Ajmer is the 5th largest city in Rajasthan and is the centre of the eponymous Ajmer District. Ajmer has a population of around 551,360 in its urban agglomeration and 542,580 for the city (2011 census), and is located 135 kilometres (84 mi) west of Jaipur, the state capital, 274 km from Udaipur, 439 km from Jaisalmer, and 391 km from Delhi. At the heart of Rajasthan is the tri angle-shaped Ajmer district. The main attractions here are te tomb of Sufi Saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, the Ana Sagar Lake, Daulat Bagh, Foy Sagar, Taragarh Fort, and the Nasiyan jain temple built in the 19th century.
Ajmer is surrounded by the Aravalli Mountains. It is a pilgrimage centre for the shrine of the Sufi Saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti and is also the base for visiting Pushkar (11 km), an ancient Hindu pilgrimage city, famous for the temple of Brahma. According to Rajputana Gazetteer, Ajmer was held by Chechi Gurjars until about 700 years ago. Ajmer (Sanskrit Ajayameru) was founded in the late 7th century A.D. by Ajayraj singh Chauhan. Chauhan clan is a branch of Chechi Gurjars. The Chauhan dynasty ruled Ajmer in spite of repeated invasions by Turkic Muslim armies from Central Asia across the north of India. Ajmer was conquered by Muhammad of Ghor, founder of the Delhi Sultanate, in 1193. However, the Chauhan rulers were allowed autonomy upon the payment of a heavy tribute to the conquerors. Ajmer remained subject to Delhi until 1365 when it was captured by the ruler of Mewar. In 1509, control of Ajmer was disputed between the Maharajas of Mewar and Marwar unitil it was conquered by the Marwar in 1532. In 1553, the state was captured by the Hindu Emperor Hem Chandra Vikramaditya, popularly known as Hemu, who was killed in 1556 in the Second Battle of Panipat. The city was conquered by the Mughal emperor Akbar in 1559. In the 18th century, control passed to the Marathas.
In 1818 the British forced the Marathas to cede the city for 50,000 rupees whereupon it became part of the province of Ajmer-Merwara, which consisted of the districts of Ajmer and Merwara and were physically separated by the territory of the Rajputana Agency. Ajmer-Merwara was directly administered by the British Raj, by a commissioner who was subordinate to the Governor-General's agent for Rajputana. Ajmer-Merwara remained a province of India until 1950, when it became the Ajmer State.
Ajmer state became part of Rajasthan state on 1 November 1956. Ajmer is surrounded by the Aravalli Mountains. The city is sied on the lower slopes of the Taragarh Hill in the Aravalli Range. It is situated almost in the centre of Rajasthan. To the north of the city is a large artificial lake, called Anasagar with a marble structure known as Baradari. Ajmer is protected from the Thar Desert by the massive rocks of Nagpathar range.
Ajmer has a hot semi-arid climate with over 55 centimetres (25.4 in) of rain every year but most of the rain occurs in the Monsoon months, between June and September. Temperatures remain relatively high throughout the year, with the summer months of April to early July having an average daily temperature of about 30°C (86°F). During the monsoon there are frequent heavy rains and thunderstorms but flooding is not a common occurrence. The winter months of November to February are mild and temperate with average temperatures ranging from 15–18°C (59–64°F) with little or no humidity. There are, however, occasional cold weather front that cause temperatures to fall to near freezing levels.
This artificial lake was created in the 12th century by damming the River Luni. The Daulat Bagh a park on its bank, contains a series of marble pavilions erected in 1637 by Shah Jahan.
This remarkable structure, a masterpiece of Indo-Islamic architecture is located on the outskirts of the city, just beyond the Digraph. As the legend goes it is believed that it took just two and a half days (Adai-Din) to complete this mosque.
This is the only existing temple dedicated to Lord Brahma and was constructed in the 14th century on a high plinth with marble steps leading up to it.
This former British Residency overlooking the Ana Sagar lake, has now been converted into a Circuit House. The Ana Sagar Lake and the cenotaph and the shrine of Hindu reformer Swami Dayanand, founder of the Arya Samaj Movement in India, can be viewed from here.
