Ajmer Sharif Dargah, Rajasthan

Ajmer Sharif Dargah

Featured Image by-Zakir Naqvi CC BY- SA 2.0

Ajmer Sharif Dargah, the most visited tourism and a religious spot in Ajmer is a divine shrine dedicated to a Sufi Saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti. Every year people from different countries head towards this majestic place famous for the beliefs of fulfilling the wishes of the devotes, who pray with pure hearts and souls.

The spectacular aroma of the incense sticks and red roses all around and the heart touching Qawwali songs create a positive and pious atmosphere that attracts people from around the globe to this sacred place for the fulfillment of their wishes. It is located in the Aravalli Ranges of mountains and near the Taragarh Hill, in Ajmer district of Rajasthan.

Let us explore this spiritual gem of Ajmer to a greater extent…

Location of Ajmer Sharif Dargah-

Located in the Ajmer district in the lap of Taragarh hills, this miraculous shrine is the main Islamic religious attraction of the state and the city.

This enchanted shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti is located in the central Rajasthan at a distance of about 133 km from the state capital Jaipur.

The distances of this destination from the major cities of the country are as follows- Delhi-402 km, Mumbai-1026 km, Chennai-2034, Kolkata-1667 km, Hyderabad-1410 km, Bengaluru-1812 km, Ahmedabad-548 km, Udaipur-264 km, Jodhpur-203, and Lucknow-703 km.

History and Significance of Dargah-

The shrine is the resting place of a Persian Sufi saint named Khwaja Gharib Nawaz Moinuddin Chisti who is believed to reach Ajmer in 1192 to teach his preaching after the orders of Muhammad in his dreams. The saint died in Ajmer in the year 1236 and his grave is the main place that is worshipped nowadays.

His resting place was visited by many people including various emperors. Mohammad Bin Tughlaq is credited for the construction of a Dargah around the tomb to enhance its beauty and elegance in 1332.

People from different parts of the world reach this auspicious and serene place of Muslims and offer their prayers in forms of Chadars. It is believed that if a devotee prays with the depth of his pure heart and soul, all his wishes are fulfilled and he gets rid of all the pains.

According to the sayings, Moinuddin Chisti prayed continuously for six days by locking up himself at the age of 114 and finally left his body. So, every year Urs or the death anniversary of Nawaz Moinuddin Chisti is celebrated for 6 days in the Muslim month of Ramadan that usually falls in March. Recently, the 808th Urs was celebrated in March 2020.             

                                                           Image SourceZakir Naqvi CC BY- SA 2.0

The architecture of Ajmer Sharif Dargah-

The main architectural features of the Dargah are two courtyards, a domed tomb, a mosque built by Shah Jahan, and a massive gateway called Nizam Gate. Most of the construction work in the shrine is done in white marble.

Nizam Gate– This colossal gateway to the mosque was constructed by the orders of Mir Osman Ali Khan, the then Nizam of Hyderabad. The name of Nizam Gate well suits with its creator’s name.

The other gateways are the Shahjahani Gate and the Buland Darwaza.

Another attraction of the mosque is the huge cooking urns known as Kadhaaye in which tons of food can be cooked at a time. Daily this food is cooked at night and is distributed as a blessing to the devotees after the morning prayers.

Most of the architectural work is done in the Islamic and Mughal styles of architecture and white marble is used as the key material for the construction. Along with this, gold and silver plating is also done to enhance the eternal beauty of the Dargah.

Jalahara is a small pond with pure water that is used for the sacred works of the Dargah and exists there from the earliest times of this shrine.

On the western side of the mosque, a silver gate is present that known as the Jannati Darwaza and is opened only four times a year.

Akbari Mosque is located within the premises of the Dargah, was built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar as an offering while he had his son Jahangir.

ImImage By- Zakir Naqvi CC BY- SA 2.0

How to Reach Ajmer Sharif Dargah?

ADDRESS- Dargah Sharif, Khadim Mohalla, Ajmer

CONTACT NO.- +919461130786

PIN CODE– 305001

Although the nearest airport to Ajmer is the Kishangarh Airport at a distance of about 33 km from the main city but it is not well connected to other parts of the country.

The next nearest and the best airport is the Jaipur International Airport, which is about 138 km distant and can be accessed within 3 hours drive by a taxi, cab, or private vehicles through NH 48. This airport is very efficiently connected with almost every part of the nation.

The Ajmer Railway Station is less than 2 km distant from the shrine and can easily be reached by hiring public vehicles like taxis and rickshaws. It connects Ajmer to major parts of India and is an integral part of Indian Railways.

People also reach Ajmer by buses too. The nearest bus stand is the Ajmer Bus Stand at a distance of about 2.5 km from the Dargah.

Timings of Ajmer Sharif Dargah-

The opening and closing time of gates of the Dargah vary according to the seasons in a year. In Summers, the visiting hours are 4 am to 10 pm while in Winters these are reduced to 5 am to 9 pm.

Entry Fee to Dargah-

This mosque is the most epic abode of god and no fees is taken from the devotees coming to this place. People come here with their faith in Khwaja Ji and make offerings based on their wishes and capabilities.

Best Time to Visit Ajmer Sharif Dargah-

Usually, the months of October-March are best suitable for a visit to the Dargah. These months of winters will save you from the dread and exhausting summer heats of April-June and the monsoons of July- September. If you have no problem with the crowds then do pay a visit to the shrine during the Urs celebrations in the month of Ramadan.

Qawwali Image By- Saswat swarup mishra CC BY SA 4.0

Hotels and Restaurants Nearby-

Hotels– Hotel AL TOWHEED is probably the nearest one to the shrine, about 300 meters distant. Some other good hotel alternatives to stay near the Dargah are Hotel Jannat, Hotel Satyam, Hotel Moin Mahal, and Hotel ATA Inn and Restaurant. All these hotels range from medium to high rates. Hotel Madni Royale is an expensive 3-star hotel at about 300 meters from the main place.

For someone who is in search of budget hotels, the best options are Hotel Raj Inn, Sufi Hotel, Hotel Bani Hashim, and the Hotel Dabi Palace. Do try these hotels and share your reviews and experiences below in the comments.

Restaurants- Momin Restaurant is the best restaurant, based on reviews by the visitors, to have healthy and authentic food near the Dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti. It is open from 4 am to midnight and serves both veg and non-veg food.

Some other options to ponder over are- Garib Nawaz Restaurant, Madina Restaurant, Zaffran Restaurant, Bari Deg, and Khawaja Niyaz Restaurant.

Buland Darwaza Image By- Saswat swarup mishra CC BY SA 4.0

Travel Tip-

Always have a handkerchief or a plain cotton cloth with you to cover your head while entering the mosque. Muslim people already have their veils and headgears for the same. This is done as a mark of respect to god.

It takes around 2 hours to completely explore this divine religious center as one gets completely mesmerised by the majestic aroma and positive vibes of the place. So, manage your time accordingly.

Although handbags are allowed, it is not advisable to carry cameras, carry bags inside the mosque to avoid the high chances of them getting stolen in the heavy crowds.

Mobiles are allowed to be taken inside but, photography inside the mosque premises is completely banned.

Beware of people who force you to donate money to them or try to indulge you in some kind of activities that you are not familiar with. They could fraud you and can even harm you. So, please be careful.

If you want, then buy the offerings like chadar and flowers from the shops outside the mosque and put your luggage with them for security until you return back.

Nizam Gate Image By- Nadeem Patel CC BY SA 4.0

Location on Map-

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