South west of Jaipur, Ajmer is an oasis surrounded by green hills. The city was founded by Raja Ajay Pal Chauhan in the 7th Century A.D. and continued to be a major centre of the Chauhan power till 1193 A.D. Then Prithviraj Chauhan lost it to Mohammed Ghori, after which Ajmer became home to many dynasties.
Today, Ajmer is a popular pilgrimage centre for the Muslims as well as Hindus. Especially famous is the Dargah Sharif-tomb of the Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, which is equally revered both by the Hindus and the Muslims.
The British chose Ajmer for its prestigious Mayo College, a school exclusively for Indian nobility at one time. However, now it is one of the best public schools in the country. Ajmer is also a base for visiting Pushkar, which has the distinction of having the only Brahma temple in the world. The beautiful Pushkar Lake is a sacred spot for Hindus. During the month of Kartik (Oct/Nov), devotees throng in large numbers to take a dip in the sacred lake.
Ajmer was also a favourite residence for the great Mughals and the Scindias took over the city in 1818 and then handed it over to the British. As a result, Ajmer was the only region to be directly controlled by the East Indian Company
Sitting on the edge of the desert and clinging to the side of a small lake, Pushkar is an ancient ...