Dargah Sharif, the most famous pilgrimage centre in Rajasthan, is the place were Khwaja Moin-Ud-Din Chisti was buried. He was a Sufi saint who dedicated his life to the service of the poor and the downtrodden. This site is revered by people of all religions and is visited by millions of pilgrims every year.
The dargah with silver doors was constructed in several stages and houses the original tomb of the saint in a silver railing and a marble screen. Every year ‘Urs’ is held here for a period of 6 days in remembrance of the great Sufi saint. This duration of 6 days has special religious significance as people largely believe that when the saint was 114 years old, he locked himself inside a room for 6 days to pray and left his mortal body in solitude.
According to legends, Emperor Akbar offered the cauldrons when he was blessed by a heir to his throne by the saint. The tomb, which was built by Humayun, is located on the foot of a small and barren hill in Ajmer. It is built with white marble and has 11 arches along with a Persian inscription.
Rani Mahal, located inside the Taragarh Fort, was built for the wives, mistresses and inamoratos of the rulers of Ajmer. The edifice which has faded murals and broken stained glass windows is a prime example of the Rajasthani style of architecture. Rani Mahal provides a beautiful panoramic view of the surrounding Aravalli Ranges and the entire valley around the castle.
Nasiyan Temple, also known as Lal Mandir (Red Temple), was built in 1865 and is located at Prithvi Raj Marg in Ajmer. The temple is a two-storied structure dedicated to Lord Adinath, the first Jain 'Tirthankara'.
The edifice is divided into two parts; while one part forms the worship area and has the idol of Lord Adinath, the other part has a hall and forms a museum. The interiors of the museum are made up of gold, and depict the five stages called Panch Kalyanak in the life of Lord Adinath.
It has an area of 3200 sq ft and is decorated with Belgium stain glass, mineral colour paintings and stain glasswork. Comprised of a focal hall adorned with gold and silver decorations, it is widely recognised as the ‘Golden Temple’ (Swarna Mandir).
Wooden gild representations, glass engravings and paintings are also showcased in the temple. Popularly called the 'Soni Ji ki Saiyan', the temple got this name as it is decorated with precious stones, gold and silver work.
Sola Khamba is named so as it has 16 pillars to support its roof. It was built during the reign of Aurangzeb. It is also widely called the Shaikh Ala-al-Din's tomb and is located just outside the Dargah Sharif.
The tomb was built in 4 years by the saint, who was the overseer of the shrine of Khwaja Moin-Ud-Din Chisti. The edifice has been constructed using white marble and has arches with four slender minarets arising from each corner.
The most distinguishing feature of the architecture is the trio of cusped arches that leads to the flat roof. Based on a courtyard plan having a portico on its eastern side, it is one of the oldest mosques in India. The main building has a roof space of 1399 sq ft while the portico has an area of 1001 sq ft.
Daulat Khana is a huge rectangular palace, which has now been converted into a Government Museum. The museum houses a large collection of Mughal and Rajput armoury apart from delicate sculptures of the region. The palace served as residence to the Mughal emperors Akbar and Jahangir, between 1613 and 1616, during their visit to the Dargah Sharif.
The museum, surrounded by two thick walls, has a board placed outside, which reads, Sir Thomas Roe, the English ambassador who was first received by the Emperor here. Rajput and Mughal armours, along with Hindu statues dating back to the 8th century, form the prominent exhibits of the museum.
An idol of Goddess Kali placed here is another notable piece adorning the museum. The museum which was established in 1908 under the initiative of Lord Curzon and Sir John Marshall is also known by the name "Magazine”.
It has a huge collection of scriptures belonging to Pushkar, Adhai Din ka Jhopra, Baghera, Pisangan, Harshnath (Sikar) Bharatpur, Sirohi, Arthuna and Osian. The museum also houses pre-historic relics and casts of steel, with their photographs, which were discovered at Mohenjo-Daro in the Indus Valley.
The museum is open between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (Saturday to Thursday) except on public holidays. The entry fee is Rs. 5 for Indian citizens and Rs. 10 for foreign nationals.
The Archaeological Museum was established in 1949 and is located in the Dil-e-Aaram Gardens of Ajmer in Rajasthan. The museum is divided into three sections and comprises a large number of scriptures and some excavated material dating back to earlier civilizations.
Two 'Yupa Pillars' (sacrificial posts) of the museum are decorated with inscriptions from the Barnala and Prathihara scriptures belonging to the 8th century and terracotta from early historical periods.
The museum houses various dug up material from Rairh, Bairat, Sambhar, Nagar and other destinations.The museum is open to visitors between 10 am and 4:45 pm daily and the entry fee is Rs. 3 for Indian nationals and Rs. 10 for foreign nationals.
