Work and cyclical, tedious life, pipes in boredom. This is when the calendar gives you long weekends. One of the best ways to rejuvenate is taking a break from daily life and heading to some unforeseen destination. If you are living in Delhi or nearby cities, Ajmer is a great city to travel on a long weekend.
Travelling & Getting There:
Ajmer is roughly 404 kms. from Delhi. From Jaipur which is the capital city of Rajasthan, it can be reached in two and half hours maximum. So the best way to reach Ajmer is by road or by boarding a train. Rajasthan has an excellent wide network of buses (thanks to RSRTC) which varies as per the comfort level thereby suiting people from all walks of life. The roads across Rajasthan are also in good condition adding further a reason for one to plan a road trip. Apart from this Ajmer is well connected by railway. Conversely, taking a flight may not be the best ways to reach Ajmer as it still doesn’t have its own airport and the nearest one is in Jaipur itself.
Courtesy the popularity of Rajasthan from the tourism perspective, there is an extensive variety of hotels catering to people of different economic backgrounds. We stayed in Mansingh Palace Hotel which has a structure with a royal façade. The interiors too reflect magnificence making it similar to a heritage property. In fact, it is a beautiful replica of a 18th-century fortress. The hotel is situated near the fascinating man-made Ana Sagar Lake.
(The detailed property review of Mansingh Palace hotel will be published soon. Stay Tuned!) Being positioned very near to the main markets and places to see, the hotel is a great place to stay when in Ajmer.
Things To Do in Ajmer:
Visit Ajmer Dargah Shariff:
Dargah Sharif is a famous Muslim shrine which traces its relevance from the time of Emperor Akbar. It is actually the shrine of Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty who was popularly known Khawaja Gharib Nawaz, “Sultan-Ul-Hind”, Khwaja Baba, Khwaja Gharib Nawaz Ajmeri.
The early morning prayers & khidmat offered by khadims start at 4 A.M. but at this time visitors are not allowed inside. It is only after 5 A.M. that the visitors are allowed to enter generally. There is no best time to visit the shrine in a given day; hundreds of people are always present to visit the holy shrine so come prepared like for any other crowded place. At the time of annual Urs, not only in the dargah area but entire Ajmer city is packed with visitors and pilgrims from all around the globe.
Shopping in Ajmer:
Ajmer gets its diverse culture ethnicity as it has people of both Hindu and Muslims as the major masses residing here. There are a number of shopping places in Ajmer like Dargah Bazar, Churi Bazar, Naya Bazar, & more. The dargah bazaar has clothes, street side eateries, flower shops, toys & souvenirs related to shrine etc.
Like its name, Churi Bazaar has a huge variety of bangles especially lac and plastic (seep) bangles. Naya & Mahila Mandal Bazars have a variety of things to meet daily needs.
Things to Eat in Ajmer:
Apart from trying the traditional Rajasthani cuisine, Ajmer has a lot to offer to meet your food desires. At Dargah road, one can have a variety of non-vegetarian dishes like kebabs, curries like Nihari & Mutton Korma and other Mughlai dishes. Restaurants like Mango Masala, Sheesh Mahal, Olive Kitchen, Rasoi are very good and befit to mid-budget to luxury guests.
Visit Ana Sagar Lake:
Located in the heart of the city, Ana Sagar Lake is a man-made lake that touches most of the Ajmer. Currently, beautification work is going on from the outskirts by the government. It has awe-inspiring views in the morning and at the sunset, more so when clouds hover around the nearby hills.
Visit Soniji Ki Nasiyan & Nareli Temples:
Sonji Ki Nasiyan temple is located very close by to the Dargah Sharif. It is a Jain temple with stunning opulence shimmering from its architecture. Nareli Jain temple is located some 7 kms. from the city center. It is a new temple which is largely made of marbles. The estimated production cost of it is about 100 crores.
If you have a day left or an extra day in hand then visiting Pushkar is a great place to plan a long weekend trip to Ajmer. It is a small town which comes alive especially at the time of Camel fair each year. The connecting road to Ajmer & Pushkar has great views to offer. Do not miss to stop by Prithviraj Smarak for a panoramic view of Ajmer city.
Things to Miss:
We found these places worth giving a miss:
- Visiting Akbar Fort as it is under renovation so closed. Adhai din ka Jhonpara is below average and nothing much to see here.
- Visitors are not allowed to enter the building and so visiting Mayo College is not that of a wholesome experience.