District : Ajmer Region Merwara
Location : 135 km from Jaipur
Renowned As : Ajmer Sharif, Dargah of venerated Sufi saint Khwaja Muinuddin Chisti
Best Time To Visit : October-March
|To See :||Ajmer Dargah, Ana Sagar Lake, Taragarh Fort, Foy Sagar - an artificial lake, Jain Nasiyan Temple.|
|Famous Festival :||Urs Ajmer Sharif Festival one of the biggest Muslim Fairs in India.|
|Must Visit :||Ajmer Dargah, Tomb of Muin-ud-Din Chishti, Adhai-din-ka-Jhonpra, Mayo College.|
|Getting Around :||Pushkar 11 km NW, Fort Kharwa 38 km SW, Tilonia - 47 km NE, Badnor 95 km SW.|
|To Shop :||Metal ware like Pitchers and Urns, Cane Chairs and Cane Stools are essential part of Ajmer shopping besides Shawls and Attar.|
|Getting There :|| Air : Nearest
Jaipur's "Sanganer Airport",132 km.
Rail : 8 ½ hrs from Delhi, 3 hrs from Jaipur.
Road : Connected by NH 8. 7 hrs by road.
|Inside Tip :||Remove Shoes to enter Dargah, Cover your Head. If possible wear the Sufi dress code - Kurta and a Turban for Man, Black Veil for Women.|
|Important Distances :||389 km SW of Delhi, 11 km SE of Pushkar, 143 kms SW of Jaipur, Agra - 370 km, Bharatpur - 312 km, Bikaner - 234 km, Bundi - 139 km, Chittaurgarh - 182 km, Jaisalmer - 458 km.|
|Where to Eat :||Tandoori Restaurant for Tandoori Specialties, Gangaur Fast Food for ready Snacks like Burgers and Pizzas, Nemad Khana Restaurant for Indian, Chinese and Continental food.|
|Staying Options :||Hotel Mansingh Palace, Hotel Embassy, RTDC's Hotel Khadim, Hotel Ambassador, Hotel Regency.|
Wrapped in the barren hills of the Aravallis and holding a blue lake in the heart, Ajmer is a gem in itself. It has witnessed an interesting history and now it is a part of a colourful present. Being a part of many political shuffling and religious reshufflings over the time, this religious destination of Ajmer has now turned into a engraved seal of Rajasthani culture. Ajmer's identity today is largely shaped by its role as a trading outpost of Rajasthan. Roses from its palms find their way into temples and dargahs, perfume laboratories across the world and into India's favourite chewable speciality - paan. A major pilgrimage with a famous dargah of a pious Muslim saint, Ajmer is known to suffice the whims of many a disheartened soul. The qawwalis at the Dargah on Thursday and Friday nights (and also during Urs festival ) take every tourist to a completely newer dimension. The wind carries the mesmerizing fragrance of 'attar', and the city pulsates with the authentic odeur d' ajmer.
The preface is quite fascinating. The city of Ajmer was founded by Ajaypal Chauhan in the 7th century, who constructed a fort on hilltop and named the place Ajayameru or unconquerable hill. It was, a stronghold of the Chauhan Rajputs till the 12th century, when Prithviraj Chauhan lost Ajmer to Md. Ghori in 1193. Ineptly, Ajmer suffocated the next few centuries in oblivion, and it was not till Akbar annexed it as part of the Mughal empire in the 16th century that the 'rose city' marked its presence in history again. It became, for the Mughals, first a military base, then a pleasure place and much later a pilgrimage destination.
Visit the Dargah Sharif - the most famous attraction of Ajmer, which is the catacomb of the seraphic Sufi saint Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, whose followers included the Mughal emperors and who would claim fidelity from all caste, creed and sect, and from every corner of the country. It is this attraction that makes Ajmer, the goly destination of muslims. The shrine is considered, today, a second Mecca for the Muslims of South Asia where the unbiased atmosphere fills one's heart with eternal bliss. People from all faith of life visit the Dargah to seek the eternal blessings of Sufi to relieve them from their pains. Plan your holiday trip to Ajmer during the Urs festival to rejoice in the springtime, an event organised to commemorate the great Khwaja. Walk a few steps beyond the Dargah, amidst the labyrinthine lanes to reach the Adhai din ka Jhonpra, a remarkable early Islamic structure. Originally a Sanskrit college, the mosque was hurriedly build up by Md. Ghori in just two-and-half-days! Pillars from atleast thirty temples must have gone into the making of this elegant monument, a splendid example of Indo-Islamic architecture. Above the 'Jhonpra', the pebbled road snakes to the top of a hill on which the relics of a fort stand. Spend an afternoon in the Taragarh Fort, looking for some historical blueprints scattered across its ramparts. Finally, tourists are allowed to visit the museum on the premises of Mayo College on request, its striking buildings endorsing the different principalities of Rajput architecture.
