Dargah Sharif, Ajmer
Location of Dargah Sharif, Ajmer
Ajmer is situated 132 kms south-west of Jaipur and 198 kms east of Jodhpur. Ajmer is most well known for Dargah Sharif, the final resting place of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, a revered Sufi saint.
Situated at the foot of a hill and in the old part of town, this is one of the most important places in india for muslim pilgrims.
Dargah Sharif' or 'Holy Dargah' is one of the most sacred Muslim shrines in the country. Venerated by both Hindus and Muslims, it is the tomb of Khwaja Moin-ud-din Chisti, a Sufi saint who came from Persia and devoted his life to the service and upliftment of the poor and downtrodden.
Architecture and Attraction of Dargah Sharif, Ajmer
As you enter the courtyard, the mosque, constructed by Akbar, is on the right. In the inner court there is another mosque built by Shah Jahan. Constructed of white marble, it has 11 arches and a Persian inscription running the full length of the building.
The saint's tomb is in the center of the second court. It has a marble dome and actual tomb inside is surrounded by a silver platform. The horse shoes nail to the shrine doors are offerings from successful horse dealers.
The Dargah has a massive gate with silver doors built in several stages. Revered by the Mughal rulers, it has touches of Humayun to Shah Jahan in its structural architecture. A silver railing and a marble screen surround the actual tomb of the saint, made of marble with a gold plated dome.
Two massive cauldrons with capacity of 2240 kg and 4480 kg are used to cook Kheer on special occasion, to be served to the pilgrims. There is a separate prayer room for women. It was constructed by Chimni Begum, the daughter of Shah Jahan. Her tomb is on the premises of the Dargah. The premises of the Dargah also have the tomb of Bhishti and of the saint's daughter-Bibi Hafiz Jama.
In the complex, Qawwals sing in praise of the saint. The khadims (servants of the saint) look after the visitors. It is the norm that when a devout's prayers are answered, they offer chadar (cover) on the grave of the saint.
Urs at Dargah Sharif, Ajmer
The Urs marks the death anniversary ceremonies of the saint and lasts for six days. Various religious ceremonies are performed throughout this period. Qawwalis are sung every night to capacity audience. Mass prayers are said for the eternal peace of the Khwaja in particular and mankind in general.
Three bazaars surround the Dargah and there are numerous hotels, guest houses and restaurants.
How to Get at Dargah Sharif, Ajmer
Although Ajmer does not have an airport of its own, there is an airport at Jaipur (130 km away), from where regular buses and taxis come to Ajmer.
Ajmer is very well linked by train; there are frequent (in many cases daily) trains to and from the city to other destinations in India, including Delhi, Mumbai and Jaipur. Delhi is connected to Ajmer by the fast Shatabdi Express, easily the quickest and most comfortable way of getting to Ajmer.
A good national and state highway network links Ajmer to other parts of Rajasthan and many important cities in India. Hired transport is easily available, be it cars, jeeps, minibuses or MUVs and almost all come with experienced drivers. State and interstate roadways buses, RTDC conducted tours and coaches connect Ajmer to most important cities in the region, including Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Mt. Abu, Jaisalmer, Mumbai and Delhi.
Within the city, rented cars, local buses, auto-rickshaws and cycle rickshaws are the means of transport available.
When to go at Dargah Sharif, Ajmer
The best time to visit the Dargah is during the annual Urs of Moinuddin Chishti in May. Even if youre unable to make it to Ajmer for the Urs, time your visit for the winter instead- summer all across Rajasthan means hot, dry weather which can take some getting used to. Winters are much more pleasant and comfortable.
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