Ajmer, located in the district of Ajmer, in the north Indian state of Rajasthan was once the stronghold of the Chauhans. Established in early seventh century by Ajaipal Chauhan and called Ajaimeru-the invincible hill- Ajmer is today a popular place of pilgrimage for both Muslims and Hindus of India. The city has witnessed the rise and fall of many kingdoms and passed through many hands till it became a part of the British Empire in 1818. The British legacy was the establishment of many excellent educational institutions.
Situated at the foot of the Taragarh hill, the Dargah Shareef, tomb of the Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti attracts lakhs of followers from all over India, especially during the Urs. The Dargah has two immense cauldrons in which are cooked rice, dry fruits, condiments etc., and then served to people as ‘tabarukh’ or sanctified food. The mosque inside the Dargah, Akbari Masjid, built by Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor for the faithful to pray is a beautiful building in white marble, richly decorated with ornate calligraphic inscriptions and intricate trellis work.
Another important monument in Ajmer is the Adai-din-ka-Jhonpara, popularly believed to have been built in two and a half days. It was originally a Jain temple built in 1153and converted to a mosque in 1193 by Qutubuddin Aibak. Taragarh, the fort of Ajmer, stands guarding the city. One can get a panoramic view of the city from the fort.
Just 11 kms travel from Ajmer is Pushkar, a sacred venue of Hindus. Surrounded on three sides by hills and sand dunes on the other, the beautiful town of Pushkar is a traveler’s delight. The lake at Pushkar is believed to have been created by Brahma and hence is considered sacred. During the month of Kartik (October/November.), pilgrims throng here to take a dip in the lake. Traveling from Ajmer to Pushkar is an interesting experience as the road winds through the Nag Pahar or Snake Mountain which forms part of the Aravali range. Pushkar is also famous for the annual camel fair. A visit to Rajasthan will not be complete with out a trip to Ajmer.