Ajmer situated in the green oasis wrapped in the barren hills has been a witness to an interesting past. The city was founded by Raja Ajai Pal Chauhan in the 7th century A.D. and continued to be a major centre of Chauhan power. When Prithviraj Chauhan lost it to Mohammed Ghauri leaving behind indelible marks of their culture and traditions on the cities history, converting it to an amalgam of various cultures and a blend of Hinduism and Islam.
Places to Visit
At the foot of a barren hill, is situated India's most important Piligrimage centre for people from all faith. It is the splendid tomb of the Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, more popularly known as Khwaja Sharif.
One of Indian's best public schools located in the south east of the city. It was founded in 1875 A.D. only for the princes. Each prince along with his entire retinue and an English tutor had his own house in the spacious college grounds covering 81 hectares. Now it is a public school open to all.
In the corner of the inner court of the Dargah, is a magnificent building in white marble with a long (30.5) and narrow court having low arcade and delicate carvings with trellis work. It is the most marvellous all the sanctums within the sanctuary of the Dargah.
A remarkable structure, this is a masterpiece of Indo Islamic architecture located on the outskirts of the city. Just beyond the Dargah. As the legend goes, its construction took two and a half days. (Adhai-Din) to complete. It was originally a Sanskrit college, built within a temple. In 1193 A.D. Mohammad Ghauri conquered Ajmer and converted the building into a mosque by adding a seven arched wall in front of the pillared hall in just two-and-a-half days (adhai-din) and hence the name. The district pillars and arched "screen with its ruined minarets make it a splendid architectural masterpiece.
A steep one and half hour climb beyond the Adhai-Din-ka-Jhonpra leads to the ruins of the Taragarh Fort, perched on a hill. One can have an excellent view of the city from here. The fort was the site of the military activity during the Mughal period later used as a sanatorium by the British.
Once the royal residence of Emperor Akbar, the museum houses a rich repository of the Mughal and Rajput armor and exquisite sculptures.
The Circuit House:
The former British Residency, overlooking the artificial lake, Ana sagar, has now been converted to the circuit House. The lake and the cenotaph and the shrine of the Hindu reformer Swami Dayanand, founder of the Arya Samaj movement in India,can be viewed from here.
Pushkar Lake(11km.) :
The lake, situated on the edge of desert and surrounded by hills on the three sides is separated from Ajmer by Nag Pahar-the snake mountain. On this mountain the Panchkund and the cave of saint Agastya are located. It is believed that Kalidasa the 4th century Sanskrit poet and playwright, choose the setting for its masterpiece "Abhigyana Shakuntalam" in this forest heritage. According to legend, the origin of Pushkar dates back to the time when Lord Brahma was on his way in search of a tranquil land to perform a "Yagna", A lotus fell from the hand of the Lord into this valley. A lake spring upon this spot and was dedicate to him. A Brahma temple located here is a popular place of pilgrimage
Puskhar Fair :
It is one of the most colourful fairs of India. Lakhs of pilgrims throng the lake during the annual cattle fair. Beside trading of horse camels, cows and bulls, there are exciting camel-cart races and culturalecents, clothes household items and leather goods are for sale during the fair on the full moon of Kartik (Nov.), pilgrims take a holy dip in the lake.
Man Mahal :
Along the banks of the Pushkar Lake is the former residence of Raja Man Singh of Ajmer, Man Mahal. Presently it is covered to RTDC sarvour Tourist Bunglow ensuring convenient accommodation to travelers. Pushkar palace (Kishagarh House) adjoining it is a heritage hotel.
Foy Sagar (5km) :
A picturesque artificial lake named after the engineer foy who created it under a famine relief project.
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