Dargah Khwaja Sahib
One of most important Muslim pilgrim centuries in India, this Dargah of the Sufi saint, Khawaja Muin-uddin Chishti, who came to Ajmer from Persia in 1192 is situated at the foot of a desolated the hill in the old part of town. During the Mughal rule, the emperor Akbar used to make the pilgrimage to the Dargah from Agra once a year. The annual Urs Festival is celebrated every year during the first six days of Rajab (7th month of the Islamic calendar). People of all religions throng this tomb to worship the saint during the urs Mubarak.
This picturesque lake constructed in 1891-1892 AD was named after Mr. Foy the Executive Engineer in charge of the project.
Situated in the heart of the old city and close to the railway station, the museum is housed in the beautiful fort and palace built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1570 AD.
One of India’s best public schools till date, this institution was set up in 1878 AD by Lord May, the Viceroy of India, for the education of Indian Princes and aristocrats in the British pattern. The main building is built of white unpolished marble in the Indo-saracenic style with a delicately proportioned clock tower, which is 127 ft in height.
Built in 1864-1865 AD this Digambar Jain Temple is commonly called the Nasiyan (Red Temple) due to its color. The main chamber consists of a double storeyed hall in which are housed large wooden figures portraying the Jain concept of the world. The hall is decorated lavishly with precious gems, gold and silver. The Nasiyan temple is one of the finest Jain temples in Rajasthan after the temples of Ranakpur and Mount Abu and is open to visitors from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm.
Lord Ranji is an incarnation of lord Vishnu. This temple was built in 1823 by SethPuran Mal Ganeriwal of Hyderabad. This temple is unique due to its confluence of South Indian (Dravidian), Rajput and Mughal style of architecture.
Located on the hill behind the Brahma temple, one has to climb a long series of steps to reach this shrine. It commands a panoramic view of the beautiful lake ad picturesque surroundings.
This fort perched on a hill was the site of military activity during the Mughal period, and was later used as a sanatorium by the British. One can have an excellent view of the city from here.
Baghera (107 km South-east)
Situated in the Keri sub-division of Ajmer, this town is well known for its archaeological sites. The most renowned of them all is the temples of Varaha Avtar (incarnation of Lord Vishnu in the form a boat). It is presently enshrined in a comparatively modern building, on the southern side of a big sacred tank known as Varaha Sagar.
A Badshahi procession festival is celebrated ever year here, on the day after Holi (Dhulandi), wherein a large number of people throw gulal (dry colour) on each other.
Kishangarh (27km north – east)
Once the capital of the erstwhile princely State of the same name, Kishangarh was founded in 1611 AD by Kishan Singh, son of the Rathore dynasty of Jodhpur. In the 18th century, it acclaimed fame as one of the finest schools of miniatures paintings. Now the town has become a trade center for marble and papier mache products.
This picturesque town is known for its temples and lake. The Nag Pahar (Snake Mountain), which forms a part of the Aravali range, stands between Ajmer and Pushkar. The road from Ajmer to Pushkar is a very interesting drive as the road winds through the nag Pahar, leading to the ancient lake. The town situated anround the beautiful lake is surrounded on the three sides by hills, while the fourth side is cordoned by the sands which have drifted from the plains of Marwar.
The sacred Puskar Lake is believed to have been created by the falling of a lotus from the hands of Lord Brahma. It is considered to be as old as creation and it is considered to be as old as creation ad it is believed that a dip in the waters of the lake on kartika poornima is equivalent to performing yagnas for several hundred years. The charming lake has fifty-two bathing ghats built around it and each ghat is supposed to have special powers.
Tilonia is a small town 25km from Krishanagarh near Ajmer and 7km off the Jaipur-Ajmer highway. The important landmark here is the barefoot college, which was started in 1972 with the conviction that solutions to rural problems lie within the community. Officially known as Social Work and Research Centre, the college addresses various social problems in rural communities and creates awareness about the conservation of ecological systems in rural communities.
Todgarh (120 km south)
A picturesque place in the Aravallis the oldest mountain range in the world, Todarh is 3281 feet above sea level and has the potential of attaining the status of a hill resort, next only to Mount Abu. In early times, nomadic tribes like the Banjaras and Gurjars inhabited this area.
How to Get There
Nearest airport is at Jaipur (131km). Ajmer is well connected by rail and road from any part of the state.