THE AJMER SHARIF DARGAH
This is a Sufi shrine which encloses the ‘maqbara’ (grave) of Garib Nawaz, the Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti. Built in the 13th century, the shrine is popular among people of all faiths who flock here to have their prayers answered. The shrine has three gates – the main gate or the Nizam gate, the Shah Jahan gate erected by the Mughal Emperor and the Buland Darwaza.
ADHAI DIN KA JHONPDA
The Adhai Din Ka Jhonpda was originally built to function as a Sanskrit college but was later converted into a mosque by Sultan Ghori in 1198 AD. An impressive blend of Indo-Islamic architecture, the structure was further beautified by Sultan Iltutmish in 1213 AD. Legend has it that the mosque is known as Adhai din ka Jhonpda (literally meaning, The Hut of Two and a Half Days) because of a two and half day fair held here during Urs in the 18th century.
Mayo College is one of India’s oldest independent boarding schools. Founded in 1875, and named after Richard Bourke, the 6th Earl of Mayo, Mayo College was set up to provide the scions of India’s princely states with an education similar to that provided by the Eton College in Britain. John Lockwood Kipling, father of Nobel Laureate, Rudyard Kipling, as principal of Mayo College, furnished the design of the Coat of Arms which shows a Rajput and a Bhil warrior. The college building is one of the finest extant examples of Indo-Saracenic style of architecture.
Anasagar Lake is a scenic artificial lake, commissioned and built by Arnoraj Chauhan, son of Ajaypal Chauhan, between 1135 and 1150 AD. Arnoraj was also known as Anaji, which gives the lake its name. Many years later, Mughal Emperor Jahangir added his touch to the lake by laying out the Daulat Bagh Gardens near the lake. Emperor Shah Jahan too, contributed to the expansion by building five pavilions, known as the Baradari, between the garden and the lake.
SONIJI KI NASIYAN
Soniji ki Nasiyan, also known as the Ajmer Jain Temple, is a wonderful example of ornate architecture, and is dedicated to Risabh or Adinath. Its entrance is made of red stone and the marble staircase inside is engraved with images of the holy Tirthankars – omniscient teachers of Jain faith who taught righteousness. Constructed in the late 19th century, this temple is counted among the richest temples in India. Its main chamber, Swarna Nagari (City of Gold), is aptly named so because of the several gold-plated wooden figures it houses within its walls. This famous architectural marvel finds a mention in Kurt Titze's book, ‘Jainism: A Pictorial Guide to the Religion of Non-Violence.’
LAKE FOY SAGAR
A beautiful artificial lake that appears flat, Lake Foy Sagar was built by an English engineer, Mr. Foy in 1892 AD. Interestingly, this work was taken up to provide famine relief through wage employment to locals. Lake Foy Sagar offers a beautiful view of the Aravalli range.
NARELI JAIN TEMPLE
The Nareli Jain Temple in Ajmer, also known as the Shri Gyandoaya Tirth Kshetra, is situated on the outskirts of Ajmer on the national highway to Jaipur. This modern edifice is celebrated for being a perfect blend of traditional and contemporary architectural styles. It consists of 24 miniature temples in its vicinity. Known as Jainalay, they represent the Jain Thirthankars. The Nareli Jain Temple is an important point of pilgrimage for Digambara Jains.
SAI BABA TEMPLE
Spread over an area of over five bheegas (or over two acres) at Ajay Nagar, the Sai Baba Temple in Ajmer was constructed by Suresh K Lal, a resident of the Garib Nawaz City in 1999. It’s one of the most recent pieces of architecture and is very popular among all Sai Baba devotees. The temple is built with the purest form of marble that possesses the unique quality of a translucent stone, allowing light to pass through it. Every Sai Baba disciple should definitely visit this shrine once in their lifetime.
AJMER GOVERNMENT MUSEUM
The Ajmer Government Museum serves as one of the prime tourist destinations in Ajmer. The museum is housed within the magnificent fortified palace of the legendary Mughal Emperor Akbar, which was built in 1570. The museum is also known as Bharatpur Museum and is home to a rich collection of archaeological artefacts. Along with stone sculptures, inscriptions and armours, it features the finest paintings of the previous Maharajas of Bharatpur.
GATEWAY OF TARAGARH FORT
Gateway of Taragarh Fort is the imposing main gate of Taragarh fort which is built on a crest of a hill. The main gateway of the Taragarh, which consists of two colossal bastions on both sides with strong guard rooms, has sculptures of elephants adorning it. The main highlights of this once magnificent fort are its water reservoirs and the Bhim Burj, on which the canon called Garbh Gunjam (Thunder from the Womb) was mounted. There is also the magnificent Rani Mahal with its stained windows and murals, which used to house the wives of the rulers. All this makes the Taragarh Fort a nonpareil example of Rajaputana architecture that’s also a major attraction for tourists visiting Ajmer. Fort is also known for Dargah of Hazrat Miran Sayyed Husain Khangswar(Miran Sahib) .
