The holy city of Ajmer, which lies in between the Ana Sagar lake and the Aravalli hills in the Indian state of Rajasthan, presents a picturesque sight with its beautiful surroundings. Better known as a home to the sacred Dargah-E-Sharif(Khwaja Saheb), which is visited by the people of all religions and faiths, the traditional city of Ajmer reflects a unique fusion of religion, sculpture and history.
A Date With The Past
A home to several dynasties, the city of Ajmer was founded by a Rajput ruler,
Raja Ajay Pal Chauhan in the 7th century CE and remained under the control
of Rajputs till the 12th century. In the second battle of Tarrain in 1192
CE, the Rajput ruler Prithviraj Chauhan lost to Muhammad Ghori, and thus was
shifted the fate of Ajmer from the hands of the Rajputs to that of the Turks.
In the later periods, though it was taken over for a brief duration by a Rajput
king, Rana Kumbha, but again it went into the hand of the Sultans of Malwa
who, ruled over the place from 1470 to 1531 CE.
It was then the great Mughal emperor Akbar won Ajmer under his control and
subsequently became a favourite dwelling place for the Mughals. The fate of
Ajmer, which never remained the same, changed again and soon it went under
the control of the Scindhia rulers, from whom it was taken over by the Britishers
in the year 1818, and remained with them till the independence of India in
Dargah Khwaja Saheb:
The crown of Ajmer, Dargah Khwaja Saheb,
which has been dedicated to a Persian Sufi saint, Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin
Chisti, is revered by people of all the sects and religions from all around
the world. The Dargah, which is situated on the foothill of Taragarh in Ajmer,
comprises a tomb, a mosque and other attractive structures. The marble tomb,
which is surrounded by a silver platform from inside, is the main centre of
attraction in the Dargah's premises. Towards the entrance of the Dargah is
located the sacred mosque, built by Akbar in the year 1571. The gateways of
the Dargah, known as Buland Darwazas reflect an excellent style of architecture
and are other major attractions of the Dargah.
The Adhai-Din-Ka-Jhonpra, which is
an architectural marvel dating back to 12th century, is though in ruins today,
but attracts a large number of tourists. Originally built as a temple by Vishaladeva
in 1153 CE within two and a half days, it was broken and rebuilt as a mosque
in 1198 by Muhammad Ghori. An illusive work or art, the interiors of the mosque
comprise ornate pillars, again a fine example of Saracenic architecture.
A beautiful structure, known as the Akbar's
palace, built by the Mughal emperor Akbar in the year 1570, brings back the
glory of magnificent Mughal architecture. Once a favourite dwelling place
for the Mughal emperors, the palace now houses the Ajmer museum presenting
a fine and unique collection of miniature paintings, old weapons, ancient
rock inscriptions and stone scriptures as old as 8th century CE.
The Nasiyan temple, a red Jain temple, is an outstanding work of art, built in the 19th century CE. The temple, a holy place for the Digambar Jains, consists of a huge double storeyed hall with a glass mosaic roof and painted walls. Besides, the inner walls of the temple have been carved with the figurines depicting stages of the life of Rishavdeva, the first Jain Teerthankar.
The Taragarh fort, built in the 7th century, lies at a distance of 3 kilometers from the city of Ajmer. Situated on the top of a small hill, the fort which was once of strategical importance, provides a panoramic view of the city.
The Ana Sagar, an artificial lake situated along the city of Ajmer, adds to the beauty of the holy city. The impressive parks, Daulat Bagh and Subhash Bagh which lie on the banks of the lake comprise a series of marble pavilion, making it an ideal picnic spot.
Pushkar, a holy destination for the Hindus, is situated
at a distance of 11 kilometers from Ajmer. Pushar is a home to the only temple
of the Lord Brahma in the world and the famous Pushkar lake, whose one holy
dip is believed to wash away all the sins.
The Urs festival, held in the honour of Sufi Saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti on his death anniversary every year during the first six days of Rajab(7th month of the Islamic calendar), is the main festival of Ajmer. The festival, which is attended by people of all faith and religion from distant places, is marked by special prayers, Qawallis and distribution of 'tabarruk'(blessed food) among the devotees.
Ajmer is though not a big city but still has a lot to offer to the shoppers especially during the Urs fair. Some of the best buy products in Ajmer are woven fabric products, block-printed items, bandhni fabric, traditional handicrafts, brass utensils, bangles, leather products, home decors and Itar. Itar, a special form of local perfume, is the speciality of Ajmer.
The restaurants and hotels of Ajmer have a lot to offer from the delicious north Indian cuisine to the mouthwatering Mughlai dishes.
Best Months to Visit
The best months to visit the holy destination, Ajmer, are from October to March.
Travelling in the City
To visit from one destination to another, one can either hire an auto-rickshaw or a cycle-rickshaw.
How to Get There
By Air -
The nearest airport is at Jaipur, 135 kilometers
By Rail -
Ajmer lies on the Delhi-Jaipur-Ahmedabad line,
and therefore, is easily accessible by some of the super fast trains like
Pink City express from Jaipur(135 km) and Shatabdi express from Delhi(400
By Road -
Ajmer can conveniently be reached by coaches, deluxe
and luxury buses and private taxis which ply from Delhi(400 km), Jaipur(135
kilometers), Agra(385 km) and other major cities.
More Rajasthan Destinations :