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Rajasthan is the ambassador of India to the world of travel and tourism. Rajasthan is like a grand open air museum where it's magnificent forts and palaces, culture and heritage, dance and music, arts and crafts are on a display for the world to capture the real essence of this magical land. An affair with Royal Rajasthan is in fact the vacation of a lifetime.

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Baneshwar Fair of Rajasthan
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Urs Festival of Ajmer Sharif
Gangaur Festival of Rajasthan
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Teej Festival of Rajasthan
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Backwaters Of Kerala, India

Backwaters Of Kerala, India

Beaches Of Goa, India

Beaches Of Goa, India

Char Dham Pilgrimage Tour

Char Dham Pilgrimage Tour


URS FESTIVAL AT AJMER SHARIF IN RAJASTHAN, INDIA

Ajmer of Rajasthan in India is venerated as a holy place for both Hindus and Muslims. It has the mausoleum of the Sufi saint, Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, whose blessings are eagerly sought by pilgrims to his dargah known as the ‘Dargah Sharif. The saint’s marble domed mausoleum is India’s most important shrine for Muslims and receives an endless flow of visitors of all religions as the sick, the troubled and the childless come here seeking a boon, a blessing or just peace of mind. Legend has it that the Mughal emperor, Akbar came here to the saint in the 16th century in quest of a boon for an heir and the saint obliged. 

The Urs festival or annual pilgrimage of the devout is celebrated each May at the Dargah with millions of pilgrims arriving in Ajmer to pay homage. The Urs festival, a commemorative celebration is held in the solemn memory of Khwaja Muin-nddin Chisti, a prighly respected sufi saint fondly revered as the benefactor of the poor, popularly known as Gareeb Nawaz. The Khwaja left for heavenly abode in 1256 AD after a six day prayer in seclusion. These six days are celebrated every year as the annual Urs, which is attended by innumerable pilgrims irrespective of their faith. The shrine is considered to be a place of wish fulfillment for those who pray with devout and pure hearts. Lengthy queues of several kilometers snake their way past the tomb at the shrine. Within the dargah lies a mosque, built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Like all of Shah Jahan’s buildings, the mosque too, is an architectural marvel - a magnificent building in white marble with a long and narrow courtyard for the faithful to pray in, richly embellished with ornate calligraphic inscriptions, delicate carvings and detailed trelliswork.  

URS FESTIVAL AT AJMER SHARIF IN RAJASTHAN, INDIA

Chadar; Ghilaph & Neema which are votive offerings for the tomb are offered by several hundred thousand devotees. Mehfils & Qawwalis are held and mass prayer calls for the eternal peace of the mankind. An interesting ritual is the looting of Kheer (Milk Pudding) which is cooked in two large cauldrons called Degs and distributed to the devotees as tabarruk (blessed food).

History and Legend of Urs at Ajmer Sharif in Rajasthan, India

The lakeside city of Ajmer is located in central Rajasthan in India, and is held in great reverence by devotees of all communities who call it 'Ajmer Sharif' (Holy Ajmer). It is here that the mortal remains of the highly respected Sufi saint Khwaja Moin-ud-din Chishti lie buried.

The Khwaja came from Persia and established the Chishtia order of fakirs in India. He is popularly known as Gharib Nawaz (protector of the poor) because he dedicated his entire life to the service of mankind. His spartan life spanned almost a hundred years and he embraced death in solitude while he had withdrawn to his cell for six days, asking not to be disturbed.

The Dargah Sharif in Ajmer of Rajasthan is the place where the Saint's mortal remains lie buried and is the site of the largest Muslim fair in India. More than five lakh devotees belonging to different communities gather from all parts of the subcontinent to pay homage to the Khwaja on his Urs (death anniversary) during the first six days of Rajab (seventh month of the Islamic calendar.)

Rituals of Urs at Ajmer Sharif in Rajasthan, India

The pilgrims who come to seek the blessings of the Khwaja make rich offerings called nazrana at the holy spot where the saint has been entombed. The offerings of rose and jasmine flowers, sandalwood paste, perfumes and incense contribute to the fragrance that floats in the air inside the shrine. Also offered by devotees are the chadar, ghilaph and neema, which are votive offerings for the tomb.

These are brought by devotees on their heads and handed over to the khadims inside the sanctum sanctorum. Outside the sanctum sanctorum of the dargah, professional singers called qawwals in groups and sing the praises of the saint in a characteristic high pitched voice. People gather around them and listen attentively, sometimes clapping to the rhythm of their instruments.

URS FESTIVAL AT AJMER SHARIF IN RAJASTHAN, INDIA

The Urs festival at Ajmer Shariff is initiated with the hoisting of a white flag on the dargah by the Sajjada Nashin (successor representative) of Chishtis. It is done on the 25th of Jamadi-ul-Akhir (sixth lunar month), with the accompaniment of music. On the last day of the sixth month, the Jannati-Darwaza (gateway of heaven) is flung open early in the morning. People cross this gate seven times with the belief that they will be assured a place in heaven. On the 1st of Rajab, the tomb is washed with rose water and sandalwood paste and anointed with perfumes. This ritual is called ghusal. The tomb is then covered with an embroidered silk cloth by the Sajjada Nashin.

