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Wonders of Rajasthan

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Dargah Sharif Ajmer

Dargah Sharif At Ajmer Is The Final Resting Place Of Khwaja Moin-Ud-Din Chisti, A Sufi Saint. One Of Muslim Community's Holiest Shrines, It Is Venerated By Both Hindus And Muslims. The Dargah Sharif Is Recognized As A Symbol Of Secular India.

Place: Dargah Khwaja Sharif

Best time to travel: around the year, though it is cooler from October to March

Attractions: The Urs held during July - August each year and also the Anna Lake

Rajasthan - Ajmer - Dargah Sharif

Ajmer is situated 132 kms south-west of Jaipur and 198 kms east of Jodhpur. Ajmer is most well known for Dargah Sharif, the final resting place of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, a revered Sufi saint. Not just followers of Islam, but also Hindus and followers of all other faiths travel to the Dargah in millions, from around the world. Pilgrims believe that their wishes are fulfilled by the saint and they come for thanksgiving.

It is said that the Khwaja came from Persia. He is also known as Gharib Nawaz, i.e. he devoted his life to the service and upliftment of the poor and downtrodden. The Dargah's entrance is a massive gate with silver doors built in several stages. As the Khwaja was revered by the Mughal rulers, the Dargah has touches of Humayun to Shah Jahan in its architecture. A silver railing and a marble screen surround the actual tomb of the saint, made of marble with a gold plated dome.

Two massive cauldrons with capacity of 2240 kg and 4480 kg are used to cook Kheer on special occasion, to be served to the pilgrims. There is a separate prayer room for women. It was constructed by Chimni Begum, the daughter of Shah Jahan. Her tomb is on the premises of the Dargah. The premises of the Dargah also have the tomb of Bhishti and of the saint's daughter-Bibi Hafiz Jama.

In the complex, Qawwals sing in praise of the saint. The khadims (servants of the saint) look after the visitors. It is the norm that when a devout's prayers are answered, they offer chadar (cover) on the grave of the saint.

The Urs

The Urs marks the death anniversary ceremonies of the saint and lasts for six days. Various religious ceremonies are performed throughout this period. Qawwalis are sung every night to capacity audience. Mass prayers are said for the eternal peace of the Khwaja in particular and mankind in general.

Three bazaars surround the Dargah and there are numerous hotels, guest houses and restaurants.

Anna Sagar Lake

This is a man made lake created in the 12th century when a dam was made on the River Luni. Shah Jahan had made Daulat Bagh, a garden with a series of marble pavilions in 1673. Daulat Bagh has an excellent view. Boats can also be hired at the lake for a pleasant excursion.

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