Welcome to Khuldabad, a small town located in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, India. Known as the Valley of Saints or the Abode of Eternity, Khuldabad is a holy and spiritual city of Islamic saints. The town is famous for its Bhadra Maruti Temple and the Dargahs of Zar Zari Zar Baksh, Shaikh Burhan ud-din Gharib Chisti, and Shaikh Zain-ud-din Shirazi. The town is also home to the tomb of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb and his trusted General Asif Jah I, the first Nizam of Hyderabad.
Khuldabad’s historical and religious significance dates back to the 14th century when several Sufi saints chose to reside here. The town acquired a sacred character as a center of Chishti Sufism and became a place of burial for many of these saints. Indo-Islamic rulers in the Deccan established connections with the town on account of its religious importance. Malik Ambar, prime minister of the Ahmadnagar Sultanate, chose to be buried here. The Faruqi ruling dynasty of the Khandesh Sultanate had close ties with the town, and the dynasty’s founder named his capital Burhanpur after the Khuldabad-based Burhanuddin Gharib.
The Mughal patronage of the town began as early as the reign of emperor Akbar, who continued the Faruqi patronage of Khuldabad after capturing Khandesh. Later rulers Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb maintained financial support. Aurangzeb himself chose to be buried here, following which the town acquired its modern name of Khuldabad from the ruler’s posthumous title khuld-makan.
Khuldabad is located at an altitude of 2,732 feet and enjoys a pleasant climate. The town rises about 500 feet above the surrounding plains. The world-famous Ellora caves are about 4 miles from Khuldabad. Lodging such as State Guest-house and travelers bungalows are provided to tourists and are maintained by Zilla Parishad.
Khuldabad is surrounded by a high fortified wall built by Aurangzeb. It has seven gates viz., Nagarkhana, Pangra, Langda, Mangalpeth, Kumbi Ali, Hamdadi, and a wicket called Azam Shahi. The gateway in the direction of Aurangabad is approached by a paved ascent which continues inside the town for about 200 to 300 feet. The wall has collapsed at many places and may collapse totally before long.
The town is home to several tombs and mausoleums of Muslim saints. Aurangzeb’s tomb is in the south-east angle of the courtyard containing the dargah of Burhan ud din. Facing it is a long low building similar to the one in the outer quadrangle, and in the north end is a small room containing the pall and decorations of the tomb. The grave lies immediately to the right of the entrance and is remarkably simple, in keeping with Aurangzeb’s own wishes. The tomb of Azam Shah, his wife, and daughter is close by on the right.
Midway between these tombs and that of Aurangzeb is the mausoleum of Sayyed Zain ud din, a Muhammedan saint highly revered by the Muslims. On the east side, it contains a number of verses inscribed from the Quran and the date of the saint’s death, 771 H. (1370 A. D). Opposite the building which contains the tombs of Aurangzeb and Zain-ud-din is another of almost equal interest. This has also a large quadrangular courtyard having open-fronted building on all sides, and a nagarkhana at the east end. In the courtyard are two large drums. One of them is in fair order, while the parchment of the other has been destroyed, and only the huge iron hemisphere remains.
Khuldabad is a hidden gem that boasts a rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and mouthwatering local cuisine. The town is often overlooked in favor of its more famous neighbors, but it is a destination that should be on every