Ajmer

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Ajmer
अजमेर (Hindi)
Metropolitan City
Mayo College
Ajmer is located in Rajasthan
Ajmer
Coordinates: 26°27′N 74°38′E / 26.45°N 74.64°E / 26.45; 74.64Coordinates: 26°27′N 74°38′E / 26.45°N 74.64°E / 26.45; 74.64
CountryIndia
StateRajasthan
DistrictAjmer
Founded byRaja Ajaypal Chauhan
Government
 • BodyDistrict Headquarter
Elevation486 m (1,594 ft)
Population (2011 census)
 • Metropolitan City542,580
 • Metro2,661,720
Languages
 • OfficialHindi, English
 • RegionalHindi, Rajasthani
Time zoneIST (UTC+5:30)
PIN3050 xx
Telephone code+0145
Vehicle registrationRJ01
Nearest cityJaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur
Websitewww.ajmer.nic.in
 
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Ajmer
अजमेर (Hindi)
Metropolitan City
Mayo College
Ajmer is located in Rajasthan
Ajmer
Coordinates: 26°27′N 74°38′E / 26.45°N 74.64°E / 26.45; 74.64Coordinates: 26°27′N 74°38′E / 26.45°N 74.64°E / 26.45; 74.64
CountryIndia
StateRajasthan
DistrictAjmer
Founded byRaja Ajaypal Chauhan
Government
 • BodyDistrict Headquarter
Elevation486 m (1,594 ft)
Population (2011 census)
 • Metropolitan City542,580
 • Metro2,661,720
Languages
 • OfficialHindi, English
 • RegionalHindi, Rajasthani
Time zoneIST (UTC+5:30)
PIN3050 xx
Telephone code+0145
Vehicle registrationRJ01
Nearest cityJaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur
Websitewww.ajmer.nic.in

Ajmer (Rajasthani: अजमेर, Urdu: اجمير‎), (pronounced [ədʒmeːr] ( )) is the 5th largest city in Rajasthan and is the centre of the eponymous Ajmer District. Ajmer has a population of around 551,360 in its urban agglomeration and 542,580 for the city (2011 census), and is located 135 kilometres (84 mi) west of Jaipur, the state capital, 274 km from Udaipur, 439 km from Jaisalmer, and 391 km from Delhi.

Ajmer is surrounded by the Aravalli Mountains. It is a pilgrimage centre for the shrine of the Sufi Saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti and is also the base for visiting Pushkar (11 km), an ancient Hindu pilgrimage city, famous for the temple of Brahma.

History[edit]

Jahangir receives Prince Khurram at Ajmer on his return from the Mewar campaign

According to Rajputana Gazetteer, Ajmer was held by Chechi Gurjars until about 700 years ago. Ajmer (Sanskrit Ajayameru) was founded in the late 7th century A.D. by Ajayraj Singh Chauhan. Chauhan clan is a branch of Chechi Gurjars. The Chauhan dynasty ruled Ajmer in spite of repeated invasions by Turkic Muslim armies from Central Asia across the north of India. Ajmer was conquered by Muhammad of Ghor, founder of the Delhi Sultanate, in 1193. However, the Chauhan rulers were allowed autonomy upon the payment of a heavy tribute to the conquerors. Ajmer remained subject to Delhi until 1365 when it was captured by the ruler of Mewar. In 1509, control of Ajmer was disputed between the Maharajas of Mewar and Marwar unitil it was conquered by the Marwar in 1532. In 1553, the state was captured by the Hindu Emperor Hem Chandra Vikramaditya, popularly known as Hemu, who was killed in 1556 in the Second Battle of Panipat. The city was conquered by the Mughal emperor Akbar in 1559. In the 18th century, control passed to the Marathas.

In 1818 the British forced the Marathas to cede the city for 50,000 rupees whereupon it became part of the province of Ajmer-Marwar, which consisted of the districts of Ajmer and Merwara and were physically separated by the territory of the Rajputana Agency. Ajmer-Marwar was directly administered by the British Raj, by a commissioner who was subordinate to the Governor-General's agent for Rajputana. Ajmer-Marwar remained a province of India until 1950, when it became the Ajmer State.

Ajmer state became part of Rajasthan state on 1 November 1956.

Geography[edit]

Lake Anasagar against Taragarh Hill

Ajmer is surrounded by the Aravalli Mountains. The city is sied on the lower slopes of the Taragarh Hill in the Aravalli Range. It is situated almost in the centre of Rajasthan. To the north of the city is a large artificial lake, called Anasagar with a marble structure known as Baradari. Ajmer is protected from the Thar desert by the massive rocks of Nagpathar range.

