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Ajmer Urs, Ajmer

Introduction of Ajmer Urs

URS FESTIVAL AT AJMER SHARIF IN RAJASTHAN, INDIA
Ajmer of Rajasthan in India is recognized as a holy place for both Hindus and Muslims. Ajmer has the tomb of the Sufi saint, Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, whose blessings are excitedly required by pilgrims to his Dargah known as the ĎDargah Sharif. The saintís marble domed tomb is Indiaís most important shrine for Muslims and receives an endless flow of visitors of all religions as the sick, the troubled and the childless come here seeking a boon, a blessing or just peace of mind. Legend has it that the Mughal emperor, Akbar came here to the saint in the 16th century in seek of a help for a successor and the saint obliged.

The Urs festival or annual pilgrimage of the religious is celebrated each May at the Dargah with millions of pilgrims arriving in Ajmer to pay respect. The Urs festival, a memorial celebration is held in the solemn memory of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, a brightly respected sufi saint fondly respected as the supporter of the poor, popularly known as Gareeb Nawaz. The Khwaja left for lovely dwelling in 1256 AD after a six day prayer in privacy. These six days are celebrated every year as the annual Urs, which is attended by countless pilgrims irrespective of their faith. The shrine is well thought-out to be a place of wish fulfillment for those who pray with devoted and pure hearts. Lengthy queues of numerous kilometers bend their way past the tomb at the shrine. Within the dargah lies a mosque, constructed by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Like all of Shah Jahanís buildings, the mosque too, is an architectural miracle - a wonderful building in white marble with a long and narrow courtyard for the faithful to pray in, richly embellished with elaborate calligraphic inscriptions, weak carvings and detailed trelliswork.

Chadar; Ghilaph & Neema which are votive contributions for the tomb are offered by numerous hundred thousand devotees. Mehfils & Qawwalis are held and mass prayer calls for the everlasting peace of the mankind. An exciting ceremony is the looting of Kheer (Milk Pudding) which is cooked in two big cauldrons called Degs and distributed to the devotees as tabarruk (blessed food).
 

Rituals of Urs at Ajmer Sharif in Rajasthan, India

The pilgrims who come to look for the blessings of the Khwaja make some offerings called nazrana at the holy spot where the saint has been entombed. The gifts of perfumes and incense, sandalwood paste, rose and jasmine flowers, contribute to the fragrance that floats in the air inside the shrine.Chadar, Ghilaph and neema are also offered by devotees which are votive contributions for the tomb.

These all things are handed over to the khadims inside the holy place sanctorum and these things are brought by devotees on their heads. Specialized singers called Qawwalis in groups and sing the praises of the saint in a typical high pitched voice at Outside of the holy place sanctorum of the dargah,. People pay attention carefully and assemble around them and, sometimes clapping to the tempo of their instruments.

The Urs festival at Ajmer Shariff is initiated with the hoisting of a white flag on the dargah by the Sajjada Nashin (successor representative) of Chistis. It is done on the 25th of Jamadi-ul-Akhir (sixth lunar month), with the addition of music. The Jannati-Darwaza (gateway of heaven) is flung open early in the morning on the last day of the sixth month,. People cross this gate seven times with the faith that they will secure a position in heaven. The tomb is cleaned with rose water and sandalwood paste and anointed with perfumes On the 1st of Rajab,. This ritual is called ghusal. The tomb is then enclosed with an embroidered silk cloth by the Sajjada Nashin.

The looting of kheer (milk-pudding) which is cooked in two huge vessels called degs is an exciting ritual which were donated by Emperor Akbar and distributed to the devotees as tabarruk (blessed food). On the 6th of Rajab. The Sajjada Nashin performs the ghusal of the tomb after the normal mehfil and the noise of cracker-bursts accompanied by music. Fatiha and Salamti are read. A poetic narration called mushaira is set in which poets of all communities get there to narrate compositions committed to the Khwaja. The Qul (end-all) on the 6th of Rajab marks the end of the Urs.

Religious assemblies called mehfils are held in the mehfil-khana at night, which is a big hall intended for this idea. Sajjada Nashin of the dargah conducts these. The hall is packed to capacity and the Qawwalis are sung. Separate places are reserved for the women who attend the mehfil. With a mass prayer for the endless peace of the Khwaja in particular and mankind in common the mehfil finishes late in the night.
 

