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On the way to Ajmer from Jaipur, halt at Subhash Bagh to soak in the sun's rays along with panoramic views of the Rajasthani countryside. Originally named Daulat Bagh, the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan built this lush landscape on the eastern banks of the Anasagar Lake. Offering serene views of the lake, this garden impresses visitors with its white marble structures and traditional frescoes. Every evening, the Bagh sees hordes of locals and visitors who stop by to take in the cool fresh air, or to indulge in some of the boat tours around the lake.
Often called Gharib Nawaz, Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Chisht was a Sufi Saint who came to India from Iran, and the Dargah Shariff in Ajmer, named after him, is considered to be one of the holiest shrines in India to Muslims. One can reach the main archway marking the entrance to the Dargah Complex, by passing thorough the narrow Nala Bazaar which is flanked by little shops on both sides. This humongous archway is called buland darwaza and leads to various tombs, courtyards and smaller shrines, one of them being the Akbari Masjid; named after the Mughal ruler himself, who as the legend goes, was a staunch believer in Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti. The focal point of the complex is however, the tomb of Gharib Nawaz, which is decorated with heaps of rose petals and a chaadar; a piece of cloth that is used to cover the tomb and is usually of exquisite design. It is a popular belief that those making an offering at this tomb, can have their wishes come true. Should you visit this shrine while in Ajmer, make sure to follow the strict dress code, like covering your head completely.
Founded by Raja Ajay Pal Chauhan in the 7th century, Ajmer since then has been home to numerous rulers over the ages. Always finding itself in the thick of power struggles, this city at one point was one of the most coveted cities of its time, and has always been a favorite with the Mughal rulers. Muhhamad of Ghor, the brave Maratha warriors and finally the East India Company, ruled Ajmer during different eras, and each brought along several changes to improvise the infrastructure of the city. Today, Ajmer is considered to be one of the holiest places in India, as it houses the Dargah Sharif, sacred to Indian Muslims. Some other places worth visiting are the Taragarh Fort, Mayo College and Soniji ki Nasiyan, to name a few. Though not as popular as Jaipur, Ajmer still does attract a fairly large number of tourists each year.
Every year between October and November, Pushkar is flocked by thousands of devotees who seek blessings at the Jagat Pita Shree Brahma Temple. There are numerous legends that describe the origins of this significant temple and the city of Pushkar itself, the most famous being that once Pushkar was founded, Lord Brahma got a second wife to perform a Temple yagna: holy ritual performed to please the Gods; only to anger his first wife Savitri. As a result, Savitri cursed Lord Brahma, saying that Pushkar would be the only place in the world where He would be worshiped. Thus it is believed that Shri Jagat Pita Brahma Temple in Pushkar is the sole temple dedicated to Lord Brahma. The temple is completely crafted from pure marble and overlooks the Pushkar Lake, again deemed very sacred to Hindus. Within the premises, also lies a Shiva Temple, located in the basement. One of the most celebrated festivals here, Kartik Poornima also coincides with the much glamorized Pushkar Fair, that draws curious international tourists in hordes. Not surprisingly, this is also the time of the year when the Pushkar Bazaar, right outside the temple does roaring business. For further details, contact the Rajasthan Tourism office in Jaipur.