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Wonders of Rajasthan

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Urs Fair Ajmer

Ajmer Urs Fair Is Held At The Dargah Of Khwaja Moinudin Chisti. The Urs At Ajmer Attracts Large Number Of Visitors From The Islamic World As Well As People Of Other Faiths.

Location: Ajmer, The Dargah Of Moinudin Chisti

When: First six days of Rajab (seventh month of the Islamic calendar)

Attractions: Qawwalis (music in the praise of the saint) and Mushairaas (evenings of poetry recital)

Rajasthan - Ajmer - Urs Fair

Urs means a celebration in memorium. The Urs at Dargah Sharif at Ajmer is an annual ritual held in the memory of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti who lies buried there. Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti is a highly respected Sufi saint and is also called Gareeb Nawaz since he is considered a benefactor of the poor and the needy.

Importance of the Dargah

The Urs at the Dargah Sharif is the largest fair of the Islamic religion in India. The Dargah is venerated by people of all religions. It is a commonly held belief that the Saint grants wishes. People come to seek blessings or just peace of mind. According to legend, the Mughal emperor Akbar came here in the 16th century to request the saint for a boon for an heir and the saint obliged. Devotees offer Chadar, Ghilaph & Neema, votive offerings for the tomb.

The Dargah has beautiful architecture

Inside the Dargah is a mosque built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. A magnificent building in white marble, this mosque is an architectural marvel, like all other buildings constructed by Shah Jahan viz. the Red Fort and the Taj Mahal. A long and narrow courtyard for the faithful to pray in, richly embellished with ornate calligraphic inscriptions, delicate carvings and detailed trelliswork are the highlights of the mosque.

Rituals observed during the Urs

Outside the sanctum sanctorum of the dargah, qawwals (professional singers) sing the praises of the saint and the visitors also join in. The Urs starts with the hoisting of a white flag on the dargah by the Sajjada Nashin (successor representative) of Chishtis. The starting date is the 25th of Jamadi-ul-Akhir (sixth lunar month). The Urs starts to the accompaniment of music. On the last day of the sixth month, the Jannati-Darwaza (Gateway of Heaven) is opened early in the morning. Devouts go across this gate seven times with the belief that they will secure a place in heaven. On the 1st of Rajab, the tomb is washed with rose water and sandalwood paste and anointed with perfume. This ritual is called 'Ghusal'. After this, the Sajjada Nashin covers the tomb with an embroidered silk cloth.

Another ritual here is the looting of kheer (milk-pudding). The kheer is cooked in two large cauldrons called degs and distributed among the devotees as tabarruk (blessed food).

On the 6th of Rajab, the Urs comes to an end. After the mehfil and bursting of crackers, accompanied by music, the Sajjada Nashin performs the ghusal of the tomb. Fatiha and Salamti are read. Mushaira, i.e. reading of poetry is organised. Poets of all communities recite compositions dedicated to the Khwaja. The Qul (end-all) then marks the end of the Urs.

Ajmer is extremely well connected to Jaipur and the rest of the country. There are three markets for shopping. Food and lodging is available to suit every budget and level of comfort desired.

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