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Tourist Places To Visit In Ajmer
Draped in the barren hills, Ajmer has witnessed an interesting past and is witnessing a lively present too. Founded by Raja Ajay Pal Chauhan in the 7th Century A.D., Ajmer city eventually became home to several dynasties that left behind indelible relics of their culture and tradition on its history.
A surprising blend of Hinduism and Islam, Ajmer is a delightful amalgamation of different cultures and traditions. The base for visitors to Pushkar, Ajmer boasts not only of pilgrimage centers but also of picturesque lakes, museums and forts. Here are the top tourist places you should visit when in the city of Prithviraj Chauhan - Ajmer.
The Ajmer Sharif Dargah
Located right at the end of a barren hill, the magnificent tomb of Sufi saint Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti is one of India’s most important pilgrimage center which is frequented by visitors of all faiths. Also popular as Khwaja Saheb or Khwaja Sharif, the Muslims of South Asia consider it no less than the Mecca or Medina. Legends have it that Akbar made it a point to pay a visit to the Dargah every year.
The mausoleum features a huge gate built by the Nizam of Hyderabad. The right side of the courtyard has the Akbari Masjid which is built of white marbles and is of particular interest for the visitors. The courtyard boasts another mosque built by Shahjahan and two gigantic cauldrons. Located at the inner court of the Dargah, Shahjahan’s mosque is a superb building made with fine white marble.
The Saint's Tomb
With a fine marble dome, the saint's tomb is at the centre of the courtyard which is enclosed by a silver platform. The tomb appeals thousands of pilgrims during the Urs-honouring the death anniversary of the Sufi Saint, generally held from the 1st to the 6th day of the Islamic month of Rajab. A lively fair that is organized during this time is another major attraction.
Undoubtedly a chef-d'oeuvre of Indo-Islamic architecture, Adhai-din-ka-jhoupra is situated on the outskirts of the city and is at a short distance from the Dargah.
Once popular as the royal abode of Emperor Akbar, the museum features a rich storehouse of the Mughal and Rajput body armour and delicate sculptures. The edifice is built of red sandstones, which have been positioned in a square pattern giving it a wonderful outlook.
The ruins of the Taragarh are a mere one and a half hour climb from the Adhai-din-ka-jhopra. Looming high on a hill top the fort allows its visitor to take a fine look at the entire city from here. All the military activities during the Mughal Period used to happen at this site and later on it was utilized by the British as a sanatorium.
On your route to Jaipur, this ancient storehouse of art is located at a distance of 27km from Ajmer. During the 18th Century, this place had one of the best schools for miniature paintings. Now-a-days this small town of artists is also popular for Gundelao Lake, Temple of Sri Kalyan Raii, Phool Mahal Palace and Majhala Palace.
Ana Sagar Lake
This beautiful lake, situated in the North of Ajmer, was created by Anaji during 1135-1150 AD. Later the Mughal Emperors made some additional modifications to further beautify the lake. The 'Baradari', a sandstone pavilion was constructed by ShahJahan and the Daulat Bagh Gardens were created and maintained by Jahangir. The lake is an interesting family outing spot.
Foy Sagar Lake
There is another artificial lake, located 5kms off Ajmer, which is worth a visit. Created during a famine relief programme, the lake was named after the engineer who made the lake possible.
Mayo College was one of the India’s most popular public schools; now it has been converted into a Circuit House. While you’re here, you can also enjoy the great sights of the lake, the cenotaph and the temple of Swami Dayanand Saraswati (the founder of Arya Samaj Mandir).
Durga Bagh Gardens
Durga Bagh Gardens have been around since the Mughal times, commissioned in 1868 by Raja Shiv Dan. It is located on the bank of Ana Sagar Lake and makes for one of Ajmer’s charming gardens to stroll around. With the well pruned green spaces, lines and lines of trees, and marble pavilions constructed by Shah Jahan, Durga Bagh is perfect to relax in the evening.
