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Fairs & Festivals

Urs Ajmer Sharif

Time - Set according to the lunar calendar
 

Held according to the lunar calendar, in memory of the saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, helper of the poor, Urs Ajmer Sharif - celebrated at Ajmer - is one of the biggest Muslim fairs in India. The six days that the saint is said to have gone into seclusion, to shed his mortal coil off and fee his soul, are dedicated to his memory and pilgrims converge here from within India and al over the world.

The lakeside city of Ajmer is located in central Rajasthan, 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 Chishti order 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 His spartan life spanned almost a hundred years and he embraced death in solitude while he had withdrawn to his cell for six days, asking not to be disturbed.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 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.)

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.

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.

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).

The Dargah 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.

Ajmer is 132 kms south-west of Jaipur and 198 kms east of Jodhpur. It is connected by road to Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Udaipur and Kota. Ajmer is a railway junction on the Delhi-Ahmedabad section of the Western Railway. During the Urs, special buses ply from cities all over India carrying people to Ajmer and back.  

Destinations : Jaipur  |  Jodhpur  |  Udaipur  |  Jaisalmer  |  Pushkar  |  Khajuraho  |  Delhi  |  Varanasi  |  Mathura  |  Agra  |  Allepy  |  Kovalam  |  Orchha  | 
India Tour Packages :
Golden Triangle Tour  |  Best of Rajasthan Tours  |  Best of Kerala  |  India Heritage & WildLife Tours  |  Rajasthan Heritage Tours  |  India Temple Tour  |  Golden Triangle With Rajasthan  |  Incredible India  | 
India Tiger Tour  |  Tiger Tour  |  South India Karnatka & Kerala  |  GoldenTriangle With Bharatpur  |  South India tour  |  Golden tringle with Udaipur  |  Golden tringle with Ranthambore  |  Golden Triangle Tour with Shekhawati  | 
Golden tringle with Pushkar  |  Golden tringle with Varanasi  |  Golden tringle with Mathura & Vrindavan  |  North India with Mumbai  |  Rajasthan fort and palace  |  Royal Rajasthan tour  |  Highlights North India  |  Classical North India tour  | 
Enchanting Rajasthan  |  Castles of Rajasthan  |  Classical North India tour  |  Rajasthan Forts And Palaces Tour  |  Taj Tour  |  Best of Rajasthan Tour  |  Classic Indian Heritage Tour  |  Colourful Heritage Tour of Rajasthan  | 
Classical North India with Nepal  |  Enchanting Rajasthan  |  North India with Mumbai  |  Romantic Rajasthan  |  Chardham Tour Yatraa  |  East India Temple Tour  |  On the Foot Steps of Lord Buddha  |  TEMPLE TOUR OF INDIA  | 
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Luxury Trains of India : Royal Rajasthan on Wheels  |  Deccan Odyssey  |  Palace on Wheels  | 
Fair & Festivals : PushkarFair  |  Holi – The festival of colours  |  Desert Festival  |  Camel Festival  |  Nagaur Fair  |  Elephant Festival  |  Gangaur  |  Mewar Festival  |  Urs Ajmer Sharif  |  Teej  |  Marwar Festival  | 
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