Ajmer city, in the state of Rajasthan, is best known for being near the sacred Hindu town of Pushkar. Ajmer itself is an important city to Muslims—it’s home to Sharif Dargah, a shrine to a Sufi saint—as well as Jains. While many visitors use it as a base for exploring Pushkar, it’s also a worthwhile destination.
Ajmer was founded in the 12th century and contains buildings and monuments that span its long history, including rule by Muslims, Hindus, and British. Among its attractions are ruins of 14th-century Taragarh Fort, the Sufi shrine of Ajmer Sharif Dargah, Ana Sagar Lake, several Jain temples, and Akbari Fort and Museum.
Most visitors to Ajmer either come to see the Islamic shrine or stop in Ajmer on the way to Pushkar. Many guided day tours include Ajmer and Pushkar, or they stop at Ajmer as part of a longer Rajasthan itinerary that includes towns such as Udaipur and Jaipur.
Things to Know Before You Go
- To see the views from the top of Taragarh Fort, you can hike or take a Jeep.
- The Akbari Fort and Museum was once the residence of the prince of Ajmer, and both the building and collection inside are worth a visit.
- Dress modestly. Women should cover their head with a light scarf and not expose legs, shoulders, or chests. Men should not wear shorts or sleeveless tops.
How to Get There
Ajmer is about 83 miles (135 kilometers) from Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. The city is connected to other parts of Rajasthan (and India) by road and rail. It’s about three hours from Jaipur via National Highway 48. Ajmer Junction Railway Station is the main station. Ajmer is eight miles (13 kilometers) from Pushkar and takes less than an hour to reach via National Highway 58.
When to Get There
Rajasthan has a desert climate, meaning it’s cool in winter and very hot for much of the year. In particular, know that desert conditions can exceed 100°F (38°C) from May through July. The Dargah Sharif of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti is visited by more than 100,000 people yearly and is crowded during Islamic holidays such as Ramadan.
Visit Nizamuddin Dargah in Delhi
Ajmer is famous for its Islamic dargahs, shrines to Sufi saints. Another famous Dargah in the Nizamuddin West area of Delhi is dedicated to saint Nizamuddin Auliya. The best time to visit the domed, white marble structure is on Thursday evenings when qawwali devotional songs are sung in the courtyard, an event that draws hundreds.