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Panchakki, Aurangabad - Medieval Era Watermill

A beautiful town in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra, Aurangabad is a traveler’s paradise. Named after the Aurangzeb, a prominent emperor in the last leg of the Mughal dynasty, Aurangabad was the capital of the empire for more than 50 years (from 1653 to 1707). During his reign, the emperor commissioned Bibi-ka-Maqbara and beautiful Panchakki in Aurangabad among the few.

The Aurangabad Panchakki is an ancient hydro-mill that was used to produce electrical energy, required to turn the large grinding stones of the nearby flour mill. The accompanied beautiful garden complex and the tomb of Baba Shah Muzaffar, the place attracts locals as well as foreigners.

In case, you are planning on visiting the landmarks during your Aurangabad tour, the given write-up could help you immensely.   

Keynotes on Panchakki, Aurangabad

Address: Panchakki Rd, Panchakki, Nagsenvan, Aurangabad, Maharashtra 431001

Opening time: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Entry fee: INR 100

Famous for: Architecture and scientific wonder

Visit duration: Two hours

Best time to visit: October to March is suitable for the trip 

How to reach: Located close to Bibi-ka-Maqbara, the landmark is easily accessible. Visitors can take a cab or public bus to reach the venue.        


Overview of Panchakki, Aurangabad

Close to the Taj-replica, Bibi Ka Maqbara, the Panchakki is a marvelous water-mill that generated power for running the grinding mill. It is a fine example of India’s engineering advancements. The complex around the water mill comprises of a garden, a Madrasa (school for Islamic studies), a zenana (women’s quarters), a minister's house, a courthouse, and a Sarai. Surrounded by greenery, the place is a popular picnic spot in Aurangabad.

Interestingly, the watermill was powered by an underground water system, which is connected to the tributary of the Harsul River. Earthen pipes were used to transfer water to the mill, which in turn powered the large grinding stones of the used for powdering the flour. Although, the monument was built to serve a specific purpose, during construction the beauty of the building was not compromised. Beautiful; reservoir, mirroring the blue sky above, enhances the beauty of the complex.   

History of Panchakki, Aurangabad

The complex and the Panchakki were commissioned by Turktaz Khan in the service of Nizam-ul-Mulk Asaf Jah – founder of the Asaf Jahi dynasty. During those days, the water-powered mill was used to grind millets and grains for the pilgrims, and the nearby troops of the emperor’s garrison. The marvelous structure was later extended by Jamil Beg Khan, who added the oblong reservoir and the fountains to the existing complex.

The ingenious structure is considered as one of the fine examples of advanced engineering. The architect and designer utilized pure science and intricate knowledge of physics to create a structure that was way ahead of its time. The underwater earthen pipes were employed to carry water from the nearby source of water, a tributary of the local river. Water was stored into a reservoir (built-in higher elevation) and poured into the turbines of the mill.

This entire project showcases how engineers and designers used the principles of science to create sustainable solutions.

Some of the Major Attractions of Panchakki, Aurangabad

1. Garden Area

One of the most scenic regions of Aurangabad, the place is a favorite picnic spot of the town. The two old bridges decorated with pointed arches and the beautiful garden area are some of the common aspects of Mughal and Persian architecture. The stunning landscape with strategically placed fountains gives this place an endearing look.   

2. Library

The 18th-century library inside Panchakki was opened for the public to visitors in 2008 and has since become a major tourist attraction. Founded by Baba Shah Musafir, the library houses several rare books and manuscripts in different languages including Persian, Arabic, and Urdu. However, a priceless copy of the Holy Quran written by Emperor Aurangzeb is one of the most prized possessions of the library.  

3. Hazrat Baba Memorial

The cenotaph of Hazrat Baba Shah Musafir, the spiritual counselor, and the guide of Aurangzeb is another important attraction of Panchakki in Aurangabad. Hailing from Bukhara in Russia, the saint also known as Hazrat Maulana Mohammed Ashoor was an important figure in the Mughal court and was considered as a well-respected Sufi saint of the time. His tomb and the memorial garden are often visited by tourists and devotees of the saint.

Things to Remember While Touring Panchakki

1. Panchakki in Aurangabad is a popular tourist attraction expect some crowd during peak tourist season and on Fridays

2. Avoid touching the exhibits of the Panchakki

3. Carrying plastic bags and other non-biodegradable items should be avoided     

The Aurangabad Panchakki is a beautiful landmark and a must-visit for every tourist. Do make sure, this interesting venue is included in your bucket list.