Ajmer is a prominent city in the Indian State of Rajasthan. It is home to the famous Ajmer Shariff Shrine and is in the center of the state. The city is surrounded by the Aravalli Hills and serves as the base to access Pushkar. It is a municipality since 1869. It is located at 130 km southwest of Jaipur. Pushkar is hardly 13 km away from Ajmer.
It also reflects Islamic history and heritage and is frequented by several Muslim pilgrims to visit the Shrine. It also has an amazing Jain Temple and is one of the places which attract the attention of the tourists for several reasons. The Dargah of Khwaja Muin-ud-din Chishti also attracts a huge crowd and during Ramadan the city becomes extremely crowded.
Ajmer is located in the lower slope of Taragarh Hill of the Aravalli range. The climatic conditions of the area are mostly hot and arid with rainfall of about 55 cm every year. The summers are very hot and mostly warm weather prevails throughout the year. The winter spell is limited to very few months with the temperature showing the mercury at 15-18 degrees Celsius. Monsoons attract heavy rain but not to the level of floods.
The nearest airport to the area is Kishangarh Airport. It was inaugurated by the former Prime minister of India, Dr. Minoan Singh in the year 2013. The railway station is however existent since the colonial times and is situated within the city. The bus connectivity with the other cities of the state is very good. The road connectivity allows the tourists to reach the destination by taxis and personal cars as well.
The Mayo College is located here and several educationists are also having their abodes in the city. The hostel facility offered by the institution attracts students from various parts of the country. The population of the area as per the census of 2011 is 5, 42,321. The city is popular for other educational institutions also.
People in Ajmer are friendly and have respect for both the communities namely Hindus and Muslims. The city is a true example of unity in diversity. They are very warm towards the Hindu and the Muslim pilgrims. The city celebrates festivals like Holi, Diwali, Eid, etc. with equal enthusiasm and zest. They are polite with the tourist.
Folk music like Qawalis is very popular in the city. Tribal people perform Rajasthani dance named Kalbela. International Sufi Festival is held every year and the event was initiated in the year 2011. Urs Fair is also celebrated to mark respect to the Sufi saint Moinuddin Chishti. The city is also popular for ornaments, embroidery, and leather work. Miniature paintings are also found in the city and with such accomplices, the city is a great place for the lovers of art.
Camel fair in Pushkar near Ajmer
The original name of the city was Ajayameru. The Chahamanas were the original rulers of the city as they played an instrumental role in establishing the city. The Ajayameru Fort was later named as the Taragarh Fort which holds immense historical value. The Chahamanas did a lot of expansion in the area and made Ajmer as their capital. The Mughal invasion also clearly indicates as the olden inscriptions point towards the same. Jahanara Begum, the powerful Mughal princess was born here.
Even during the British rule, the city was of immense importance. It had the presence of a large hospital and a central jail. Even Christian Missions were set up here and all this suggests that the British were quite powerful in the area. After Independence, Ajmer became a part of Ajmer District and Kishangarh became sub-division of Jaipur District.
Pushkar is a religious place and Ajmer serves as the stepping stone to reach Pushkar. Thus, several tourists love to explore both the areas. Taragarh Fort is the oldest hill fort in the country. It is located at 2.855 feet above sea level. The block of stones used for the construction is large and the architecture of the Fort is awesome. The Fort was dismantled during British rule and used by them to house their troops.
Ajmer Shariff Dargah is the shrine of saint Moinuddin Chishti. It is located at the foot of Taragarh Hill. Akbar and his queen used to visit the place. the Urs of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti is celebrated annually on the 6th and 7th of Rajab.
Mayo College is one of the finest educational institutions and was built in the year 1875. It was built by Lord Mayo and several Indian princes also got an opportunity to study here. The main building is erected of white marble and reminds one of the Indo-Saracenic architecture.
Akbar Fort and Museum houses Mughal and Rajput armor. The architecture is beautiful. This is the place where the permission to East India Company was given to trade with India. The building is massive and has octagonal bastions at every corner.
Another important place of interest is the Nareli Jain Temple. The intricate stone carvings in the building give a very traditional and contemporary look to the building. People love to visit the Anasagar Lake also which is a man-made lake and was built by Raja Anaji. Lake Foy Sagar was created to fight famine in the year 1892.
Camping in Ajmer
Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti Ajmer
Rajasthani food is very popular here. Muslim delicacies are also found in the area. There are several established eating joints and hotels which have got great reviews of the travelers.
People can indulge in street shopping and folk dresses are easily available. The Bandhani and Tie-Dye fabrics are found here. Same day trips are organized in Jaipur for Ajmer and Pushkar and several tourists love to undertake the journey as they can cover several places of interest with ease and move around the place easily with the help of a tour operator. Tourism in the area is very high and impressive.
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-- India Enigma
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