Introduction:- 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. Then Prithviraj Chauhan lost it to Mohammed Ghori, after which Ajmer became home to many dynasties. Today, Ajmer is a popular pilgrimage centre for the Muslims as well as Hindus. Especially famous is the Dargah Sharif-tomb of the Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, which is equally revered both by the Hindus and the Muslims. Ajmer is a centre of culture and education. The British chose Ajmer for its prestigious Mayo College, a school exclusively for Indian nobility at one time. However, now it is one of the best public schools in the country. Ajmer is also the base for visiting Pushkar (14 km.) which has the distinction of having the only Brahma temple in the world. The Picturesque Pushkar Lake is a sacred spot for Hindus. During the month of Kartik (Oct/Nov), devotees throng in large numbers to take a dip in the sacred lake.
Ajmer was also a 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. Thus Ajmer was the only region to be directly controlled by the East Indian Company.
The bus stand in Ajmer is located near the RTDC hotel Khadim. The railway station is further south and most of the office lies in the northeast and most of the city’s market is located behind and up to Agra Gate. Further northwest is a large artificial lake called the Anna Sagar.
History of Ajmer:- Ajmer was established in the early seventh centuary by Ajaipal Chauhan. Ajaipal chauhan constructed a tall fort here and named the place Ajaimeru means invincible hill. Here he built India,s first hill fort Taragah. Ajmer was a chauhan Stronghold till 1194. The Only remains of their times are the fort and the beautiful Anasagar lake built in 1150 by Anaji. The legendry Prithviraj, last of the Chauhans, is the inspiration for many heroic ballads sung even today in the vilages of Rajasthan.
It was during the regim of Prithviraj, in 1191, that Muhammad of Ghori invaded India. Prithviraj died fighting the sultan`s army, and with the establishment of the Sultanate in Delhi, a new era began.
Ajmer remained under the Sultanate till 1326. Thereafter, it became a bone of contention between the Sultans of Delhi, the Ranas of Mewar, the Rathors of Marwar and the Sultans of Gujarat. Peace was restored with the accession of Akbar to the Mughal throne in 1556. He made Ajmer a full fledged province and the base for his operations in Rajputana.
He fortified the city, but only parts of the 4045-yard (3735-m) long wall remain.
His palace, the Daulat Khana, houses ceding the Government Museum.Akbar`s son, Jahangir, lived in Ajmer from 1613 to 1616. His palace, the Daulat Bagh, is now in ruins. The celebrated English ambassador during to the Mughal court, Sir Thomas Roe, was received here by the emperor.
Places To See
The Dargah is the tomb of a sufi saint, Khwaja Muin-uddin Chisti, who came to Ajmer from Persia in 1192. Construction of the shrine was completed by Humayun. Constructed of white marble, it has 11 arches and a Persian inscription running the full length of the building. It has a marble dome and the actual tomb inside is surrounded by a silver platform. The tomb attracts hundreds of thousands of pilgrims every year on the anniversary of the saint`s death.
One of the finest example of Indo-Islamic architecture, this mosque was a Sanskrit college in the 12th century. In 1193 AD Mohammad Ghori destroyed the college and a mosque was built in its place. The mosque was built on pillars and surprisingly no two pillars are alike.
The Royal Palace of Akbar was converted into a Museum and today it houses a rich collection of Mughal and Rajput armoury. Some of the fine and delicate sculptures of the region have been displayed here. The building itself has been constructed of red sandstone which have been laid down in a square pattern, giving it a fabulous look.
Ana Sagar Lake
This lake was built by Anaji during 1135-1150 AD. Later the mughal emperors made additional constructions to beautify the lake. The `Baradari`, a marble pavilion was built by Shah Jahan and the ` Daulat Bagh ` gardens were laid by Jahangir. This lake is located towards the north of Ajmer city.
Built in the 7th century by Ajaipal Chauhan, the fort gives birds eye view of the city. Taragarh fort or the ` Star fort ` is situated on a hill and to reach there one has to take winding bridle path.
Nasiyan (Jain Temple)
The Red temple on Prithviraj Marg is a Jain temple built last century and is definitely worth checking out. Its double storey hall contains a fascinating series of large, gilt wooden figures from Jain mythology which depict the Jain concept of the ancient world. This red coloured Jain temple was built in the late 19th century. The wooden gilt in the double storeyed hall depicts scenes from the Jain mythology. The beauty of this temple is widely acclaimed.
Shah Jahan`s Mosque
This mosque is the most beautiful of all the structures, in the Dargah precinct. It is made of white marble, delicately carved with trellis-work.
Beyond the Dargah, among narrow and crowded lanes, is a remarkable, early Islamic structure, the Adhai - din - ka - Jhonpra. Mohammed Ghori, with the remains of several neighbouring temples, hurriedly put together, a mosque within two and a half days (Adhai Din). Pillars, from at least thirty temples, must have gone into the making of this elegant monument, a superb example of Indo-Islamic architecture.