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In Khuladabad, there is an ancient temple of Bhadra Maroti which has been recently renovated. Every Sunday, lacks of pilgrims come here to worship. On Shani Amavasya and Hanuman Jayanti a big procession is carried out. Walking is the only way for pilgrims to reach here. In this temple, the statue of Bhadra Maroti is in sleeping position.
In 1679 A.D., BiBi-ka-maqbara was built by the last of the Great Mughals, Emperor Aurangzeb, in memory of his wife, Rabia-ud-Durrani. It is eight kilometers from the town. It was modeled on the Taj Mahal at Agra, the creation of Aurangzebs father, shah jahan. However, it is poor imitation. The exterior lacks in symmetry. The structure is topped by marble dome encloses the tomb. The interior decoration has nothing comparability the great architectural wonder at agra. Yet, BIBI-KA-MAQBARA has its own splendor and grace.
A high wall with bastions runs around the edifice. The recesses have little minarets. The entrance leads to an arch and from this point, a five view of the structure ahead may be obtained. The pavements that lead to the mausoleum are flanked by oblong reservoirs. Entry fee is Rs. 5/- per head and is is open from 6 AM to 8.30 PM.
Daulatabad fort Aurangabad
About fifteen kilometres from Aurangabad on the road to Ellora rises the famous mediaeval fortress of that name is now all that Daultabad stands for. The great pyramidal shape is visible from a good distance as it dominates the landscape.
The history of Daultabad goes back to the twelve century, when it was the capital of the Hindu Kingdoms in the Deccan and was called Deogiri, the hill of the gods. The fortress of deogiri was constructed by Raja Bhillamraj, of Yadav Dynasty, who was a great general of his time.
The Hill was the site of a rock-hewn citadel which was considered to be invulnerable. However, Deogiri yielded to enemy assault and passed into the possession of the Sultans of Delhi in 1308 A.D.
Thirty years later, Deogiry was to attain a brief period of glory as Indias capital. Muhammad Tughlak, ascending the Delhi throne, ordered his capital to be moved to the southern city which he renamed Daulatabad, the City of Fortune. It was transplantation rather than a transfer, for Delhis entire population-men, women and children-rich and poor alike, were to move out in a mass to the new capital. Even the sick and the dying were not exempted from the arduous journey that involved a terrible toll in human misery and thousands of Delhi citizens perished on the way. And it was all in vain. The sultan regretted his decision and, repeating his act of madness, ordered the whole mass of migrants to move back to the abandoned capital.
However, Daultabad grew to be a great city, rivaling Delhi in size and importance. The province to which it belonged broke away from the rule of Delhi. Then the old citadel excavated in the body of an isolated hill had to be strengthened further. The steep hillsides at the base of the fortress dropping to the moat were so smooth that no hostile troops could scale the heights. But the fortifications were now extended well beyond the core of the Original citadel. Bastion were built, mounted over with cannon, Great walls with battlements guarded the approaches. The outer wall runs for six kilometers and there are several inner walls with heavy iron gates fitted with elephant spikes-these spikes prevented the use of elephants to force the gates.
The first gateway leaders into the enclosure which has, at the left, a huge water tank and further up there is an ancient Hindu temple. Its roof supported by 150 pillars. Towards the right is the Chand Minar, a pillar of victory built by a king to commemorate his conquest of Daultabad. Minar has a gallery with ornamental brackets and a balustrade. The steps lead up to Chini Mahal, so named because of the blue porcelain tiles on its faade. The palace of which it once formed a part is gone altogether. SO are the other places that once stood on the adjoining gate.
A large gun about five and a half meter (17 ft.) long, which has a name inscribed on it, lies at the top of a round high bastion. This has a rams head designed at one end.
Beyond these later construction is the moat, twelve meters (40 ft.) deep, with a drawbridge. Here begins the original citadel of Deogiri. The solid rock is scraped to a height of about 76 meters (250 ft.).
There is only one narrow entrance over the moat. The upward climb now leads to a subterranean passage over 45.72 meters (150 ft.). It spirals darkly over the hewn steps shielded by the rock mass overhead. Some parts of it are pitch-dark and the attendant lights a flare for the visitor. In the olden days it could be easily barricaded. At its far end , a fire was lighted in the brazier the great heat blew into the passage-due to an effective device of suction-and the passage become altogether blocked.
The total height of the fortress is about 183 meters (600 ft.). Close to its top, there is a reservoir, fed apparently by some underground, natural source. The use of this supply to a besieged fortress is obvious. Further up, there is a mugal pavilion and to crown all a bastion with a gun. From this spot, there is a wonderful view of the countryside around. However, visitors who find the climb strenuous need not proceed beyond the subterranean passage.
