Aurangabad, Travelers' Paradise
The city, originally called Khadke, or "Big Rock", was founded in the early 16th century by Malik Amber, a prime minister of the independent Muslim kingdom of the Nizam, based at Ahmadnagar, 112-km southwest to the city. The city rose to prominence towards the end of the 17th century, when Aurangazeb decamped here from Delhi to subdue the Marathas. After his death the city was renamed as Aurangabad in his honour.
Aurangabad has always been a prominent region on the Deccan plateau and has a long artistic and cultural history, to which several dynasties have made major contributions over the years. It was on the famous Silk route reaching Europe. Aurangabad has traces of settlements dating to the Stone Age and the remains of the cities of several dynasties. Textiles, embroidered finery and various kinds of beads made in nearby Paithan were exported to the markets of Greece, Rome and Egypt.
The importance of Aurangabad is great, owing to its proximity with world heritage sites of Ajanta and Ellora. Today it has become a great industrial town and also a big centre of education owing to the Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar University.
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