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  Ajmer – Pushkar  
 
     
 
     
 
Ajmer – Pushkar : South west of Jaipur, Ajmer is an oasis wrapped in the green hills. The city was founded by Raja Ajay Pal Chauhan in the 7th Century A.D. and continued to be a major center 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 center 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. Ajmer is a center of culture and education. 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 the base for visiting Pushkar (14 km.) which has the distinction of having the only Brahma temple in the world. The Picturesque   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. One of the first contacts between the Mughal King Jahangir and Sir Thomas Roe took place here in 1616. The Scindias took over the city in 1818 and then handed it over to the British. Thus Ajmer was the only region to be directly controlled by the East Indian Company. 

The bus stand in Ajmer is located near the RTDC hotel Khadim. The railway station is further south and most of the office lies in the northeast and most of the city's market is located behind and up to Agra Gate. Further northwest is a large artificial lake called the Anna Sagar.

SIGHT SEEING
TARAGARH FORT :
 
 
The giant fort stands guarding the city. It has six gates. The fort also has Miran Saheb ki Dargah, who was the governor of the fort and laid down his life in an encounter. It gives a panoramic view of the city – situated in Nagpahari of Aravalli ranges. This fort has immense archaeological and historical importance.
 
 

ADHAI - DIN KA- JHONPRA :
This is a masterpiece of Indo - Islamic architecture. As legend goes, it was constructed in two and a-half days (Adhai-Din). It is a relic of an old mosque consisting of a quadrangle with a front screen wall of seven pointed arches. The distinct pillars and arched screen with its ruined minarets make it a splendid architectural masterpiece.

 
 

NASIYAN (RED) TEMPLE :
The red temple is a Digambar Jain temple which has a double-story hall adjacent to the main temple. The hall displays a series of large gold plated wooden figures depicting legends from Jain mythology. The entire hall is richly adorned by glass mosaic, precious stones, gold and silver work. The temple is also popularly called Soni Ji Ki Nasiyan.

 
 
BRAHMA TEMPLE :
This is the only existing temple dedicated to lord Brahma and was constructed in the 14th century, standing on a high plinth with marble steps leading up to it.
A beautiful carved silver turtle sits on the floor facing the sanctum or Garbha Griha. The marble floor around the silver turtle is embedded with hundreds of silver coins, with donors' name engraved on them.
 
 
OLD RANGJI TEMPLE :
Lord Rangji is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. This temple was built in 1823 AD by Seth Puran Mal Ganeriwal of Hyderabad . This temple is unique due to the confluence of South Indian (Dravidian), Rajput and Mughal styles of architecture.
NEW RANGJI TEMPLE :
The gracious temple is very conspicuous for its south Indian style of architecture. It has a high rising Gopuram which is typical of south Indian.
Pushkar has more than 400 temples. The other important temples are Banji ka Mandir, Atmateshwar Mahadeo temple, Varah temple and Man Mandir.
 
 

SAVITRI TEMPLE :
The temple is located on the hill behind the Brahma temple and one has to climb a long series of steps to reach the shrine. It commands a panoramic view of the beautiful lake and the picturesque surrounding villages.
 
 
     
SARASWATI TEMPLE :
Saraswati is the daughter of Brahma. Literally her name means 'the flowing one' .In the Rig Veda she represents a river deity and is connected with fertility and purification. She is considered the personification of all knowledge - arts, sciences, crafts and skills. She is the goddess of the creative impulse, the source of music, beauty and eloquence. Artists, writers and other individuals involved in creative endeavours have for millennia come on pilgrimage to Pushkar to invoke
the inspiration of Brahma and Saraswati. According to a theory,the shrine myths are often metaphorical expressions of the particular power of a pilgrimage place, The lake, hill and area of Pushkar have a pervading spirit the presence of which awakens and stimulates the human capacity for creativity.
 
 
     
DARGAH KHWAJA SAHIB :
It is the landmark of Ajmer and one of the holiest of Muslim shrines in the country. It has a secular appeal and revered by people of all sects. Khwaja Moin-ud-din Chisti, a Sufi saint from Persia made this place his abode from 1192 till he died in 1236 AD. Mughal King Humayun completed the construction of the shrine. The Dargah is approached through a massive gate with silver doors built
in several stages. Emperor Akbar made an annual pilgrimage to Ajmer .
Mughal Emperors Akbar and Shah Jahan have built mosques in the complex. The saint's tomb is in the centre of the second courtyard and the actual tomb inside is surrounded by a silver railing and partly by a marble screen. The tomb is of marble and the dome is gold plated. Offerings generally consist of flowers, mainly roses and sweets. The aroma of burning incense sticks has a mesmerizing effect on the devotees. The mystic atmosphere inside the holy shrine is suffused with serenity, sanctity and spirituality.

As you enter the Dargah courtyard, you see two massive 'degs', meaning cauldrons. Mughal Emperors Akbar and Jahangir donated these cauldrons originally but they were replaced in the nineteenth century. The larger cauldron can hold as much as 4480 kilos of rice while the smaller one contains 2240 kilos of rice.