Kishangarh Fort is a beautiful fort located in Kishangarh, Rajasthan. On visiting the fort, one will see jails, granaries, armouries and other significant buildings present inside of it. The Durbar Hall is its biggest structure, and was the place where the kings carried out their official meetings on a daily basis. And when it comes to the most attractive place inside the fort, it has got to be Phool Mahal which showcases the splendour of the kings from the Rathore clan in a glorious manner, with gorgeous murals and frescos adorning its walls. Alongside the fort, a few lakes like Gundu lav talab & Hamir Sagar are located which serve as a great picnic spot. If you want to revisit history, Kishangarh Fort is a place you ought to visit when in Rajasthan. Near by Kishangarh one can also see Nimbark Peeth & Chor Baori -Salemabad(20Km.), Roopangarh(25Km.), Ruins of Karkeri fort and Cenotaphs of Shri Jawan Singh-Karkeri (30Km. via Salemabad), Group of old Makbaras-Tukda(7 Km.), Tilonia (20 Km.) ,Pitambar Ki Gaal-Silora (7 Km.) & Ruins of old Palace or Sarai- Chatari.
PRAGYA SHIKHAR TODGARH
Built by the Jain community in 2005 in the memory of Jain Acharya Tulsi, Pragya Shikhar is a temple made completely out of black granite. It is located in Todgarh, which is a scenic village set in the Aravalis. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam inaugurated it, and it was erected by an NGO. Pragya Shikhar is a serene place which one should definitely visit to revel in the peaceful environment of the temple. Other places to see in Todgarh & around are Old C.N.I. Church, Katar Ghati, Dudhaleshwar Mahadev, Bheel beri,& Raoli-Todgarh wild life Sanctuary.
VICTORIA CLOCK TOWER
Ajmer is a city that has seen major influence from the British in its past. The British left their legacy in many forms in Ajmer, some of which are in the form of educational institutions and architectural buildings in the city. While a couple of these buildings are located in the heart of Ajmer, one that immediately catches the eye of the visitor is the Victoria Jubilee Clock Tower. Located just opposite the railway station in Ajmer, the monument is an imposing clock tower that was built back in 1887. It is particularly well-known for its architectural beauty, and is quite an impressive example of British architecture, reminding onlookers of a smaller version of the famous Big Ben.
PRITHVI RAJ SMARAK
Prithvi Raj Smarak is a memorial made in the honour of the brave Rajput chief, Prithvi Raj Chauhan III. Regarded as the epitome of devotion and courage, he was the last ruler of the Chauhan lineage and was enthroned to rule over the twin capitals of the Ajmer and Delhi, in 12 th century. The memorial exhibits the statue of Prithvi Raj III seated on his horse, made in black stone. The horse has one of its front hooves up in the air, as if charging forward. The memorial stands atop a hill, surrounded by the Aravalli range, giving visitors a panoramic view of the city of Ajmer. The memorial also has a garden adjacent to it, wherein tourists can sit and relax.
The white marble pavilions present on the south eastern embankment of the beautiful Ana Sagar Lake in Ajmer are called as Anasagar Baradari. It is a Mughal structure that’s wrapped around water bodies in a garden-like setting. These pavilions boast of a rich history; these were a section of a pleasure garden named Daulat Bagh that was set up by Shah Jahan and Jehangir. During British rule, these five pavilions doubled up as offices. Today, you can see them restored as bona fide pavilions, along with ‘hamam’, the royal bath which is also present at the same place. Anasagar Baradari is a serene place - just sitting by the pavilions and admiring the surroundings makes your heart feel at peace. This place is a must-visit for the calmness and rich history that the place has to offer.
SHAHID SMARAK, AJMER
Paying reverence to the mighty and brave has been a practice that’s ingrained into the very soul of Rajasthan, and the same can be observed in the city of Ajmer too. Walking around the city, you are likely to come around structures and memorials, which offer homage to great warriors and martyrs, born in the princely state. One such structure established in commemoration of the sacrifices of brave souls is the Shahid Smarak in Ajmer. Located right in front of the railway station, this memorial stands in plain sight and is quite easy to reach. Local authorities and townsfolk gather around the Shahid Smarak on numerous occasions to pay tribute to the martyrs. Decorated with colourful lights and fountains, the memorial makes for a beautiful sight to behold.