An interesting ritual is the looting of kheer (milk-pudding) which is cooked in two large cauldrons called degs which were donated by Emperor Akbar and distributed to the devotees as tabarruk (blessed food). On the 6th of Rajab, after the usual mehfil and the sound of cracker-bursts accompanied by music, the Sajjada Nashin performs the ghusal of the tomb. Fatiha and Salamti are read. A poetic recitation called mushaira is arranged in which poets of all communities arrive to recite compositions dedicated to the Khwaja. The Qul (end-all) on the 6th of Rajab marks the end of the Urs.

At night, religious assemblies called mehfils are held in the mehfil-khana, a large hall meant for this purpose. These are presided over by the Sajjada Nashin of the dargah. Qawwalis are sung and the hall is packed to capacity. There are separate places reserved for women who attend the mehfil. The mehfil terminates late in the night with a mass prayer for the eternal peace of the Khwaja in particular and mankind in general.

Other Attractions of Ajmer in Rajasthan, India

Ajmer of Rajasthan is famous for Adhai - din - ka - jhonpra, Akbar Palace of Rajasthan, Nasiyan Temple and many more like Anna Sagar which is the artificial lake was created in the 12th century by damming the River Luni. Daulat Bagh, on the banks of the river contains a series of marble pavilions erected in 1673 by Shahjahan. There are fine views from the hillside beside the Daulat Bagh. At Ana Sagar jetty and paddleboats can be hired. The lake tends to dry up if the monsoon is poor, so the city's water supply is taken from Foy Sagar, 3 km farther up the valley.

Location and Transport of the Ajmer Sharif in Rajasthan, India

The Dargah of Ajmer Shariff is located at the conjunction of three bazaars. There are a number of restaurants around the Dargah where visitors can choose from a variety of dishes most of which are non-vegetarian preparations. Guest houses on the road leading to the Dargah offer accommodation that ranges from economical to luxurious. Many other guest houses are strewn across the city. The shops in the market around the Dargah sell flowers, prayer mats, rosaries, textiles, and general merchandise as well.

URS FESTIVAL AT AJMER SHARIF IN RAJASTHAN, INDIA

Ajmer is 132 km south-west of Jaipur and 198 km east of Jodhpur.
Ajmer By Road
A good national and state highway network links Ajmer of Rajasthan to other parts of Rajasthan and many important cities in India. Hired transport is easily available, be it cars, jeeps, minibuses or Suv’s and almost all come with experienced drivers. State and interstate roadways buses, RTDC conducted tours and coaches connect Ajmer to most important cities in the region, including Ahmedabad, Jaipur of Rajasthan, Udaipur of Rajasthan, Jodhpur of Rajasthan, Bikaner of Rajasthan, Mt. Abu of Rajasthan, Jaisalmer of Rajasthan, Mumbai and Delhi. During the Urs of Ajmer Sharif, special buses ply from cities all over India carrying people to Ajmer of Rajasthan and back.

Ajmer By Air
Although Ajmer of Rajasthan does not have an airport of its own, there is an airport at Jaipur of Rajasthan (130 km away), from where regular buses and taxis come to Ajmer of Rajasthan. Indian airlines, Jet airways and other airlines have regular service to Jaipur of Rajasthan. All the major cities are connected to Jaipur of Rajasthan by air.

Ajmer By Rail
Ajmer of Rajasthan is a railway junction on the Delhi-Ahmedabad section of the Western Railway. Ajmer of Rajasthan is very well linked by train; there are frequent (in many cases daily) trains to and from the city to other destinations in India, including Delhi, Mumbai and Jaipur of Rajasthan. Delhi is connected to Ajmer of Rajasthan by the fast Shatabdi Express, easily the quickest and most comfortable way of getting to Ajmer. Shatabdi connects Ajmer to Delhi. Shatabdi is fully air conditioned train starts from Delhi (5.55 AM) to Jaipur of Rajasthan (10.35 AM).  

Local Transport of Ajmer
Within the city, rented cars, local buses, auto-rickshaws and cycle rickshaws are the means of transport available.

 

Travel to Rajasthan, a majestic state of Indian Tourism and explore the famous tourist destinations embellished with beautiful havelis in Rajasthan, sand dunes in Rajasthan, wildlife in Rajasthan, temples in Rajasthan, fort and palaces in Rajasthan. Rajasthan tourism and travel destinations offer not only sightseeing of forts and palaces in Rajasthan but also colorful and vibrant fairs and festivals of Rajasthan tourism. Jaipur in Rajasthan, Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, Udaipur in Rajasthan, Ajmer in Rajasthan and many other tourist destinations of Rajasthan in India will take your breath away.

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