Situated at an altitude of 486 meters above sea level on the banks of Ana Sagar Lake is the ancient Muslim pilgrimage town called Ajmer. The beautiful city is extremely popular for its rich culture, heritage and tradition which are also key to the tourism attractions in the state of Rajasthan. Founded in the 7th century by King Ajaypal Chauhan, the city was a stronghold of Chauhan Rajputs till the 12th century. The king had constructed the fort of Ajmer on a hill top and named it Ajayameru which meant unconquered hill. In 1193 Md. Ghori conquered Ajmer from Prithviraj Chauhan which led the city lose its sheen for a couple of centuries. In the 16th century the city was revived again by the great Mughal Emperor Akbar and turned out to be a place of great importance. Ajmer’s significance and recognition turned from being a base for military camp to a pleasure destination and then a pilgrimage destination.
The city is surrounded by the grand Aravalli Hills and has a large blue lake in the heart of the city. The city has an interesting history with many political and religious shuffles over a period of time. This iconic destination today plays a significant role as the trading city of Rajasthan. Another peculiarity of the state is the beautiful Roses. The beautiful flower is extensively traded within the country for use at religious places and our great chewable specialty paan. It is also exported across the globe for use in perfume laboratories.
Dargah Sharif, the shrine tomb of Sufi Saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti is the key attraction of Ajmer. The Sufi saint who came from Persia had followers from all across the country from all castes, creed and sects, including the Mughal Emperors. Built in marble the tomb has a gold-plated dome and silver railings.
The best time to visit Ajmer is between October to March when the climate is cool and pleasant and one can thoroughly enjoy what the city has on offer.
How to Reach
The city of Ajmer is well connected by all means of transport. The nearest airport is the Sanganer airport in Jaipur about 154kms away. Jaipur is well connected by all the major cities in the country and one can take a private cab to reach Ajmer. The nearest railhead is Ajmer Junction having connectivity from Delhi as well as Mumbai. State transport bus service as well as private cabs is available to reach Ajmer by road.
Ajmer Sharif Dargah: The key attraction of pilgrim city Ajmer is the holy shrine of Sufi Saint Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti. Considered to be the second Mecca of the Muslims of South Asia, the Dargah is visited by people from across the country belonging to various sects, castes, creeds. The qawwalis held at the dargah on every Thursday and Friday fills the atmosphere with eternal bliss and spirituality. Qawwali, according to Islam is one of the most beautiful and expressive way to showcase your devotion to the almighty. The Urs festival organised in the memory of the great Khwaja is the best time to visit and rejoice the place.
Taragarh Fort: Overlooking the city of Ajmer is the magnificent Taragarh Fort which offers spectacular views of Nagpahari Hills and surrounding areas of the city. The fort also houses the Miran-Saheb-Ki-Dargah. The grand fort is a sheer delight for history lovers. A classic example of the Indo-Islamic architecture is the Adhai-Din-Ka-Jhopra. The splendid monument was created by Md. Ghori hurriedly over a span of just two and a half days which means Adhai Din. And that’s how this elegant mosque got its name; “Built in two and a half days”.
Nasiyan Jain temple: Another key attraction of Ajmer is the Nasiyan Jain temple which is decorated with silver, gold, precious and semi-precious stones. Also known as the Red Temple it is dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankara Rishabdeoji. There are about forty columns in the temple which are all unique in look as well as design. There is also a museum which houses things related to Jain beliefs and mythology.
Pushkar: The popular pilgrim town of Pushkar is another famous spot situated at a distance of about 11 kms away from Ajmer. The popular pilgrim town of Hindus has the one of kinds only temple of Lord Brahma in the world. On the banks of the Pushkar lake is organised the grand Pushkar Fair/Mela which is an affair for almost a fortnight. The world-famous camel fair is also organised on the sand dunes surrounding this picturesque town.
Kishangarh Fort: Housing several elegant and grand palaces is the Kishangarh Fort which is also a spot worth a visit. An artificial lake named Mr. Foy is a picturesque spot offering some mesmerizing views of the Aravalli Hills.
Places around Ajmer which one can plan to visit are Mangliyawas which is about 26 kms away and is popular for two rare species of tress which are about 800 years old. The trees are popularly known as Kalpa Vriksha. Famous for the Badshahi procession festival is Beawar which is about 54 kms away. The festival is held on the next day of Holi where people participate in large numbers and throw Gulal (dry colors) on each other. About 27 kms away is Kishangarh which had one of the finest schools for miniature paintings during the 18th century. Popular for the 500 years old imposing fort is Badnor and is situated about 80 kms away from Ajmer. Pachewar lake in Pachewar which is about 90 kms away from Ajmer is popular for attracting migratory birds during the winter season and is also a stopover spot for people traveling between Ajmer and Jaipur.
Shopping is another key attraction of Ajmer having the old-world charm. The key things to look out for are the gold and silver jewellery, handicrafts, antiques, colorful tie-n-dye saris, embroidered jutis, rose ittra (perfume), Rajasthani miniature paintings on silk paper and cotton with a single squirrel hair brush.
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