Located in the Ajmer district of Rajasthan, Dargah Ajmer or Khwaja Gharib Nawaz Dargah Ajmer is a Sufi shrine of Moinuddin Chisti, also known as Gharib Nawaz, which means ‘Friend of the Poor’. He is a very highly respected Sufi saint of the Muslim community, and the shrine is a significant pilgrimage for the Muslims housing the Maqbara (grave) of the saint. The holy shrine has a divine aura to it, and it is visited not only by the followers of the Muslim community but people from other religions as well and from around the world.
It is believed that Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti came to India from Persia and apart from spreading the teachings of Islam, he dedicated his life to helping and supporting the poor and the needy. It is in this place that the saint breathed his last breath and thus, it is his final resting place which was constructed by the Sultan Iltutmish. It is said by the people who have visited this shrine, that the ambiance inside the premises of the dargah is so divine and peaceful that one tends to forget about his worries of life and be at peace for that moment.
The Dargah complex is built around the tomb of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, which is made of marble and is covered with a canopy of gold and silver. The complex also includes other structures such as a library, mosque, and a large courtyard where visitors can sit and pray. Visitors are expected to follow certain traditions such as covering their heads and removing their shoes before entering the complex. The dargah remains especially crowded during the annual Urs festival, which marks the death anniversary of the Sufi saint and attracts thousands of devotees from all around.
Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti is believed to be the founder of Islam in India who spread the teachings of Islam in the country. He breathed his last breath here in 1236 AD and since then Islam followers believe that this place has immense divine powers. Moinuddin Chisti was born in 1141 CE in the city of Sistan, which is now in Iran. He was the direct descendant of Prophet Muhammad and was trained in the spiritual discipline of Sufism by several renowned Sufi masters of his time. He traveled extensively throughout the Islamic world and eventually settled in Ajmer. Where he established a Sufi order and spent the rest of his life spreading the message of love, peace, and harmony.
The Ajmer Sharif Dargah was built in the 13th century by Sultan Iltutmish of the Delhi Sultanate. The shrine was further expanded and embellished over the centuries by several rulers and nobles, including Mughal emperor Humayun and Akbar, who visited the shrine in the late 16th century and offered several gifts and endowments.
The Ajmer Sharif Dargah has been a center of Sufi spirituality and cultural exchange for centuries. Pilgrims visit the shrine from across the world to pay their respects, seek blessings, and participate in the various religious and cultural events held at the shrine. The dargah also serves as a symbol of harmony and brotherhood, as people of all religious backgrounds are welcome here and are treated with equal respect.
The Ajmer Sharif Dargah is a fine specimen of a blend of various architectural styles including Mughal, Rajput, and Persian, with its intricate carvings, arches, and domes. The white marble dome of Chisti’s shrine was built in 1532, the date which is inscribed in golden letters on the northern wall of the dargah. The complex has eight entrance gates but only three are in use. The chief entrance to the dargah is the Nizam Gate, the yellow structure with floral designs, which was constructed by the Nizam of Hyderabad in the early 20th century. It leads to a huge courtyard, which is surrounded by a series of buildings and structures, including the main shrine. Other gates include Shahjahani Gate, Madar Gate, and the Delhi Gate. The Jannati Darwaja is a silver door that is used only on rare occasions.
The main shrine has a stunning façade made of white marble and a dome. The tomb is covered by a canopy made of gold and silver, which is supported by four marble pillars. The interior of the shrine is decorated with intricate floral patterns, calligraphy, and inlaid work, creating a beautiful and serene atmosphere. The complex has a total of eight tombs besides that of Chisti, which belong to the members of his family. The dargah complex also includes a mosque that was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century. The mosque is built in Mughal style architecture and has intricately designed arches, domes, and carvings that make it appealing. The courtyard of the mosque is adorned with a stunning marble fountain and the walls are covered with beautiful calligraphy.
Overall, the Ajmer Sharif Dargah is a beautiful example of Islamic architecture and is considered one of the significant religious sites in India. Its blend of various architectural styles and intricate details makes it a must-visit site for anyone interested in the history, culture, and artistry of India.
Winters – 6am-9pm.
Summers – 5am-8:45pm.
Closed for Khidmat – 2:50pm-4pm, on Thursdays – 2:20pm-3:30pm.
The fort lies on a hill (that takes visitors an hour or so to climb) in Villupuram District, 160 kilometers from the state capital, Chennai, and is close to the Union Territory of Puducherry. Puducherry (or Pondicherry) is well connected to cities across India as well as other parts of the world. The city can be reached by air, rail, or road.
Ajmer Sharif Dargah can be visited all throughout the year but the best time to visit this holy place is in the first six days of the month of Rajab, when the famous Urs Fair is held. The dargah is decorated during this time and looks spectacular making it a visual treat for the eyes. But one should keep in mind that the crowd will be to its fullest during this time, so if you want to visit the shrine at peace, then any other time of the year would be ideal.
Ajmer Sharif Dargah is one of the holiest shrines of the Muslim community and also of Rajasthan. Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, a Persian Sufi saint, is enshrined in this place owing to his secular preaching.
Yes, there is no gender disparity or distinction over gender in Ajmer Sharif.
Apart from Chisti’s maqbara (grave), the Ajmer Sharif Dargah complex is known for eight entrance gates, out of which only three are in use.
Loose-fitted clothes that modestly cover your body must be worn while visiting Ajmer Sharif Dargah. Another important thing to keep in mind is to keep your head covered at all times when visiting the dargah.