There is an unending stream of devotees to the shrine throughout the year but its periphery show considerably more heightened all round activity when millions of devotees throng the shrine during the Urs fair. the entire city of Ajmer become alive in their presence. Urs is held on the seventh lunar month according to Islamic calendar but varies according to the solar calendar. Sufis and believers converge from all over India and abroad, as it is believed that those visiting the shrine during Urs receive special blessings of the saint. It is customary to cover your head while inside the complex. Accordingly, remember to carry a skullcap or a scarf. The skull-cap is on sale in the colourful market just outside the Dargah. It is also customary to make floral offerings, mainly of roses, incense sticks and sweets that are locally available.
 
 
     
KISHANGARH :
Kishangarh is 27 Kms north east of Ajmer and was founded by Kishan Singh, a Rathore Prince. In the 18th century, it attained fame as one of the finest schools of miniature paintings. Though a smaller school with a much shorter duration it had a more refined  
style. It peaked under the patronage of Savant Singh, an heir to the throne who later became a hermit. It is said that Savant Singh modeled as Krishna while his mistress nicknamed as Bani Thani modeled for Radha. Paintings of Bani Thani are most celebrated. The artists of this school favoured evening lights and gray skies with fine colours. This outstanding school lasted only a few decades. Today the artists still create reproductions of the work. Kishangarh is now an industrial town for marble and textiles. It is connected by train and bus.
 
 
Tilonia :
Tilonia is a small town 25 kms from Kishangarh near Ajmer and 7 kms off Jaipur-Ajmer highway. A distinctive feature of the town is Barefoot college, which began in 1972 with the conviction that solutions to rural problems lie within the community. The College, officially known as Social Work and Research Centre, addresses problems of drinking water, girl education, health and sanitation, rural unemployment, income generation, electricity and power, social awareness and the conservation of ecological systems in rural communities.
 
 
 
PUSHKAR
PUSHKAR- the ' Pilgrim City ' is a picturesque town 14 kms. from Ajmer . Known for its temples and lake, the Nag Pahar ( Snake Mountain ), which forms a part of chain of the Aravali ranges, stands between Ajmer and Pushkar. The road from Ajmer to Pushkar is a very interesting drive as the road winds
through the Nag Pahar, leading to the ancient lake. The town situated around the beautiful lake is surrounded on three sides by hills, while the fourth side is cordoned by sands which have drifted from the plains of Marwar. 

It is one of the most revered places for Hindus and referred as Tirth Raj' or the king among places of pilgrimage, just as Kashi( Banaras ) is their 'guru' or preceptor. No pilgrimage to Badri Nath(Himalayas), Jagannath (Orissa), Rameshwaram (Tamil Nadu) and Dwarka ( Gujarat ), the four principal places of pilgrimage for the Hindus is complete till the pilgrims bath in the sacred waters of Pushkar.

According to Padma Puran, the Hindu religious text, Lord Brahma was in search of suitable place for a Vedic yagna. While contemplating, a lotus fell down from his hand on the earth and water spurted from three places, one of them being Pushkar and Lord Brahma decided to perform his yagna over here.

The beautiful Pushkar Lake is a sanctified spot, considered as old as the creation, and has been a place of pilgrimage since time immemorial. It is surrounded by 52 bathing ghats, where people come to take a dip with deep religious faith rooted in their hearts. Pushkar has withstood the test of time, and has been a mute witness to the evolution of history from the time of Rama, the hero of the earliest Hindu Epic Ramayana, to Fa-Hien's accounts of Pushkar in 4th century AD., to the time of Muslim invasion to the present day.
 
 
     
PUSHKAR LAKE :
The pious Pushkar Lake , believed to have been created by the falling of a lotus from the hand of Lord Brahma. It is considered to be as old as creation.
As per the Hindu Mythology there are Panch Sarovar( Five Lakes ) namely Man sarovar, Bindu Sarovar, Narayan Sarovar, Pampa Sarovar and Pushkar Sarovar.
The lake is considered as one of the most sacred spots, and believed that one dip in the waters of the lake on Kartika Poornima is equivalent to performing yagnas for several hundred years.

The charming lake amidst the hills has fifty-two bathing ghats, built around lake. The water around each ghat is supposed to have special powers. The Naga Kund is believed to give fertility, Roop Tirth gives beauty and charm, Kapil Vyapi Kund water helps in curing leprosy and a dip in the Mrikand Muni Kund grants the boon of wisdom. The other important ghats are the Varah Ghat which is very sacred as Lord Vishnu is believed to have appeared here in the form of boar, the Brahma and Gau Ghat. A dip in the lake by a woman absolves her and her husband both .

For complete cleansing of sins, three twilights must be passed at the pious city with baths at three Ghats .

Photography is prohibited on the Ghats of the Pushkar Lake , while people bathing in the lake.

MAN MAHAL :
Raja Man Singh-I of Amber, built this largest royal house in Pushkar located on the east of Sarovar, the sacred lake in Pushkar. It gives a clear view of the banks and temples located around the lake. It was built as a royal guest house for Raja Man Singh-I on his trips to the holy town. This traditional guest house has now been converted into a hotel.

 
 
 
SHRIVAIKUNTHNATH :
The gracious temple is very conspicuous, due its south Indian style of architecture. It has a high rising ‘Gopuram' typical southern India.
Pushkar has more than 400 temples; the other important temples are Baiji ka Mandir and Man Mandir, etc.
 
     
 
     
 
     
     
   
     
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