Ajmer Information

Ajmer, the sacred secular town was founded in the 7th century by Raja Ajaipal Chauhan and became the famous bastion of the Chauhan Rajputs.  The Chauhans dominated the region till the end of the 12th century.  After the defeat of Prithviraj Chauhan, the most distinguished Chauhan ruler, at the hands of Muhammad Ghauri in 1193, the glory of Chauhans waned.  Subsequently, the twon witnessed many upheaval until Akbar annexed it to the Mughal empire in 1556.  He made it the headquarters for the operations in Rajputana and Gujarat.  Ajmer is associated with many important historical events of national importance.  Sir Thomas Roe, the ambassador of King James I of England, presented his credentials to Jehangir in Ajmer, on 10th January 1616.  Dara Shikoh, the eldest son of Shah jahan was born here and the war of succession between the sons of Shah Jahan was won in 1659, by Aurangzeb in the battle of Dorai near Ajmer.  From 1818 onwards, it came under the domain of the British, who left behind a legacy of excellent educational institutions.

Thie 13th century Dargah is one of the holiest Muslim shrines in the country.  It is the final resting place of the great Sufi saint – Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, the ‘Bestower of Boons’ popularly known as ‘Garib Nawaz’ or the ‘protector of the poor’.  Millions of pilgrims from all over the world flock her to seek the blessings and pay homage to the Khwaja, by offering chadars at the grave of the holy soul.  The dargah has a massive gate with silver doors, which were built by the Nizam of Hyderabad.  The tomb richly adorned with gold and silver lies in a magnificent domed chamber in the centre of the second courtyard.  Qawwals from all over the world come here to sing in the praise of the saint.  On the right side of the courtyard is the Akbari Mashid built in white marble by Akbar.  There is another impressive mosque built by Shahjahan.  Other attractions in the shrine are the two massive degs (cauldrons) in which the ritual rice is cooked.  The smaller deg has a capacity of about 2240kg and the larger one can hold 4480kg of rice.  The ‘looting’ of deg is a unique ritual, as professional ‘looters’ expty the deg in minutes and even jump in the steaming deg.  This ‘loot’ is then sold as tabarruk (sanctified food) by the ‘looters’.  The six day celebration of the Urs or death anniversary of Khwaja is the most important event of Ajmer.  During this time millions of devotees from all sects and religions gather here.

Location

It located on the latitude 26°27' north and longitude 74°43' east.  Ajmer is situated 132km from Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan and flanked by Anna Sagar Lake on one side and the Aravalli Hills on the other.

Climate

The climate of Ajmer is hot with temperatures soaring up to 45 degrees Celsius in summers.  The winters are really cool here and the temperature remains in the range of 10°C.  The place does not receive much rain even during the monsoons.

History

Ajayveda, who was an 11th century local Rajput ruler, founded the city of Ajmer.  Sometime later, it was taken over by the Delhi Sulthanate till it was returned to the local rulers, who had to pay ribute to the Sultanate.  Sufi saint, Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti came to Ajmer from Persia, in the late 12th century.  During the Medieval period, it became a part of the Mughal Empire, but then it was taken over by the Scindia rulers of Gwalior.  Finally, the British took over it in 1818.

Ajmer Tourism Information

The city of Ajmer is famous as a pilgrimage site.  It houses the Dargah, or tomb, of the popular 13th century, Sufi saint Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Hasan Chisti.  The city also boasts of a number of monuments dating back to the Mugal era.  Ajmer is well-known for its traditional handicrafts industry.

Dargah of Garib Nawaz Khwaja Moin-ud-din Chisti

The dargah of Khwaja Moin-id-din Chisti is located at the foot of a small and barren hill in Ajmer.  There are two huge cauldrons in the courtyard of the dargah with a capital of 2,240kg and 4,480kg respectively.

Adhai-Din-ka-Jhonpra or “Two and a half day shed”

The relics of an old mosque lie to the west of Dargah.  It was originally a Sanskrit college, within a temple enclosure and was destroyed by Mohammad Ghauri in 1193.  It is said that he ordered, the mosque to be made ready on this site for his prayer within two and a half days. The archways are adorned with intricate cravings depicting Kufi and Jughra inscriptions from the holy Koran.

