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The city of Ajmer is famous as a pilgrimage site. It houses the Dargah, or tomb, of the popular 13th-century, Sufi saint Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chisti. Millions of pilgrims from around the world throng Ajmer to attend the death anniversary of this great saint every year. The city also boasts of a number of monuments dating back to the Mughal era. The city is also well known for its traditional handicrafts industry.
FACTS & FIGURES
|Languages||:||: Hindi and Urdu|
|Best time to visit||:||October to March|
The city of Ajmer is located in the state of Rajasthan in the north-western part of India. It lies 130 kilometres south-west of Jaipur. It is flanked by the Ana Sagar Lake on one side and the barren hills of the Aravali range on the other. Ajmer is drained by the streams of the River Luni flowing south-westward and by the tributaries of the River Banas flowing eastward. The climate of Ajmer is mostly hot. The maximum temperature can go up to 45ÉC during the summers (April to June). Winters are slightly cooler (November to February).
Ajmer was founded by Ajayadeva, an 11th-century Rajput ruler. It was annexed shortly afterwards by Delhi Sultanate in 1193, but was returned to the local rulers upon payment of tribute. Ajmer was also sacked by Mohammed Ghori in one of the many raids carried out by him on India. The Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, the patron saint of Ajmer, came here from Persia at the end of the 12th century. Ajmer became a part of the mighty Mughal Empire during the medieval period, and was then an important military center. Military campaigns against local Rajput rulers were initiated from Ajmer. The Emperor Akbar built a fort here. The first contact between the Mughals and the British also occurred in Ajmer, when Emperor Jahangir met Sir Thomas Roe in 1616. The Emperor Shahjahan built marble pavilions around the Ana Sagar Lake in the 17th century. The Scindia rulers of Gwalior took over Ajmer, which was then taken over by the British in 1818. The British founded the famous Mayo College, a prestigious school, Ajmer in 1875.