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Ajmer
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Average high °C (°F)22.9
(73.2)
25.7
(78.3)
31.3
(88.3)
36.5
(97.7)
39.7
(103.5)
38.4
(101.1)
33.6
(92.5)
31.3
(88.3)
32.6
(90.7)
33.5
(92.3)
29.2
(84.6)
24.7
(76.5)
31.62
(88.92)
Average low °C (°F)7.6
(45.7)
10.5
(50.9)
16.0
(60.8)
22.2
(72)
26.8
(80.2)
27.5
(81.5)
25.6
(78.1)
24.4
(75.9)
23.7
(74.7)
18.8
(65.8)
12.3
(54.1)
8.4
(47.1)
18.65
(65.57)
Rainfall mm (inches)7.3
(0.287)
6.0
(0.236)
5.0
(0.197)
4.0
(0.157)
15.7
(0.618)
58.1
(2.287)
181.5
(7.146)
157.5
(6.201)
73.0
(2.874)
13.1
(0.516)
4.0
(0.157)
3.8
(0.15)
529
(20.826)
Source: IMD[1]

Ajmer has a hot semi-arid climate with over 55 centimetres (25.4 in) of rain every year but most of the rain occurs in the Monsoon months, between June and September. Temperatures remain relatively high throughout the year, with the summer months of April to early July having an average daily temperature of about 30°C (86°F). During the monsoon there are frequent heavy rains and thunderstorms but flooding is not a common occurrence. The winter months of November to February are mild and temperate with average temperatures ranging from 15–18°C (59–64°F) with little or no humidity. There are, however, occasional cold weather front that cause temperatures to fall to near freezing levels.

Transportation[edit]

Ajmer is well connected to the major cities of India by land and rail.

Air[edit]

Work on the Kishangarh Airport near Ajmer was inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in September 2013 and it is expected to commence operations in 2016.[2] At present the nearest airport is the Jaipur International Airport, about 132 km away, with daily flights to the major cities in India.

Rail[edit]

The Pushkar Ghati connecting Ajmer and Pushkar

Ajmer is at an important railway junction with Broad gauge lines to Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Ahmedabad, Indore, Delhi, Jammu, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and then onwards to Bangalore. Presently, the rail lines are without overhead Electric wires i.e. only Diesel engines can be run on them. Electrification of the railway lines is under progress, starting with Ajmer-Jaipur line.

Road[edit]

The city is located on the Golden Quadrilateral National Highway 8 (NH 8) midway between Delhi and Mumbai, about 400 km from Delhi and 135 km from Jaipur. The Ajmer - Jaipur expressway is a 6 lane highway. There are air-conditioned bus services to Ajmer from Delhi, Jaipur and other cities.

Intra-city transport[edit]

Buses and taxis are available for travel within the city and to nearby towns such as Pushkar and Kishangarh. Rickshaws are also available within the city.

Industry[edit]

Ajmer is a manufacturing trade centre. Notable products include cotton, woolen textiles, leather, hosiery, shoes, soap, and pharmaceuticals. Poultry is a major source of income for farmers. Ajmer also has engineering workshops, re-rolling mills, electronic component plants etc. The nearby town of Kishangarh is one of the largest centres for marble products, employing about 7,000 people.

Tourist sites[edit]

Inside Dargah Sharif
Baradari on Lake Anasagar

The Dargāh Sharīf of Khwāja Mu'īnuddīn Chishtī is situated at the foot of the Tārāgaṛh hill, and consists of several white marble buildings arranged around two courtyards, including a massive gate donated by the Nizām of Hyderabad and the Akbari Mosque, built by the Mughal emperor Shāh Jahān. It contains the domed tomb of the saint. Akbar and his queen used to come here by foot on pilgrimage from Agra every year in observance of a vow when he prayed for a son. The large pillars called "Kose ('Mile') Minar", erected at intervals of two miles (3 km) along the entire way between Agra and Ajmer mark the places where the royal pilgrims halted every day. It has been estimated that around 125,000 pilgrims visit the site every day.

Tārāgaṛh Fort, the fort guarding Ajmer, was the seat of the Chauhān rulers. It is reputed to be one of the oldest hill forts in India and the world. It was built by King Ajāypāl Chauhān on the summit of Tārāgaṛh Hill and overlooks Ajmer. The battlements run along the top of the hill. The walls are two miles (3 km) in circumference and the fort can only be approached by way of a very steep slope. When it fell to the British Raj, the fort was dismantled on the orders of Lord William Bentinck and was converted into a sanatorium for the British troops stationed at the garrison town of Nasirabad.

