Just over 130 kms south-west of Jaipur is Ajmer, a burgeoning town on the shore of the Ana Sagar, flanked by barren hills. Historically, Ajmer had considerable strategic importance and was sacked by Mohammed of Ghori on one of his periodic forays from Afghanistan. Later it became a favourite residence of the mighty Mughals. Ajmer is a major centre for Muslim pilgrims during the fast of Ramazan, and has some impressive Muslim architecture.
The Dargah is the tomb of a sufi saint, Khwaja Muin-uddin Chisti, who came to Ajmer from Persia in 1192. Construction of the shrine was completed by Humayun. Constructed of white marble, it has 11 arches and a Persian inscription running the full length of the building. It has a marble dome and the actual tomb inside is surrounded by a silver platform. The tomb attracts hundreds of thousands of pilgrims every year on the anniversary of the saint’s death.
Adhai-Din-Ka Jhonpra is one of the finest example of Indo-Islamic architecture, this mosque was a Sanskrit college in the 12th century. In 1193 AD Mohammad Ghori destroyed the college and a mosque was built in its place. The mosque was built on pillars and surprisingly, no two pillars are alike.
The Museum, the Royal Palace of Akbar was converted into a Museum and today it houses a rich collection of Mughal and Rajput armoury. Some of the fine and delicate sculptures of the region have been displayed here. The building itself has been constructed of red sandstone which have been laid down in a square pattern, giving it a fabulous look.
Ana Sagar Lake was built by Anaji during 1135-1150 AD. Later the mughal emperors made additional constructions to beautify the lake. The ‘Baradari’, a marble pavilion was built by Shah Jahan and the ‘ Daulat Bagh ‘ gardens were laid by Jahangir. This lake is located towards the north of Ajmer city.
Taragarh Fort, built in the 7th century by Ajaipal Chauhan, the fort gives birds eye view of the city. Taragarh fort or the ‘ Star fort ‘ is situated on a hill and to reach there one has to take winding bridle path.
Nasiyan (Jain Temple) The Red temple on Prithviraj Marg is a Jain temple built last century and is definitely worth checking out. Its double storey hall contains a fascinating series of large, gilt wooden figures from Jain mythology which depict the Jain concept of the ancient world. This red coloured Jain temple was built in the late 19th century. The wooden gilt in the double storeyed hall depicts scenes from the Jain mythology. The beauty of this temple is widely acclaimed.
By Bus: There are various buses from Ajmer to Jaipur, Delhi. State transport buses go to many destinations including Jodhpur, Udaipur, Bundi, Bharatpur, Bikaner and Jaisalmer.
By Train: Ajmer is on the Delhi – Jaipur – Marwar – Ahmedabad – Mumbai line and most of the trains on this line stop at Ajmer. There is a Shatabdi express between Ajmer and Delhi.