Aurangabad

With several excellent hotels, Aurangabad is a good base from which to explore the cave temples at Ajanta and Ellora, but not a fantastic city for restaurants, and not likely a place where you would likely go without its accessibility to those jaw-dropping attractions.

India is still India, however, and Aurangabad does have a few intriguing sites if you have extra time before or after visiting the caves.

The city is known for its himru (cotton and silk brocade) shawls and saris, and its gorgeously and painstakingly decorated Paithani zari, which are fine gold-embroidered saris—zari is the name for the gold metallic thread; and Paithani is a village very close to Aurangabad. If you're interested, pop into the Aurangabad Standard Silk Showroom or Aurangabad Silk, both near the train station; Ajanta Handicrafts in Harsul, on the highway to Ajanta; or Himroo Saris, on the highway to Ellora. An even better option to view Himru saris being woven is to venture over to the Himru Cooperative Society at Jaffer (also spelled Zaffar) Gate, an area in the western part of Aurangabad: There you can see the entire process in action in a traditional environment. The saris (which can be cut up and tailored into other items) are more reasonably priced here.

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