Ajmer Sharif Ajmer, History, Architecture, Momuments At Ajmer Dargah, Timings and Entry Fee, Daily Ceremonies at Ajmer Sharif, Things to Do In And Around, Celebrations at Ajmer Sharif, Best time to visit Ajmer Sharif, How to Reach Ajmer Sharif.
About Ajmer Sharif
Ajmer Sharif Dargah, the tomb of Moinuddin Chishti is one of the holiest places of worship in India not only for the Muslims but followers of every faith. Being the final resting place of the Gharib Nawaz Moin-ud-din Chishti, it has had an enormous contribution in spreading the ethical and spiritual values of Islam amongst masses. A peculiar kind of fascinating aroma prevails in the shrine throughout time, which inspires the visitors with a spontaneous and irresistible urge towards spirituality, giving the place the aura of the presence of some exalted soul or mighty spiritual king.
Dargah Sharif is undoubtedly the most famous pilgrimage centre in Rajasthan. It is the resting place of Khwaja Moin-ud-din Chisti, who was a great Sufi Saint and dedicated his entire life for the upliftment of the poor and downtrodden. The shrine is visited by millions of people every year, as it is considered very sacred by people of all the religions. Ajmer Sharif was built by the Mughals, hence justifying the rich Mughal Architecture. The Dargah has various constituents like tombs, courtyards and Daalaans. The major among these structures are- Nizam Gate, Buland Darwaza, Jama Masjid, Aulia Masjid, Dargah Shrine, Mehfilkhana and about a dozen of other prominent establishments.
One can spot two huge cauldrons in the inner courtyard of the shrine. These containers have a capacity of 2240 kg and 4480 kg and are used during special occasions to cook sweet delicacies like Kheer. The material used in building the main tomb of Ajmer Sharif Dargah is mostly marble and gold plating, which is guarded by silver railings and a marble screen. Visitors are welcomed by a relaxing aura at the Dargah, which is brought in by the combined effect of flowers, incense sticks and the spiritual vibes.
Being the final resting place of the Gharib Nawaz Moin-ud-din Chisti, Dargah Ajmer Sharif is a perfect emblem of harmony and spirituality, and a must visit for people seeking peace and tranquillity. It is believed that when the Sufi saint turned 114, he locked himself up for six days to pray and left his mortal body behind, which eventually led to this exquisite shrine being erected in his honour.
Hazrat Khwaja Moin-Ud-Din Chisti was considered as the founder of Islam in India and a great preacher of Islam throughout the world. He was widely known for his noble preaching and social deeds. He came to India from Persia and stayed in Lahore for a small span of time after which he finally settled in the city of Ajmer. He died in 1236, and since then his resting place is known to have immense spiritual powers. It is believed that every wish made from a pure heart at Dargah Sharif gets fulfilled.
As the Dargah was erected by the Mughals, it is an excellent example of rich Mughal-style architecture. It was built in the thirteenth century. It can be approached through a giant gate known as the Buland Darwaza, which opens into the second courtyard. The grave of the great Sufi saint, Hazrat Khwaja Moin-Ud-Din Chisti is kept in a domed chamber, which is guarded by a silver railing and marble screen. The atmosphere of Ajmer Sharif often resonates with the songs of various famous Qawwals, who visit the Dargah from all across the globe. You can spot various Khadims looking out for the pilgrims and fakirs, who plead for alms before the Dargah.
Outside the Dargah, there is a small market from where all the pilgrims buy the offerings. The massive cauldrons cannot be left unnoticed by the visitors. They are used to cook rice pudding on special occasions. They are kept in the courtyard and on every special occasion, they are looted by professional looters with a few minutes. After which, they jump inside the empty degs and scrape it clean to gather the sacred food or Tabarruks.
Momuments At Ajmer Dargah
While visiting the Ajmer Sharif Dargah you will come across various monuments and notable buildings. All these buildings were erected by various rulers ruling India. It had been considered as a sacred since very early age. The entry to the Ajmer Dargah is through the Nizam Gate which is then followed by the Shahjahani Gate, which was constructed by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Then it leads to the Buland Darwaza which was built by Mahmood Khilji.
Some of the monuments you will come across while going to Ajmer Sharif Dargah are
Nizam Gate: It was built in 1911 by Mir Osman Ali Khan of Hyderabad Deccan.
Buland Darwaja: It is a huge gate built by Mahmood Khilji and his successors. A Flag is hoisted above the gate before the start of Urs Festival.
