Ajmer

 
 
ajmer.jpgThe Land of Composite Cultures

Ajmer situated in the green oasis wrapped in the barren hills has been a witness to an interesting past. The city was founded by Raja Ajay Pal Chauhan in the 7th Century A.D. and continued to be a major center of the Chauhan power till 1193 A.D. when Prithviraj Chauhan lost it to Mohammed Ghauri.since then, Ajmer became home to many dynasties, which came and left leaving behind indelible marks of their culture and traditions on the city's history, converting it to an amalgam of various cultures and blend of Hinduism and Islam.

Today, Ajmer is a popular pilgrimage center for the Hindus as well as Muslims. Especially famous is the Dargah Sharif-tomb of the Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti,which is equally revered by the Hindus and Muslims.

Ajmer is also the base for visiting Pushkar(11 km.),the abode of Lord Brahma,lying to its west with a temple and a picturesque lake.The Pushkar lake is a sacred spot for Hindus. During the month of Kartik(Oct./Nov.),devotes throng in large numbers here to take a dip in the sacred lake.

Places to Visit

  • The Dargah
    At the foot of a barren hill, is situated India's most important pilgrimage center for people from all faiths. It is the splendid tomb of the Sufi saint Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti more popularly known as Khawaja Saheb or Khawaja Sharif. The shrine is next only to Mecca or Median for the Muslims of south Asia. Akbar used to make a pilgrimage to the Dargah from Agra once a year.
  • The Mausoleum
    The mausoleum has a gigantic gate,which was built by the Nizam of Hyderabad. The two massive cauldrons in the courtyard are of particular interest and on the right side of the courtyard ins the Akbari Masjid built in white marble. There is another mosque in the courtyard built by Shahjhan.
  • The saint's Tomb
    The saint's tomb with a splendid marble dome is in the centre of the second courtyard which is surrounded by a silver platform.The shrine attracts thousands of pilgrims during the Urs-commemorating the death anniversary of the Saint, held from the 1st to 6th day of the Islamic month of Rajab. A colourful fair that springs up during this time is the major attraction.
  • Shahjhan's Mosque
    In the corner of the inner court of the Dargah, is a magnificent building in white marble with a long (30.5m) and narrow court having low arcade and delicate carvings with trellis-work.It is the most marvelous of all the sanctums within the sanctuary of the Dargah.
  • Adhai-din-ka-jhoupra
    A remarkable structure, this is a masterpiece of Indo-Islamic architecture located on the outskirts, of the city, just beyond the Dargah.
  • The Museum
    Once the royal residence of Emperor Akbar ,the museum houses a rich repository of the Mughal and Rajput armour and exquisite sculptures.
  • Taragarh Fort
    A steep one and a half hour climb beyond the Adhai-din-ka-jhopra leads to the ruins of the Taragarh Fort, perched on a hill.One can have an excellent view of the city from here. The fort was the site of the military activity during the Mughal period, later used as a sanatorium by the British.
  • Mayo College
    One of the India's best public schools, located in the south-east of the Ana Sagar, has now been converted to the Circuit House. The lake and the cenotaph and the shrine of the Hindu reformer Swami Dayanand, founder of the Arya Samaj movement in India, can be viewed from here.

Excursions

  • Pushkar Fair
    It is one of the most colorful fairs of India. Lakes of pilgrims throng the lake during the annual cattle fair. Besides trading of horses, camels, cows and bulls, there are exciting camel-cart races and cultural events. Cloths, household items and leather goods are for sale during the fair. On the full moon of Kartik(Nov.) pilgrims take a holy dip in the lake.
  • Pushkar Lake (11km.)
    The lake is situated on the edge of the desert and surrounded by hills on three sides, is separated from Ajmer by 'Nag Pahar'-the snake mountain. On this mountain the Panchkund and the cave of the saint Agastya are located.
  • Man Mahal
    Along the banks of the Pushkar Lake is the former residence of Raja Man Singh of Amer, Man Mahal. Presently it is converted to RTDC Sarover Tourist Bungalow ensuring convenient accommodation to travellers.Pushakar palace ( Kishangarh House) adjoining it is a heritage hotel.
  • Foy Sagar(5km)
    A picturesque artificial lake named after the engineer for who created it under a famine relief project.

Access

  • Airways
    Jaipur's Sanganer Airport is the nearest one, connected by the Indian airlines and a host of other airlines, too. For details see our section on Jaipur
  • Railways
    Regular train services link Ajmer with important cities.
    Some important train connections are:
    Gujrat Mail (Mumbai-Ajmer-Delhi Sarai Rohilla);  Jodhpur Mail (Marwar-Ajmer-Jaipur): Delhi Express(Ahmedabad-Ajmer-Jaipur);  Shatabadi Express(New Delhi-Ajmer-New Delhi).
  • Roadways
    Ajmer lies on NH8, that connects Delhi to Mumbai. Its about 400 km from Delhi and around 135 km from Jaipur. Rajasthan STC buses as well as those run by some private operators, connects the city with various places in the state, and also some other centres like Delhi and Agra.
  • Local
    City bus service operate in the city and to Pushkar. Unmetered taxis, auto-rickshaws, tongas, and cycle-rickshaws are also available.

Rajasthan Tourist Attractions

 
 
 
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