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.
South west of Jaipur, Ajmer is an oasis wrapped in the green hills. The city was founded by Raja Ajay Pal Chauhan in the 7th Century A.D. and continued to be a major centre of the Chauhan power till 1193 A.D. When Prithviraj Chauhan lost it to Mohammed Ghauri. Since then, Ajmer became home to many dynasties.
Today, Ajmer is a popular pilgrimage centre for the Hindus as well as Muslims. Especially famous is the Dargah Sharif-tomb of the Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, which is equally revered by the Hindus and Muslims. It is a centre of culture and education, the British chose Ajmer for its prestigious Mayo College a school exclusively for Indian nobility.
Ajmer is also the base for visiting Pushkar (11 km.), the abode of Lord Brahma, lying to its west with a temple and a picturesque lake. The Pushkar Lake is a sacred spot for Hindus. During the month of Kartik (Oct./Nov.), devotes throng in large numbers here to take a dip in the sacred lake.
Ajaipal Chauhan founded Ajmer in the seventh century. He constructed a hill fort "Ajaimeur" or the invincible hill. The Chauhans ruled Ajmer till the 12th century when Prithviraj Chauhan lost Mohammed Ghauri. Thereafter it became a part of the sultanate of Delhi. Ajmer was also favourite residence for the great Mughals.
One of the first contacts between the Mughal King Jahangir and Sir Thomas Roe took place here in 1616. The ScIndias took over the city in 1818 and then handed it over to the British and it became one of the only part of Rajasthan controlled directly by the East Indian Co.
The bus stand in Ajmer is located near the RTDC hotel Khadim. And the railway is further north and most of the hotels are west of the stations. Northeast is the main post office and most of the cities market is located behind and up to Agra Gate. Further north is a large artificial lake called the Anna Sagar.
Places to See
At the foot of a barren hill, is situated India's most important Piligrimage centre for people from all faith. It is the splendid tomb of the Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, more popularly known as Khwaja Sharif.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.