History and Legend of Urs at Ajmer Sharif in Rajasthan, India

The Dargah Sharif in Ajmer of Rajasthan 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 diverse communities assemble from all parts of the subcontinent to pay homage to the Khwaja on his Urs (death anniversary) throughout the first six days of Rajab (seventh month of the Islamic calendar).

The lakeside city of Ajmer is positioned in central Rajasthan in India, and is held in great respect by devotees of all communities who name it 'Ajmer Sharif' (Holy Ajmer). It is here that the mortal remains of the highly appreciated Sufi saint Khwaja Moin-ud-din Chishti lie covered.

The Khwaja came from Persia and established the Chishtia order of fakirs in India. He is commonly recognized as Gharib Nawaz (protector of the poor) because he devoted his whole life to the service of mankind. His economical life covers about hundred years and he embraced death in emptiness while he had withdrawn to his cell for six days, asking not to be disturbed.
 

Other Attractions of Ajmer in Rajasthan, India

Ajmer of Rajasthan is well known for Adhai - din - ka - jhonpra, Akbar Palace of Rajasthan, Nasiyan Temple and several more like Anna Sagar.Anna Sagar is the artificial lake which was formed in the 12th century by damming the River Luni. Daulat Bagh, on the banks of the river contains a sequence of marble pavilions raised in 1673 by Shahjahan. Alongside the Daulat Bagh there are fine scenes from the hillside. Jetty and paddleboats can be hired At Ana Sagar. The lake opts to dry up if the monsoon is poor, so the city's water supply is taken from Foy Sagar, 3 km farther up the valley.
 

Location and Transport of the Ajmer Sharif in Rajasthan, India

The Dargah of Ajmer Shariff is positioned at the conjunction of three bazaars. There are lots of restaurants around the Dargah where visitors can select from a variety of dishes most of the dishes are non-vegetarian. Guest houses on the road leading to the Dargah offer accommodation that ranges from economical to luxurious. Several other guest houses are spread across the city. The shops in the market in the region of the Dargah sell flowers, prayer mats, rosaries, textiles, and also general merchandise.

Ajmer is 132 km south-west of Jaipur and 198 km east of Jodhpur.

Ajmer By Rail
Ajmer of Rajasthan is a railway junction on the Delhi-Ahmedabad section of the Western Railway. Ajmer of Rajasthan is very well connected by train; there are frequent (in many cases daily) trains to and from the city to other destinations in India, including Delhi, Mumbai and Jaipur of Rajasthan. Delhi is linked to Ajmer of Rajasthan by the fast Shatabdi Express, easily the quickest and most relaxed way of getting to Ajmer. Shatabdi connects Ajmer to Delhi. Shatabdi is completely air conditioned train starts from Delhi (5.55 AM) to Jaipur of Rajasthan (10.35 AM).

Ajmer By Road
A good national and state highway network connects Ajmer of Rajasthan to further parts of Rajasthan and a lot of significant cities in India. Hired transport is simply available, be it cars, jeeps, minibuses or SUV's and almost all come with qualified drivers. State and interstate roadways buses, RTDC conducted tours and coaches link Ajmer to most vital cities in the region, together with Ahmedabad, Jaipur of Rajasthan, Udaipur of Rajasthan, Jodhpur of Rajasthan, Bikaner of Rajasthan, Mt. Abu of Rajasthan, Jaisalmer of Rajasthan, Mumbai and Delhi. During the Urs of Ajmer Sharif, particular buses ply from cities all over India carrying people to Ajmer of Rajasthan and back.

Ajmer By Air

Although Ajmer of Rajasthan does not have an airport of its own, there is an airport at Jaipur of Rajasthan (130 km away), from where habitual buses and taxis come to Ajmer of Rajasthan. Indian airlines, Jet airways and other airlines have usual service to Jaipur of Rajasthan. All the most important cities are connected to Jaipur of Rajasthan by air.

Local Transport of Ajmer

Within the city, rented cars, local buses, auto-rickshaws and cycle rickshaws are the means of transport are available.
 

                               Khwaja Garib Nawaz                            Khwaja Garib-e-Nawaz
                             Adhai Din Ka Jhopra                            Ajmer Urs Celebration
 

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