Bharatpur Museum, located inside the Lohagarh Fort, houses some of the unique and archaic artifacts and archaeological resources. The museum building was once the administrative block of the rulers of Bharatpur and was known by the name "Kachahari Kalan".
Later in 1944, it was converted into a museum. Scriptures belonging to the 1st century form the prominent exhibits of the museum. The art gallery houses various samples of miniature paintings that were originally made on the leaves of mica, Peepal tree and old litho-papers.
Various paintings of the Maharajas of Bharatpur are also displayed in the gallery. Tourists can also see the guns and cannons of the 18th century in this museum. The museum has been segmented into five sections, namely - archaeology, children's gallery, armoury, arts & crafts, and industry. The museum is open for a visit between 10:00 am and 4:30 pm daily.
Akbar's Palace and Museum, built in 1570 AD is counted among the strongest citadels of Rajasthan. It served as the meeting place of Mughal emperor Jahangir and Sir Thomas Roe, the English Ambassador to the Mughal court.
The Palace was meant to serve as residence to the Emperor and his troops while they were in Ajmer. In 1908, it was converted into a museum, which houses many Hindu Idols of the 6th and 7th centuries and of later years as well; these idols mostly depict a mix of Rajput and Mughal style of design.
A large black marble statue of Goddess Kali is one of the most famous displays here. Age old military and war equipments, ancient artillery and arsenals, sculptures and stone sculptures can also be seen in this museum.
Bhim Burj and Garbha Gunjan is a stone tower within the precincts of the Taragarh Fort. Garbha Gunjan is a canon that is located under the Bhim Burj. It is so big that it ranks second in India when size is taken as the parameter for comparison. Water reservoirs located here were used to store and supply water to public whenever there was water scarcity in the region.
Mandir Shri Nimbark Peeth was founded by the Bhati Chief of Khejarli, Shri Sheoji and Gopal Singh Ji Bhati with the aim of liberating people from the tyrannical practices of Tantrika Fiquir Masting Shah. Moreover, the temple also served to propagate Vaishnava doctrines. The temple is so designed that it enables the deity to be visible for darshan from the very moment devotees enter the main gate.
The main entrance can be reached by climbing a flight of 7 steps. The temple having ornamented pillars is constructed over an area of 42 thousand sq ft. Yellow soil, lime mortar stone and marble form the building material of the temple.
The temple was built with an aim to inspire holy sentiments of the great love of Shri Radha Krishna and also to propagate the eternal Vedic Sanatan Dharma among the Vaishnavas.
Shah Jahan's Mosque, made out of white marble, is located in the inner courtyard of the Dargah Sharif. The structure of the mosque has a 30.5 m long court with a low arcade and also has delicate carvings with trellis work on the sanctum.
The mosque is built in the typical Mughal style of architecture and features 11 arches. The 41 m high mosque is exquisitely built and is topped by a beautiful marble dome. People believe that the marble used for building the dome of this mosque was extracted from the same mines from which marbles for the Taj Mahal were extracted.
The mosque which is green and white coloured was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan.
Mangliyawas, famous for two 800 year old trees of rare species, is located at a distance of 26 km from the city of Ajmer on the National Highway 8 (NH) towards Beawar. The trees, which are popularly called as "Kalpa Vriksha", are believed to fulfill the desires of people who pray here. Due to this, the place is thronged by a large number of devotees from across the country. Visitors coming here tie a thread around the tree with the hope that their wishes would be granted.
Akbari Masjid, built by Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1571, is located between the Shahjahani Gate and Buland Darwaza in Dargah Sharif. The mosque which is made out of red sandstone is now Moiniua Usmania Darul-Uloom, which is now an Arabic and Persian school for religious education.
Green and white marbles have been used in the construction of this mosque. This shrine was constructed by Emperor Akbar when his prayers seeking an heir to his throne were answered at the Dargah Sharif.
Ana Sagar Lake, sprawling over an area of 13 km, is an artificial lake which was built by Anaji Chauhan, the grandfather of Prithvi Raj Chauhan. The catchments at the lake were built with the help of the local people between 1135 and 1150 A.D.
The Daulat Bagh gardens were built by Emperor Jahangir in the area surrounding the lake. The lake has an island and is surrounded by beautiful parks and marble pavilions. Boats and water scooters are available from the eastern side of the Daulat Bagh gardens for tourists to reach the island.
Additional constructions were also made by the Mughals to enhance the beauty of the lake. The Circuit House, which served as residence to the British is located on a high hill near the lake.
Foy Sagar Lake is an artificial lake built under the supervision of the British architect Mr. Foy in the year 1892, near Ajmer. The lake was basically constructed as a part of a drought relief project, and served as an important source of water.
The beauty of the lake leaves its visitors mesmerized. The lake has a flat shape which makes it look like a pancake. It now serves as a picnic spot widely popular among tourists and locals alike.