Celebrate the festivals of Ajmer with gaiety, joy and traditional rituals. By virtue of being a Muslim majority area, Id and Urs are celebrated with great festive enthusiasm. Hindu festivals such as Teej, Holi and Diwali are celebrated with equal enthusiasm.
Festival celebrations in Ajmer and Rajasthan as a whole play a very significant role in brightening up the cultural mosaic of the land of 'martial warriors'.
Women dress up in gay colors and chunky jewelry, anoint their hands with exotic henna patterns and perform religious rituals. Men busy themselves in preparing lavish feasts and cultural extravaganzas.
Arid Ajmer springs to life with bright colored 'chadars' that are brought by devoted Muslims from all over India and abroad during the Urs celebrations. These chadars are offered at the Dargah of Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti on the occasion of his death anniversary.
Ajmer glitters with joyous expression of happiness as people from all walks of life come together to pay their respects to the harbinger of peace and Islam in India during the Urs celebrations.
People travel to Ajmer and treat it as a base from where they tour the famous Pushkar festival that is held annually in Pushkar located near Ajmer, Rajasthan, India.
Though Ajmer offers little in numbers when it comes to the fairs and festivals, every single one of these celebrations is eagerly awaited. Crowds descend in droves here when during festive times. If visiting Ajmer is looming high on your mind, try to plan your tour around:
It’s celebrated in May, the exact days depending upon the sighting of moon. The six day festival is held in the memory of Khwaja Moin-ud-din Chishti, a highly revered Sufi saint. Going by the legends, the saint left for heavenly abode after serving people for over a century by going in seclusion for six days. Millions of pilgrims from all over the world visit Ajmer during Urs. It starts with the hoisting of a white flag over the dargah of Khwaja Moin-ud-din Chishti, with free flowing music serving the perfect backdrop. Festivities (mehfils) continue late in nights, devotees clapping in perfect symphony to the singers and musicians. The sixth day of Urs, Chatti Sharif, is considered as the most auspicious of all the days. Badhaawa (a poem of praise) is the main attraction of this day and being a part of the mass that sways with music is an out-of-the-world experience. It’s advisable to book a hotel beforehand if you are visiting Ajmer during Urs, for the place brims of tourists from India and abroad.
International Sufi Festival
Though the International Sufi Festival was held in 2011 for the first time, it’s already a rage. It celebrates the life and teachings of Khwaja Moin-ud-din Chishti and has the most revered works of Sufi music, art and culture for the audience. Usually held in October, its exact dates are mentioned months before its commencement. Performances by dervishes (Muslim monks) are a major draw of this week long festival. In a bid to promote Sufism, organisers plan to include a Sufi Film Festival in the proceedings from year 2012. Connoisseurs from the realms of art, poetry, crafts, fashion and more from all over the world visit the fest. Don’t let go of a chance to participate in this one, for it’s an experience of a lifetime.
It’s one of the most eagerly awaited of all festivals at Ajmer. Mainly a muslim festival, other communities pitch in to the celebrations with equal fervour. Id is usually celebrated in the month of November, depending on the sighting of the moon. Ajmer draws quite a crowd at the time of Id, with almost the whole city decked in silver and golden glow of millions of tiny light bulbs. Visiting the dargah of Khwaja Moin-ud-din Chishti on Id is a must for people with religious inclinations. Don’t forget to savour the sewai bowls that comes with oodles of nuts and creamy milk.
Much like the whole of north India, Diwali is a major festival at Ajmer too. All the lanes and houses are decked with diyas (clay lamps) and tiny bulbs that come in a million hues now. Usually celebrated in November, Diwali is the biggest of all Hindu festivals. Muslims participate in the festivities with equal fervour, increasing the warmth of the occasion.
Other major festivals of Ajmer are Holi and Raksha Bandhan. And being the gateway to the holy town of Pushkar, it also sees pilgrims pouring in huge numbers for the Annual Camel Fair at Pushkar. Owing to the famous dargah, the air at Ajmer smells of festivities all around the year.
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