Aurangabad with Daulatabad, Khuldabad and Ahmadnagar
This guidebook focusses on four cities and sites of exceptional historical importance and architectural interest in Maharashtra. While Aurangabad is well-known as a convenient base from which to reach the celebrated cave-temples at Ajanta and Ellora, the city’s tombs and mosques are hardly ever visited. Many of these were built during the seventeenth century, when the city served as the second capital of the Mughal Empire, taking its name from the emperor Aurangzeb who spent many years here.
A short distance from Aurangabad is Daulatabad. This citadel is dominated by a rugged basalt hill, the sides of which have been artificially scooped into vertical faces, beneath which are situated a number of palaces and mosques dating back to the thirteenth–fourteenth centuries.
The nearby small, walled town of Khuldabad is celebrated for its holy Sufi shrines, inside one of which Aurangzeb himself is buried. The city of Ahmadnagar, a day trip from Aurangabad, was capital of the Nizam Shahi sultans in the sixteenth century. From their era date a number of impressive mosques, tombs and palaces, also well worth visiting. All these buildings and more are described and profusely illustrated in this guidebook, the first ever published for this region.
Pushkar Sohoni trained as an architect and then studied Indian architectural history, specialising in Islamic traditions of the Deccan. Formerly the South Asian Librarian at the University of Pennsylvanian Libraries, Philadelphia, USA, he is now Assistant Professor in Humanities and Social Sciences at the Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research (IISER), Pune.