNESCO describes Ajanta caves as masterpieces paintings and sculptures of the Buddhist religious art. Both these are on the must see itinerary list.