Exploration is a word that has always enticed us petrolheads. It allows us to head out on the open roads with our beasts parked in our garage. But, when setting off, most people don't really have a destination they wish to explore but instead focus on travelling as the crow flies. If you ask me, I love such trips where I do not have a set destination. But on this occasion, I had a destination set in my mind that I wished to visit a long time ago, Aurangabad. This quaint town deep within the heart of Maharashtra is known to be the tourism capital of the state, which really piqued my curiosity and made me want to explore everything the city had to offer.
Now, like our forefathers, who explored the open seas in their gigantic vessels, I, too, required a companion that would accompany me on this adventure. And my choice of wheels for this experience is the Nissan Magnite. The Nissan Magnite is a perfect city runaround with its compact dimensions, excellent ground clearance, massive interior space and punchy engine. All which I would come to find is extremely useful while exploring the streets of Aurangabad.
Seeing how I had only three days to explore the entirety of Aurangabad, I wasted no time of mine and immediately headed to the Nissan Aurangabad dealership to pick up the Magnite for my adventure. Furthermore, since I was new to the city, Nissan was kind enough to arrange a local to show me around the city. For my first leg, I explored the town with Mr Samarth Gupta, who was keen on showing me some of the few locations that he really admires. Mr Samarth has owned a Nissan Magnite for the past four months, and he was really complimenting the Magnite on its excellent engine performance and ground clearance. While Mr Samarth was looking for his new vehicle, his primary requirements were that it offers good ground clearance and has good fuel economy. Both of which the Nissan Magnite provides to appeal to his desires.
Aurangabad, also known as the city of gates during medieval times, boasts of having over 52 gates. However, out of the 52, only four main and nine subordinate gates have survived. The most famous, oldest, and biggest of them is the Bhadkal Gate near the Naukhanda Palace of Nizams. We began our journey to Bhadkal Gate by driving past Kranti Chowk, which is known to house a massive statue of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and is an unofficial centre point of the city of Aurangabad.
After arriving at Bhadkal gate and admiring the history it carries, the sun started to set. Mr Samarth decided that the best place to experience the sunset was at Bibi-Ka-Maqbara. Hence, we darted along the city's small streets to arrive at Bibi-Ka-Maqbara. Built in 1668, the Tomb of Rabia Durani or Bibi Ka Maqbara was erected by Azam Shah, the son of Aurangzeb, to commemorate his mother Dilras Begum, who was titled Rabia Durani post her death. Being the spitting image of the Taj Mahal, the mausoleum is also called the Taj of the Deccan or the Dakkhani Taj. After enjoying the sun setting on this gorgeous piece of history, it was time for us to bid farewell to Mr Samarth and grab some supper. Before parting ways, Mr Samarth was kind enough to direct me to Connaught place, where the streets are laden with street vendors, cafes and restaurants where I ate to my heart's content before hitting the hay.
For my second day in the city, I was accompanied by Mr Rahul More and his family, who had decided to take me to the most significant tourist site in Aurangabad, the Ellora Caves. During our journey, Mr Rahul shared a few insights into his reason for opting for the Nissan Magnite. While purchasing the Magnite, he was really impressed with the interior space the Magnite offers since he travels with his family and their pet dog often via road. Furthermore, he was also impressed with the interior build quality and front and rear seat comfort, which even his family agreed to. He also mentioned that since his entire family travels together with their pet dog, he required a car that offered really good boot space to store all his luggage and be compact enough to live with, which he feels that the Nissan Magnite excels at.
En route to Ellora caves, we passed by the picturesque Devgiri Fort, which was built in the early 14th century. Unfortunately, due to the crunch of time, I couldn't step inside and instead headed on towards the Ellora Caves. The Ellora Caves are listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and are celebrated for their Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain temples and monuments, which were carved from the local cliff rock in the 6th to 8th century CE. The most spectacular example is the 8th century CE Kailasa temple, which, at 32 metres high, is the largest rock-cut monument in the world. I spent my entire day exploring the caves of Ellora and admired all the beauty carved in the walls of Ellora. Unfortunately, I soon had to depart from Ellora as the day began to draw to a close, and I thanked Mr Rahul and his family for taking out time and showing me this truly historic and iconic structure that Aurangabad has to offer.On my final day to explore Aurangabad, I finally could get behind the wheel of the Nissan Magnite and set out to explore the narrow city lanes that the city has to offer. I began my journey by hogging some delicious Maharashtrian breakfast and then visiting a few local stores to buy a few memorabilia to take back with me of the city. I then headed to Aurangabad Caves which are twelve rock-cut Buddhist shrines located around 20km northwest of Aurangabad. These caves date back to the 6th and 8th centuries, and from the top, a panoramic and breathtaking view of the city is seen.
During my time roaming around the city, I really started to appreciate the Magnite. Due to its compact dimensions, I didn't have any issues parking it, even in the tightest of spaces. Also, the roads in Aurangabad aren't the greatest, but thanks to the supple suspension set-up of the Magnite, I didn't feel a thing on the inside. Furthermore, I was impressed by the 8-inch touchscreen display, which offered a 360-degree view of my surroundings when I parked and allowed me to connect my smartphone via Apple CarPlay wirelessly, something I really needed as I was heavily dependent on google maps while exploring the city. I had decided to end my trip by visiting Paitham dam, which is located around 30-35 kilometres away from the city. During my journey to Paithan Dam, I drove on some smooth tarmac which allowed me to push the HRA0 1.0-litre turbocharged engine and enjoy the excellent fuel efficiency that the Magnite offers.
As I arrived at Paithan dam and sat on a bench to admire the view and sunset, I began to ponder about my trip to Aurangabad. When I had set out from Mumbai, my plan was to explore as much of the city as possible, which I did in the three days. But not only that, this trip made me realize the true capabilities that the Nissan Magnite has to offer; all the customers I interacted with were really appreciative of the Magnite, and even on my solo adventure around town, it didn't disappoint me at all. So if you ask me to explore the streets of Aurangabad, I couldn't have asked for a better companion than the Nissan Magnite.