Degs: Degs means a huge utensil used for cooking in historic times. You will find them on the side of second Buland Darwaja located in front of Saham Chiragh. The circumference at the edge of the larger cauldron is 10-1/4 feet. It cooks 70 pounds of rice, while the smaller Deg takes 28 pounds. One of them was presented by Akbar in 1567 A.D.
Samakhana or Mahfilkhana: A Place where you can enjoy the amazing soul touching Qawwali. It is located on the western side of Saham Chiragh. The place where Qawwali is held was built by Nawab Bashir-ud-Dowla Sir Asmaan Jah of Hyderabad Deccan.
Begami Daalaan: Located on the eastern side of the main shrine is a small and beautiful porch called as Begami Daalaan built by Princess Jahan Ara Begam, ):daughter of Emperor Shah Jahan.
Mazar of Bibi Hafiz Jamal
Babafarid Ka Chilla
Timings and Entry Fee
The dargah opens at 6:00 AM and closes at 9:00PM. It stays closed from 3:00 PM-4:00 PM. No entry fee is required to enter this dargah as it’s a pious site.
Daily Ceremonies at Ajmer Sharif
Khidmat : This ritual is cleaning of Mazar and offerings by flowers. Khidmat is done two times a day. One at 4:00 am with the call of azan and second at 3:00 pm. Morning Khidmat is performed half an hour before the Fajar prayer and evening khidmat is performed only by men. Ladies are not allowed the khidmat and offering of flowers and sandalwood take place with the khadim reciting fateha.
Lighting (Ros): Khadims bring candles inside the tomb with the beating of drums and lights up the lamps in the four corners with the recitations of sacred words.
Karka: This is the closing ceremony of the tomb and takes place after an hour of isha prayer. Before 20 minutes of closing the door when the fifth part of the night passes, the clock sounds five times. The devotees asked to leave the tomb and three khadims clean the tomb. After that bell rings six times to mark the qawwals sing a special karka song and the door are closed after that.
Sama (Qawwali) : It is the song in the praise of Allah which is sung by qawwals who are devotional singers at the Mehfil-e-Sama in front of the mazar after all namaz are over. Also, Quran recital takes place every day.
Things to Do In And Around
Ajmer has a lot to offer apart from the Ajmer Sharif Dargah. Adhai-din-ka-jhonpra is another important tourist destination of Ajmer. Located on the outskirts of the city, this is the ruin of a mosque that goes by the same name. It was converted into a mosque 1198 from a Sanskrit College and a wall was added consisting of seven arches.
The Nasiyan temple is another place that can visit. Also, known as the Golden Temple of Ajmer, it is a two-storey temple and is decorated extensively with precious stones and gold and silver.
The best way to enjoy the landscape of Ajmer is by going for a camel safari in Pushkar. You would also enjoy shopping along the streets of the city. Embroidered dupatta, jodhpuri jutis, and silver jewellery is famous of Ajmer.
Celebrations at Ajmer Sharif
It is believed that when the Sufi saint turned 114, he locked himself up for six days to pray and left his mortal body behind. Hence, every year ‘Urs’, a beautiful celebration, is held for six days in the Dargah in the seventh month of the Islamic lunar calendar. The main entrance of the Holy Tomb which ordinarily is closed at night is kept open throughout the day and night (barring for 2 or 3 hours at night) during all the six days of Urs. This time is an especially colourful time to visit this holy shrine. A holy shrine, very in sync with the believers of Islamic faith and otherwise for spiritualists and believers of every faith.
Best time to visit Ajmer Sharif
Winter is the best time to visit Ajmer. The dargah resonates beautiful Sufi music during the months of November – March. You can also visit during Eid.
How to Reach Ajmer Sharif
By Air: The nearest airport is Jaipur. 136 KMs distance from Ajmer Sharif Dargah. It takes around 2 Hours and 30 Minutes to Reached there by using NH48 highway.
By Rail: Ajmer city is well connected by rail with important cities like Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Ahmedabad etc.
By Road: Regular Bus Services are available from Ajmer city to all important tourist places in the state and other major city outside the State.
By Cab: The Dargah is located 3 kilometres from the main bus stand at Ajmer. A cab takes about 10 minutes to get there and charges under INR 150.
Tuk-Tuk Since the area is rather crowded, it may be a good idea to take the tuk-tuk, especially if you are looking to get there fast. From the bus stand, a tuk-tuk charges between INR 50 and 75 and takes about 10 minutes to get to the Dargah.