Tourist Attractions: Ajmer-e-Sharief Dargah, Adhai-Din-Ka Jhonpara.
Festive Attractions: Urs Fair, Pushkar Fair
Best Time To Visit: October to March
Situated in the heart of the desert of Rajasthan, Ajmer is a blend of Sufi culture and Hindu religion. Ajmer has always been a coveted and strategic place for the Rajputs, the Mughals and the Marathas. Ajmer was the seat of administration for the Chauhans till Prithviraj was defeated in 1193 AD by Mohammed Ghauri. It then became a part of the Delhi Sultanate.
However, Rana Kumbha of Mewar and Raja Maldeo again established Rajput rule over Ajmer. The annual Urs at Dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti is held on a grand scale and attracts pilgrims from all over the world irrespective of their caste and religion.
TEMPLES: Ajmer-e-Sharief 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. Emperor Akbar used to make a pilgrimage to this Dargah from Agra once a year.
Adhai-Din-Ka Jhonpara - One of the finest examples of Indo-Islamic architecture, this mosque was a Sanskrit college in the 12th century. In 1193 AD Mohammad Ghori destroyed the college and a mosque was built in its place. The mosque is built on pillars and surprisingly no two pillars are alike. The archways are finely engraved with Kufi and Jughra inscriptions from the Holy Quran (also spelt as Koran).
Nasiyan (Jain Temple) - This red coloured Jain temple was built in the late 19th century. The wooden gilt in the double storeyed hall depicts scenes from the Jain mythology. The beauty of this temple is widely acclaimed.
Govt. Museum - The Royal palace of Akbar was converted into a museum and today it houses a rich collection of Mughal and Rajput armory. Some of the fine and delicate sculptures of the region have been displayed here. The building itself has been constructed of red sandstone, which has been laid down in a square pattern giving it a fabulous look.
Ana Sagar Lake - This lake was built by Anaji during 1135-1150 AD. Later the Mughal Emperors made additional constructions to beautify the lake. The 'Baradari', Shah Jahan built a marble pavilion and Jehangir laid the Daulat Bagh Gardens. This lake is located towards the north of Ajmer City.
Taragarh Fort - Built in the 7th century by Ajaipal Chauhan, the fort gives a bird's eye view of the city. Taragarh Fort or the 'Star fort' is situated on a hill and to reach there, one has to take winding bridle path.
Mayo College - One of the India’s best public schools, located in the southeast 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.
Pushkar - The Sister City of Ajmer, Pushkar is just 11-km away from the city. The road to Pushkar passes through the Nag Pahar or the Snake Mountain.
Pushkar is an ancient city and has seen history being made since the Ramayana period. The account of this city can be found in the 4th century writings of the Chinese traveler-- Fa-Hien and also in the scripts written during the era of Muslim invasions. The city is considered by Hindus to be one of the most sacred places in India and has, perhaps, the only existing temple in Asia, dedicated to Lord Brahma. Life in the city is very much related to the Pushkar Lake. Mythology says that this ancient lake was formed when a lotus flower fell in the valley, from the hands Brahma.
The 52 bathing ghats that surround the lake are believed to have special powers e.g. 'Naga Kund' for fertility, 'Roop Tirth' for beauty and 'Kapil Vyapi Kund' for curing Leprosy.
The famous Pushkar fair is held every year on the Kartik Purnima day. This fair is famous as a bazaar for the animals particularly the camels. But the folk dancers and the folk musicians add traditional colour in the fair, which gives a new leash of life to the town.
Mangliyawas: his town is famous for two 800 years old trees of a rare species- ADANSONIA DIGITATA LINN- popularly known as 'Kalpa-Vriksha'. People visit this place through out the year but on dark moon day of 'Sravana' (also spelt as Shravana) thousands of people come to worship the trees. The town is 26-km from Ajmer.
Beawar: This town is located 54-km from Ajmer and is famous for the Badshahi procession festival held on the next day of Holi. On this occasion, people participate in large numbers and throw 'Gulal' on each other.
Foy Sagar: This artificial lake was built during a famine relief programmer. Named after the engineer responsible for its construction, the picturesque lake is 5-km from Ajmer.
Kishan Garh: On the road to Jaipur, 27-km from Ajmer is located this medieval treasure house of art. This place had one of the finest schools for miniature paintings during 18th century. This town of artists is also famous for Gundelao Lake, Phool Mahal Palace, Temple of Sri Kalyan Raiji and the Majhala Palace.
HOW TO GET THERE
Air: The nearest airport is that of Jaipur.
Rail: The city is well connected by trains with all the major places in India.
Road: The state transport has its bus services from all over Rajasthan and also from Delhi. However, during the Urs, large number of people arriving in Ajmer, it is advisable to plan your trip in advance during this time.
Local Transport: City bus service operates in the city and to Pushkar. Unmetered taxis, auto-rickshaws, tongas, and cycle-rickshaws are also available for commutation.
PLACES TO STAY
The RTDC has done a lot to retain the traditional flavor in its hotels in and around Ajmer. Hotels like RTDC's Khadim come with AC Deluxe rooms as well as ordinary rooms, which give a comfortable stay in the city. There are also Sarai facilities for the pilgrims. The government sponsored paying guest scheme makes the visitor feel at home.
FAIRS & FESTIVALS
The annual Urs and Pushkar fair
Temperatures are very high during summers and very low during winters. Ajmer has a typical desert type of climate. The best season to visit this place is between October and March.
Population: Around four lakhs
Altitude: 486 meters
Climate: summer: Max. - 38.1°C Min. - 27.7°C
Winter: Max. - 23.3°C Min. - 05.5°C
Rainfall: 38 to 51 CMS.
Clothing: summer : Light Tropical
Languages: Rajasthan, Hindi, Urdu, English, and Sindhi.