Places of Interest :
Ajmer - Pushkar - Merta - Nagaur
Adhai Din Ka Jhopra, Ajmer Rajasthan Travel CircuitsLocated in the heart of Rajasthan, Ajmer is a small town with a very interesting past. Raja Ajai Pal Chauhan founded it in the 7th century A.D.. When you visit Ajmer today, it is difficult to imagine that this small city was at one time the seat of power of the Chauhan dynasty. It was from Ajmer that the last Hindu ruler of Delhi, Prithviraj Chauhan, controlled a major part of northern India. The legendary Prithviraj lived here and became a force to reckon with.
His exploits are related with great wonder and sometimes disbelief. Few rulers of that time could match the charisma and heroism of this dynamic ruler. The Chauhans dominated Ajmer for many years and it was only toward the end of the 12th century that Prithviraj was killed in battle with Muhammad Ghori. That changed the history of this region totally.
The importance of Ajmer diminished with the death of its most valiant ruler and Ajmer passed under the Delhi Sultanate. From hen on, Ajmer saw many upheavals until Emperor Akbar came to the throne in 1556 and gave Ajmer the status of a full-fledged province. He also used Ajmer as a base for his operations in Rajputana. But Ajmer saw some more turbulence when the Mughals, the Marathas and the British all tried to interfere in the affairs of this province.
However, from 1818 AD onwards, the British Empire gained full control here and it remained so until India's independence. The British left behind a legacy that still lives in the excellent educational institution, the colonial bungalows, the club and the old railway quarters.
Places to Visit
Ajmer Sharif, Ajmer Rajasthan Travel CircuitsToday, Ajmer is more important as the final resting-place of the great Sufi saint- Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti. Muslims from all over the world revere the Dargah Sharif, where the saint lies buried. This has been so for centuries now. Even Akbar walked to the Dargah all the way from Agara. Every year, during the Urs, lakhs of Muslim devotees gather here to pay homage to the Garib Nawaz, the protector of the poor. If you want to see an altogether different side of this sleepy little town then make sure you're here during the annual urs.
This town where very little activity seems to be going on, on normal days, suddenly turns into a bustling, lively place. While you're around the dargah, don't miss seeing the beautiful Adhaidin-ka- Jonpra with its ornate calligraphic inscriptions. There are other areas of interest like the Taragarh Fort and the Ana Sagar lake with its marble pavillions.
Just as the Muslim revere the Dargah here, the Hindus accord the same sanctity to the holy town of Pushkar. Located jus 11 kms from Ajmer, the holy lake of Pushkar is believed to have been created by Lord Brahma himself. It is as important as Benaras of Puri.
Devout Hindus believe that it is essential to visit Pushkar at least once in their lifetime. No pilgrimage is considered complete without a dip in the holy Pushkar lake. Pushkar has as many as 400 temples and 52 Ghats and the only temple in the country that is dedicated to Brahma is to be found here.
While Pushkar is a haven for the religiously inclined, it is also the venue of the one of the country's most colorful cattle fairs- the Pushkar Fair. This annual fair is an unforgettable event when the entire little town is taken over by lakhs of animals and visitors. This is certainly the right time to be in Pushkar. Just relax and let yourself go, you'll be carried away by the heady exuberance that is so much a part of the mela. Ride camels, shop at the colorful market, watch the sunset over the sand dunes, admire the beautiful clothes of the pilgrims, you can even try wearing the gorgeous odhmis and turbans.
Pushkar Lake, Pushkar Rajasthan Travel CircuitsDo what you will; Pushkar Fair is a once in a lifetime experience that you will want to repeat. The little 16th century town of Merta has much to offer by way of historicity. Drive around this fortified town and see some of the ruins that go back several centuries. The famous temple of Charbhuja is located in the center of the town and is visited by devotees throughout the year. The saint poetess Meera Bai was also associated with this temple.
Another famous shrine is the mosque erected by Emperor Aurangzeb on the ruins of a Shiva temple. It is an imposing edifice, as are the various Hindu shrines surrounding it. A lake named after the founder Rao Duda, and called Dudasagar, still survives.
Merta is not your usual run of the mill tourist destination, it is a quiet town that is to be visited more for its unspoilt small town charm than for the conventional tourist attractions of bigger cities. Nagaur, on the other hand, is a small town but with numerous fascinating monuments.
The Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan granted this town to Raja Amar Singh and the focal point here is the fort itself. Now painstakingly restored, the for t has some splendid palaces, temples, and palatial mansions, some of which have been built by Akbar and Shah Jahan. The beautiful Moti Mahal, Badal Mahal, and Hawa Mahal are superb architectural creations. The walls of the baradari are adorned with some exquisite frescoes, which are a combination of Persian and Nagaur styles. Some more splendid murals can be seen on the walls of the main temples here.
These paintings depict various episodes from the Ramayan and the Mahabharata. Nagaur is also the venue of an annual cattle fair that draws people from distant places and it is a good idea to combine one's trip to nagaur with the fair. Though not as well attended as the Pushkar fair, it is still interesting to join the simple village folk, dressed in their best, as they buy and sell and seem out to enjoy themselves.
Take part in the folk dances, listen to music or just sit back and watch the camel races and the bullfights. You can pick up marble mementoes, miniature paintings and traditional textiles from this region.