Akbar's Palace & Museum
Akbar’s Palace and Museum, nestled inside Dil-e-Aaram Gardens, is a collection of excavated material, sculptures, artefacts etc. Some of the notable pieces here include the sacrificial posts of Yupa Pillars, the 8th century Prathihara sculptures, terracotta artefacts, and material found in excavations of Sambhar, Nagar, Rairh and Bairat. If you are interested in history and archeology then do visit here.
A cluster of marble pavilions in Ajmer, this 17th Century monument garden called Baradari dates all the way back to Shah Jahan. The architecture of this place is splendid, and makes for many a syllabus textbooks. There are hamams, open pools, pavilions and gardens and a lake nearby. One of the pavilions is the largest of its kind, made just like Diwan-e-Khaas of Delhi. These are just some of the reasons people visit Baradari, but the foremost is its unparalleled beauty and peace.
Nareli Jain Temple
A Jain temple located 7 km from the city centre, Nareli Temple is a mix of modern as well as traditonal styles. There are 24 other small temples on top of the hill behind, symbolising the 24 thirthankars of Jainism. The Digambara sect of Jains considers this place as their pilgrimage. The designs, carvings and sculptures here also attract non-Jain tourists in Ajmer.
Ajmer’s Buland Darwaza is an Islamic design, narrating the glorious reign of Emperor Akbar. The tall semi-octagonal towers were built to commemorate the victory of Akbar over Khandesh. This door is the southern entry gateway to Dargah Sharif. The craftsmanship of this door is worth seeing, and when you are in Ajmer, you will inevitably pass through this darwaza at least once.
Nasiyan Jain Temple
Another Jain temple in Ajmer is the Nasiyan Temple, dating back to 1865. It is located on Prithvi Raj Marg. Locals also call it Lal Mandir as it is dedicated to Adinath, the first thirthankar. There is a prayer hall with the idol of Lord Adinath, a museum and a gilded gallery showcasing five stages of Lord Adinath’s life. This is a grand shrine, with gold and silver embellishments, Belgium stain glass windows and stately golden illustrations on glass.
Maharana Pratap Smarak
Maharana Pratap is considered one of the bravest icons of Rajputana culture. His memorials, statues and museums are found all over the state of Rajasthan. Then it is no surprise that Ajmer also holds a grand Maharana Pratap Smarak. He is celebrated as the last king of Rajasthan and is eternalised in this statue — of him sitting on his horse, ready for battle. The Smarak is located on top of a hill, hence affords you a panoramic view of the whole city. This is the reason the smarak is also called the King of the Hill.
Victoria Jubilee Clock Tower
The Victoria Jubilee Clock Tower, dating back to 19th Century, is a grand colonial structure that still stands tall. It is a famous landmark in the city and also renowned for its magnificent architecture. The mix of Indo-Islamic styles gives it a distinct persona. The tower was built to celebrate Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee. The four balconies on four sides at the top of the tower give you great views of Ajmer.
Rangji is an avatar of Vishnu. Here in Ajmer, you will find one these rare shrines dedicated to Rangji. This holy ancient temple was built by a devotee from Hyderabad -- Seth Puran Mal Ganeriwal. Dating back to 1823, Rangji Temple is hence made in a Dravidian style, with added elements of Mughal and Rajput styles. You can visit Rangji Temple in Chote Basti on any day of the week, between 5 am and 7pm.
Prithviraj Chauhan is the last ruler of India as we knew it before the Turks, Tuglaks and Mughals came invading. Prithviraj Chauhan not only defended his kingdom from his seat in Delhi multiple times, but fought valiantly against Mohommad Ghori even when he was cheated and captured. It is believed that he knew Shabd-bhedi-baan-vidya, a highly evolved skill to fire an arrow with his eyes closed, with only sound to guide. At the end he was blinded by hot oil, and only used sound to kill Ghori. But he was killed too, and as a result, India, Bharat, fell to the invaders. This smarak here in Ajmer celebrates such a warrior, because Prithviraj Chauhan was born of this soil.
The black stone statue depicts Prithviraj sitting on his horse, bow and arrow in hand.