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India >> Rajasthan >> Ajmer >> Ajmer City
Ajmer City Ajmer, Rajasthan  More Images
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In a picturesque valley encircled by the Aravalli, 131Kms west of Jaipur lays the city of Ajmer, named “Ajaymeru” (the invincible hill) in the beginning. It was founded by maharaja Ajay Pal Chauhan in the 7th century A.D and has over time played host to many dynasties who came and left, as a result the city is an amalgam of different cultures and traditions and a blend of Hinduism and Islam. Even so, it continues to be one of the most breath taking, inspiring and inviting cities of Asia even today.

 

Today, Ajmer is an important centre of pilgrimage for Muslims, being the seat of Dargah Sharif, the shrine of the 12th century Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti… who is revered by Muslims and Hindus alike. Being one of the holiest Muslim shrines in India, it attracts thousands of pilgrims from across India and the world. Commemorating the death anniversary of the saint, the occasion of Urs is held from the 1st to the 6th day of the Islamic month of Rajab. A colorful fair which springs up during this time, is a major attraction. Among the forts, the Taragarh fort of Ajmer, seat of the Chauhan rulers, is claimed to be the first hill fort of Asia and one of the oldest hill forts of the world, and is definitely the oldest among the hill forts in India. It was built by King Ajaypal Chauhan on the summit of Taragarh Hill, overlooking Ajmer; its thick battlements run along its brow, completely enclosing the table-land. The walls are two miles (3 km) in circumference, and the fort can only be approached by steep and very roughly paved slopes. Another interesting palace is Magazine, the city's Museum, which was once the residence of Prince Salīm, son of the Emperor Akbar, and presently houses a collection of the Mughal and Rajput armor and sculpture. This residence of Salīm is significant from a historical point of view, because Salīm as Emperor Jahāngīr read out the firman for trade to India to the British East India Company from here, thus starting the chain of events that lead to India's colonization by the British.

 

Among the magnificent temples here, Adhai Din Ka Jhonpda is a Vaishnava Hindu temple constructed in 1153 and converted into a mosque by Qutubuddin Aybak after 1193. It is situated on the lower slope of the Taragarh hill. It is also noted for its double-depth calligraphy inscriptions, in Naskh and Kufic scripts . With the exception of that part used as a mosque, called Jama Iltutmish (pronounced Altamish locally), nearly the whole of the ancient temple has fallen into ruins, but the relics are not excelled in beauty of architecture and sculpture by any remains of Hindu art. Forty columns support the roof, but no two are alike, and exceptional creativity is shown in the execution of the ornaments. Another amazing place of worship is the Soniji Ki Nasiyan, an architecturally rich Digambara Jain temple. It was built in 1864-1895 by Gauravji , the Nagar Seth of Ajmer. The main chamber, known as the Swarna Nagari (City of Gold), has several gold-plated wooden figures, depicting characters in the Jain tradition, and created in Jaipur.  And yet another mesmerizing is the Jain temple Nareli, located on the outskirts (Kishangarh bypass) of Ajmer this is a magnificent place to visit. It has a gigantic temple and offers authentic Jain food. (You have to check the meal hours in advance, they are strict in serving meals in those hours only.). Also worth mentioning here is the Salemabad Nimbark Peeth, founded by the Bhati chief of Khejarli Shri Sheoji and Gopal Singh Ji Bhati in 1520 (1463 A.D.) following instructions of his holiness Shri Nimbarkacharya Peethadhishwara Shri Parashu Ram-Devacharya Ji. The temple has been so designed that the Deity is visible for Darshan the moment one enters the main gate.the Sanctum Sanctorum has been built in a way that the moonlight of the moon of Sharad Poornima touches the lotus feet of the idol of the Lord at 12.00 pm.In to Jagmohan of the main temple the pillars of marble are exquisitely ornamental and their middle part is transparent. This wide spreading castle like temple is built on 42 thousand square feet land.

 

Pushkar a sacred town for the Hindus is situated 11 kms’ to the North-West of Ajmer. Although some evidence points to it having existed during the fourth century B.C. Existence of a lake in the inhospitable surroundings of a desert is also no less than a miracle. A dip in the waters of Pushkar and worship at the world famous Bhrama temple ensure salvation. So thousands of pilgrims flock to Pushkar to observe the ritual on kartik Purnima, or on any of the four days preceding it.

 

One of the premier education institutions in the state, The Mayo College was established in 1875 by Lord Mayo, Viceroy of India. The architecture of the school buildings evokes the grandeur of erstwhile princely Rajasthan. The main building of the school, in white marble, is a classic example of Indo-Saracen architecture, and the design now lies in the archives of the British Museum in London.

 

The historic man-made lake Ana Sagar in Ajmer was constructed by Maharaja Anaji (1135-1150 AD), the grandfather of Maharaja Prithviraj Chauhan. By the lake is the Daulat Bagh, a garden laid out by Emperor Jahangir. Emperor Shah Jahan later added five pavilions, known as the Baradari, between the garden and the lake. A second lake to the city, Situated in the suburbs, Lake Foy Sagar is a picturesque artificial lake named after the engineer Mr Foy, an Englishman, who created it under a famine relief project. It is a masterpiece when it comes to artificial lakes. He created it to tackle with harshest conditions of famine under a famine relief project. This artificial lake was constructed in the year 1892. It appears as flat as a pancake, and offers the eye-catching sights of the neighboring Aravalli Mountains, as well as evening flights of birds near the lake area.

