The Ajmer Sharif Dargah is the shrine of a pious Persian Sufi saint, Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti. Many Muslims believe that Moinuddin Chishti was the descendent of Prophet Muhammad and came to India at his behest in 1192. The Dargah was built by the Mughal Emperor, Humayun. Eventually, Akbar and Shah Jahan visited the dargah complex every year and built several mosques within the complex. The Dargah Shariff Ajmer is an architectural marvel and offers peace to everyone without any conditions on the caste or religion of the person visiting the dargah.
Ajmer Sharif Dargah
The Dargah was built in the 13th century and is popular among people of all faiths in line with the teachings of Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti. It is one of the holiest Muslim shrines in India. It is believed that Moinuddin Chishti fulfils the wishes of the devout at his shrine.
The Dargah has been patronized by many sultans and emperors over time like Akbar, Muhammad bin Tughlaq, the Nizams of Hyderabad etc. There are three gates to the Dargah Complex:
- The Nizam Gate is named after the Nizam of Hyderabad who built it in 1911.
- The Jannati Darwaza is located next to the tomb of Gaiti Ara, the daughter of Shah Jahan, who had died young.
- The Buland Darwaza which is built by Sultan Mahmud Khilji of Mandu.
Interesting Facts on Ajmer Sharif Dargah Temple
- When Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti was alive, the Dargah was the main source of water. There is a monument inside the Dargah Complex called Jahalra that was the source of water. To date, all rituals performed in the Dargah use water from the same source.
- After the Namaz is offered, singers dedicate qawwalis praising Allah inside the Dargah.
- There is a tomb of Nizam Sikka inside the Dargah Complex. According to popular belief, Nizam Sikka was a water carrier who had saved the life of emperor Humayun. As a reward, he was allowed to rule the empire for one day.
- The Dargah prepares a significant amount of food in the night and distributes the next morning in the form of Tabarruk or blessing after morning prayers.
Ajmer Sharif Dargah Timings
During winters, the Dargah Sharif Ajmer timings are from 5 AM to 9 PM on all days of the week. During summers, the timings are changed to 4 AM to 10 PM. Several Indian and international qawwals perform qawwalis after the night prayer. If you want to attend the qawwali sessions, you can visit the Dargah after 7 PM.
Dress Code for Ajmer Sharif Dargah
The attire should conform to the religious leanings of the place. You might need to carry a handkerchief or dupatta to cover your head before entering the Dargah.
Best Time to Visit Ajmer Sharif Dargah
The best time to visit Ajmer Sharif Dargah is during winters when the weather is chilly but pleasant. Summers can be hot. Monsoons are also an ideal time to visit the Dargah as Ajmer does not receive a heavy rainfall and the weather is relatively cooler than summers.
Other Religious Places in Ajmer
There are many religious sites in the Ajmer District. Apart from the Ajmer Sharif Dargah, here are other famous religious places in Ajmer:
1. Savitri Temple
History & Interesting Facts – This temple is dedicated to Goddess Savitri, the wife of Lord Brahma. It is located on Ratnagiri Hills. You can climb the stairs or take the ropeway to get there.
Timings – The temple is open for devotees from dawn to dusk with one hour of closure in the afternoon.
Dress code – Modest clothes
Best time to visit – Winters are the best time to visit this temple.
2. Brahma Temple
History & Interesting Facts – The Brahma Temple is believed to be around 2000 years old. While many people believed that this was the only Brahma Temple in the world, there are at least six known temples of Lord Brahma in India. However, the temple at Pushkar is the oldest and the most popular one. It is located near Pushkar Lake in the Ajmer district.
Timings – The temple is open throughout the week from 6 AM to 8 PM.
Dress code – There is no specific dress code for the temple but it is advisable to wear modest attire.
Best time to visit – In the Hindu month of Kartik and on the night of the Kartik Poornima (full moon night of the Lunar month of Kartik), a festival is organized honoring Lord Brahma. This falls during the months of October and November and is the best time to visit the temple.
3. Adhai-din ka Jhonpra Mosque
History & Interesting Facts – The Adhai-din ka Jhonpra Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in India and an early example of Indo-Islamic architecture. According to legends, it is believed that the mosque got its name since a part of it was built in two and a half (adhai-din) days. Sufis believe that it represents the temporary human life on Earth. The Archaeological Society of India believes that the mosque got its name from a two-and-a-half-day fair that used to be held here. There is a lot of history and stories to be gathered making it a must-visit place.
Timings – The mosque is open throughout the week from 6 AM to 7 PM.
Dress code – There is no specific dress code for the temple but it is advisable to wear simple clothes.
