Aurangabad historic city in western India
Aurangabad is about an hour from Mumbai and is a favourite week end destination from it's bigger, noisier neighbour, as a relaxed place and one well known for buying beautiful Saris which have been made here for years. Largely overlooked until the mid 17th century, a Mughal emperor made the city his capital and built many of the lovely buildings that can still be seen today. The most well known and romantic of these is the, 'Bibi-qa-Maqbara', which is a copy of the famous and ultra romantic Taj Mahal.
Best travel times
Due to the tropical climate, the best time to visit if you plan to do some sightseeing is from October to February, when the average temperature is about 22°C, which is ideal for strolling and looking. The summer is from March to May and can be very hot and dry, and Monsoon season is from June till September, when it's wet and everything slows down. The religions are mainly Muslim and Hindu and the festivals celebrated are the big ones. Muslim ones are Ramadan and the Eid-al-Fitr (July roughly, but dates vary). The festival of light, 'Diwali' is in October/November, and 'Ganesh Chaturthi' is in August/September. There's also Shivaji Jayanti and Khultabad Urs in May. However, one to watch out for tourism, is the Aurangabad Festival at the end of December, which is all about music and arts.
Useful to know before you go
The main language in Aurangabad is Marathi, but Hindi and Urdu are also spoken by many. A cheap Thali is about Rs. 150 and a restaurant meal is about Rs. 200
Local information and facts
Transfer from Aurangabad airport can only be via taxi or a car. Taxi fares are pre-paid from/to the airport, but depend on route. The taxi fare will be about Rs.15 for first 1.5 km and then Rs. 15 for every additional km. The price for a auto from/to train station is about Rs. 150, but it's better to negotiate fares before boarding. Accommodation prices vary with a cheap hotel around Rs. 700, mid-price is about Rs. 2,000. Luxury is around Rs. 3,500 and there is a wide range from modern to very old fashioned. Also note, most budget hotels are close to the train station or the centre, while top luxury hotels, chain and individually run, are found near the airport.