Founded by Raja Ajay Pal Chauhan in the 7th Century A.D, Ajmer is in the West of Rajasthan and is defined by the tomb or Dargah of the famous most Sufi Saint Khwaja Muin-ud-din Chishti, founder of the Chishti order. Ajmer came under the control of Delhi Saltanate, which supplanted the Rajput Chauhans in 1992 as a result of their defeat by Muhammad Ghori. In addition to Delhi, Ajmer was the most important center of Chauhan power in India. A vacation tour to Ajmer will help you to get an idea about the city’s amazing history and culture.
Khwaja Muin-ud-din Chishti died in 1226 at Ajmer and his holy Dargah attracts streams of adherents of all faiths especially during the Urs Mela in October/November. For Hindus, Ajmer also serves as a jumping-off place for Pushkar, a twenty-minute bus ride away across the hills.
Even today the city of Ajmer retains an almost medieval character feathering the narrow lanes of the bazaars, lines of rose-petal stalls, shops selling prayer mats, beads and lengths of gold-edged green silk offerings. Various finely architectures of the Mughal period add to the flavor of the place. Added to this, the city is also dominated by Taragarh, the most important rally point for invading armies in northwest India.
The death anniversary of the Chishti, or Urs Mela attracts thousands of pilgrims, and Ajmer resounds to the sound of qawwali.
Apart from the tomb of the above-mentioned Sufi Saint, sights in city include the Adhai-din-ka-Jhonpra, or “two-and-a-half-day mosque”, Daulat Khana, the Ana Sagar Lake, Daulat Bagh, the Nasiyan (Red) Jain Temple and government museum.
When the British took control of Ajmer in 1818, it did not form part of any princely state. Among the colonial monuments include the Jubilee clock tower, the King Edward Memorial Hall and the famous Mayo College, originally built as a school for princes, and now a leading educational institution popularly known as the “Eton of the East”.
Vacation Tour to Ajmer and Prime destinations
Khwaja Muin-ud-din Chishti Dargah
To this day, the Chishti’s tomb, or Dargah, remains one of the holiest shrines in India, which attracts adherents of all faiths. A very important holy place for the Muslims, it is believed that seven visits here are the equivalent of one to Mecca. Construction of the tomb was begun by Iltutmish, the second ruler of the Delhi Sultanate, and was completed by second Mughal emperor Humayun in the sixteenth-century. Later many Muslim rulers added structures at different times. The massive gate of the Dargah was built by the Nizam of Hyderabad in 1911.
Adhai-din-ka-jhonpra, Ajmer, Travel to Ajmer, Pilgrimage travel to Rajasthan A remarkable structure, the Adhai-din-ka-Jhonpra, or “two-and-a-half-day mosque” is oldest surviving monument in Ajmer and one of the finest specimens of Indo-Islamic architecture. Originally built by the Chauhans as a temple, which housed a Sanskrit college, it was converted into a mosque by Qutub-ud-din Aibak, the first ruler of the slave dynasty. This is corroborated by the Hindu motifs clearly discernible on the pillars and ceilings. The legend has it that its construction was completed in record time of took two and a half days and hence the name.
A steep one and a half hour climb beyond the Adhai-din-ka-jhopra will lead you to the ruined ramparts of the Taragarh Fort, perched on a ridge high above the city. The fort offers a wonderful view of the city and provide something to cherish while on your vacation tour to Ajmer. It was the site of the military activity during the Mughal period, later used as a sanatorium by the British.
A gigantic rectangular palace in the center of the city served as the residence of the Mughal Emperors Akbar and Jahangir during their visits to the Dargah.. Today, the old palace houses a small museum exhibiting mainly Hindu statues dating from the eighth century.
The huge artificial lake sprawling northwest of Ajmer beside the road to Pushkar, known as Ana Sagar, was laid out by the Hindu Raja Anaji between 1135 and 1150. This lake is a must to visit travel destination when you are on your vacation tour to Ajmer.
Situated in the southeast of the Ana Sagar, Mayo College is one of the India’s best public schools, 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.