Pushkar is a town in the state of Rajasthan in India near Ajmer, about 23 Kilometers away, and is an important tourist destination. Pushkar is famous for Pushkar Lake and the 14th century Hindu temple to Brahma, God as the Creator of all creation. This is the only temple of Brahma in the world. Pushkar is also famous for its annual Camel Fair.
The Dargah Shareef of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti is situated at the foot of the Taragarh hill, and consists of several white marble buildings arranged around two courtyards, including a massive gate donated by the Nizam of Hyderabad, a mosque donated by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, the Akbari Masjid, and the domed tomb of the saint. To this place Emperor Akbar, with his queen, performed pilgrimage on foot from Agra every year in observance of a vow he had made when praying for a son. The large pillars, erected at intervals of two miles (3 km) the whole way between Agra and Ajmer, marking the daily halting places of the royal pilgrim, are still extant.
Taragarh Fort, the fort of Ajmer, seat of the Chauhan rulers, is claimed to be the first hill fort of Asia, built at a time when the Aravalli mountain ranges were above the snowlines. This gives it the reputation of being one of the oldest hill forts of the world, and it is definitely the oldest among the hill forts in India.
The Adhai-din-ka-jhonpra, a Jain temple constructed in 1153 and converted into a mosque by Qutubuddin Aibak after 1193, is situated on the lower slope of the Taragarh hill. With the exception of that part used as a mosque, nearly the whole of the ancient temple has fallen into ruins, but the relics are not excelled in beauty of architecture and sculpture by any remains of Hindu art. Forty columns support the roof, but no two are alike, and great fertility of invention is manifested in the execution of the ornaments.
Magazine, the city's Museum, was once the residence of Prince Salim, son of Emperor Akbar, and presently houses a collection of the Mughal and Rajput armour and sculpture. This residence of Salim is significant from a historical point of view, because Salim as Emperor Jahangir read out the firman for trade to India to the British East India company from here, thus starting the chain of events that lead to India's colonisation by the British.
The summit of Taragarh hill, overhanging Ajmer, is crowned by a fort, the lofty thick battlements of which run along its brow and enclose the table-land. The walls are two miles (3 km) in circumference, and the fort can only be approached by steep and very roughly paved planes, commanded by the fort and the outworks, and by the hill to the west. On coming into the hands of the British Raj, the fort was dismantled by order of Lord William Bentinck, and was converted into a sanatorium for the troops stationed at the British cantonment town of Nasirabad.
Mayo College was established in 1875 by Lord Mayo, Viceroy of India. The architecture of the school buildings evoke the grandeur of erstwhile princely Rajasthan. The main building of the school, in white marble, is a classic example of Indo-Saracenic architecture, and the design now lies in the archives of the British Museum in London.
The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ajmer.
Other educational institutions which prominently shape the academic environment of Ajmer before India became independent are the Government College, Savitri Girls' School & College, D.A.V. College, Government High School, St. Mary's Convent Girls' School, King George Royal Indian Military School, St. Paul's School, St. Anslem's High School, Moinia Islamia High School, Oswal Jain High School, Husband Memorial High School, Govt. Central Girls' High School, Arya Putri Pathshala, and Saraswati Balika Vidyalaya. The Board of Education was, and still is, located in Ajmer.
Among the other accredited institutions currently in Ajmer are one of the four national NCERT Demonstration Schools, Maharishi Dayanand University, Ajmer Medical College, Government Engineering College, Maheshwari Public School and Ajmer Institute of Technology.
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