 

 

 

 Orientation

 

The city of Ajmer is renowned for its beautiful blend of indo Islamic architecture, its refreshing lakes and for being one of the holiest Muslim shrines in India.

 

As one exits the railway station in Ajmer, the white tomb of Abdullah Khan stands majestically before you. The tomb was built in 1710 AD. Opposite this lies the tomb of Abdullah Khans wife, which though small in size is elegant in design and workmanship. Moving on further into the city one of the holiest Muslim shrines in India Dargāh Sharīf of revered Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti is situated at the foot of the Taragarh hill, and consists of several white marble buildings arranged around two courtyards, including a massive gate donated by the Nizam of Hyderabad, a mosque donated by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, the Akbari Mosque, and the domed tomb of the saint. The Emperor Akbar, with his queen, used to come here by foot on pilgrimage from Agra every year in observance of a vow he had made when praying for a son. The large pillars called kose (Mile) Minar, erected at intervals of two miles (3 km) the whole way between Agra and Ajmer, marking the daily halting places of the royal pilgrim, are still extant. Located near the Dargah the Adhai din ka jhonpra or two and a half day shed is a fascinating structure and a masterpiece of Indo-Islamic architecture. A Vaishnava Hindu temple constructed in 1153 and later converted into a mosque by Qutbuddin Aybak after 1193, it is situated on the lower slope of the Taragarh hill. It is also noted for its double-depth calligraphy inscriptions, in Naskh and Kufic scripts . With the exception of that part used as a mosque, called Jama' Iltutmish (pronounced Altamish locally), nearly the whole of the ancient temple has fallen into ruins, but the relics are not excelled in beauty of architecture and sculpture by any remains of Hindu art. Forty columns support the roof, but no two are alike, and exceptional creativity is shown in the execution of the ornaments. Half way up the intresting drive to Taragarh fort one can find the Prithviraj Smarak, amemorial dedicated to the last hindu emperor of India. A horse mounted life size statue of the great emperor is placed amidst beautifully landscaped step gardens. A series of galleries depicting the life and times of Prithviraj Chauhan is setup in a planned manner. It is a good place to watch the sunset and spend a quiet evening. The memorial is open daily from 7.00am to 9.00pm. Further up the hill, the giant Taragarh fort stands guarding the city. It has nine gates and is nearly 2~3 Kms’ in circumference. The fort also has Miran Saheb ki Dargha who was the governor of the fort and laid down his life in an encounter. It gives a panoramic view of the city situated in Nagpahari of Aravalli ranges. When viewed from the valley down below,at night, the fortress on the crest of the hill looks like a star. This fort has immense archaeological and historical importance.

 

A trip to Magazine, the city's Museum, which was once the residence of Prince Salīm, son of the Emperor Akbar, brings forth a vision of the citys rich history and culture with its impressive collection of the Mughal and Rajput armory and sculptures. Another collection of the city’s rich history can be found at the Rajputana museum. The government of India built this museum for the preservation and study of the unique and rare relics collected from the various states of Rajputana. There are several sections and galleries which have all the principalities of erstwhile Rajputana. Do keep in mind though that this museum is closed on Fridays.

 

One of the most popular temples in Ajmer and a must visit, The red temple or Nasiyan temple is a Digambar Jain temple which has a double- storey hall adjacent to the main temple. The hall displays a series of large gold plated wooden figures depicting legends from Jain mythology. The entire hall is richly adorned by glass mosaic, precious stones, gold and silver work. The place is also popularly called Soni Ji Ki Nasiyan. Another magnificent temple is the Nareli Jain temple located on the outskirts (Kishangarh bypass) of the city. The temple has an enormous and breathtaking architecture. The temple offers an experience of authentic jain meals but within strict serving hours. Another magnificent architecture in Ajmer is the Mayo College. It was established in 1875 by Lord Mayo, Viceroy of India. The architecture of the school buildings evokes the grandeur of erstwhile princely Rajasthan. The main building of the school, in white marble, is a classic example of Indo-Saracen architecture, and the design now lies in the archives of the British Museum in London.

 

Another jewel of ajmer is the Ana lake. It is a beautiful artificial lake built in the 12th century and named after Anaji Chauhan (1135-1150 AD), the grandfather of Maharaja Prithviraj Chauhan. The huge embankment erected with the people’s help is a fine example of corporate life in Ajmer at that time. The Baradari or pavilions were built by the mugal emperor Shahjahan. A large number of migratory birds including flamingoes can be spotted here during winters. The Baradari and the adjoining parks are the lungs of city and favourite outing spot. Also, situated on the outskirts of the city is Foy sagar, a picturesque lake where one can enjoy a tranquil moment in nature, after a long day of exploration.

 

 

 Getting there

 

Location:

The city is situated on the lower slopes of Taragarh Hill, in the Aravalli Range. It is situated almost in the heart of the state of Rajasthan.

 

Distance:

Ajmer lies at a distance of 131Kms from Jaipur, 270Kms from Udaipur and 390Kms from Delhi.

 Fast Facts
Name Ajmer City Best Time To Visit August to March
Location Ajmer   Rajasthan   West   India  
Open From 0000-00-00  To 0000-00-00 Type pilgrimage shrine.
Temperature Summar   45c-25c      Winter   22c-5c      Rainy   40c-32c
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