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Ajmer

[uhj-meer]
''This article is about a city in central Rajasthan, for the historical region, see Ajmer region. Ajmer (अजमेर /ədʒmeːr/) is a city in Ajmer District in India's Rajasthan state. Ajmer is a very beautiful city since it is surrounded by the mountain by all sides. You can run your eyes through 360 degrees and you will find the spectacular Aravali Mountains. Ajmer, also known as Ajaymeru, was the city which was ruled by Prithviraj Chauhan. Its population was approximately 500,000 in 2001. The city gives its name to a district, and also to a former province of British India called Ajmer-Merwara, which, after India's independence, became the state of Ajmer until November 1, 1956, when it was merged into Rajasthan state.

Geography

It is situated in 26° 27, N. lat. and 74° 44, E. long., on the lower slopes of Taragarh hill, in the Aravalli Range. It is situated almost in the heart of the state of Rajasthan. To the north of the city is a large artificial lake, called Anasagar, adorned with a marble structure called Baradari. Ajmer is an ancient crowded city with modern developments in the outskirts.

Transport

Ajmer is at an important railway junction with Broad gauge lines to Jaipur and Marwar,Ahmedabad and Mumbai onwards to Banglore and a Metre gauge line subject to conversion under Project Unigauge to Udaipur. The railway complex includes a major workshop. The railway has helped the city as a trade center for manufactured goods including wool textiles, hosiery, shoes, soap, and pharmaceuticals.Poultary Farming is a major source of income for the urban farmers.The near by town of Kishangarh is one of the biggest seller market for marble and marble products.Ajmer is well connected with the national highway.and only 135 km from the Swai Mansingh international airport at Jaipur.

History

Ajmer (Ajaya-meru in Sanskrit) was founded in the late seventh century by Dushyant Chauhan. He established the Chauhan dynasty which continued to rule the country while repeated waves of Turkish invasion swept across India. Ajmer was conquered by Muhammad of Ghor, founder of the Delhi Sultanate, in 1193. Its internal government, however, was handed over to the Chauhan rulers upon the payment of a heavy tribute to the conquerors. Ajmer then remained feudatory to Delhi until 1365, when it was captured by the ruler of Mewar. In 1509 Ajmer became a source of contention between the maharajas of Mewar and Marwar, and was ultimately conquered by the Marwar ruler in 1532. Ajmer was conquered by the Mughal emperor Akbar in 1559. It continued to be in the hands of the Mughals, with occasional revolts, till 1770, until it ceded to the Marathas. From that time up to 1818 Ajmer was the scene of an ongoing struggle, being seized at different times by the Mewar and the Marwar maharajas, from whom it was often retaken by the Marathas. In 1818 the Marathas sold Ajmer to the East India Company for 50,000 rupees. Since then Ajmer has enjoyed stable governance even though during the 1857 War of Independence, some Indian sepoys at the garission in the nearby town of Nasirabad joined the revolt. In the British Raj, Ajmer was governed by an Agent to the Governor General [AGG] overseeing Rajputana. After independence in 1947, Ajmer retained its position as a centrally administrated state under a Chief Commissioner for some time. Ajmer was eventually merged with the State of Rasjasthan.

Places of interest

The chief objects of interest are Pushkar, and the Dargah, tomb of the most revered Muslim sufi saint Moinuddin Chishti, the Gharib Nawaz.

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.

Education

Ajmer is also home to Mayo college, founded by the British Raj in 1870 to educate the children of Rajputana's nobles on the lines of an English public school. Ajmer is also home to the prestigious Sophia Girls' School and Sophia College, and the historic Ajmer Music College, founded in 1942, the first accredited institution in Rajputana for teaching classical Hindustani music.

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.

Demographics

As of 2001 India census, Ajmer had a population of 485,197. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%. Ajmer has an average literacy rate of 74%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with 56% of the males and 44% of females literate. 12% of the population is under 6 years of age.

See also

References

General

External links

visit to.www.chishtyajmersharif.com for more details dargah sharif ajmer

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