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Shubhyatra >> Rajasthan Yatra >> Urs Festivlal


Location: 132 km SW of Jaipur and 198 km east of Jodhpur in Rajasthan
Time: According to the Lunar Calendar.
Duration: The First Six Days Of Rajab.
Highlights: Qawwalis, Mushairaas in Mehfils.

Shopkeeper selling flowers during Urs Fair
Shopkeeper selling flowers during Urs Fair

"When the Aarif becomes silent
it means that he is talking to God,
and when he closes his eyes
it means that he is knocking at God's door"

-- Hazart Khawaja Moinuddin Hasan Chisty

Take a tour of one of the famous religious festivals in Rajasthan - Urs fair. The beauteous lakeside city of Ajmer is located in central Rajasthan, and is held in great reverence by devotees of all creed, who call it 'Ajmer Sharif' (Holy Ajmer). It is here that the mortal remains of the august Sufi saint Khawaja Moinuddin Chisty, who came to Ajmer from Persia in 1192, lie buried. He is known as Gharib Nawaz (protector of the poor) en masse, because he dedicated his entire life to the service of mankind. His spartan life, attended by rigid austerity and self-denial, spanned almost a hundred years while he embraced divine knowledge and fathomed hidden mysteries of the nature and those of the soul. The Khwaja left for heavenly abode in 1256 AD after a six day prayer in seclusion. These six days are celebrated every year as the annual Urs festival.

The Hallowed Dargah

While in the famous Urs fair of Ajmer in India, you have to cover your head inside the shine, so remember to carry a scarf, although there are plenty for sale at the colorful bazaar leading to the shrine. As you enter the courtyard, removing your shoes at the gateway, a mosque known as Akbari masjid, as constructed by Akbar, is on the right. There is another mosque fabricated by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Like all of Shah Jahan's buildings, the mosque too, is an architectural prodigy - a magnificent building in white marble with a long and narrow courtyard for the pilgrims to pray, richly embellished with ornate calligraphic Persian inscriptions, exquisite carvings and elegant filigree. Take an Ajmer tourism to see the mosque attractions.

"The Urs Jubiliation
Rejoice, my love, rejoice,
Its spring here, rejoice.
Oh, you're still enjoying your sleep, wake-up.
Even your destiny has woken up"

-- Amir Khusrau

If you travel to see the famous urs fair of Rajasthan then you should knoe the eminent Persian poet who beautifully quoted these few lines as a souvenir to the endeared festival of Urs. Inviting everyone to rejoice in the spring time, the poet tacitly emphasizes on self-enlightenment of the soul. Since your destiny has already woken up, you should cheer up and focus vivacity in every turn of your life.

Dargah Sharief, Ajmer
Dargah Sharief, Ajmer

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The famous Urs fair in Ajmer springs up on the 25th of Jamadi-ul-Akhir (sixth lunar month), energized with the hoisting of a white flag with great pomp and show, on the Dargah by the Sajjada Nashin (successor representative) of Chistis. The tomb, richly adorned with gold and silver ornamentation, is then washed with rose water and sandalwood paste in the early morning. A covering with an alluringly embroidered silk cloth is then offered by the successor.

The pilgrims who cluster at the Dargah from every corner of the country, who come to seek benison of the Khwaja, who come to fetch eternal peace of mind, make grand offerings (nazrana) at the sacred pad where the saint has been entombed. Feel the elysian ambiance of the Dargah, rich with the fragrance of rose and jasmine flowers, sandalwood paste, perfumes and incense sticks. The devotees also offer chadar (Holy Sheet), ghilaph and neema, which they carry on their heads and hand over to the khadims inside the sanctum sanctorum.

Take an Ajmer tour to see the famous religious festivals where an interesting ritual is the looting of kheer (milk pudding) which is cooked in two large cauldrons, garnished with dry fruits and condiments and distributed to the devotees as Tabarruk (blessed food). On the steps leading to the main gate, fakirs can be seen begging for alms in the name of the Khwaja. Their cries generally do not go in vain, as the devotees feel happy to help the needy, in the tradition of Khwaja Gharib Nawaz.

On the 6th day of Rajab, the Sajjada Nashin performs the ablution of the tomb with the sound of crackers and music at the backdrop. Fatiha and Salamti are read. This last day is also marked by the opening of the Jannati Darwaza, a gateway to heaven that should be crossed 7 times to gain eternal salvation. A must see quantum of the fair is the mushaira or poetic recitation. Poets from all pockets of India gather wholeheartedly to recite compositions dedicated to Khwaja.

Listen To The Euphonic Qawwalis

Travel to the Urs fair at night, when religious convocations called mehfils are held in the mehfil khana, a voluminous hall meant for this purpose. The hall echoes with the resonance of the Holy name of the Khwaja, while the people, overwhelmed with devotion, passionately carol and clap to the rhythm of the Qawwalis and harmonize their subconscious with the supreme self. The mehfil adjourns late in the night with a fatiha, a mass prayer for the eternal peace of the Khwaja in particular and mankind in general. These high pitched qawwalis have also carved a distinct corner in Indian film industry because of their enigmatic lyrics, abyss meanings and mellifluous tunes. An Urs fair holiday in India is the best way to understand the religious festivals in Rajasthan.

How to Reach

Take an exclusive Urs fair trip to Ajmer. State and interstate roadways buses and private video coaches connect Ajmer to most important cities in the region, including Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Mt. Abu, Jaisalmer, Mumbai and Delhi. During the Urs, special RTDC conducted tours buses ply from cities all over India carrying people to Ajmer and back. Within the city, you will get rented cars, local buses, auto-rickshaws and cycle rickshaws as available means of transport.

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Top 5 Reasons to Visit Urs Festival

Urs Festival

Visit The Dargah of Enchantment
Take up Ajmer tourism and visit the famous Dargah of Ajmer Sharif, the tomb of Khwaja Muin-ud-din Chisti, a venerated Sufi saint. The sacred shrine is considered, today, a second Mecca for the Muslims of South Asia where the unbiased atmosphere fills one's heart with eternal bliss

See The Faith And Believe It
Be a part of the religious Islam congregation, the famous Urs Fair of Rajasthan, held during the month of July/August. It instigates with the hoisting of a white flag with great pomp and show, on the Dargah apex. Feel the ethereal ambiance of the Dargah, rich with the fragrance of rose and jasmine flowers, sandalwood paste, perfumes and incense sticks. The devotees also offer chadar (Holy Sheet), ghilaph and neema, which they carry on their heads and hand over to the khadims inside the sanctum sanctorum.

Singing Devotion
In the popular Urs fsir in Ajmer India, attend a Qawwali, and you cannot resist again to come to Dargah Sharif. In the evenings, the hall echoes with the resonance of the Holy name of the Khwaja, sung in euphonic tunes until the tone reaches acme and you, to the summit of devotion.

Taste of Ajmer
Satiate your hunger with the mouth-watering biryanis and kachoris, Ajmer is famous for. Visit the much-hyped ' Halwai Ki Gali' and get some sweet-syrupy 'jalebies' and 'malpuas', the taste of which will linger your memory for ever. You should savor the culinery delights beside enjoying the religious festivals of Rajasthan.

Taste The Holy Food
If you happen to be at the Dargah during the Urs Festival in Rajasthan, don't forget to savour Tabarruk. The holy food is prepared in two huge cauldrones, once gifted by the Mughals, now trace their signature in the Guiness Book of Records for being the largest silver objects in the world.

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