Aurangabad District lies on the Deccan plateau and is covered by the Deccan Traps, which formed during the Late Cretaceous and Lower Eocene ages. Thin alluvial deposits lie above the Deccan Traps along the major rivers. The basaltic lava flows belonging to the Deccan Traps are the only major geological formation in the district. The lava flows are horizontal, with each flow featuring two distinct layers. The upper layer consists of vesicular and amygdule zeolitic basalt, while the lower layer consists of massive basalt.
Elevation and mountains
The average height of southern portion of the district is between 600 and 670 metres. The district features four distinct mountains:
The Narangi river rises on the southern slopes of the water divide south of the Maniyad river near the village of Naral. It flows past Vaijapur, where it is joined by the Deo Nala river from Nasik District. The Narangi follows a long south-southwesterly course before its point of entry into the Godavari. It is joined by the Chor nala from the west and the Kurla nala from the east, continuing the trend of the Kurla river after the Kurla's confluence.
The rainy season lasts from June through September and the average rainfall is 734 mm. The temperature ranges from 14 to 40 degrees Celsius on average. The winter season is from October to February and the summer season is from March to May.
According to the 2011 census, Aurangabad District has a population of 3,701,282 inhabitants and a population density of 365 inhabitants per square kilometre (950/sq mi). It is the 72nd most populous district in India out of 640 total districts, and the population growth rate between 2001 and 2011 was 27.33%. The population of the district is 37.53% urban as of 2001. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes made up 14.57% and 3.87% of the population respectively.
According to the 2011 census, Hinduism is the most popular religion in the district and is practiced by 69% of the population. Other popular religions include Islam (21%), Buddhism (mainly Navayana Buddhism, 8.35%) and Jainism (0.84%).
Buddhist monks praying in front of the Dagoba of Chaitya in Cave 26 of the Ajanta Caves.
The Ajanta Caves are situated 107 km (66 mi) from Aurangabad city. They comprise 30 rock-cut caves around a gorge and were built by the Satavahana, Vakataka and Chalukya dynasties between the 2nd and 5th centuries CE. They contain various works of ancient Indian art, including paintings which are among the rarest and finest surviving examples of their era. The Ajanta Caves are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Ellora Caves are 29 km (18 mi) from Aurangabad city. They consist of 34 caves built between the 5th and 10th centuries CE under the patronage of the Rashtrakuta Dynasty. They represent the epitome of Indian rock cut architecture. Like the Ajanta Caves, the Ellora Caves are also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Aurangabad Caves are 5 km (3 mi) from Aurangabad city. Nestled amidst the hills are 12 Buddhist caves dating back to 3 A.D. Of particular interest are the Tantric influences evident in the iconography and architectural design of the caves.
The city of Aurangabad is known for its 52 gates and has been called the "City of Gates". These gates were built during Mughal era.
Daulatabad Fort (aka Devagiri Fort), located some 15 km (9 mi) north-west of Aurangabad, was built in the 12th century CE by the Yadava Dynasty. It was one of the most powerful forts during the medieval era. The fort was built on a 200-metre-high (660 ft) conical hill and defended by moats, trenches, and three encircling walls with bastions. It also had two fixed massive canons which could be pivoted. The fort was never conquered by any military force.
The Bibi Ka Maqbara is the burial mausoleum of Emperor Aurangzeb's wife, Dilras Banu Begum (posthumously known as Rabia-ud-Daurani). The site is 3 km (2 mi) from Aurangabad city. It is an imitation of the Taj Mahal at Agra and is popularly known as the "Taj of the Deccan".
Panchakki, which literally means "water mill", is a 17th-century water mill situated within the old city of Aurangabad. It is known for its underground channel, which carries water from hills over 8 km away. The channel culminates in an artificial waterfall that powers the mill.
Salim Ali Lake & Bird Sanctuary is located in the northern part of the city near Delhi Darwaza, opposite Himayat Bagh. During the Mughal period, it was known as Khiziri Talab. It was renamed after the great ornithologist and naturalist Salim Ali. It features a bird sanctuary and a garden maintained by the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation.
Siddharth Garden and Zoo is situated near the central bus station in Aurangabad city. It is the only zoo in the Marathwada region. It is home to several species of animals, birds, flowers, and trees. The name "Siddhartha" is a reference to Gautama Buddha.
^ abc"About District". District Aurangabad. Government of Maharashtra. 28 April 2020. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
^K.R. Aher and S.M. Deshpande 'Assessment of Water Quality of the Maniyad Reservoir of Parala Village, district Aurangabad: Suitability for Multipurpose Usage Vol.1(3), pp 91–95, 2011, E-ISSN 2249-8109.