Islamic Aurangabad on an Auto Rickshaw 21


After successfully checking into our hotel we took an auto rickshaw through Aurangabad to visit Bibi Ka Maqbara, otherwise known as ‘The Poor Man’s Taj Mahal’.  This was my first auto rickshaw experience and it turned out to be a very interesting journey! 

The city is named after the Mughal Muslim Emperor Aurangzeb. Over three hundred years after his reign the Islamic influence in Aurangabad remains and can be seen, in the architecture and the people. Aurangabad is different Nagpur, even though they share a state and are of a similar size.

On my journey to Bibi Ka Maqbara there were no temples to be seen, there were instead hundreds beautifully ornate green mosques. Women wore burqas instead of bindis, as I passed them I could see their smiles even though their their faces were covered, I could see it in their eyes. Children smiled at waved at me, dressed in their school uniforms, the little girls looking adorable wearing their white hijabs. On those streets in Aurangubad there were no holy cows sleeping in the middle of the road to negotiate, only playful goats bounding along together. There were no stalls selling marigolds and garlands, instead cockerels and chickens were waiting to be bought and the mystical call to prayer replaced the ringing of the temple bells. 

On my journey to Bibi Ka Maqbara there were no temples to be seen, there were instead hundreds beautifully ornate green mosques. Women wore burqas instead of bindis, as I passed them I could see their smiles even though their their faces were covered, I could see it in their eyes. Children smiled at waved at me, dressed in their school uniforms, the little girls looking adorable wearing their white hijabs.

We rumbled through the streets, some onlookers shook their heads at us. I first thought they were shaking their heads at me (India has made me quite self-conscious it seems) but I soon realised why when someone shouted ‘CHAR!‘, the number four in Hindi. This auto rickshaw only had three seats but we had managed to squeeze four of us in there. After seeing a family of five precariously perched on a single motorbike in Nagpur, I was surprised how road safety conscious they were in Islamic Aurangabad!

The bumpy ride resulted in bruises but it was such a lovely way to see a new city, seeing it without windows.


About Lauren Mokasdar

Lauren fell in love on the internet, took a one way flight from England, got married & started a new life & bicultural family in India. She writes about finding happiness & balance between two very different worlds, when her baby takes a nap.


21 thoughts on “Islamic Aurangabad on an Auto Rickshaw

  • hungrydai

    I have been to an Aurangabad but a different one, Lauren. Mine was not far from Varanasi. Send me some of your heat please. We are freezing up here.

    • Lauren (English Wife, Indian Life)

      I don’t think I have traveled around India enough yet to answer.

      I have only been to Nagpur, Aurangabad and took a taxi in Mumbai from the domestic airport to the international airport so I didn’t see it properly.

      Once I have had the opportunity to travel more places I will let you know but so far I would say Nagpur, because it is home 😀

  • Magdalena Rogulska-Pai

    Oh unbelievable 1st autorikshaw after so much time spent in India?? You should travel like that more often it’s fun 😉
    I also live in India for a year now. I visited Aurangabad exactly 1 yr back. Make sure you visit also Ajanta and Ellora caves. Unfortunately Aurangabad is so far my worst Indian city and I have visited many of them south and north India. It is the only city where they refused me and my husband to give a hotel room. We struggled to find some place to stay for almost 2hrs. It is also the only place where my safety was really in danger and my husband had to threaten muslim boys with knife to leave me alone :/

    • Lauren (English Wife, Indian Life)

      Hi Magdalena, lovely to hear from you!!

      I always get driven around by my husband in Nagpur so haven’t had the need! After the wedding, as we travel around a bit more, I am hoping for more fun experiences like this!!

      We are planning to visit the caves in the summer!! I was upset we didn’t have the time, we will probably base ourselves in Pune for that though.

      I am so sorry you had such an awful time getting a hotel and were so terribly harassed! I don’t know if you read my post about checking in in Aurangabad, we nearly had a similar experience but were lucky.

      I hope you are well dear and India is treating you and your husband well!! Take care x

    • Nirad Patkhedkar

      Hi,
      It is really sad to know that you have faces so much trouble in my city. Those old places have majority Muslim neighborhoods and they are quite like slums. Law and order is bigger problem in such cases. More frustrating is that city administration or tourist department doesn’t have any information or guidance center.

      It is advisable to contact local family relatives or friends who will be helpful. People of Aurangabad are quite good in nature and peace loving.

  • Gopal Sekhar

    India has rich clture and tradition , do you find any building in uk similar to the one in aurgaband.

  • madhmama

    I love traveling in the auto rickshaw, you can see so much more than if you are in a car. Great for photographing!

  • Nirad Patkhedkar

    Hi,
    Aurangabad is my city and it has too many place to see for tourists.
    However, I am sorry that you have faced harassment here but those old Muslim architectural places are maligned by slums nearby and those people tend to have little regard for law and manners.

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