Mar: औरंगाबाद  auraṅgābāda

‘Aurangzeb’s City’ [Paithan, Daulutabad, Fatehnagar]  -City/District  Maharashtra

From Aurangzeb and Urd: ābād, ‘city’, ‘settlement’.

In 1610 Malik Ambar founded Khadki, a new city which was intended to be the capital of the Ahmadnagar Sultanate. His son, Fateh Khan, changed the name to Fatehnagar.

In 1636, Aurangzeb, who was then the Mughal viceroy of the Deccan region, annexed the city into the Mughal Empire. In 1653, Aurangzeb renamed the city as “Aurangabad” and made it the capital of the Deccan region of the Mughal Empire. , the future Mughal emperor, was viceroy of the Deccan twice (1636–44, 1654–58), periods in which he eliminated the Mughals’ local Muslim rivals. During his second term he made Fatehnagar [Ara: fateh, ‘triumph’, ‘conquest’; Skt: nagar, ‘city’] the capital of his Deccan empire and renamed it Aurangabad.

The city and its immediate environs  had already been an important centre for several dynasties: as Paithan it was the Satvahana capital (1st C BCE–2ndC);  as Daulatabad it was the imperial capital of the Yadavas (9th–14thC); and the Delhi Sultanate temporaily moved its capital here from Delhi under during the reign of Muhammad bin Tughluq. When Tughluq changed his mind and moved back to Delhi, it became a part of the Ahmadnagar Sultanate. 

As well as being a convenient junction for visiting the Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Aurangabad has its own caves: twelve rock-cut Buddhist hill shrines dating from the 1st Millenium BCE.

Daulutabad, Muhammad Tughluq’s ill-fated 14thC capital, and Paithan, the Satvahana capital (1stC BCE–2ndC CE), are both located in Aurangabad District.

Aurangabad has the epithet ‘City of Gates’: the original city had 52 gates. There were four major gates at each of the cardinal points: Mecca/Makai Gate in the West; Delhi Gate facing North; Jalna Gate to the east; and Paithan Gate pointing South.

For related place names see Indian Place names and Maharashtra place names.

 

Mecca/Makai Gate, Aurangabad    Trekkergirl