Ellora Caves : (Distance – 15 km):The famous rock cut caves temples of Ellora depict the Hindu, Buddhist and Jain faiths, and were constructed between the 5th and 8th centuries A.D. Of particular interest are the architectural marvel of the monolithic Kailasa temple, the Buddhist Vishvakarma chaitya and vihara, the famous Jain cave number 32 famous for a magnificent Yakshi statue and ceiling paintings. Every December, MTDC organises the Ellora festival of music and dance at the Kailasa Temple. The Ellora Caves have been declared a World Heritage site.
Daulatabad Fort : ( Distance – 7 km ):Originally the mountainous Deogiri fortress, it was an old Hindu stronghold, finally captured and plundered by deceit in the 13th century. Made the capital of the Delhi Sultanate a 100 years later by Tughlaq, it was the prime fortress of many successive dynasties in the Deccan. Daulatabad is famous for it’s series of trick defences, secret escape routes, etc. Important monuments within the fort include the Jami Masjid – now the Bharat Mata Mandir, the Chand Minar, Elephant Tank and Chini Mahal or Chinese Palace.
Khuldabad : ( Distance – 14 km ):At the holy village of Khuldabad or Abode of Eternity is located the tomb of the last great Moghul Emperor Aurangzeb. His simple tomb remains an eloquent testament to the staunch faith and spartan lifestyle of this pious Muslim ruler. As per his instructions, the tomb was built only with the few rupees he had earned by stitching cloth caps! On his tombstone is inscribed in elegant Persian calligraphy : "No marble sheets should shield me from the sky as I lie there one with the earth."
Ghrishneshwar Temple : ( Distance – 18 km ): Worshippers of Shiva flock to the Ghrishneshwar Temple, of particular importance since it enshrines a jyotirlinga. This particular aspect of the god’s luminous energy is manifested in only 12 temples. Ghrishneshwar was built in the 18th century of spotted red sandstone. Decorative friezes and sculpture depict a pantheon of Indian gods including Bhrama, Vishnu, Ganesh, the marriage of Shiva and Parvati, celestial beings, and even Maratha heroes.
Ajanta : ( Distance – 110 km ):Ajanta’s wondrous cave temples are cut into the rocky sides of a dramatic crescent-shaped gorge, at the head of which is a waterfall that drops over the mountain rim in a series of seven steps to a pool far below – the Saptakund. Dating back to the 2nd century B.C., deep inside the mountain are the Buddhist chaitya – vihara prayer and monastery caves. They cover a span of 800 years where under the royal patronage of ruling dynasties, professional artists helped Buddhist monks to create magnificent murals narrating the story of Buddha in his cycle of incarnations, while simultaneously creating a painted record of the panorama of life in ancient India. Etched and painted in mineral dyes, the paintings have a langourous stylised beauty and magical eloquence. The Ajanta Caves are a World Heritage site.
Bibi ka Maqbara : ( Distance – 6 km ):It is the tomb of Begum Rabia Durani, wife of Emperor Aurangzeb. Due to its similar design, it is popularly known as the mini Taj of the Deccan. The Maqbara stands in the middle of a spacious and formally planned Mughal garden with axial ponds, fountains, water channels, broad pathways and pavilions. Frequent visitors are flights of chattering parrots ( The Maqbara can be viewed from the gardens of The Meadows ).
Panchakki : ( Distance – 4 km ):An intriguing water mill, the Panchakki is famous for its underground water channel which traverses more than 8 kms to its source away in the mountains. The channel culminates in a mesmerising ‘artificial’ waterfall that powers the mill. The beauty of the mosque housed in the inner enclosure is enhanced by a series of ‘dancing’ water fountains.