Bruits de Religion
Take up Ajmer tourism to see one of the gems that embellish the darbar of the Sufi saint. It is none other than 'qawwali', the most dynamic and popular way of expressing devotion in Islam. 'Qawwali' refers to both the performance and the genre of music. Qawwals typically consist of a lead vocalist, two back-up vocalists and any number of percussionists. Qawwalis are traditionally led by a 'sheikh' and are meant to help the audience realize the mystical ideals of Sufi Islam. Amir Khusrau, the legendary poet and composer, is said to have invented qawwali in the 13th century. Visit the Ajmer dargah at night, and experience the lifetime bliss in the religious convocations called mehfils which are held in the mehfil khana, a voluminous hall meant for this purpose. The hall pulsates with the resonance of the Holy name of the Khwaja, while the people, overwhelmed with devotion, passionately hymn and clap to the rhythm of the Qawwalis.
The 'Nasiyan' Nostalgia
Visit the Nasiyan Jain temple located on the Prithvi Raj Marg on your Ajmer travel. Also known as the Red Temple, the Nasiyan Temple is dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankara Rishabdeoji. According to Col. James Tod, "...the columns are most worthy of attention; they are unique in design, and with the exception of the cave temples, probably amongst the oldest now existing in India...There may be forty columns but not two are alike. The ornaments at the base are peculiar, both as to form and execution; the lozenges ...might be transferred...to the Gothic cathedrals of Europe." The Nasiyan Jain Temple also houses a museum of admirable size that displays objects related to Jain beliefs and mythology.
The Pulsating Pushkar
Just an haur drive will leads you to Pushkar - 11km, an holy town of Hindus. Ajmer tour will also facilitate visiting Pushkar during Kartik Purnima, the particular full moon of November, and let yourself drown in the excitement at Pushkar. It is this time when the world-famous camel fair takes place on the sand dunes surrounding the town. Thousands of cows, camels, sheep, goats and their traders nest on the golden sands beside the holy lake. But few know that even before the camel fair begins, there is a gala horse fair, so that the festivities continue for almost a fortnight. Pay a holy trip to the Brahma Temple, at the heart of Pushkar, the only one of its kind in the whole world.
Ajmer's speciality deals with religion, so one can find the market more inclined towards religious artifacts, such as intersting metalware in the form of pitchers and urns. Drop some of your personal items to create space for cane chairs and 'moodahs', a comfortable yet essential part of any Indian verandah. naturaly, one can hardly return without a concentrate of rose 'attar', personalised especially for connoisseurs of fragrance by the perfumers of Ajmer. Pay a visit to Sarveshwar Kala Mandir to get samples of Rajasthani miniature paintings (on silk paper / cotton with a single squirrel hair brush!), whose master artist S N Dhabai also makes fantastic examples on brass and wood.
The ebst time to take up Ajmer tour is during the Urs festival, when it is a pleasure to partake the sacred food, cooked in huge cauldrons gifted by Emperor Akbar. The vessels are so large that food has to be served by people standing within them! In the slender lanes around the Dargah, one can find numerous eateries, specialising in colourful and tasty 'biryanis'. Ride a rickshaw and visit to the famous Halwai-ki-Gali, snaking in front of the Gau Ghat. The shops offer a variety of snacks, including 'kachories' and 'samosas' with spicy, flavoured 'kadhi' (cooked yoghurt), sweet-syrupy 'jalebies' and 'malpuas'. The Kutchery Road boasts of many newer restaurants that serve many international titbits.
Ajmer tour can be taken via air, all one has to do is take a flight upto Sanganer Airport in Jaipur (154 km), which in turn is well connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Chennai, with daily flights of Indian Airlines. Tourists can hire a private cab from Jaipur and reach Ajmer. The nearest railhead is Ajmer Junction, located at 11 km from the downtown. One can get into Ajmer Shatabdi if coming from Delhi, and Aravalli Express from Mumbai. There are other economical railway options such as the Delhi-Ahmedabad Mail, which departs from Delhi Junction at 10:50 pm and reaches Ajmer at 7:25 am the next day. Ajmer Shatabdi is faster by two hours, but arrives late, at 12:40 pm, plus it doesn't run on Mondays. You can also drive from Jaipur on NH 8 via Behror (almost midway) and take a turn, sometime after to drive the rest 11 kms off the national highway.
Top 5 Reasons to Visit Ajmer
The Land of Heroes
Visit The famous Dargah of Enchantment
The Magic of Pushkar
Get Some Fragrance of Ajmer Handicrafts
Taste of Ajmer
Rajasthan & The Taj
Wildlife Safari Tour
Mahal - White Wonder
Delhi - Eternal Capital
Sikri - City of Victory
- Out of The World
Madhya Pradesh -
Centre of Attraction