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Ajmer situated in the green oasis wrapped in the barren hills has been a witness to an interesting past. The city was founded by Raja Ajai Pal Chauhan in the 7th century A.D. and continued to be a major centre of Chauhan power. When Prithviraj Chauhan lost it to Mohammed Ghauri leaving behind indelible marks of their culture and traditions on the cities history, converting it to an amalgam of various cultures and a blend of Hinduism and Islam.

Places to Visit

The Dargah : The Dargah of Moin-ud-din Chisti - The tomb is located at the base of a barren hill and is also popularly known as Khawaja Saheb or Khawaja Sharif. The shrine is so famous that it is considered next only to Mecca or Medina for the Muslims of south Asia. Infact Emperor Akbar used to make an annual pilgrimage to the Dargah from Agra.

The entire shrine has contributions from different kings and emperors. The huge entrance gate was built by the Nizam of Hyderabad. A white marble mosque on the right side of the courtyard is the Akbari Masjid. Another mosque in the courtyard was built by Emperor Shahjahan. The saint's tomb covered by a splendid marble dome lies in the center of the second courtyard and is surrounded by a silver platform. The shrine hosts a fair during Urs marking the death anniversary of the Saint. It is held from the 1st to 6th day of the Islamic month of Rajab. A large number of pilgrims come to visit the Dargah during this time.

Mayo College : One of Indian's best public schools located in the south east of the city. It was founded in 1875 A.D. only for the princes. Each prince along with his entire retinue and an English tutor had his own house in the spacious college grounds covering 81 hectares. Now it is a public school open to all.

Shahjahan's Mosque : In the corner of the inner court of the Dargah, is a magnificent building in white marble with a long (30.5) and narrow court having low arcade and delicate carvings with trellis work. It is the most marvellous all the sanctums within the sanctuary of the Dargah.

Adhai-Din-Ka-Jhonpra : A remarkable structure, this is a masterpiece of Indo Islamic architecture located on the outskirts of the city. Just beyond the Dargah. As the legend goes, its construction took two and a half days. (Adhai-Din) to complete. It was originally a Sanskrit college, built within a temple. In 1193 A.D. Mohammad Ghauri conquered Ajmer and converted the building into a mosque by adding a seven arched wall in front of the pillared hall in just two-and-a-half days (adhai-din) and hence the name. The district pillars and arched "screen with its ruined minarets make it a splendid architectural masterpiece.

Taragarh Fort : A steep one and half hour climb beyond the Adhai-Din-ka-Jhonpra leads to the ruins of the Taragarh Fort, perched on a hill. One can have an excellent view of the city from here. The fort was the site of the military activity during the Mughal period later used as a sanatorium by the British.

The Museum : Once the royal residence of Emperor Akbar, the museum houses a rich repository of the Mughal and Rajput armor and exquisite sculptures.

The Circuit House : The former British Residency, overlooking the artificial lake, 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.

How to Reach Ajmer :

Air : Jaipur (132 km from Ajmer) is the nearest airport.

Rail : Regular train services link Ajmer with all major cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

Road : There is a well-connected network of buses that ply to and fro from Ajmer connecting it to major towns and cities in north India.



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