Magazine

This innermost portion of the fort constructed by Akbar is the most important relic of Mughal history in the city.  The main entrance to the building faces Naya Bazar and is provided with balconies (jharokhas) on both the sides.  Sir Thomas Roe, the British envoy, presented his credentials to Jahangir over here.

Rajputana Museum

It was set up by the Govt.  of India for preservation and study of unique and rare relics collected from the various states of Rajputana.

Nasiyan (Red Temple)

The famous Digambar Jain temple was constructed in 1865. The Svarna Nagari Hall, behind the shrine exhibits gilt wooden representations of scenes from Jain mythology. Nasiyan Jain Temple is located on Prithiviraj Road and devoted to the first Jain Tirthankara, Rishabhdeoji.  The temple is greatly revered by the Digabar sect of Jains.  There is a museum alongside the temple.

Mayo College

This elite public school was established in 1875, for providing education to the children of the royal families in the country.  Today, it is one of the premiere educational institutions of India and is open to everybody.  There is a museum displaying historical objects of interest and biological preservation.

Circuit House

It overlooks the Ana Sagar lake and was formerly the British Residency.  Nearby, is the cenotaph and shrine of Swami Dayanand Saraswati, the founder of Arya Samaj movement, who breathed his last at Ajmer.

Ana Sagar

This beautiful 12th century artificial lake is named after Anaji Chauhan. Its huge embankment was erected with people’s help, while the ‘Baradari’ or Pavilions were constructed by Shah Jahan and the Daulat Bagh gardens was laid by Jehangir. This beautiful lake was built by King Anaji, the grandfather of Prithviraj Chauhan at a picturesque site located to the north of Ajmer.  Daulat Bagh Gardens, which was created by Jahangir, is located next to the lake.

Visal Sagar

The pristine lake amidst sylvan surroundings was built by King Visaldeva (1152-1163AD) and is designed like the sacred Pushkar Lake.

Prithviraj Chauhan Smarak

The memorial on the way to Taragarh Fort Commemorates Prithviraj Chauhan, the last Hindu emperor of India.  A life-size statue of the king is erected amidst well laid-out gardens.

Targarh Fort or the ‘Star fort’ (8km)

The 7th century fort built by Ajaipal Chauhan is perched atop a hill and was earlier known as Ajaya-Meru-Durg.  It is nearly 2-3 km in circumference and has 9 impregnable gates. The first hill fort of India was built in 1100 by Ajayapal Chauhan.  The fort gives excellent views of the town below and is also known as the Star Fort.  It has a thickness of four and a half metre, and a winding uphill path leads to this rectangular fort.

Festivals

Urs Fairs

The Urs are held every year at the dargah of the Surfi saint, Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, commemorating his symbolic union with God.  Qawaalis are sung in the saint's honour.  This splendid tomb of the Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, is more popularly known as Khwajjia Sharif.

Pushkar Fair

This fair is held at Pushkar town, 11km from Ajmer in Rajasthan for twelve days, annually.  This cultural and trade cum religious fair is an attractive and lively spectacle with Rajasthani men and women in their colorful traditional attire, saffron-robed and ash smeare sadhus (holy men), and thousands of bulls, cows, sheep, goats, horses and camels in richly decorated saddles.  Perhaps, the largest cattle fair in the world, it attracts more than one lakh people, from all over Rajasthan as well as tourists from different parts of India and abroad.

Ajmer Distance Guide

Ajmer to Alwar 281 Km
Ajmer to Banswara 463 Km
Ajmer to Barmer 427 Km
Ajmer to Bharatpur 312 Km
Ajmer to Bhilwara 132 Km
Ajmer to Bikaner 272 Km
Ajmer to Bundi 162 Km
Ajmer to Chittaurgarh 187 Km
Ajmer to Churu 294 Km
Ajmer to Dungarpur 373 Km
Ajmer to Ganganagar 504 Km
Ajmer to Jaipur 138 Km
Ajmer to Jaisalmer 535 Km
Ajmer to Jhalawar 284 Km
Ajmer to Jhunjhunun 253 Km
Ajmer to Jodhpur 205 Km
Ajmer to Kota 199 Km
Ajmer to Nagaur 162 Km
Ajmer to Pali 165 Km
Ajmer to Sawai Madhopur 249 Km
Ajmer to Sikar 192 Km
Ajmer to Sirohi 276 Km
Ajmer to Tonk 175 Km
Ajmer to Udaipur 236 Km