Dargah Sharif, venerated by both Hindus and Muslims is the tomb of Khwaja Muin-ud-din Chishti. He was a Sufi saint who came from Persia and devoted his life to the service and welfare of the poor and downtrodden. Constructed in several stages, the gate with silver doors forms the entrance of the site. The actual tomb of the saint is enveloped by a silver railing and a marble screen. This has been made of marble and a gold plated dome.
In his remembrance, every year 'Urs' is held in this region for six days. The duration has religious significance, owing to the belief that when he was 114 years old, the saint locked himself in a room for six days to pray, and left his mortal body in solitude.
It is believed that the cauldrons were offered by Emperor Akbar when the saint blessed him with a heir to his throne. Located at the foot of a small and barren hill in Ajmer, the tomb was built by Humayun. Constructed with white marble, the tomb has 11 arches and a Persian inscription.
Ana Sagar Lake has been named after Anaji Chauhan. It is an artificial lake built by Anaji Chauhan, the grandfather of Prithvi Raj Chauhan. Dating from 1135 -1150 AD, the lake comprises catchments that were built with the help of local populace. Spread over 13 km, the lake also comprises Baradari or pavilions that were built by Shah Jahan in 1637.
The Daulat Bagh Gardens,located in the area of the lake were built by Jehangir. A dam across the river Luni, the lake is surrounded by beautiful parks and marble pavilions. An island lies in the middle of the lake. To beautify the lake, additional constructions were made by the Mughal emperors.
On a hill near the lake is located a Circuit House that used to be the British Residency. From the east side of the Daulat Bagh Gardens, tourists can hire boat or water scooter to reach the island. Every summer, the lake gets dry.
Taragarh Fort is located atop the Nagpahari Hill in Ajmer. Often considered as the first hill fort of Asia, it is also known as the 'Fort of Ajmer'. It was constructed at a time when the Aravalli mountain ranges were above the snowlines.
Built by King Ajaypal Chauhan on the pinnacle of Taragarh Hill, overlooking Ajmer, it has the reputation of being one of the oldest hill forts of the world. It is often called as the 'Star Fort', dating back from the 12th century.
Situated 3 km and a steep 1.5 hours climb beyond the Adhai-din ka Jhonpra Mosque, the fort offers an aerial view of the entire city. Built in the year 1100 A.D by Ajaypal Chauhan, the town's founder, the fort was the site of military activities during Mughal times.
Lakshmi Pol, Phuta Darwaza and Gagudi ki Phatak are the three gateways of the fort. Bhim Burj that acts as a crenellation and support for the canons is amongst the highlights of the fort. The fort also contains many reservoirs, carved out of the solid rock.
Pushkar Lake, considered to be sacred is said to cleanse sins and cure skin diseases with a dip. It is located in the town of Pushkar in Ajmer district and is the sacred lake of the Hindus. Historical significance of the lake is evident from the fact that it finds it’s mention on coins as early as the 4th century BC. Surrounded by 52 bathing ghats, the lake has been described by Hindu scriptures as 'Tirtha-Raj', meaning 'the king of pilgrimage sights'.
It is considered sacred, owing to it’s relation with a water-body and the mythology of the creator-god Brahma, whose most prominent temple stands in Pushkar. Known as 'Naga Parbat', Aravalli range of hills separate the lake from the city of Ajmer.
Formed between the two parallel ranges of the Aravalli hills, the valley runs south-west to north-east. The artificial Pushkar Lake lies at a distance of 14 km to the north-west of Ajmer.
Built by Emperor Akbar, the elegant citadel better known as Akbar's Palace and Museum is a popular tourist destination. This was the meeting place of Jahangir and Sir Thomas Roe, the English Ambassador to the Mughal court. It was built in 1570 AD and was considered one of the strongest citadels in
Brahma Temple lies nestled in the Pushkar valley. Situated beyond Naga Parbat and the Ana Sagar Lake, the site is considered extremely sacrosanct. It’s stature stems from the belief that Lord Brahma, together with all the gods and goddesses performed a Yagna at this site. Folklore legends also point to the belief that the ancient lake had appeared miraculously when a lotus fell from the hands of Lord Brahma and dropped into the valley.
Built with marble, the temple has been embellished with silver coins. The temple also contains a silver turtle on it’s floor. Located close to the sacred Pushkar Lake, the temple is dedicated to the Hindu creator-god Lord Brahma. Dating back to the 14th century, the temple has a red pinnacle (shikhara) and a hamsa bird motif. Built of marble and stone stabs, the temple sanctum sanctorum holds the central images of Brahma and his second consort, Gayatri.
Set on high plinth, the temple also has a Garbhagriha, which is built in marble. There are a number of marble steps leading to an entrance gate archway that has been decorated with pillared canopies. Deified in the Garbhagriha in 718 AD by Adi Shankara, the central image of the temple is called the chaumurti.
