Ajmer in Rajasthan is a popular pilgrimage centre in India and has many fine monuments and temples for visitors to discover.
The ancient city of Ajmer has passed through many hands and this lineage is reflected in the many ancient monuments that dot the city. The presence of the shrine of the Sufi Saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti is what makes Ajmer such an important pilgrimage centres.
Our sightseeing in Ajmer guide gives you details on the must see sights along with opening times and entry fees.
Dargah Sharif of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti
Situated at the foot of the Taragarh hill, the mausoleum of the famous Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti is one of the most popular pilgrimage spots in India. The complex is richly adorned with silver and gold ornamentation. Legend has it that the Mughal emperor Akbar came here in the 16th century asking to be blessed by an heir. The saint obliged and Akbar continued to come every year on pilgrimage. The best time to visit is in May during the Urs or death anniversary of the saint.
Timings: In winters between 5am to 9pm; summers between 4am to 10pm.
With six gates and 3 km-long walls, this giant fort sits on a steep hill (a one-and-half hour climb on foot) and guards the city of Ajmer. One of the oldest hill forts in Asia, Taragarh was the seat of the Chauhan rulers. The British converted the fort into a sanatorium for their troops. There are no entry fees or timings for the fort.
Adhai Din Ka Jhonpda
Situated on the lower slope of the Taragarh hill, this mosque was originally a Vaishnava Hindu temple built in 1153. It was converted into a mosque by Mughal ruler Quṭbuddin Aybak in 1193. Of special interest is the double-depth calligraphy inscriptions in Naskh and Kufic scripts and the intricately carved Jali Screen donated by Sultan Altamush in 1230. Noted for its exceptional architecture, the structure has forty columns that support the roof, but no two are alike. The name (‘adai din’ literally means ‘two and a half days’) comes from the fact that it took just 2 and a 1/2 days to build. Another theory says it was named after a festival that lasted for that duration. The monument has no entry fees or fixed timings.
The Government Museum
The museum, also known as Magazine, is situated inside the premises of Akbar’s fort. It was built by Akbar in 1570 AD and served as a residence when he came to for his pilgrimages. It was also the residence of Akbar’s son Salim. This is the place where Salīm, as the Emperor Jahangir, read out the firman (royal decree) permitting the British East India Company to trade with India. This trade decree lead to a chain of historical events that resulted in colonisation of India by the British. The museum has a collection of stone sculptures, Mughal and Rajput armor and weaponry, miniature paintings, and antique idols dating to the 6th and 7th century AD.
Timings: The museum remains open every day from 10am to 4.30pm, except Fridays and public holidays.
Fee: Entry fee is Rs5 (free on Mondays).
Ajmer has two beautiful man-made lakes – the Anasagar Lake, a reservoir made by Maharaja Anaji in 1150 AD. Jehangir added to its beauty with the Daulat Bagh gardens and later, Shah Jahan constructed the dazzling marble pavilions of Baradari in 1673 AD. The lake has boating facilities and an island in the centre. During winter, a host of migratory birds including pelicans, flamingos and varieties of ducks visit the lake.The second water body is the flat-pancake shaped Foy Sagar Lake, considered to be a marvel among artificial lakes. The name is in honor of the English engineer Mr Foy who constructed this water reservoir in 1892 AD under the famine relief project. There are no entry fees for the lakes.
Nasiyan (Red) Temple
Made of red sandstone, this is an intricate Digambara Jain temple built in the late 19th century. The main hall is known as Swarna Nagri or City of Gold due to the gold-plated wooden figures depicting legends from Jain mythology.
Timings: The temple is open from 8:30am to 4:30pm
Fees: Entry fee is Rs10.
This giant temple spread over 40 thousand square feet, is known for its pillars of ornamental marble and exceptional architecture. The sanctum sanctorum has been built in such a way that the light from the full moon touches the feet of the idol at exactly 12pm.
Timimgs: Timings are from 5:30am to 12 noon and from 5pm to 8:30pm every day.
Fees: There’s no entry fee.
Ajmer is the base for visiting the neighbouring ancient pilgrimage city of Pushkar. It is famous for its lake with 52 holy bathing ghats and many temples. Pushkar also has a 14th century Brahma Temple. And of course, the epic and world-famous camel fair when more than 300,000 people and 20,000 camels, as well as cattle and horses, descend on the sand dunes. The almost fortnight-long fair takes place around Kartik Poornima, the auspicious full moon night of November. Check the state tourism website for fair dates.
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