Adhāī Din Kā Jhonpdā, a Vaishnava Hindu temple built in 1153 and converted into a mosque by Quṭbuddīn Aybak in 1193, is situated on the lower slope of Tārāgarh hill. Aikbak's successor, Shams al-Din Iltutmish added to the mosque. It is noted for its double-depth calligraphy inscriptions, in the Naskh and Kufic scripts. Apart from the mosque, called Jāma' Iltutmish (pronounced Altamish locally), nearly the whole of the ancient temple has fallen into ruins, but the relics are still unsurpassed as examples of Hindu architecture and sculpture. Forty columns support the roof, but no two are alike and the ornaments are exceptional in their decorations.[3]

Magazine, the city's Museum, was once the residence of Prince Salīm, the son of the Emperor Akbar, and presently houses a collection of Mughal and Rajput armour and sculpture. This is the location from where Salīm, as the Emperor Jahāngīr read out the firman permitting the British East India Company to trade with India.

Lake Foysagar at sunset

Maqbara Shaikh Husain, houses the tomb of Khwaja Husain Chishty Rehamatullah Alaih (Shaikh Husain Ajmeri) who was the Peer of Ajmer Sharif Dargah in Emperor Akbar's Time, He was the great grandson of Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chishty Rehmatullah Alaih, his tomb was built in 1637-1638 by Khwaja Alauddin Chishty and Sajjadanashin Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin

Mayo College was founded in 1875 by Lord Mayo, Viceroy of India. The architecture of the school buildings is in the same style as royal Rajasthani architecture. The school's main building, in white marble, is a classic example of Indo-Saracenic architecture.[4]

Anāsāgar Lake, this historic man-made lake was built by Maharaja Anaji (1135-1150 AD). By the lake is the Daulat Bāgh, a garden laid out by Emperor Jahāngīr. Emperor Shāh Jahān later added five pavilions, known as the Baradari, between the garden and the lake.

Soniji Ki Nasiyan is an architecturally rich Digambara Jain temple. It was built in the late nineteenth century. The main chamber, known as the Swarna Nagari "City of Gold", has several gold-plated wooden figures, depicting several figures in the Jain religion.[5]

Lake Foy Sagar is situated in the outskirts of the city, it is a picturesque artificial lake that was created as a famine relief project in 1892. It offers panoramic views of the neighbouring Aravalli mountains as well as of the evening flights of nearby birds.

Nareli Jain Temple is a relatively new Jain temple. It is located on the outskirts of Ajmer.[6]

Located about 11 kilometres from Ajmer Pushkar is also an important tourist destination. It is famous for Pushkar Lake and the 14th century Brahma Temple at Pushkar, dedicated to Brahmā, according to the Padma Purāņa, Pushkar is the only place where Brahmā may be worshipped.[7] There is a general belief amongst Hindus that no pilgrimage to the four principal pilgrim centres (Char Dham) namely, Badrināth, Jagannāth, Rāmeshwaram and Dwarka, would be complete without a blessing that comes from bathing in the holy Pushkar Lake. Pushkar has 52 bathing ghats and many temples. Pushkar is also famous for its annual Pushkar Fair.

Ajmer, a view from Taragarh Fort

Education[edit]

Sophia School and College

Mayo College was founded by the British Raj in 1875 to educate the children of India's royalty. Ajmer is also home to the famous Sophia Girls' School (1918/1935) & College (1942), and the historic Ajmer Music College (1942), the first accredited institution in Rajasthan for teaching Hindustani classical music.

The Board of Secondary Education for Rajasthan is in Ajmer.

Demographics[edit]

According to the 2011 India census,[8] Ajmer district has a population of 2,584,913, which was made up of 1,325,911 males and 1,259,002 females. Ajmer district had an average literacy rate of 70.46 percent, male literacy being 83.93% and female literacy 56.42%. There was a total of 1,557,264 literates compared to 1,168,856 in the 2001 census. The population density in Ajmer district was 305 compared to 257 per km2 in 2001. The female to male ratio in Ajmer was 950/1000. This represents an increase of 2.04% from the 2001 census. Ajmer's population growth in the decade was 18.48%, this compares to a growth figure of 20.93% for the previous decade. The population of Ajmer city according census 2011 is 542,580 positioning Ajmer in top 100 major cities of India and 5th in Rajasthan.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Monthly mean maximum and minimum temperature and total rainfall of important cities (PDF)". Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  2. ^ "Focus on connecting small cities by air: Manmohan". The Hindu. 21 September 2013. Retrieved 2 October 2013. 
  3. ^ Arhai-din-ka Jhompra Mosque archnet.org.
  4. ^ Main Building Architecture: Official website of Mayo College, Ajmer, India
  5. ^ "Magazine | Jain Culture | Temples | India | Rajasthan ►Ajmer ►Soniji Ki Nasiyan". Herenow4u.net. Retrieved 2012-05-18. 
  6. ^ "Sight Seeing". Ajmer.nic.in. Retrieved 2012-05-19. 
  7. ^ News India Times, New York NY, USA, April 25, 2008.
  8. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 

External links[edit]