The Blessed Abode of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti
|Type of Tourism||: Pilgrimage|
|Area||: 55.76 sq km|
|Population||: 485,197 (As per Indian census- 2001)|
|Altitude||: 486 meters|
|Best Tourist Season||: October to March|
|Clothing recommended||: Woolen in winter, light cotton in summer|
|Languages spoken||: Rajasthani, Hindi, English, Urdu, Sindhi|
|Telephone Code||: India (0145), International (+91)|
|Pin Code||: 305001|
|What to buy||: Traditional Odnis, Saris, Lenghas, Hand Tie-Dyed Turbans, Handloom and Block Printed Textiles, Bandhini Textiles, Embroidered Shoes, Hand Embroidered Stuff, Arts and Handicrafts, Souvenirs, Woodcrafts, Miniature Paintings, Home Décor Items, Brass Utensils, Furniture, Gold Jewelry, Silver Souvenirs, Bangles, Leather Belts and Bags, 'Ittar' or Perfume, etc.|
|Food Specialties||: Dal Bati Churma, Bajre Ki Khichadi, Bedmi Puri, Gatte Ki Sabzi, Rajasthani Pulaao, Sohan Halwa, Dilkushar – Besan Ki Chakki, Jalebis, Ghewar, Kalakand, Balushahi, Motichoor Ladoos, etc.|
|Local transportation||: On foot, cycle rickshaws, auto rickshaws, horse tongas, tempos, minibuses, etc.|
Located approximately 135 kilometers to the west of Jaipur; the state capital of Rajasthan, Ajmer happens to be the 5th largest city of the state and also the administrative headquarters of the Ajmer District. Girdled by the majestic Aravalli Mountain Ranges and secluded from the desert by the colossal walls of the Nagpathar Range, Ajmer; formerly spelt as ‘Ajmere’ is positioned almost right in the center of the Rajasthan State. The city has registered its name on the nation front both in the fields of tourism as well as pilgrimage for its miraculous and mystic ‘Dargah Shrine’ of the great Sufi Saint; Garib Nawaz ‘Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti’. A vital pilgrim destination equally venerated both by the Hindus and the Muslims, Ajmer is an impressive reminiscent of yesteryears.
This sacred city bejeweled with blessed shrines, imposing palaces, splendid lakes, Mughal and colonial edifices, mazes of narrow lanes, bustling markets and enchanting fairs allures its visitors to no extent. Established in 7th century AD (according to some records, 12th century AD) by Raja Ajay Pal Chauhan, Ajmer receives its name from a Sanskrit word ‘Ajaimeru’ which means ‘the invincible hill’. Ajmer, the incredible synthesis of Hindu and Sufi traditions and culture is now aggrandized as the thriving hub of Rajasthani heritage, culture and education. Moreover, Ajmer is also hailed as the gateway to the consecrated city Pushkar, a leading Hindu pilgrim destination distinguished as the domicile of the only Brahma Temple in the whole world. Ajmer, the divine abode of the wish fulfilling Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti beckons more than a million visitors from all casts, creeds and religions from all over the India as well as abroad every year.
History of Ajmer
Ajmer, founded by Raja Ajay Pal Chauhan in 7th century AD (or 12th century AD) continued to be a glorious center of the Chauhan Supremacy till late 12th century. The most prestigious and eminent period in the history of Ajmer was the reign of the great Chauhan King Prithviraj Chauhan III. With the defeat of Prithviraj Chauhan against Mohammed Ghori in the Second Battle of Tarain in the year 1193, the Chauhan Kingdom declined and the era of Muslim rule in Ajmer was ushered. However, the Delhi Sultanate appointed the Chauhans as their feudatories who managed the governance till 1365 AD. This was the year which marked the onset of the Mewar Rule in Ajmer. Subsequently, Ajmer became the battleground of the power struggles between Mewar and Marwar Maharajas. Ultimately in the year 1532 the King of Marwar conquered the throne of Ajmer.
The great Mughal Emperor Akbar vanquished Ajmer in 1559 AD and the Mughals held on to the reigns till 1770 successfully suppressing the occasional revolts. Finally, Ajmer changed hands from Mughals to Marathas who sold Ajmer to the British for 50,000 rupees in the year 1818. From that time onwards Ajmer became the ‘Ajmer-Merwara Province’ and enjoyed uninterrupted peace and stable governance. Ajmer happens to be the only region that was directly administered by the British East Indian Company. Even after the independence of India till 1950 AD, Ajmer-Merwara remained a province which was later turned into the Ajmer State. Ajmer, a ‘Part C’ state of India was governed by the Chief Commissioner selected by the President of India. Haribhau Upadhyaya served as the Chief Minister of the state of Ajmer between 24th March 1952 and 31st October 1956. Later, on 1st November 1956 Ajmer was incorporated into the state of Rajasthan.