Ajmer-E-Sherif in Rajasthan, Ajmer Sherif Dargah in Rajasthan
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Come to India and exlore the royal city of Ajmer, worshiped and visited by number of people because of its Dargah Sharief.

Ajmer Sharif

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Rajasthan Tours Travel  »  Sacred Places & Shrines  »  Ajmer Sharif

Ajmer Sharif

On the foot of a barren hill stands the dargah sharif, a saint's marble domed mausoleum and India's most important shrine for the Muslims. The saint Hazrat Mu'inuddin Chishti was a Persian and a missionary of Islam who with his piety, charisma, blessings, and service changed the ways of this land. The Khwaja established the Chishtia order of 'fakirs' in India and was also known as 'Gharib Nawaz' (protector of the poor). The mortal remains of this highly revered Sufi saint Khwaja Moin-ud-din Chishti lie buried in this tomb and attract believers from every faith. The shrine receives an endless flow of visitors of all religions, the sick, the troubled and the childless come here in hoardes, seeking a boon, a blessing or just peace of mind. The central assumption is that the saint is still conscious and attentive, and can confer blessings upon people, by acting as a channel for God's grace. Legend has it that the Mughal emperor, Akbar came here to be blessed by the saint and beget a heir.

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Ajmer Sharif DargahWithin the dargah lies a mosque, built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Like all of Shah Jahan's buildings, the mosque too, is an architectural marvel - a magnificent building in white marble with a long and narrow courtyard for the faithful to pray in, richly embellished with ornate calligraphic inscriptions, delicate carvings and detailed trellis work

In the centre of the compound lies the actual mazaar, or grave, which is the focus of all the attention. Around it is a golden railing donated by Emperor Jahangir and atop it a couple of kilos of gold. The jewelled mazaar, covered with gold cloth, is protected by railings and partially covered with a marble screen . A great dome swells gracefully above. The walls are panelled with velvet curtains, including one from Mecca. Inside the atmosphere is hushed and reverant. Prayers are said constantly and the interiors are covered with rose petals. The daughter of Shah Jahan had built a prayer room in the Dargah for the women devotees. The premises of the Dargah also has the tomb of Bhishti, tomb of Saint's daughter-Bibi Hafiz Jama, tomb of Shah Jahan's daughter Chimni Begum. In the courtyard are two huge cauldrons with capacity of 2240 kg and 4480 kg. Gifted by emperor Akbar, these cauldrons are used on special occasions when 'Kheer' and other delicacies are cooked in them and distributed among the pilgrims. During the urs festival the khadims ( caretakers) even put on boots and leap into the hot cauldrons to ladle food out from the bottom.

The entrance doors are opened each day at specific hours by the Khadims. The entrance is beautifully decorated with gold and enamel work, as well as Belgian crystal chandeliers (lights and lamps have traditionally appeared at Sufi tombs, perhaps to convey the image of the saint as illuminating people). Clocks are another regular feature of mosques and Sufi tombs--in part to help the faithful keep track of prayer times.

In this reverent and intensely spiritual atmosphere groups of traditional musicians sing the qawwal throughout the day and their singing enhances this devotional ambiance.

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The Urs Festival
The Khwaja left for heavenly abode in 1256 AD after a six day prayer in seclusion. These six days are celebrated every year as the annual Urs, which is attended by innumerable pilgrims irrespective of their faith. This annual pilgrimage of the devout is celebrated each May at the Dargah with millions of pilgrims arriving in Ajmer to pay homage to the saint. Lengthy queues of several kilometers snake their way past the tomb at the shrine while outside the Dargah precincts te two massive cauldrons cook sweet rice garnished with dry fruits and condiments to be served as 'tabarukh' or sanctified food.

The Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit the Dargah is during the annual Urs of Moinuddin Chishti in May when the pious and reverent imbue the landscape with faith and devotion. Even if you're unable to make it to Ajmer for the Urs, time your visit for the winter (October-March), since the summers are hot and dry and the winters are pleasantly warm.

Getting There
Air : The nearest airport is Jaipur (132 km); one can get well connected flights from Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.

Rail : Ajmer has excellent rail links, being located on the Delhi-Jaipur-Ahmedabad-Mumbai line. The Shatabdi Express runs to Delhi every day except Sunday.

Road : Jaipur to Ajmer takes about two and a half hours. From there there are good roads to the rest of the country

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