Location: Rajasthan, India
Significance: Famous for Dargah of Sufi Saint Chisti
Best Season October to March
Language: Hindi, Urdu, Rajasthani
Ajmer city was named after its founder, Raja Ajai Pal Chauhan, who founded it in the 7th century. Since then, Chauhans ruled over Ajmer till Prithviraj Chauhan lost the city to Mohammed Gauri. This city has a unique importance in history as it was a favourite residence of Mughals and they established some world famous monuments here. On the other side British chose Ajmer for its prestigious Mayo College, a school exclusively for Indian nobility at one time. Nonetheless, the culture and traditions of the city were strongly influenced by its rulers and one can see the indelible imprint of various cultures on the city. Just like old days, Ajmer continues to be a popular pilgrimage centre for both Hindus and Muslims. Dargah Sharief, the tomb of the Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, is equally revered by both the communities.
Travel to Ajmer and explore the rich and colorful cultural heritage of the region. Ajmer is a centre of culture and education. Mayo collage, once established by The British is today one of the best public schools in the country. Pushkar Fair is well known for its events like camel race, camel fair and other cultural events.
No tour to Ajmer is complete without a visit to the Dargarh, the tomb of SuAjmer1fi Saint Moinuddin Chishti. Devotees from far-flung places come to the Dargah for seeking blessings. There is plenty to see and explore in Ajmer. Take a tour of the Taragarh Fort. This magnificent fort enjoys an excellent view of the city. Ajmer is also the base for visiting Pushkar (14 km.) which has the distinction of having the only Brahma temple in the world.
Forts & Palaces
Situated at the distance of 3 km. from city center, the colossal fort stands gaurding the city. There are six entrance points in the fort. Inside the fort there is Miran-Saheb-ki-Dargah, the governor of the fort who died fighting in an encounter. You will enjoy a panoramic view of the city from the top of this fort situated in Nagpahari hills of Aravalli ranges. This fort has immeasurable historical and archaeological importance.
Legend says that the construction of this mosque took ‘Adhai Din' means 'two and a half days' in 1153 and suggests the time duration in which this building was built. Originally, this was the Sanskrit College but, this was demolished by Mohd. Ghori along with the other temples and built a mosque. Pillars from at least thirty temples, must have gone into the making of this elegant monument. A masterpiece of Indo - Islamic architecture, this building is an artifact of an old mosque and is made up of a with a front screen wall with seven pointed arches. The distinctive pillars and arched screen with ruined minarets make it a superb architectural masterpiece.
'Dargah Sharif' or 'Holy Dargah' is one of the most sacred Muslim shrines in the country. It is the landmark of Ajmer. It is said Khwaja Moin-ud-din Chisti, a Sufi saint from Persia made this place his abode from 1192 and devoted his life to the service and upliftment of the poor and downtrodden till his death in 1236 AD. Mughal King Humayun completed the construction of the shrine. The Dargah is approached through a massive gate with silver doors built in several stages. it has touches of Humayun to Shah Jahan in its structural architecture.
Emperor Akbar made an annual pilgrimage to Ajmer. Mughal Emperors Akbar and Shah Jahan have built mosques in the complex. The saint's tomb is in the centre of the second courtyard and a silver railing with a marble screen surround the actual tomb of the saint, made of marble with a gold plated dome. Offerings generally consist of flowers, mainly roses and sweets. The aroma of burning incense sticks has a mesmerizing effect on the devotees. The mystic atmosphere inside the holy shrine is suffused with serenity, sanctity and spirituality.
As you enter the Dargah courtyard, you see two massive 'degs', meaning cauldrons. Mughal Emperors Akbar and Jahangir donated these cauldrons originally but they were replaced in the nineteenth century. The larger cauldron can hold as much as 4480 kilos of rice while the smaller one contains 2240 kilos of rice.
Ana Sagar Lake
The beautiful lake and a favorite outing spot of the city, Ana Sagar Lake is an artificial lake named after Anaji Chauhan. The 'Baradari' is surrounded by parks and the pavilions, which were built by Shah Jahan to assist his long stays in Ajmer. Catchment area was built with the help of local people.
The lake is considered as one of the most sacred spots which is believed to have been created by the falling of a lotus from the hand of Lord Brahma. The devotees believe that on Kartika Poornima a bath in this lake is equivalent to performing yagnas for several hundred years.
FAIRS AND FESTIVALS
Urs is held on the seventh lunar month according to Islamic calendar but varies according to the solar calendar on the death anniversary of Sufi saint Khwaja Moin-ud-din Chishti Sufis and believers converge from all over India and abroad, as it is believed that those visiting the shrine during Urs receive special blessings of the saint. There is an unending stream of devotees to the shrine throughout the year but its periphery show considerably more heightened all round activity when millions of devotees throng the shrine during the Urs fair. the entire city of Ajmer become alive in their presence.
It is customary to cover your head while inside the complex. Accordingly, remember to carry a skullcap or a scarf. The skull-cap is on sale in the colourful market just outside the Dargah. It is also customary to make floral offerings, mainly of roses, incense sticks and sweets that are locally available.
Pushkar Fair is held annually in the month of Kartik on Kartik Pumima (the full moon day) that usually falls in October or November at Pushkar, which is 11 kms away from Ajmer, Rajasthan. One of the most sought-after fair in Rajasthan, a lot of tourists comes to Pushkar Fair on pilgrimage as well as to see the display of a mystifying array of items. Folk dancers and folk musicians of different regions and culture with camel fair and camel, horse and donkey races which are the featured events of the fair.
Hot summers and cool winters. The maximum temperature in summer (from April to June) is around 45ºC. In winters (from November to February), days are sunny and pleasant but nights are bit cooler.
HOW TO REACH
By Air: Jaipur international airport is the nearest airport which is well connected with all major cities of India as well as world.
By Train: Ajmer is well connected with train network with all the major cities of India.
By Road: Network of roads connect Ajmer with Jaipur, Delhi, Agra and all the major cities of Rajasthan.