130kms southwest of the Pink City is Rajasthan’s supreme centre of Islamic culture and heritage. Ajmer is a bustling city on the banks of the peaceful Ana Sagar Lake and surrounded by the rugged Aravalli Hills. The city has a number of fine examples of Indo-Islamic architecture and its crowning jewel is a shrine dedicated to the founder of the Chishtiya order— the main Sufi order prevalent in the country today.
Ajmer also speaks volumes of the religious diversity of Rajasthan with Pushkar, an important Hindu pilgrimage town, less than an hour away.
Ajmer has always been a strategic point from the time of the Turks right down to the British colonists. Founded in the 7th century, Ajaipal Chauhan commissioned a fort here and named the area Ajaimeru (Invincible Hill). As time went by, Ajmer became an important centre for the Mughals and it was here that Emperor Jahangir met Sir Thomas Roe that began India’s tryst with the British.
Today, Ajmer is seen as a Muslim pilgrimage city but it offers the curious traveller a peek into the multi-cultured existence of Rajasthan. Here’s a list of places to visit in Ajmer when you find yourself heading towards Destination Dargah.