How to Reach Ajmer
Here is how you can reach the magnificent town of Ajmer:
Ajmer has a railway station. You can take a train from most major cities to Ajmer or might have to change trains once to get there. You can avail of a taxi in Ajmer to go around the city with ease.
Ajmer is well-connected with Delhi and most cities in Rajasthan. You can reach Ajmer from the following cities with ease:
Delhi to Ajmer: The shortest route is via NH48 – around 400 km
Jaipur to Ajmer: The shortest route is via NH48 – around 135 km
Jodhpur to Ajmer: The shortest route is via RJ SH 1 & NH58 – around 200 km
Udaipur to Ajmer: The shortest route is via NH58 – around 265 km
The nearest airport to Ajmer is Jaipur that is located at a distance of around 140 km. You can book a Jaipur airport to Ajmer taxi and reach within two to three hours.
Things to do in Ajmer
Here are some interesting things to do in Ajmer:
- Go boating on the Ana Sagar Lake. The timings are from 8 AM to 8 PM and the boating charges are not very high.
- Seek blessings by visiting the Ajmer Sharif Darah and other religious places in Ajmer.
- Witness the grandeur of the famous Akbar Palace that has now been turned into a Government-run museum.
- Spend an evening at the Daulat Bagh strolling the lush green lawns and enjoying peace and serenity.
- Stay at a place like Jagat Palace at least for one day to feel like royalty.
- Put your feet up and be prepared to be bedazzled by the stunning colors of the sunset at Lake Foy Sagar.
- Indulge in local food and some delectable dishes.
- Shop at some local bazaars like the Dargah Bazaar, Nalla Bazaar, and Mahila Mandi.
Tourist Places in Ajmer
There are some amazing places to visit in Ajmer. Here are a few that you must not miss:
- Religious places in Ajmer – From the Dargah Sharif to the Brahma Temple and various Jain Temples, Ajmer is a pilgrimage for many religions. You can visit these places to experience the divine presence or marvel at the historic architecture preserved by most of them.
- Historical places in Ajmer – Apart from the religious places, there are many places of historical significance in Ajmer like Adhai Din Ka Jhonpra, Buland Darwaza, Clock Tower, Akbar’s Palace, etc.
- Sightseeing places in Ajmer – Apart from the religious and historical places, you can visit some lakes in Ajmer like Ana Sagar Lake and Foy Sagar Lake, etc., and green places like Subhash Park, Daulat Bagh Garden, etc.
Best time to visit Ajmer
The weather in Ajmer is a little unique since it is located at the edge of the Thar Desert. The transition from summers to winters and vice versa is rapid. Hence, it is best to avoid traveling when the seasons are changing. The summer months of March, April, and May can be good to travel as the temperature ranges between 30 and 40 degrees C. Monsoon can be pleasant too. Winters are exceptionally chilly with temperatures dropping up to 5 degrees C.
Places to Eat in Ajmer
Here are some places to eat in Ajmer:
- Mango Masala, Sardar Patel Marg – A multi-cuisine vegetarian restaurant
- Honeydew Restaurant, Station Road – Indian, Chinese, and Continental food
- Elite, Station Road – Indian restaurant with thali meals
- Madina Restaurant, Opposite Railway Station – Indian food
- Halwai Ki Gali – For delectable local sweets and snacks
Places to visit near Ajmer
If you are in Ajmer for a few days, then here are some tourist places near Ajmer to consider:
- Pushkar – Located at a distance of around 15 km from Ajmer, Pushkar is famous for Pushkar Lake that has 52 Ghats where pilgrims from around the world come to take a holy bath.
- Kishangarh – Located at a distance of around 30-35 km from Ajmer, Kishangarh is famous for its paintings, marble and granite, and has the only temple of nine planets in the world.
- Khimsar – Located at a distance of around 180 km from Ajmer, Khimsar is famous for its fortress and picturesque landscape.
- Sawai Madhopur – Located at a distance of around 234 km from Ajmer, Sawai Madhopur is known for the Ranthambore National Park that is frequented by tourists around the year.
Hotels in Ajmer
Here are some popular hotels in Ajmer for a memorable stay:
- Pratap Mahal – IHCL SeleQtions, Pushkar Bypass Road
- Bhanwar Singh Palace, Village Hokra
- Bravia Hotel – Panchsheel- By Satguru Group, Punchsheel Nagar B
- Hotel Grand Xenia, Foy Sagar Road
- Ramada – Ajmer, Kishangarh-Ajmer Bypass Road
- Paradizzo Resort, Jaipur Road
- Aravalli Home Stay, Baldev Nagar
- Niyaz Guest House, Kishan Gurnani Mohalla
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