Nasiyan Temple, built in 1865 is located at Prithvi Raj Marg in Ajmer. It is also known as Lal Mandir (Red Temple). Dedicated to Lord Adinath, the first Jain 'tirthankara', the temple is a two-storied structure. Divided into two parts, the temple belongs to the Digamber sect.
One part of the temple is the worship area comprising the idol of Lord Adinath, while the other forms a museum and includes a hall. Made of gold, the interior of the museum depicts the five stages (Panch Kalyanak) in the life of Lord Adinath. . Within it’s 3,200 sq. ft area, the interior is adorned with Belgium stain glass, mineral colour paintings and stain glasswork.
Recognised as the Golden Temple (Swarna Mandir), the temple has a focal hall that is embellished with gold and silver decorations. The temple also showcases wooden gild representations, glass engravings and paintings.
It’s alternate name as 'Soni Ji Ki Nasiyan' has been derived by it’s being festooned with precious stones, gold and silver work.
Mayo College was built with an aim to provide the leaders of the princely states with an education of British standards. Founded by the 6th Earl of Mayo, who was the Viceroy of India from 1869 to 1872, the public school, was built by British Raj to give education to the Indian elite, particularly the princes and nobles of Rajputana.
Major Mant designed the main building of the college in the Indo-Saracenic style popularised by Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob, the State Engineer of Jaipur. Made of white marble, the building displays a classic symbol of Indo-Saracenic architecture. Although the building was completed in 1885, its construction began in 1877.
The museum which is housed in Jhalawar House contains many antiques and armoury section. Coat of arms of the college comprises a design furnished by Mr. Lockwood Kipling, a former Principal of the School of Arts, Lahore and father of Rudyard Kipling.
Daulat Khana, or the Government Museum houses a rich collection of Mughal and Rajput armoury. This Rajputana Museum houses fine and delicate sculptures of the region. The museum was the residence of the Mughal Emperors; Akbar and Jahangir during their visits to the Dargah Sharif between 1613 to 1616.
Surrounded by two thick walls, the museum contains a board placed outside indicating that Sir Thomas Roe, the celebrated English ambassador was first received here by the Emperor. Hindu statues, which date back to the 8th century along with examples of Rajput and Mughal armour are the prominent exhibits of the museum. Another notable piece that adorns the museum is the statue of Goddess Kali.
Established in October 1908 under the initiative of Lord Curzon and Sir John Marshall, the museum is also known as 'Magazine'. It is home to sculptures that belong to Pushkar, Adhai-din ka Jhonpra, Baghera, Pisangan, Harsnath (Sikar) Bharatpur, Sirohi, Arthuna and Osian. In the museum are also displayed pre-historic relics and cast of seals with pictographs which were discovered at Mohanjodaro in the Indus valley.
Adhai-din ka Jhonpra is a mosque that is believed to have been built in two and a half days. Originally a Sanskrit college, the edifice was converted into a mosque in 1198 by Muhammad Ghori. The mosque has been enveloped by a seven-arched wall that is inscribed with verses from the Koran. An example of early Indo-Islamic architecture, the mosque was designed by Abu Bakr of Herat. Built from masonry taken from broken down Hindu and Jain temples, it comprises pillars which hold up the ceiling in the main chamber.
Sultan Altamush in 1230 AD added a jali (screen) under a raised arch. People can enter the mosque from the gateway in the north. A number of small arches built of yellow limestone adorn the front façade. Flanked by six smaller arches of Arab origin, the main arch has many tiny rectangular panels. These serve as a lighting system, a feature found in ancient Arabian mosques.
A main hall supported by numerous columns forms the interior of the edifice. To gain more height, the pillars have been placed over each other. The columns have large and bulbous bases that taper as they gain height.
Rani Mahal was built for the wives, concubines and paramours of the rulers. Located in the Taragarh Fort, this edifice today comprises of faded murals and broken stained glass windows. The structure displays typical Rajasthani architecture. The one-time Chauhan stronghold provides an aerial view of the Aravalli ranges and the entire valley.
Savitri Temple is located on the hill behind the Brahma Temple. Dedicated to Goddess Savitri, Lord Brahma's first wife, the temple offers an aerial view of the lake and surrounding sand dunes. Legend behind the construction of the temple states that when Lord Brahma was all set to start a Yagna on earth in the place of Pushkar (determined by dropping a lotus flower), Savitri's presence was prerequisite.
Since she had kept Him waiting, He got angry, and married Gayatri, the milkmaid, to start the Yagna at the auspicious moment. Owing to this, an infuriated Savitri cursed that Lord Brahma would not be worshipped anywhere else, but Pushkar. Located on the Ratnagiri Hill, the temple is believed to be the resting place of Savitri, where she had stayed awhile, after being infuriated with Brahma.
Inside the temple, a beautiful statue of Goddess Savitri has been established. To reach the temple, tourists need to climb a long series of steps.