In this era of communalism and religious intolerance, Ajmer comes across as an extremely secular town and a unifying shrine in Rajasthan
. Founded in the 7th century by Raja Ajpal Chauhan, Ajmer served as the Bastion of he Chauhan kings. The city passed on to the Mewar kings and was at last annexed by the Mughal Emperor Akbar. Ajmer is renowned for the Shrine dedicated to the Muslim saint lovingly known as Khwaja who longed to unite the people of the land in a common bond or brotherhood.
Ajmer City is well connected to the rest of the country and the world through regular flights plying to and from Jaipur
Airport. Jaipur (138 km) is also connected to Ajmer by an excellent bus service and the route takes 2 hours to cover. Ajmer is a major junction in the Indian Railways network and connects the city to other parts of the country.
The Urs Ajmer Sharif is the city's major festival and eulogizes the Sufi seer Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti. Qawwalis and festive songs are sung at the famed durgah or shrine in the city. Millions of devotees visit the city during the Urs and offer prayers and supplications.
The major attractions of the city of Ajmer are
- Dargah Khwaja Sharif - One of the most famous mosques in India. Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and Christians visit this 13th century shrine and pay obeisance to the Divine. All prayers are believed to be granted here and the heart of the visitor is filled with a hitherto unknown calm and peace.
- Tara Garh or the Star Fort
- Adhai Din Ka Jhonpda
- Akbar Palace
- Rajputana Museum
- Abdulla Khan's Tomb
- Ana Sagar Lake
- Khobra Bheroon Temple
- Visal Sar
- Foy Sagar
- Man Mahal
- Pushkar Lake
- Nasiyan (Red) Temple
- Mayo College
- Shah Jahan's Mosque
- Circuit House
The local artisans and vendors flock to Ajmer especially during the Urs and the city resembles a carnival. The streets are lined with colorful displays and handicraft items such as splendid rugs, dyes and block printed textiles, embroidered durries, silver baubles and golden jewellery. The sequined and embroidered leather footwear called Mojaris and the scented natural oils called Atar of Ajmer are famous. Madar gate, Station Road, Purani Mandi, Naya Bazaar, Kaisarganj and Nala Bazaar are favorite shoppers' haunts.
To accommodate the throng of tourists during the Urs and even at other times, Ajmer has well provided accommodation facilities including Luxury Hotels (e.g. Man Singh Palace), Budget Hotels (e.g. RTDC Khadim, Hotel Ambassador, Hotel Chitvan etc.) and other arrangements such as guest houses.