All over the fortress there are strong ramparts. Cannon were mounted at strategic points and the defenses were so designed that a great concentration of fire could be attained. European travelers of those days, who have left very readable memoirs, have described this citadel as one of the most powerful in India. This fort is as pyramid cal and only of its type in India. It is self powerful for enemy.
Panchakki (Watermill) - During the Mugal times, The Pachakki or watermill deried its names from a mill worked by water-power for grinding corn for the poor and the military garrison. The water flows down through clay-pipes based on the siphon system from a distance of 11 kilometers. It was built in 1624 A.D. to commemorate a Muslim saint baba Shah Muzaffar.
The mill is situated in a garden attached to the shrine of the saint who was the spiritual preceptor of emperor Auranzeb. The tomb is a plain structure. Well-laid gardens alongside several tanks. Ornamented with fountains, make a fine setting. There is a large hall under tank. Rivulet skirts the gardens and an artificial waterfall adds interest to the scene.
Entry fee is Rs. 5/- per person and it opens from 6 AM to 8PM.
There are gateways, mosques and numerous tombs within a few miles from Daulatabad fort. The visitor may have a look at the tomb of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in Khuldabad, 13 Kilometers (8 miles) further up the road and close to Ellora Caves. It is a tomb of the simplest kind. The emperor, who was one of the richest and most powerful man of his time, had left instructions that his last resting place should be built only with the few rupees he had earned by stitching cloth caps ; and that , like a poor mans grave, it was to be covered simply with earth, The contrast with the mausoleum of his wife, bibi-ka-maqbara, is all too obvious.
Shingnapur a small village in Ahmad nagar district of Maharashtra has a famous temple of planet God Satum (Shri Shaneshwara) has appeared as Swaymbhoo (a self evolved form) and has no shade over it.
The presiding deity of Shinganapur, Shri Shaneswara Graha Devatha is worshipped with utmost reverence and devotion by multitudes of people from all over the Glob, irrespective of color, caste creed and religion.
Without a temple and priest the inborn idol of Shri Shaneshwar build in 5 feet 9 inch by 1 feet 6 inch height black color stone is worshiped by thousands every day unlike other pilgrimage center, devotees can perform pooja or abhishek or other pilgrimage center, devotees can perform pooja or abhishek or other religious rituals themselves. In shingnapur no house has a door frame or a lock to safe guard, no shop has any door or lock in cash box. It is the injection of Lord Shaneshwara that no lock be used. Here the idol stands on a platform of the 3 height under the open sky. He is standing here for the years together in all the seasons of rains, winter and summer without any shelter on the top of his head. The people tried to construct a canopy on the top but all in vain. It is a living awake place but no temple. Shanidev is standing on open ground God is there but no temple, to the north of this idol, there has been an old Neem tree. If a branch of it grows and casts a shadow over the idol at noon. The branch automatically falls down. The shadow does not fall on the idol. A three is there but no shadow.
All the house in Shani shingnapur do not have door frames and doors not only this, but any house in this region should not have locks to the houses, cup boards or boxes. If by mistake or by oversight anybody violates this custom he immediately gets a reprimand. To protect the house from dogs the people just put up the curtains or a bamboo partitions. A house is there but no door.
There is no fixed time limit for darshan. All the devotees can take darshan easily at any time. Here are no priests, the devotees who come to fulfill their vows, promises (avas) are cordially helped by the villagers.
Unlike other places, there in no queue here, women devotees are not to go on the platform. They take darshan from lawn side near the platform. Every devotee is required to be clean and perform abhishek.
Shani Shingnapur Pilgrimage Timings (Yatra)
Shani Amavasya (falls two or three times in year), Gudhi padva Chaitra Shuddha Pratipada, Shani jayanti Vaishakh Vadya Chaturdashi. A large crowed is there on these days.
Other temples at Shinganapur : One big temple towards eastern side of the main platform. Vital Rukhmini temple, bhagwan shree Krishna temple, saint dyaneshwar, Saint Namdev, Saint tukaram, Gurudev Datta, Nandadeep , village deity laxmini, data mandir etc.
Paithan was visited by Greek traders from 400 to 200 B.C. , it is forty eight kilometers south of Aurangabad, reached by bus, Today it is the center of the ancient industry of gold and silver thread embroidery for which the motifs are derived from the Ajanta caves. Other points of interest here are : Jain Temple ; Temple of saint Eknath ; on the banks of Godavari a new garden is constructed which is famous for light and music. After Mysore Garden, it is second of its type in India. It is open from 4AM to 8PM. A big Gyanpith on Gyaneshwar is also here. Entry ticket for garden is Rs. 5/- & parking is also charged.