At the heart of predominantly Hindu Rajasthan is the Muslim city of Ajmer. This busy city is most famous for the shrine of the Sufi saint Mu’inuddin Chishti who was instrumental in spreading Islam throughout northern India in the 12th century. The tomb (Dargah) is now a major pilgrimage place for Moslems, particularly during the annual commemoration of the saint’s death.
Ajmer is also the home of Mayo College, one of the most prestigious public schools in India, originally built as an educational center for the princes of royal India. Pushkar, a desert oasis on a holy lake, is just 11 km from Ajmer.
What to see
Adhai-Din-Ka-Jhonpra: A remarkable example of Indo-Islamic architecture , this mosque was originally an ancient collage with a temple enclosure.
Ana Sagar Lake: This beautiful artificial lake was formed by throwing an embankment between two hillocks-Bajrang Garh and Khobra Bherun which were named after the Hindu temples were built on them.
Circuit House : The former British Residency overlooking Ana Sagar is now the Circuit House. Surrounded by Daulat Bagh, the place offers a fine view of the lake.
Nasiyan: This Digambar Jain temple commonly known as Nasiyan or Lal Mandir due to it’s red colour, is dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankara Rishabhadeoji and has fine inlay work on it’s walls. The elegant and double storey temple has a Swarna Nagari Hall richly decorated by scenes from Jain mythology and depictions of Ayodhya and Prayaga.
The Dargah: In the heart of Ajmer is the tomb of Khwaja-Moinuddin-Chisti (1142-1256) the most revered of the Muslim saints of the Sufi Sect also known as ‘Garib-Nawaz’.
Government Museum: Emperor Akhbar’s royal palace made of red sandstone, now houses a museum, which has a rich collection of Mughal and Rajput armour and fine sculptures. (Timing: 1000 hrs to 1700 hrs).
Mayo College: South-east of the city is one of finest public schools, Mayo College, founded in 1875, originally for the sons of Rajput royalty.
Swami Dayanand Smarak: Swami Dayanand Saraswati, founder of the Arya Samaj, selected Ajmer as the centre of his activities. A cenotaph raised to his memory is a charming building by the Ana Sagar lake.
Taragarh Fort : This “Star Fort” was built by Ajalpal Chauhan in 1100 A.D. On reaching the top of the hill where the remains of this fort stand, one can have a view of the city. It was said to be the first fort built on a hill in India.
Air: The nearest airport is Jaipur 138 Km, connected by Indian Airlines and private airlines with important cities and towns In India.
Rail: Ajmer is connected by train service with major cities and towns.
Road: Ajmer is well connected by road with Ahmedabad 570 Km, Agra 360 Km, Bharatpur 312 Km, Bikaner 234 km, Bundi 142 Km, Chittaurgarh 190 Km, Delhi 395 Km, Jaipur 132 Km, Jaisalmer 458 Km, Jodhpur 205 Km, Mount Abu 377Km and Udaipur 269 Km.
Area: 55.76 Sq. Km.
Altitude: 486 Metres. Temperature: Summer - Max: 43.7 Deg.C Min: 37.7 Deg.C Winter - Max: 23.3 Deg.C Min: 05.5 Deg.C Rainfall: 38 to 57 Cm. Season: September to April. STD Code: 0145
- Pushkar(11 Km): This picturesque township and the sacred lake of Pushkar lie 11 Km from Ajmer. According to legend, a lotus fell from the hand, of Lord Brahma and dropped into this valley. A lake sprang up on the spot and was dedicated to him. The temple (Jagat Pita Shri Brhama Mandir) dedicated to Lord Brahma on the lake side is an important pilgrim centre. The important places worth visiting are the Brahma temple, Apteshwar Mahadeo Temple, Bihariji Ka temple, Srirama Vaikuntha temple and Rangji temple. The Pushkar fair is held evey autumn (October / November) when thousands of pilgrims congregate here for a holy dip in the lake.
PUSHKAR FAIR DATES: 20-23 November 1999 and 09-11 November 2000.
Foy Sagar (12 km): It is a picturesque artificial lake.
Kishangarh (27 km): This erstwhile princely state is where the world renowned Kishangarb school of painting flourished. The town is also famous for its Gundelao Lake, Phool Mahal Palace and temple of Shri Kalyan Raiji.
Roopangarb (52 km): The magnificient palace here, has been converted into the Roopangarh Fort Heritage Hotel.
Beawar (54 km): The venue for the Badshahi procession festival held a day after Holi.
Merta (63 km from Pushkar). The town was founded by Duda , the fourth son of Rao Jodha, the ruler of Jodhpur. Several temples, both Hindu and Jain as well as the Jama Masjid are worth seeing. Another place worth seeing is the Charbhuja temple. It is believed that Mira the well known devotee of lord Krishna, took her inspiration from this temple and dedicated her life in the bhakti of lord Krishna.